Wisconsin Downs Penn State Despite Strong Offensive Showing
MADISON, Wis. — Sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story. That was true Monday evening, as Penn State dominated Wisconsin, outshooting the Badgers 52-20. Yet, the Nittany Lions dropped the first game of the series by a score of 6-3.
Despite the loss, Penn State finally got back to its brand. With a whopping 52 shots, the Nittany Lions not only looked like the past but they also played like it too.
Penn State winger Kevin Wall picked up right where he left off Friday. For his third consecutive game, Wall scored, this time early in the first period, giving Penn State its first lead of the 2020-21 season.
Wall has already surpassed last season’s goal total and has taken noticeable strides in his game. He later tallied an assist in the third period.
Penn State’s lead was short lived, however. It was the freshman Sam Strange who knotted the game at one apiece with a goal at 10:45 in the first period. Strange, a fourth-round pick by the Detroit Red Wings, put it top shelf from the circle.
Just four minutes later, Wisconsin snagged the lead, as Jack Gorniak took advantage on an odd-man rush, scoring on only the fourth shot of the first period.
Penn State had two power plays in the first but could not find a way to convert.
The second period was more of the same. Penn State led in shots 22-2 but once again finished the period trailing.
Strange scored his second of the night, rifling a bullet from the top of the circle over the left shoulder of Oskar Autio on a rush.
Just seconds later, the grad transfer from Maine Tim Doherty pocketed a loose puck at the net mouth to get it back within one. Doherty, a strong shooter, had 34 goals and 77 points with Maine in 103 games over his career.
Later, Wisconsin thought it had scored to make it 4-2 on 10 shots when senior Jason Dhooghe thought he had scored five-hole on Autio. As he was crashing the net, he collided with Autio, causing the officials to wave off the goal. Following a scrum behind the net, Penn State was awarded a power play but failed to score.
Headed into the third period down a goal, the Nittany Lions pushed hard for the tie, leaving them susceptible to chances in their own end. It ended up being the Caufield show, as both Brock and Cole tallied goals in the third. Linemate Linus Weissbach also scored on a wide open net.
To put it nicely, Autio did not play well. Wisconsin ended up scoring on shots No. 13, 14 and 15 as Autio let in a few he’d probably want to have back. It would not be a shocker to see the freshman Liam Souliere man the net for Penn State tomorrow.
Connor McMenamin is developing chemistry with Wall. McMenamin scored in the final minute for Penn State’s third goal of the evening.
Overall, Penn State should be pleased with how it played tonight. It’s not often when a team puts up 52 shots and loses. The Nittany Lions will have to tighten things up defensively, but overall, Monday’s result is an encouraging sign for head coach Guy Gadowsky.
The Nittany Lions will take on Wisconsin again tomorrow at 6 p.m. A loss would send them falling to 0-4.
Kyle Cannillo is a broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.