Sucese Shines in Resounding Win Over Wisconsin
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa -- After a break from competition that lasted just less than a month, Penn State showed no signs of rust in their 5-1 win over conference rival Wisconsin on Friday.
Despite being ranked only one spot above Wisconsin in the polls, the Nittany Lions seemed to dominate every facet of this game from start to finish.
The scoresheet was filled by goals that exclusively came from skaters at the Center position. The Penn State scoring barrage was quick and most successful early on with two goals in the first 10 minutes of the first period, and two more goals that came within the first four minutes of the second period. The Nittany Lions scored their final goal within the last minute of the contest. Wisconsin tallied one goal from close range at a point in the third period where a comeback seemed out of reach.
Penn State saw consistent success throughout the game regardless of how many skaters were featured on the ice. The Nittany Lions capitalized on an early powerplay with a goal from Freshman Evan Barratt, netted two more goals at even strength, tallied another goal in short-handed fashion in the second period and finally finished the night with an empty net goal, courtesy of the game’s leader in points and first star, Nate Sucese, who scored three times throughout the night.
“When you come out you have to establish your game and I think we did that,” said Sucese. “It looked like the guys did a good job staying in shape over break.”
The Badgers greatly missed standout forward Travis Frederic who was participating in the Third Place game of the World Junior Championships with Team USA. Without Frederic, Wisconsin was limited to just 26 shots.
Wisconsin Starting Goaltender Jack Berry experienced a very long night in the net and was eventually replaced by Kyle Hayton after surrendering four goals in the first two periods. It seemed as if the Badgers’ defense constantly overcommitted on the attack and left their goalie with very limited help.
The Nittany Lions also enjoyed the return of first-line defender Erik Autio who had been injured since the Nov. 18 matchup against Arizona State. Autio saw significant time on the ice and was successful with helping Goaltender Peyton Jones maintain a solid showing that only consisted of one goal against the Sophomore in the net.
Penn State will see Wisconsin again on Saturday at the Pegula Ice Arena, but even after the commanding win, Coach Gadowsky is taking a cautious approach for the rematch. “Both teams got some rust off today,” said Gadowsky. “I think that we are going to prepare for a much faster and a much cleaner game.”
Jordan Kalfon is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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