Penn State dispatches Wisconsin for season sweep
Nine different Nittany Lions tallied goals in Penn State’s weekend sweep of the visiting Wisconsin Badgers. They followed a 5-2 win Friday night with a 4-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Tommy Olczyk lit the lamp early in the first period Friday to get the scoring going off of a big rebound from a Connor Varley shot. The net was wide open on the shot attempt and Olczyk put it in for his sixth goal of the season.
The second half of the first period was all Badgers. Freshman Cameron Hughes, who was coming off his first career goal a week prior, found the back of the net twice. The first one was a wrist shot that he was able to get past goaltender PJ Musico, and the second he scored with excellent patience, holding it on his backhand and firing past a sprawled out Musico.
“You look at Cameron Hughes tonight and he looked like a veteran,” said Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky. “Tonight he scored two beauties and he looked much more comfortable.”
Penn State came out with a chip on its shoulder in the second period and responded within 90 seconds. A Scott Conway pass from behind the net found the stick of Eric Scheid who snuck it through the five hole of goaltender Joel Rumpel to tie the game.
At the 14:59 mark of the period, David Goodwin put the Nittany Lions up for good, diving for a loose puck that he poked in as Taylor Holstrom was tied up with Rumpel.
“Goodwin is a very intelligent man and Casey Bailey just loves to shoot the puck, so when you play with guys that love to shoot the puck, smart guys go to the net,” said Gadowsky.
Bailey added some insurance in the third period on a blistering one timer in the slot, and Holstrom converted on the empty-netter to make it a 5-2 victory.
On Saturday, Penn State was in trouble early, as consecutive tripping penalties on David Glen and Holstrom gave Wisconsin a five-on-three man advantage for 1:15. The Nittany Lions however were able to weather the storm and kill off the penalties.
“They haven’t had many repetitions on the five-on-three this season, and they get in the moment where there’s pressure and they don’t respond really well,” said Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves.
Luke Juha broke a scoreless tie on the power play with a rocket from the blue line for his first goal of the season.
Penn State carried the momentum into the second period and struck at the 3:03 mark to make it 2-0. Scheid made a phenomenal play on the forecheck to regain possession of the puck and start a two-on-one with Dylan Richard. He sent it across for Richard who scored with ease.
“All I saw was an empty net really, all I had to do was make contact, it was a great play by Scheid and a great heads up look,” said Richard.
The score remained the same until a little over the 10 minute mark, when Grant Besse found a wide open Adam Rockwood in the slot. Rockwood wristed one over the shoulder of Musico to cut the deficit in half.
Early in the third period, a shot from the point was deflected past Musico by Aidan Cavallini to tie the game. However, after a video review, the referees overturned the call, saying Cavallini’s stick was above the cross bar when it hit the puck.
“That’s their job, I believe they’re honest men and if it was conclusive then you have to trust that they saw a proper camera angle and made the right call,” said Eaves.
The overturned goal worked as a sort of wake up call to the Nittany Lions, who responded less than two minutes later. James Robinson, who sat out Friday’s game with an illness, dug out a puck from a battle on the boards and snuck it underneath Rumpel to get the two-goal lead back.
“Curtis Loik did a great job in the corner, he held two guys off, the puck got loose and I was able to get a shot on net that ended up going in,” said Robinson.
Erik Autio delivered the dagger with just over a minute remaining in the game, scoring a power play goal for his first of the season. The net was wide open, as Rumpel was down in a heap after a scrum in front. This marked the first time all season that Penn State had two defenseman score in the same game.
“When you get scoring from the back it’s great, it’s a good weapon to have and I hope it continues,” said Gadowsky.
With the wins, Penn State sweeps the season series against Wisconsin, the first season sweep in program history.
Michael Katz is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
Michael is a Junior Broadcast Journalism major originally from the Washington DC area. He has done play by play and beat writing for various Penn State sports. He is a supporter of all Washington sports teams and hopes to host a sports radio show focusing on Washington teams in the future.