Penn State Earns Sweep Over Wisconsin After 4-2 Victory
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State completed a series sweep against the visiting Wisconsin Badgers in a 4-2 victory, as the Nittany Lions offense came alive in its first Big Ten set of the season.
Penn State got off to a fast start in Game 2, attempting the first five shots of the game. However, it was Wisconsin making the most of a relatively small amount of offensive changes, going up 1-0 as Jack Gorniak scored his first goal of the season with 10:07 remaining in the first period.
The Nittany Lions did bring good energy to start out the game, outshooting the Badgers 14-7 in the opening period, and did a nice job of sustaining possession of the puck to string together consecutive shots.
Penn State kept fighting to even the score and were able to do so when Nikita Pavlychev sent a smooth transition feed to Brandon Biro, who simply had to tap the puck in off his stick over the right pad of Wisconsin goalie Daniel Lebedeff.
For his part, Lebedeff made some brilliant saves for Wisconsin in the second period, stopping the first 7 shots from the Nittany Lions, some of which easily could have scored had he not stood tall.
Penn State broke the tie with seven minutes left in the second period, as Liam Folkes got a breakaway chance and set up Alex Limoges for a sweet score to take a 2-1 lead.
Penn State had a flurry of shots going late in the second period, but the Badgers were able to stop them all to stay within a goal. Wisconsin later knotted the score at 2-2 with a goal from Wyatt Kalynuk, who beat Peyton Jones off passes from Linus Weissbach and Cole Caufield.
Wisconsin was able to slow down Penn State in the early part of the third period, winning more faceoffs than Penn State and holding the Nittany Lions to single-digit shots.
But Penn State would persevere, breaking through to take a 3-2 lead on a goal from Sam Sternschein, assisted by Nikita Pavlychev and the goaltender Peyton Jones with 9:10 left in the third period. Sternschein celebrated the goal with notable fervor.
“I didn’t think I was having the greatest game, and I got a bounce that went my way, and I was just really fired up to score that goal and put us in the lead,” Sternchein said.
Penn State then battened down and didn’t allow a shot after the go-ahead goal, and Nate Sucese sealed the home sweep for the Lions with a beam into the empty net to make the score 4-2.
The Nittany Lions had the offense going in both games, but it was the completeness of the effort that truly helped seal the wins for the team.
“If we play behind their D, they can’t score on us,” Sternschein said. “We have to be strong on both lines, and we know if we play in their end they can’t do anything.”
Penn State had bouts of inconsistency in recent weeks during their non-conference play, but the Nittany Lions were able to put together two complete performances after adjusting their play. Head Coach Guy Gadowsky emphasized that the strides being made, especially on defense, aren’t just changes made from recent weeks but rather improvements on things that the team has been working on since last season.
Jeremy Ganes is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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