Penn State hockey (5–7–0, 3–7 Big Ten) beat Ohio State (4–7–1, 4-6 Big Ten) 5-2 Saturday night with goals from captain Alex Limoges, Kevin Wall, Tim Doherty, and Connor McMenamin.
Penn State had an incredibly strong showing. The Nittany Lions dominated the Buckeyes and killed six Ohio State man advantages with ease.
How It Happened
The second game in the series against the Buckeyes started off with a flurry of shots from the Nittany Lions in the offensive zone. Much like Friday night’s game, Penn State was unable to get the puck past Tommy Nappier.
2:11 minutes into the first period, Penn State went on the power play due to a slashing call on the Buckeyes’ James Marooney. The power play was uneventful, with Penn State unable to get the puck in the back of the net and Ohio State’s strong power killing abilities.
Just over five minutes later at 7:38, Limoges got the puck behind Nappier off of a solid pass from Christian Sarlo. At the same time, Buckeyes’ Dominic Vidoli was called for hooking, sending the Nittany Lions on their second power play of the evening.
At 9:27, with 11 seconds remaining on the power play, Clayton Phillips was called for cross-checking and Penn State’s power play was cut short. the Nittany Lions didn’t give Ohio State a chance, however, and killed the power play with ease to keep the score 1-0.
Just under four minutes later at 13:05, Evan Bell was sent to the sin bin for cross-checking, sending Ohio State on the power play and giving it a second chance to even the score. Once again, the Nittany Lions did a fantastic job of killing the power play.
Seconds later at 15:20, the Buckeyes’ Mark Cheremeta evened the score, shooting the puck past Autio to tie the game.
With under two minutes remaining in the period, the Nittany Lions went back on the power kill due to a holding call on freshman Christian Berger.
With 20 seconds remaining, the chaos continued, and alternate captain Paul DeNaples went to the box due to roughing along with the Buckeyes’ Quinn Preston.
Just under three minutes into the second at 2:55, Wall got the puck in the net on a wraparound, giving the Nittany Lions the lead 2-1. Just under two minutes later at 4:11, Penn State went on the power play due to a high-sticking call against Ohio State’s Collin Peters. The Buckeyes killed the power play, though, and the score remained 2-1 with Penn State in the lead.
Sarlo fed the puck to Doherty, who buried the puck in the back of Nappier’s net at 7:12. Under a minute later at 7:50, Connor MacEachern was sent to the sin bin for roughing. Once again, Penn State was able to kill the power play. Then, going on their sixth power kill of the evening due to a tripping call on Aarne Talvitie at 10:52, the Nittany Lions once again successfully killed the Buckeyes’ power play.
At 14:07, due to an elbowing call and game misconduct on Ohio State’s Peters, Penn State went on a major power play. Spending much of the five minutes in the offensive zone, the Nittany Lions sent a flurry of shots on Nappier. Sternschien made two solid shots, but Nappier denied them both. Ohio State was able to kill the power play, and the second period ended with the Nittany Lions’ leading 3-1.
The third period started off with a tripping call on Sarlo, sending the Buckeyes on a man advantage 3:33 into the period. Ohio State’s Cheremeta got his second goal of the game on the power play, closing in on the Nittany Lions lead to make the score 3-2.
The game continued with back and forth play between the Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes. With 1:39 remaining in the period, McMenamin hit the puck in the back of Ohio State’s empty net with assists from Stevens and Talvitie,
Seconds later with 1:04 to go, Wall shot the puck off of an assist from DeNaples in the empty net to give the Nittany Lions a three-goal lead, turning it into a 5-2 game. Ultimately, Penn State’s defense and Oskar Autio’s solid performance in the net Saturday night resulted in a Nittany Lion win and a split series with the Buckeyes.
- Lack of consistency is something that needs to be worked on, even with Saturday night’s win. There are moments of brilliance where the Nittany Lions looks strong and put together. But, at other times, they look out of sync and lost. The young team looks like it needs more time to develop a level of some consistency, which is understandable considering many are starting their college careers during a pandemic.
- Limoges, Doherty and Co. continue to be a driving force. Limoges and Doherty both scored goals Saturday night. The duo, whether paired with Sarlo and Lamppa, continues to elevate the other and the additional teammate on their line. The duo brings a level of consistency and skill which is invaluable to the team.
- The kids will be alright. Even with the ups and downs of the season and within the game, the younger players have inherent skill and have been able to mesh as well as they can with the existing team. On a slow, but steady upwards improvement, expect some of the issues that have been plaguing the team to lessen over the next 16 games.
The Nittany Lions will face Michigan State to kick off the start of three home series in Hockey Valley at Pegula Ice Arena on January 15. The time of puck drop has yet to be announced.