Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Close Out Regular Season With 4-2 Victory Over Ohio State
How It Happened:
Penn State wasn't going to let the final game of the regular season in front of a home crowd go to waste and the Nittany Lions struck first only 2:51 into the game.
Nate Jensen was credited with the goal on a power play blast which was a fitting end to the season. It was Jensen who scored the first goal ever in the Pegula Ice Arena's inaugural season.
The Nittany Lions never let up and a Curtis Loik tally only four minutes later extended Penn State's lead to 2-0. With plenty of game left to play Ohio State didn't give up. The Buckeyes cut the deficit in half with a Curtis Gedig tally at the 9:44 mark in the opening 20 minutes of play.
Penn State captain Tommy Olczyk countered with a goal of his own in the final two minutes of the first period to give Penn State 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
It was all back and forth action in the second period. There was a total of 20 total shots during the second stanza. Nittany Lion netminder Matthew Skoff was strong in goal all afternoon and ended up making 27 saves. A goal by Anthony Greco cut into Penn State's lead 3:25 into the second period.
The Nittany Lions have seen their leads disappear more than once this season, but that wasn't the case Saturday afternoon. Taylor Holstrom added another goal at 6:55 in the third period to give Penn State a 4-2 lead. The Buckeyes pepperrf Skoff with 11 shots during the final 20 minutes of play but Penn State's defense stood its ground as time expired on the Nittany Lions home schedule and the regular season.
Taylor Holstrom's goal 6:55 into the final period of play put Penn State in the driver's seat with a two-goal lead. The Buckeyes had been swarming prior to Holstrom's goal and the tally was just enough to keep Ohio State from stealing a victory.
Player of the Game:
Matthew Skoff made 27 saves, many of them coming at crucial times as Penn State picked up Big Ten victory No. 3 on the year. The Penn State netminder made 11 key saves in the third period to prevent an Ohio State comeback.
Stat of the Game:
After scoring two goals and registering an assist the night before, Penn State held the Big Ten's leading scorer Ryan Dzingel to zero goals or assists. The defensive effort by the entire Penn State unit was the key to the Nittany Lions' victory.
What's Is Next:
Penn State will face Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday at 3 p.m.