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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Fall 5-1 To Ohio State

by on January 13, 2018 10:00 PM

Penn State's 5-1 loss to Ohio State may not have been a foregone conclusion heading into Saturday night, but it was not entirely surprising either, even as the Nittany Lions entered the game following their own 5-2 victory the night prior.

The argument, an easy one to be made, Penn State was not the better team on Friday night for good chunks of play. The Buckeyes dominated a second period in terms of flow, but found themselves trailing more because of Penn State's ability to convert a handful of chances and solid goaltending by Peyton Jones.

If either of those things hadn't happened, Penn State very well may have lost.

And on Saturday night, at least one of them did.

This time it was Ohio State scoring first 5:08 into regulation. Not long thereafter Nikita Pavlychev answered with a goal of his own to tie the game.

The good news would stop there. A crushing knee-to-knee hit by Andrew Sturtz saw the forward ejected from the game. The change would stumble a Penn State team that gets a little bit of everything from Sturtz. Ohio State continued to press, winning faceoffs, controlling the flow of play and eventually scoring again midway through the five minute major, the result of Sturtz's penalty.

Much like Friday night the second period was all Ohio State, and the Buckeyes made it difficult for Penn State to even enter the offensive zone. Another goal would put Ohio State ahead 3-1, but the margin felt as though it could have been much wider. Penalties, mistakes and the absence of Sturtz doing little to swing the tide.

Penn State would find itself again in the third period but it wasn't enough. An empty net goal sealed the deal, and a halfhearted breakaway goal in the game's final seconds gave the contest its final score.

In total a series split was about what fans could have expected out of two talented teams. And without Sturtz, and without consistent flow with the puck, Saturday night's defeat was hardly a shocker for the Nittany Lions.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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