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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Hold Off Wisconsin For Key 2-1 Victory

by on March 04, 2016 10:50 PM

People rarely say that hockey is a game of inches, but considering how many posts kept Penn State's 2-1 victory over Wisconsin a 2-1 victory, it might be worth considering.

Penn State, as expected, started the night in the offensive zone opening a 5-1 shot margin in the first eight minutes of play. Wisconsin managed to keep things interesting though with a few odd man rushes that held the Nittany Lions honest in the defensive zone including a great stop with the stick to slow a 3-on-2 chance for the Badgers midway through the frame. 

Andrew Sturtz added his 16th of the year with 5:28 to go in the period banging home the puck from just outside the crease on a feed from David Glen. The score came on the man advantage after the Nittany Lions failed to get a single shot on goal for the opening 90 seconds of the power play.

The advantage was short lived though as Wisconsin tied the game just minutes later to send the game to the first intermission with a 1-1 tie on the board. Penn State lead in the shot count 11-7 after dominating the pace of play early in the frame.

Tommy Olczyk would tally the eventual game winner with 12:56 to go in the second period on a breakaway chance that went backhand and then forehand, sniping it up and over for his 10th of the year coming off the bench. A scramble in front of a wide open net nearly tied the game yet again but the puck never found the back of the net midway through the period.

The period was a much more evenly played affair with shots going in favor of Penn State to the tune of 19-18 overall and the Nittany Lions down in the faceoff circle 21-20.

Penn State looked to reverse the fairly even play of the second period though firing seven of the first eight shots on net to take a 26-19 advantage in that category while still holding just a one goal margin on the scoreboard.

Wisconsin pushed back with a several minute segment of play in the offensive zone before Eamon McAdam made one of several key stops late in the game to keep the score at 2-1. A Penn State penalty with a minute remaining turned what was 4-on-4 hockey into a 5-on-3 Wisconsin advantage. McAdam smothered the puck on a blast from the point with 16 seconds remaining to keep the game just out of reach as the clock eventually expired.

Penn State improves to 20-9-4 on the year with the victory and will return to the ice tomorrow night for the final game of the series against the Badgers. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 PM.

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