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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Sweep Wisconsin With 4-1 Victory

by on February 07, 2015 5:30 PM

Penn State hockey finished off the weekend sweep and regular season sweep of Wisconsin with a 4-1 victory over the Badgers on Saturday afternoon. The regular season sweep is the first in program history for the Nittany Lions.

It was even action in the first period as both teams looked to open up the game on the right foot after Friday night's contest. The Badgers continued to hold Penn State's usually shot-happy offense to limited opportunities but it was a blast by Luke Juha just over 13 minutes into the game that found the back of the net on the man advantage.

Casey Bailey registered his 33rd point of the season on the Juha goal as he passed the puck across the top of the power play formation to prime Juha's scoring rocket. Joel Rumpel was strong in goal for the Badgers but failed to find the shot through traffic as it beat him to the back of the net.

Penn State took the one goal margin into the first intermission behind a 10 save effort by PJ Musico in his second start in as many nights for the Nittany Lions. Despite their efforts, the Badgers would ultimately give up 14 shots on goal in the opening frame.

The Nittany Lions didn't wait long to extend the margin. Dylan Richard slapped in an even strength goal just 3:03 into the frame. Eric Scheid stole the puck in the offensive zone, passing it to Richard on a 2-on-1 who buried the shot past Rumpel.

Wisconsin did not go quietly into the night though, beating Muscio high glove side with 10:32 gone in the second period. Adam Rockwood slammed home a shot from between the circles that gave the Badgers life.

Wisconsin never scored again. Penn State controlled the pace of play for the entire period, ripping off 16 shots on goal and giving up only six on Musico as Penn State led 2-1 after two periods.

The Badgers seemingly tied the game only a few minutes into the period but the goal was deemed to have been deflected in with a high stick. It was only minutes after that James Robinson scored his third of the season as a weak wrist shot trickled past Rumpel to give Penn State a 3-1 lead and a safe margin for the game's final 10 minutes of play.

It was a fitting ending as Erik Autio picked up the first goal of his Penn State career with a blast from the top of the circle to give the Nittany Lions a 4-1 lead with just under three minutes to play. Autio was one of many Nittany Lions to chip in physical play and hustle during a weekend series that was a complete team performance by Penn State.

The Nittany Lions improve to 15-7-4 on the year and 7-2-1 in the Big Ten. Musico made 27 saves in the winning effort and Dylan Richard led the way for the Nittany Lions with 8 shots on goal.

 

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