Casey Bailey and Taylor Holstrom both picked up a goal and an assist but that was enough to prevent the Nittany Lions 5-3 loss to Ohio State on Saturday night.
Penn State (16-12-4, 8-7-1-0 Big Ten) led 3-2 with 15:30 remaining in the game but a flurry of Buckeye goals pushed the hosts past the Nittany Lions in a span of just four minutes. The game appeared to hinge on an injury to Holstrom in that same period.
“I thought after Taylor Holstrom left the ice, we fell apart,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said of the senior center’s injury. “Obviously, we have to be a little tougher than that and we weren’t. We were vulnerable at that time and Ohio State jammed down the gas pedal and out-shot us 16-5 and scored 3-0.”
Penn State was on its heels for the majority of the first period, but its top line struck first blood when Bailey scored his 21st of the season 11:45 into the game. Goodwin won the puck in the corner, sent it up to Holstrom who slid a perfectly placed pass across the crease to an open Bailey on the right post for the 1-0 lead.
The trio teamed up to double the lead nearly five minutes later. Goodwin again won the puck along the boards, sending a pass from behind the net to Bailey on the right post. His pass found Holstrom for the 2-0 lead with 4:28 remaining in the period
The two-goal advantage was short-lived. Ohio State’s Justin DaSilva’s scored his first goal of the year 43 seconds later. He one-timed a Luke Stork offering from the top of the slot. The teams went into the locker rooms with the Nittany Lions leading, 2-1.
The Buckeyes would take advantage of a pair of Penn State penalties as Sam Jardine rifled one from the slot through traffic to even the score at two after 4:23 in the second. The goal came on a rare 4-on-3 situation as Tanner Fritz found Jardine alone up top.
Penn State seemingly went ahead 3-2 a couple minutes later when Eric Scheid deflected a Holstrom cross-crease pass, but the goal was ruled out by the officials for a kicking motion.
Nevertheless, Penn State would take the lead the very next shift. Mike Williamson blasted a rocket from the right point on Goodwin’s third assist with 13:01 remaining in the second. It was Williamson’s first goal since March 14, 2014 against Ohio State.
Nick Schilkey scored from the right wing off a Matthew Weis feed with 10:42 remaining to even the score at three before Tanner Fritz put away a rebound that bounced off the end board a minute later to take the lead. Nicholas Jones capped the scoring three minutes later for the final 5-3 scoreline.
The Buckeyes out-shot Penn State 44-27 for the game, which included higher shot totals in all three frames (15-10, 13-12, 16-5). Skoff’s counterpart, Christian Frey, had 24 saves for his seventh win of the year.
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