Penn State Hockey: No. 14 Nittany Lions Thump No. 15 Wisconsin, 5-1
No. 14 Penn State hockey started off the second half of the season with a statement Friday night as the Nittany Lions beat No. 15 Wisconsin 5-1.
It was Chicago Blackhawks draft choice Evan Barratt opening the barrage just 1:36 into the game as he snapped a shot high into the net off a feed from Cole Hults. Nearing the midway point of the period Nate Sucese added his first of three goals, spinning into the offensive zone as Wisconsin changed lines, beating Badgers goalie Jack Berry to put Penn State up 2-0.
In the second Chase Berger waited just 11 seconds to add on to the growing total and a swooping shorthanded tally by Sucese completed the blowout in progress.
Not to be lost in the shuffle, sophomore goalie Peyton Jones who was strong all night making 25 saves, many far more difficult than he made them appear. It wasn't until 11:54 had gone by in the final period that he was finally beaten, but the 4-1 margin was still far too much for Wisconsin to erase.
Sucese completed his hat trick evening with just under a minute to play, firing the puck into the empty net.
Penn State improves to 12-7-2 on the year and is unbeaten in nine straight games. The Nittany Lions managed 32 shots on goal and Trevor Hamilton led the way with six blocked shots. Denis Smirnov was quieted for the first nearly all season, not registering a point but did rack up a team-high six shots on goal.
Both teams will take the ice again Saturday night at 7. The game will air on the Big Ten Network.
Penn State is currently ranked No. 12 in the PairWise following the win.