Penn State hockey upended No. 12 Wisconsin hockey with a 5-4 victory on Friday night for a series split as the Nittany Lions found their offense, picking up their fourth win in five games.
Penn State is now 8-8 on the year and 6-8 in Big Ten play.
It was a Penn State-heavy first period as Aarne Talvitie opened the scoring 2:54 into regulation and Kevin Wall added another goal – his second of the series and eighth of the season – just 13 seconds later. While extremely fast, the span was four seconds short of topping the program record for back-to-back goals set in 2017 against Michigan State.
Talvitie added a second goal to his name during his three-point opening frame with just under five minutes to go in the period. The Nittany Lions dominated most of the proceedings in the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the Badgers 16-5, chasing Wisconsin goalie Cameron Rowe from net less than 24 hours after Rowe stopped 45 Penn State shots in Wisconsin’s victory on Thursday night.
Dylan Holloway put Wisconsin on the comeback trail early in the second period to make it 3-1 but Clayton Phillips added another Penn State tally just minutes later to push the margin back out 4-1.
A strange third period ended an otherwise straightforward night with Wisconsin scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes, the first two coming separated by less than 120 seconds apart to make for a much more dramatic final eight minutes of play with Penn State ahead 4-3.
The game was seemingly over as Connor McMenamin added an empty net tally to the box score [to go with four assists, tying a single-game program record and his five points also tying a program record] but a goal by Cole Caufield with 45 seconds to go in regulation made for one final burst of drama. The Badgers outshot Penn State 12-6 in the third period while getting 22 shots on goal in the second.
Despite the final push, Wisconsin couldn’t find the equalizer in the game’s final seconds and Penn State skated off the ice with a series split. Nittany Lion goaltender Oskar Autio made 35 saves in the effort.
The Nittany Lions next face Notre Dame at Pegula next Thursday and Friday evening.