The Penn State men’s hockey team just keeps racking up the historic wins.
For the first time the Nittany Lions can claim a sweep of a Big Ten opponent — and end the weekend alone atop the Big Ten standings.
After spotting Wisconsin the first score, Penn State rolled off thee goals in an eight-minute span and a total of four unanswered in a 4-2 victory over the Badgers on Saturday night at the Kohl Center.
“It’s a great accomplishment to get two wins this weekend,” coach Guy Gadowsky said. “The team played with poise and got the job done. There is a lot to work on over the break, but I’m proud of this team in the way it fought back from being down to keep their composure and get those goals.”
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The Nittany Lions (9-4-2, 3-1 Big Ten) will have plenty of time to savor the win, with three weeks off for final exams and the holidays before returning to action at the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh on Dec. 29-30.
The win total surpasses the entire 2013-14 season for Penn State, while the team has already matched its conference victory collection for all of last season. The three conference wins also gives the team nine points for the top spot in the standings. Penn State won 5-2 on Friday night.
James Robinson, Max Gardiner, Tommy Olczyk and Ricky DeRosa scored the goals for the Nittany Lions, who dropped all five meetings with Wisconsin last season. Matthew Skoff made 23 saves in goal.
The Badgers (1-10-1, 0-2) got the scoring started 2:32 into the second period with a goal from Kevin Schulze, and closed the night with Morgan Zulinick’s tally with 5:14 left in the contest.
In between, the Nittany Lions controlled the game with a 33-25 edge in shots, including 14-8 in the second period.
Robinson tied the game just over two minutes after Wisconsin got on the board. Kenny Brooks and David Glen rushed into the Badger zone and got a bouncing puck to Robinson for his second goal of the season. Then, a mere 58 seconds later on a power play, Dylan Richard fired a shot through a maze of players that Gardiner poked in for his third score of the season. Curtis Loik also picked up an assist.
With the Badgers a man up, Erik Autio scooped up a turnover and raced the other way, sending a pass to Olczyk for the shorthanded score and a 3-1 lead with 7:06 left in the second. It was Olczyk’s fourth goal of the yaer.
Olczyk then forced a turnover on the final Penn State score behind Wisconsin goalie Joel Rumpel, with Scott Conway attempting to wrap the puck around the post. The shot was stopped, but DeRosa knocked in the rebound.
Rumpel finished with 29 saves.