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Penn State men’s hockey loses another late lead in tie at Wisconsin

Penn State’s Denis Smirnov, shown in a game earlier this season, scored a pair of goals in a 4-4 tie with Wisconsin on Saturday.
Penn State’s Denis Smirnov, shown in a game earlier this season, scored a pair of goals in a 4-4 tie with Wisconsin on Saturday. adrey@centredaily.com

For the second night in a row, the Penn State men’s hockey team could not hold a third-period lead, though this time the Nittany Lions at least got a point in the Big Ten standings.

The Lions and Wisconsin played to a 4-4 draw Saturday, with the Badgers scoring the only goal in the shootout for the extra conference point at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.

Although they are winless in their last five games, the Nittany Lions managed to break out of their scoring slump with the four-goal effort. They had managed just six goals in the previous four games — all losses.

The Nittany Lions, who had not lost a game after entering the third period with a lead until Friday against the Badgers, had a 4-2 lead in the final frame Saturday. But Wisconsin’s Linus Weissbach netted a goal early in the third and Max Zimmer tied it with 2:51 left in regulation.

In the shootout, which gives a bonus point in the Big Ten standings, Weissbach was the only skater to find the net among the three attempts for each team. Andrew Sturtz, Denis Smirnov and Liam Folkes all were unable to score, with Folkes missing an open side of the net on the final try of the night.

PSU goalie Peyton Jones made 32 saves, while counterpart Jack Berry also stopped 32 shots.

Player of the Game

Smirnov, who had been in a recent slump, scored twice Saturday to give him three goals on the weekend. He opened the scoring midway through the first period and added another in the third, giving him the team lead with 13 goals for the season.

Scoring

Chase Berger and Brandon Biro each netted second-period goals for the Nittany Lions, with Biro scoring on a penalty shot.

JD Greenway and Ryan Wagner had the other tallies for the Badgers, with Wagner’s a short-handed score.

Rough outing

The game was riddled with penalties, with 12 whistled on each team. The Badgers finished 0 for 4 on power plays, while the Lions were 0 of 3.

Up next

The Nittany Lions return to Pegula Ice Arena to host No. 1 Notre Dame at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.

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