It wasn’t the night a fired up, sold out, white out crowd wanted.
No. 11 Ohio State spoiled the party for the Penn State men’s hockey team, playing its first game as the No. 1 team in the country.
The teams skated to a 3-3 tie and the Buckeyes won a shootout in the seventh round to pick up an extra point in the Big Ten standings.
“I’ve never experienced a white out here before,” said freshman Nate Sucese, who had two assists. “Just hearing the crowd before we even came out for the national anthem, while we’re standing in the hallway, just gave all of us chills.”
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Vince Pedrie had a goal and an assist, while James Robinson and Alec Marsh also had goals for the Nittany Lions (16-2-2, 5-1-1 Big Ten). Peyton Jones made 23 saves in the team’s first overtime game since beating Notre Dame on Oct. 22.
Mason Jobst scored twice for the Buckeyes (11-4-6, 2-2-1-1) and Josh Healey also had a goal. In his third spectacular game in as many outings against Penn State this month, Christian Frey stopped 56 shots.
“I just know he plays extremely well against us,” Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said. “I think he’s a gamer. He made two absolutely phenomenal saves in overtime.”
Buckeyes coach Steve Rohlik agreed.
“He was the best player in the building tonight,” Rohlik said. “We understand Penn State’s going to get a lot of shots, that doesn’t concern me, but the quality of shots, that concerns me.”
In the shootout, Sam McCormick scored the winner in the seventh round of attempts and Dakota Joshua also scored.
Brandon Biro scored in the shootout for the Lions, while Ricky DeRosa, Andrew Sturtz, Denis Smirnov, Pedrie, Sucese and David Goodwin missed.
Jobst, Matthew Weis, David Gust, John Wiitala and Kevin Miller missed for the Buckeyes.
Penn State outshot Ohio State 59-26 and 24-3 in the first period alone.
“We all came into the locker room knowing we outplayed them,” Sucese said of the first period. “With that many shots usually a couple more go in.”
Penn State played a perfect game of tic-tac-toe for the opening goal, with Kris Myllari and Sucese connecting to set up Robinson for a one-timer.
“Myllari kind of pinched in there and he made an awesome play backdoor to Sucese,” Robinson said. “Sucese made a better play backdoor to me. I had all the time in the world.”
After Healey tied it, Pedrie knocked in a rebound out of midair to put the Nittany Lions back in front.
In between the two goals for Jobst, with the latter forcing overtime, Marsh knocked in a rebound in his first game since the Michigan series at the beginning of December, when he was knocked out with a lower body injury.
“I’m very happy for him,” Gadowsky said. “Rehab was tough. I give him credit. He looked pretty good for it being his first game back.”
The Buckeyes were playing without two of their top players. Nick Schilkey, who has nine goals and 10 assists just against the Lions in his career, and Tanner Laczynski were scratched from the lineup. They are 1-3 on the team in scoring, with Schilkey’s 17 goals leading the conference.
“We’re missing two pretty good hockey players,” said Rohlik, who doesn’t expect them to play Saturday, “but at the end of the day no one’s going to feel sorry for you. You’ve got to show up and play.”
Notes: The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday. … On a big football recruiting weekend, better than a dozen watched the game from the Roar Zone, and coach James Franklin went out to stoke the crowd during the first intermission along with Trace McSorley, Jason Cabinda, Saquon Barkley and Marcus Allen. … Dylan Richard was sick Friday morning and missed the game. … Ohio State has played six overtime games, the most among top-20 teams.