The Penn State men’s hockey team refused to let its season end Saturday night.
The Nittany Lions rebounded from a Game 1 loss against Wisconsin to tie up the best-of-three Big Ten quarterfinal series Saturday night with a dominating 6-2 win. The series’ final game will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday at Pegula Ice Arena.
The Badgers got off to a hot start Saturday night — but it didn’t last. In the first four minutes of the game, Wisconsin won 3-of-3 faceoffs and got off four shots to Penn State’s one. It also scored the first goal of the game, just 3:27 into the contest.
After that, however, Penn State responded in a big way. From then on, it outshot Wisconsin by nearly a 2-to-1 margin (76-39). It tied up the game late in the first period, scored four unanswered goals in the second period and cruised from there.
Sunday’s winner will advance to the Big Ten semifinals, where it will take on No. 1-seed Ohio State at 3:30 p.m. March 17 in a single-elimination game.
Players of the game: Penn State’s Alex Limoges and Liam Folkes
Limoges finished with two goals and one assist, while Folkes complemented him with two assists and one goal.
Limoges ensured Penn State didn’t stay down long, scoring the first-period equalizer five minutes after the Badgers’ opening goal. Folkes then started the second-period scoring frenzy to give Penn State the lead.
The offense gave the Nittany Lions plenty of momentum, and Limoges and Folkes were the sparks that got it going.
Turning point: Penn State kills UW power play, scores 4 seconds later
When James Gobetz was called for a two-minute cross-check about seven minutes into the second period, Penn State led 2-1 — but Wisconsin was intent on changing that.
The Badgers shot wide twice and, 99 seconds into their man advantage, one of their players got called for tripping to break up the power play. Four seconds after that? Penn State’s Brandon Biro found the back of the net after Chase Berger won the faceoff.
That gave the Nittany Lions a 3-1 cushion. And that’s all they’d need.
Other Big Ten games: Notre Dame, Minnesota advance to semis
Minnesota beat Michigan 4-1 Saturday to clinch the series 2-0, after also defeating the Wolverines on Friday 3-2 in overtime.
Likewise, Notre Dame won 2-0 Saturday to clinch its series over Michigan State. It also beat the Spartans 1-0 Friday. Notre Dame and Minnesota will face one another March 16 in the semifinals.