The Penn State ice hockey team got a much ruder welcome to the Big Ten on Sunday night than in its previous encounters.
No. 18 Wisconsin dominated play and skated past Penn State 5-0 Sunday night at the Kohl Center in the opener of a two-game series that closes the Nittany Lions’ first forray into Division I hockey. The teams close the season for Penn State (12-14) at 8:30 p.m. Monday.
The Badgers (14-10-7) outshot the Lions 51-22, including 45-16 over the final two periods, and blowing the game open with three third-period goals in front of 8,547 Wisconsin fans.
The game was scoreless through the first 21:25 before John Ramage found the back of the net.
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Michael Mersch added a power play goal late in the second period, and Tyler Barnes, Nic Kerdiles and Brendan Woods knocked in third-period goals over a stretch of 6:31. Woods’ tally also came with a man advantage.
Joel Rumpel made 22 saves for the shutout.
P.J. Musico stopped a career-high 46 shots for the Nittany Lions, who had beaten Ohio State and split two games at Michigan State earlier in the season in preparation for a Big Ten Conference that will begin play next season.
Notes: For the first time since facing the Spartans, Penn State played with six defensemen after injuries had depleted the available roster. Nate Jensen returned to the lineup Sunday. ... Monday’s game will be shown live on the Big Ten Network, marking Penn State’s second appearance on the network this season. ... Wisconsin was 2-for-7 on the power play, while Penn State did not convert on its three man-advantage situations. ... The Badgers won in faceoffs 27-25.