No. 6 Wisconsin claims overtime victory at Penn State

by | Feb 24, 2024 | Hockey, RRSN News | 0 comments

No. 6 Wisconsin claims overtime victory at Penn State
Dexheimer scores game-winning goal

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Ben Dexheimer scored the game-winner 2:26 into overtime to help the No. 6 Wisconsin men’s hockey team claim a 3-2 victory over Penn State on Saturday night at Pegula Ice Arena. With the win, the Badgers stay within two points of Michigan State and will play the Spartans for the Big Ten title next weekend at the Kohl Center.

Penn State (13-14-3, 5-14-3 Big Ten) took a 1-0 lead late in the first period, but Wisconsin (24-8-2, 15-6-1 Big Ten) battled back, scoring goals in the second and third to make it a 2-1 game. The Nittany Lions tied it back up midway through the third frame to send the game to overtime. Two-and-a-half minutes into the extra time, sophomore defenseman Dexheimer scored the game-winning goal to send the Badgers home with its first road sweep of Penn State in 10 years. Senior goaltender Kyle McClellan was solid between the pipes, stopping 38 of 40 PSU shots on goal.

With 2:44 left in the first period, Penn State got on the board first on a shot from Dylan Lugris.

The Badgers killed off two penalties in the opening frame to keep it 1-0 heading into the second.

Wisconsin tied the game 18:11 into the second period. Senior forward Mathieu De St. Phalle skated around the left side of the Penn State zone before leaving the puck for junior defenseman Daniel Laatsch at the top of the circle. Laatsch sent a short pass to senior forward David Silye in front of the net who deflected the puck into the net for his eighth goal of the season.

UW spent the final minute of the second period and the first four minutes of the third successfully killing off a major penalty assessed to senior forward Carson Bantle.

Sophomore forward Christian Fitzgerald made it 2-1 Wisconsin with a power-play goal 7:06 into the period. Deep in PSU territory, freshman forward Quinn Finley sent a pass up to sophomore forward Charlie Stramel at the top of the right circle. Stramel passed behind him to meet Fitzgerald, who skated to the center of the zone and sent a swift shot to the back of the net to give the Badgers the lead.

The Nittany Lions tied it up with 7:33 remaining in the third frame after Ryan Kirwan beat McClellan.

No one scored in the remainder of regulation, so both teams skated into overtime tied at two.

Sophomore defenseman Ben Dexheimer lit the lamp 2:26 into the extra time to give the Badgers the victory. From Wisconsin’s goal line, Christian Fitzgerald passed up the zone to sophomore forward Cruz Lucius right behind the blue line. Lucius skated into neutral ice and circled back into Badger territory. Lucius then made a long pass to Dexheimer, who was waiting behind the right side of PSU’s blue line. Dexheimer rushed into the offensive zone and toward the net before backhanding a shot past Nittany Lion goaltender Liam Souliere.

Wisconsin went 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. UW finished the contest with a 40-31 deficit in shots on goal.

Notes to know:
– Kyle McClellan’s 22 wins are the most since Graham Melanson posted 22 in the 2000-01 season and share eighth in school history
– The Badgers are 17-1-1 when scoring on the power play
– UW’s five-game win streak over Penn State ties its longest over the Nittany Lions in the 53-game history between the two schools. UW won five games over PSU from Dec. 6, 2013, through March 21, 2014
– In 11 series at Penn State, this marks the Badgers’ second sweep at Pegula Ice Arena. Their most recent road sweep of the Nittany Lions came March 7-8, 2014
– With 47 Big Ten points, the Badgers stay within two points of Michigan State. The Big Ten regular season champion will be decided when they face the Spartans at home next weekend

Up Next: The Badgers return to Madison for their final series of the regular season against Michigan State on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2. Both games start at 8 p.m. and stream on B1G+. Friday’s contest serves as ‘Fan Appreciation Night,’ one of the six evenings chosen for special recognition as part of UW’s 75th season celebration, and Saturday will be ‘Senior Night.’ Audio play-by-play airs on the Badgers Radio network, including 1310 WIBA in the Madison area and 97.3 The Game in Milwaukee. It also airs on the Badgers app and The Varsity Network app. Follow along on X/Twitter and Instagram @BadgerMHockey.

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