Penn State Forces Game Three, Defeats Wisconsin, 6-2
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Sophomore Alex Limoges (Winchester, Va.) scored twice and added one assist to help lift fourth-seeded Penn State past No. 5 Wisconsin, 6-2, on Saturday evening in game two of a best-of-three Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series from Pegula Ice Arena.
Penn State improves to 20-14-2 overall this season while Wisconsin falls to 14-17-5 on the year with the setback. Penn State is now 8-5-0 all-time in Big Ten Tournament games tying Ohio State for the most tournament wins in conference history.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Linus Weissbach opened the scoring for the second-straight night as he collected a loose puck in the defensive zone and took it coast-to-coast slipping it through the five-hole of PSU net-minder Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 1-0 lead at 3:27 of the first period.
• Penn State tied the contest as Limoges banged in a loose puck to the right of the crease off classmate Alex Stevens’ (Plymouth, Minn.) initial blast from the points for the 1-1 score at 8:49 of the opening frame.
• The Nittany Lions took and early 2-1 lead in the second period as junior Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ontario) finished at the near post on a shot off the end boards at 2:43.
• The hosts extended the lead during a mini-stretch of 4-on-4 hockey as senior Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) won an offensive zone draw back to junior Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alberta) who skated into the slot and sniped a shot over the left shoulder of Badger goaltender Daniel Lebedeff for the 3-1 advantage at 8:48 of the middle frame.
• Penn State continued the onslaught as junior Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) ripped in a rebound at the left circle at 11:40 before sophomore Evan Bell (Livonia, Mich.) secured his first career goal on a snipe from the slot during the power-play at 16:06 for the 5-1 margin.
• Wisconsin cut into the deficit in the third period as Matthew Freytag finished off a feed from behind the net by Seamus Malone for the 5-2 score at 8:01.
• Limoges secured his fourth goal of the weekend and his 21st of the season to seal the game as he finished out front off a feed from Folkes for the 6-2 final at 15:37 of the third period.
Jones registered 24 saves to improve to 16-11-2 with the victory while Lebedeff falls to 11-11-2 on the year after allowing five goals on 39 shots over the opening 36:06 before being lifted for Jack Berry who made 11 saves over the final 23:54.
• Penn State registers its third 20-win season in the last four years becoming one of just 17 teams in the NCAA to accomplish this feat during that stretch.
• Jones started in his 100th career game between the pipes tonight for the Nittany Lions becoming the tenth different player this season to reach the 100 games played mark.
• Penn State controlled the pace of play holding the 51-26 edge in shots while going 1-for-4 with the man-advantage and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
• The four goal second period for the Nittany Lions marked the 24th such period this season where Penn State has scored three or more goals in a single frame.
• With his second period goal, Sucese became just the fourth player in program history to hit the 100-point milestone for his career.
• With a pair of goals and one assist, Limoges registers his sixth multi-goal game this season and the seventh of his career while picking up his 14th multi-point effort this season and the 17th of his career in the process.
• Limoges becomes just the third Nittany Lion in program history to hit the 20-goal mark in a single-season and is now just one goal shy of the Penn State single-season record of 22 held by Casey Bailey and Andrew Sturtz ’18. Limoges is also just one point shy of the Penn State single-season record of 47 held by Denis Smirnov.
• Limoges four goals in two games this tournament tie for the second most in a single tournament in Big Ten history just one shy of the all-time tournament record of five held by Kyle Connor.
• Sophomore Adam Pilewicz (Sewickley, Pa.) picked up a pair of assists to secure his first-ever multi-point game.
• Folkes continued his stellar play against the Badgers in the Big Ten tournament with one goal and a pair of assists marking his 10th multi-point game this season and the 16th of his career. The junior now has 12 points in eight Big Ten Tournament games to lead all current Nittany Lions including eight points in three tournament games against Wisconsin.
• With six points in two games this tournament, Folkes is just two points shy of the Big Ten Tournament scoring record of eight points held by Michigan’s Kyler Connor and JT Compher.
• Biro secured his 12th multi-point effort this season and the 23rd of his career with one goal and one assist for the game.
• Penn State has now set new single-season record in every offensive category with 166 goals 284 assists and 450 points.
• Both teams return to Pegula tomorrow for the third and final game of the series with puck drop slated for 6 p.m. Winner moves on to next Sunday’s Big Ten semifinals against top-seeded Ohio State with puck drop slated for 3:30 p.m.
• This marks the first quarterfinals series since the Big Ten adopted this new playoff format prior to the 2017-18 season that will see a third game. The previous five have all been two-game sweeps by the home team.