Thrice as Nice: Dhooghe’s hat trick powers Wisconsin past Nittany Lions
Badgers grab 1-0 lead in best-of-three series
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sophomore winger Sean Dhooghe continued his fiery stretch of hockey Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena, notching a hat trick to lead the Wisconsin men’s hockey team to a thrilling 4-3 win over Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Badgers dominated the nation’s top offense in the first two periods of the game, taking a comfortable 3-1 lead into the final frame thanks to goals from Dhooghe and sophomore center Tarek Baker.
Penn State showed life early in the third period, battling back to tie the game 3-3, but Dhooghe put away his game-winning third goal of the night with 1:50 remaining in regulation to seal a victory over the Nittany Lions.
Recording his first career hat trick, Dhooghe now has five goals and eight points in the Badgers’ last four games.
Freshman goaltender Daniel Lebedeff made 37 saves in the win.
Notes to Know:
• With the victory, the Badgers stretched their win streak to four games, the longest winning stretch of the season.
• Sean Dhooghe is the first UW skater to notch a hat trick since former forward Michael Mersch tallied three goals against Michigan on Jan. 1, 2014. He also the first to tally a postseason hat trick since Joe Pavelski in the 2006 NCAA Regional Semifinal against Bemidji State on March 25, 2006, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
• Dhooghe also notched his team-leading eighth power-play goal of the season in Friday’s victory, good for second in the Big Ten.
Up Next: Wisconsin faces Penn State in the second game of its best-of-three series against the Nittany Lions Saturday at Pegula Ice Arena. Puck drop is slated for 5 p.m. (CT).
Straight from the Rink
Head Coach Tony Granato
On Sean Dhooghe’s play:
“He’s been good. He’s actually been good all year. That was a great performance by him. His play away from the puck has been really good all year, so he’s earned the opportunity to play a lot of minutes. Those were three big goals for us.”
On the response to Penn State’s goals:
“They definitely had momentum. We talked about it coming into this series, that’s as good of an offensive team as there is in the country. We did our best to slow them down. They kept coming and got the game tied. A shift or two after that, Daniel [Lebedeff] made some big saves for us. You need your goalie to make big saves for you and he did, and I think that’s what settled us down. Then we got on the offense and realized we could score and find a way to win this one.”
On the penalty kill:
“The PK was really good tonight, and Penn State has a great power play. We won enough puck races and got enough loose pucks in the corner to keep them off balance. We made them go back for breakouts, especially early in their power plays. We made them go back 200 feet either off a face-off win or by getting to loose pucks and pressuring at the right time.”
Sophomore forward Sean Dhooghe
On the emotions during the game:
“Emotions were running obviously. We let them get back in it, but we stayed connected on the bench and it showed on the ice. They had a couple extended shifts, but we just shut it down, packed it in and stuck to our game plan.”
On his hot scoring:
“I’m just getting a lot of good puck luck, especially being the beneficiary of my linemates and teammates’ great plays. A lot of those goals were just being in the right spot at the right time, but a lot of other guys doing a lot of things right. It’s a rollercoaster. I’ve been up and down, and consistency was one thing I really wanted to work on this year. I think coming into playoffs, it’s a new season so I’m going to try and stay consistent throughout the whole thing.”
On his third goal:
“We had a couple good faceoff plays– me, Seamus Malone and Roman Ahcan –shooting from that angle. I saw (Peyton) Jones battling that post all night, so I figured nothing better than a puck to the net. Fortunately, it dropped.”
On the mindset after the win:
“Getting the first win is great, but I think it’s already time to forget about it and move on. We can’t sit here and hang on the past. Tomorrow’s going to be a whole new game and they’re going to come out flying.”