Wisconsin Comeback Cut Short in OT Loss to Penn State

Wisconsin game back from one gaol deficits twice to force overtime against number 15 Penn State Friday in Happy Valley. However, a quick strike in overtime gave Penn State a 4-3 victory over Wisconsin.

The higher ranked Penn State came out aggressive in the first period attacking freshman goalie, Matt Jurusik for the Badgers early. Jurusik made a flurry of big saves to keep the Badgers tied at zero right off the bat.

After the Badgers and their sixth ranked penalty kill killed off a power play for PSU, Wisconsin found itself on the man-advantage. They cashed in on the opportunity.

Wisconsin’s second power play unit found themselves on the ice and defensemen Jake Linhart tallied his fifth goal of the year at 12:2 to put the Badgers up 1-0 going into the second period.

Penn State had reason for concern; the Nittany Lions were 1-4-1 when trailing after the first period. Turns out, they might not have had to be that concerned. The home team dominated the second period outshooting the Badgers 24-3 in the second period alone.

Jurusik did his best but was beat for the equalizer after his defense got caught on a line change and forward Tommy Olczyk buried a three on one chance low blocker side.

Penn State did not let up and with all momentum, they added a late goal to make it 2-1. Dylan Richard intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and in an eerily similar shot, beat Jurusik low blocker side with 12.8 seconds left in the third. The short-handed goal late into the second really looked to discourage Wisconsin as the headed into the locker room after the buzzer sounded.

The Badgers were winless on the season when trailing after the third and Penn State was 13-0 on the season when leading after two. On paper, the outcome seemed inevitable. Hockey is played on the ice, however and freshman Luke Kunin gave PSU something to worry about by tying up the game 5:11 in the third.

It was Kunin’s eighth goal of the year. He leads the team in goals and put home a beautiful pass from Cameron Hughes. Grant Besse also was credited with an assist on the goal.

PSU fought back, adding a go-ahead goal with 6:47 left in the third period. Andrew Sturtz deflected a shot from David Goodwin right past Matt Jurusik. PSU looked confident in holding on to the game, up one with under five to play.

Linhart added his second goal of the night during a two-minute period of 4-on-4 hockey with just 3:47 left to play in the game. Jason Ford and Luke Kunin got credited with the assists on the game-tying goal.

The undefeated record when leading after two periods that Penn State had was pushed to an overtime period thanks to Linhart’s goal. Unfortunately, overtime did not last long.

46 seconds into overtime, after Grant Besse just missed the net on the opposite end, Penn State’s Goodwin ripped one past Jurusik to win the game for the Nittany Lions. Goodwin slipped it five-hole past Jurusik.

Despite allowing the first shot he faced in overtime, Jurusik played phenomenally, posting a career high 54 saves in the loss. He stood on his head keeping the badgers in it all the way to overtime where he let in the first shot he faced.

Wisconsin will lick its wounds and regroup tomorrow as they face Penn State in the series finale at 5 PM CT.

Sawyer Bock

About Sawyer Bock

Sawyer is a Junior at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Arts and Journalism. He is a beat writer for the UW- Men's Hockey Team. You can catch him on UW-Madison's student radio WSUM where he hosts a sports talk show and broadcasts numerous varieties of Badger sports or on twitter @YoungSawyer_