ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 21: Morgan Zulinick #15 of the Wisconsin Badgers controls the puck against Penn State Nittany Lions during the second period of the semifinal game of the Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Championship on March 21, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Wisconsin Swept by Penn State

The Badgers could not avoid the road series sweep, falling to the Nittany Lions from Penn State 4-1.

With the Badgers and Nittany Lions squaring off less than 24 hours since their last meeting, both teams looked a tad slow to start the game. The game was swaying back and forth with neither of the two teams grabbing the momentum.

Wisconsin was given the first opportunity of the game, as they would go on the power play then shortly after that, a two man advantage for 1:26.

With the two-man advantage the Badgers looked dangerous setting up multiple looks on net. Yet, PJ Musico stood tall for Penn State and did not allow the Badgers to capitalize on the power plays.

Musico tallied 35 saves in the win for his Nittany Lions.

The penalty kill gave a spark to the Nittany Lions. That sparked carried over as they got a chance with the man advantage.

With 6:48 remaining in the first period of play, Casey Bailey fired a pass to the point where Luke Juha took it one time past Joel Rumpel.

The goal was the first on the year for Juha and would prove to be the decisive goal of the period.

Penn State headed to the first intermission up 1-0.

The Nittany Lions would come out of the break swinging.

With 16:57 left to play in the second that Badgers turned the puck over in their own zone.

Eric Scheid took the puck and slid it over to his rushing teammate Dylan Richard on a two on one break away who finished it to put Penn State up 2-0.

This is usually where Wisconsin had been known to absolutely lose it.

However, the Badgers dug in and worked hard on defense to keep the lead only two goals. They killed a penalty and generated some short-handed opportunities and it felt as if a goal was coming.

With 9:28 remaining Grant Besse laid off a puck for a trailing Adam Rockwood who snipped a wrist shot past PJ Musico to cut the lead in half to one goal.

With momentum hanging in the balance Joel Rumpel made a beautiful glove save late in the second period to keep the Badgers in the game.

Rumpel had thirty-four saves on the day.

Wisconsin and Penn State head into the third and final period only separated by that one goal.

The Badgers came out hungry, originally out-shooting Penn State in the third period nine to two.

The Badgers with just fewer than eight minutes into the third period had a great chance to equalize.

Jason Ford ripped a shot from the point and Aiden Cavallini tipped the puck out of the air. The tip was originally called a goal but after a lengthy review it was deemed his stick was too high and it remained 2-1 Penn State.

The no goal would prove to be costly.

James Robinson would take the puck out of the right corner and took a shot from a bad angle that found its way past Rumpel to give Penn State a two-goal lead with 10:43 remaining.

The Badgers kept fighting but were unable to get back into the game after the deflating series of events.

Eric Autio added insult to injury as he scored with 1:46 left to play in the game.

The 4-1 victory for Penn State capped off a series and season sweep for Penn State over Wisconsin.

The Badgers remain winless in the Big Ten with an overall record of 2-18-4.

With the win Penn State took over Michigan to lead in the Big Ten.

While the loss stings, the Badgers may have lost something more valuable.

Cameron Hughes, who scored two games in the previous game and three in the last two was injured on Friday night and did not dress with what was described as “An upper body injury”.

The Badgers stay on the road to face Ohio State the weekend of February 13th for a two game series in Columbus.

 

Sawyer Bock

About Sawyer Bock

Sawyer is a Sophomore at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Arts and 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_

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