An Ode to Peyton Jones

By Doug Leeson on March 19, 2017 at 12:28a
Peyton Jones

via Heather Weikel

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Penn State usually relies on its high-scoring, oft-shooting offense to win games. It had the shots in the Big Ten Tournament, but it rarely found the back of the net. The semifinal and final rounds went to double-overtime because of the opposing teams' goalies. When a goalie is playing as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin's were, there's only one way to beat them -- have a better goalie.

Peyton Jones was just that. He saved 30 of 31 shots against Michigan, 37 of 40 against Minnesota, and 51 of 52 against Wisconsin. That's 118 of 123 -- a .959 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against average. He was named Big Ten Championship MVP once the game was over, but he deserves a lot more than that. The freshman, playing in his first collegiate postseason, was completely lights-out.

Every game was better than the last, and in the final, Jones played the best game any Nittany Lion goalie had ever played, in the biggest game in program history.

Despite faltering late in the regular season, Peyton Jones proved that the postseason is a whole different animal. One player can win a game or win a tournament -- the NCAA Tournament is next, and we can't be more excited.

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