Folkes, Jones Shine As Penn State Beats Wisconsin in a Shootout

By Doug Leeson on January 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm
Liam Folkes

via Adriana Lacy

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Penn State cruised by Wisconsin on Friday night, but chippy play late in the game made it seem like it would be a harder task on Saturday. Kyle Hayton and Peyton Jones dueled in net, while both sides’ special teams got workouts in a heavily penalized game. In the end, the teams tied and the Nittany Lions earned an extra point in the shootout.

17 seconds in, Trevor Hamilton was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for head contact. Penn State (and mostly Jones) killed it off more comfortably than the Badgers would’ve liked. Hamilton’s hit forced the Nittany Lions to play with only five defensemen, but it set the tone for the rest of the game. If you like rough hockey, you liked this game -- there were lots of big hits before and after the whistles in a rocking Pegula Ice Arena. The teams traded a goal to take a 1-1 tie into the break. Liam Folkes capitalized on a power play chance first, then Linus Weissbach tied the game by beating Jones just inside the post.

The game stayed tight throughout the second period as neither team generated a ton of chances and the physical play ramped up. About halfway through, a battle in front of Hayton turned into a much bigger scrum after the whistle was blown. Friday night’s game had some extracurriculars towards the end, and the teams proved that the grit wasn’t a one-time deal. Despite having beaten Wisconsin in 13 of its last 15 chances, this is still a heated conference rivalry. The teams traded penalties and hits until the end of the period, when Sam Sternschein beat Hayton on a 2-on-1.

Up by one goal to start the third period, the Nittany Lions wasted no time in doubling the lead. Chase Berger cleaned up a chance started by Andrew Sturtz to make it 3-1 with more than 19 minutes to go. Sean Dhooghe snuck behind the defense to get one back soon after, setting up a fun finish. It had its share of controversy, including questionable penalties for both sides and a puck that may have slipped behind Jones but was called no goal after a review.

The game couldn’t be decided in 60 minutes and went to an overtime period, which also had plenty of controversy. A potential game-winning goal by Andrew Sturtz was waved off (post-celebration) for making contact with the goaltender.

It’s a tough call (keep an eye on Robinson’s stick and when the puck gets in the net) but the game continued and ended up going to a shootout. Peyton Jones went 3-for-3 and Liam Folkes undressed Hayton as Penn State claimed the extra point and the (somewhat) sweep.

Notes

  • For NCAA purposes, the game was a tie because it wasn’t ended in overtime. For Big Ten purposes, Penn State earned two points and Wisconsin earned one. A couple of teams are in action this weekend, but the Nittany Lions are flirting with second place in the conference.
  • Penn State played (and won) after using five defensemen for 64:43 after Hamilton’s early ejection.
  • Trent Frederic played three games in three days (the first two were with Team USA at World Juniors) and was still one of Wisconsin’s best players. Big understatement incoming: He’s got a bright future.
  • Another understatement: this was a...bizarrely refereed game. There were plenty of soft calls and blatant no-calls, but the unfairness was pretty even. It was frustrating, but it turned out okay for the Lions.
  • Denis Smirnov had a pretty quiet night, but his linemate Brandon Biro was great. He only had one assist, but I don’t think he had one bad shift. He’s one of the most dynamic players on the team and definitely one you want on your side in a chippy rivalry game.
  • Hahahaha:
  • Next up: Penn State will host Ohio State next weekend with a top-two spot in the Big Ten standings on the line. Friday’s game is at 7:30 and Saturday’s is at 7 on BTN.
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