Game one – Wisconsin 6, Penn State 3
For two periods it felt like Penn State was finally starting to look like the team we've grown fond of over the last several years. Even though the Nittany Lions trailed the Badgers by a score of 3-2, Penn State led in shots on goal by a ridiculous 44-9 margin and it felt like all it would take is a bounce or two and the Lions would be on their way to their first win of the season.
Funny how things change. Just 38 seconds into the third period, Paul DeNaples was called for interference and the Lions just never seemed to recover. Wisconsin scored three goals in the first 10:40 of the period to win going away.
Things looked good early as Penn State seemed to control the flow of the game. Kevin Wall stole the puck at his own blue line and scored the game's first goal on a breakaway at 8:02 of the first. The goal was his third of the season and gave him a goal in four consecutive games dating back to last season's finale.
The lead was short-lived however as Sam Stange answered for the Badgers just 1:28 later to knot things up at one. Jack Gorniak gave the Badgers a 2-1 lead with a goal at 14:31 which they took into the first intermission.
Stange's second goal of the game extended the Badgers' lead early in the second. A goal by Tim Doherty, his first as a Lion, just 15 seconds later gave the Lions new life.
Tim Doherty— Here's Your Replay (@HeresYourReplay) November 24, 2020
3-2 Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/UY9brsucnr
Kevin Wall (3)
Sam Stange (1)
Jack Gorniak (1)
Sam Stange (2)
Tim Doherty (1)
Brock Caufield (2)
Cole Caufield (1) - PP
Linus Weissbach (3)
B. Caufield, Kehrer
Connor McMenamin (1)
Wisconsin appeared to regain its two-goal lead when Jason Dhooghe put the puck past Oskar Autio at the 8:16 mark of the period. But the goal was waved off after review showed that Dhooghe interfered with Autio prior to the puck entering the net. Unfortunately, Penn State wasn't able to take advantage and the period ended with the Badgers leading 3-2.
After killing off the initial DeNaples penalty to start the third, Penn State couldn't regain the momentum, and the Caufield brothers took control. First Brock Caufield scored at 5:13 to extend the Badger lead to 4-2. Then, Cole Caufield took advantage of another DeNaples penalty and scored a power-play goal at 7:16. Finally, Brock Caufield made a slick pass to Linus Weissbach who buried the puck to make it 6-2.
A late goal by Connor McMenamin made the final score 6-3 in favor of the Badgers.
Connor McMenamin— Here's Your Replay (@HeresYourReplay) November 24, 2020
6-3 Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/Ek2R7oZxj3
Game Two – Wisconsin 7, Penn State 3
For a very brief moment in the second period, it looked like Penn State might turn this one around. Down 3-1, the Lions went on the power play with a chance to pull within one. Instead, 1:05 into the man advantage, Tarek Baker scored on a shorthanded breakaway and the rout was on.
The first period was all Wisconsin. Linus Weissbach scored his second goal of the series at 6:43. Less than three minutes later, Dominick Mersch netted his first of the season for a 2-0 Badger lead. Cole Caufield got into the act with a power-play goal at 17:21 and Wisconsin took a three-goal lead into the first intermission.
The Lions finally started to show some life in the second period. Alex Limoges scored his first of the season off a fantastic feed from Jimmy Dowd, Jr. at 4:21.
Alex Limoges— Here's Your Replay (@HeresYourReplay) November 25, 2020
3-1 Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/uYleI4iWrY
Linus Weissbach (4)
B. Caufield, Kehrer
Dominick Mersch (1)
Dhooghe, De St. Phalle
Cole Caufield (2) - PP
Alex Limoges (1)
Dowd Jr., Sternschein
Tarek Baker (1) - SH
Sam Stange (3)
Cole Caufield (3)
Xander Lamppa (1)
Clayton Phillips (1) - PP
Cole Caufield (4) - EN
Penn State maintained control of play for most of the period and had its best chance to draw within one when the Badgers’ Ryder Donovan got called for boarding and the Lions went on the power play. Unfortunately, a turnover near the blue line led to Baker’s breakaway shorty. The period ended with Wisconsin up 4-1.
Early in the third, the young Nittany Lions probably wished they had just gotten on the bus and gone home. Liam Soulière got caught behind the net leading to a Sam Stange goal just 26 seconds in. Less than a minute later, Caufield scored his second of the game to put the game out of reach.
Give the Lions credit though. They didn’t quit. Xander Lamppa scored his first career goal at 8:49, and Clayton Phillips followed that up a minute later with Penn State’s first power-play goal of the season.
Xander Lamppa— Here's Your Replay (@HeresYourReplay) November 25, 2020
6-2 Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/UZTPTRxVo4
Clayton Phillips PP— Here's Your Replay (@HeresYourReplay) November 25, 2020
6-3 Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/gPD0lmUY4f
Down 6-3, Coach Gadowsky pulled his goalie with 3:18 to play. The move backfired though as Caufield scored into the empty net to complete the hat trick and give the Badgers the 7-3 victory.
Life won't get any easier for the Lions when Penn State hosts Michigan for a two-game set on December 2 and 3. The Wolverines have outscored their opponents 18-4 to start the season with four straight victories. Thankfully, though, the Nittany Lions do get a little break before then to assess their play over the first four games, and they'll have the benefit of playing at home in Pegula Ice Arena.