The Men’s Hockey team proved this weekend that they can hang with the best of them as the No. 13 Lions split a home series against No. 6 Ohio State.
On Friday, Penn State ran the show and crushed the Buckeyes 5-2.
Sophomore Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) got things going with a goal just five minutes into the first period thanks to a puck he picked off the sideboards.
With just three minutes to go in the first, classmate Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) added the Lions’ second goal with a graceful tap-in thanks to a feed from Smirnov.
Ohio State put Penn State on guard after sneaking in their first goal of the night at the two-minute mark in the second.
Freshman Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.) wasn’t about to let the Buckeyes tie up the game, and used both the power play and rebounds from Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) and Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) to finally find the twine and give Penn State a 3-1 lead.
Ohio State wasn’t about to head to intermission without a fight, and the Buckeyes got one more goal past Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) midway through the second to send the teams into the locker rooms with Penn State leading by one.
Sturtz and Barratt shined bright in the third period and each logged a goal of their own to tally the final 5-2 Blue and White victory.
Sturtz’s goal came during a power play late in the third period after faking out OSU’s goalie. Barratt followed up with one minute to go in the third, stealing a puck from an Ohio State defenseman and heading right to the back of the then-empty net.
Jones recorded 45 saves for the Lions, who logged 36 shots on the Buckeyes.
Saturday night told a different story for the Lions, unfortunately, and the team fell to Ohio State 5-1.
The lone goal of the evening was scored by sophomore Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) just twelve minutes into the first period. Pavlychev used a rebound from teammate James Gobetz (St. James, N.Y.) to find the twine for the Lions.
Ohio State recorded two goals in the first, one in the second, and two more in the third to round out their 5-1 comeback against the Lions.
Jones played 58 minutes of the game, logging 37 saves for the Lions. Penn State tallied 31 shots against the Buckeyes.
The Lions will head to Ann Arbor this weekend to face the unranked Wolverines. When the Lions faced Michigan this past October, Penn State claimed an overtime 5-4 victory the first night, then were defeated the next. Let’s hope the Blue and White can pull out a series sweep this weekend!