Wisconsin puts an end to Penn State's postseason
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The sixth-seeded Penn State men’s hockey team was eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament Friday, losing 2-1 to Wisconsin in collegiate action.
Matthew Skoff made some strong saves to keep the game tight and Curtis Loik scored his seventh goal of the season to briefly put Penn State ahead, 1-0, at one point.
Skoff finished his first Big Ten Tournament with 84 saves and allowed just three goals in 152-plus minutes of work.
Penn State (8-26-2) was coming off Thursday’s 2-1 double-overtime win over Michigan.
The Nittany Lions skated to a scoreless opening 20 minutes with its opponent. Wisconsin had the best chance of the frame as a scramble to the right of Skoff saw the puck find its way to Wisconsin left-wing Nic Kerdiles, but his shot was saved by a sliding Skoff who made 11 stops in the frame.
Wisconsin tied it up as Michael Mersch beat his cover to the crease and put away a feed from Jefferson Dahl with 18:33 remaining in the contest. The goal was Mersch’s team-leading 21st of the season.
Penn State looked like it would take a 2-1 lead as Dylan Richard pounced on David Goodwin rebound next to Wisconsin’s Joel Rumpel.
The Badger netminder made a sprawling save to keep the game knotted at one with 3:05 remaining in the second period.
The Badgers took the lead with only 10.5 seconds remaining in the period as Tyler Barnes scored the first power-play goal of the Big Ten Tournament on a cross-crease pass from Mark Zengerle.
Wisconsin’s lead was the first time Penn State trailed in the Big Ten Tournament.