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MADISON, Wis. – The Badgers score three third period goals as No. 14 Penn State suffers a, 4-2, setback at the hands of No. 18 Wisconsin in Big Ten Conference action this evening from the Kohl Center.
The Nittany Lions drop their fourth-straight contest and fall to 13-11-3 on the year. PSU is now 6-8-3-2 in Big Ten action. Wisconsin improves to 13-12-3 overall and 7-8-2-0 in conference play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Penn State opened the scoring after a surge of pressure in the offensive zone it was sophomore Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ont.) who collected a rebound and fired in the first goal of the game for the 1-0 lead at 5:07 of the first period. Freshmen classmates Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa.) and Alex Limoges (Winchester, Va.) registered assists after their initial shots were saved.
- Wisconsin answered to tie the game as a blast from the point by Tim Davison was redirected out front and clanked the post trickling behind PSU sophomore goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) where Seamus Malone cleaned up the rebound for the 1-1 score at 12:21 of the first period.
- Penn State regained the lead on the power-play as sophomore Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) went bar down from the left dot over the glove of Badger net-minder Jack Berry at 18:50 for the 2-1 edge. Senior Erik Autio (Espoo, Finland) and freshman Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis.) picked up assists on Smirnov’s 11th of the season.
- After a scoreless second period, Wisconsin once again tied the contest during a period of 4-on-4 play as Josh Ess finished off an odd-man rush after a feed from Ryan Wagner for the 2-2 tie at 10:24 of the third period.
- The Badgers then took their first lead of the contest late in the third period as Will Johnson redirected a blast from the point by Malone for the 3-2 lead at 16:09 of the third period.
- Trent Frederic then hit the empty net with just under a minute to play in the third period for the 4-2 final.
Jones falls to 12-9-2 on the year after stopping 27 shots in the defeat while Berry improves to 5-3-0 on the year after making 35 saves in the victory.
- Junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) became the 14th Nittany Lion to reach 100 career games including the second this season following classmate Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.). Sturtz has only missed four games since stepping foot in Happy Valley making him the third fastest to 100 games behind Berger and the program’s all-time leader in games played David Goodwin ‘17.
- With his first period assist on Smirnov’s power-play goal, Autio moves into a tie with Luke Juha ’16 for the Penn State all-time record for assists by a defenseman with the 45th of his career and he also ties longtime defensive partner Vince Pedrie for second on the all-time points list by defensemen with 52.
- The assist for Autio was his first point in his last six games played and first assist since October 27 vs. Michigan, which was part of a career-high five-game point/assist streak.
- Penn State suffers its first loss of the season when leading heading into the third period as they fall to 12-1-2 in such games.
- Penn State held the 37-31 edge in shots while going 1-for-4 on the power-play. Wisconsin was 0-for-1 with the man-advantage.
- Penn State falls to 14-9-1 all-time against Wisconsin and 6-5-0 all-time at the Kohl Center.
Both teams return to the Kohl Center tomorrow to close out the regular season series with an 8 p.m. ET puck drop. The game is available on Fox Sports Wisconsin and streaming online at BTN2Go.