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MADISON, Wis. - Sophomore Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) scored twice, but it wasn't enough as No. 18 Wisconsin scored three third period goals to earn a 4-4 tie against No. 14 Penn State in Big Ten Conference action this evening to close out the regular season series from the Kohl Center. The Badgers earned the extra point in the Big Ten standings with a 1-0 shootout victory.
The Nittany Lions now stand at 13-11-4 on the year and 6-8-4-2 in Big Ten play while the Badgers move to 13-12-4 overall and 7-8-3-1 in conference action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After dominating the first half of the opening period, Penn State was able to strike first during 4-on-4 play as Smirnov used a strong fore-check to cause a defensive zone turnover by the Badgers and he deked out front and slipped the puck past the left pad of Wisconsin goaltender Jack Berry for the 1-0 lead at 10:42.
- The Nittany Lions extended the lead to 2-0 in the second period after sophomore Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alb.) was awarded a penalty shot and he slipped the puck through the five-hole of Badger goaltender Jack Berry at 8:13.
- Wisconsin responded with a shorthanded tally by Ryan Wagner at 9:38 for the 2-1 score, but just over two minutes later junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) got a stick on a centering pass by the Badgers and the puck sprung out of the zone and classmate Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) chased it down on a breakaway and his shot beat Berry glove side off the post and in for the 3-1 lead at 11:58.
- JD Greenway made things a one-goal game early in the third period as his blast from the blue-line hit off the skate of Trevor Hamilton and redirected past sophomore goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 3-2 score at 1:47 of the frame.
- Smirnov answered just 21 seconds later after another defensive zone turnover it was sophomore Nat Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) who fed Biro and he found Smirnov alone below the left circle and he hit the yawning net for the 4-2 advantage.
- Linus Weissbach once again made things a one-goal game as he punched the puck off the post past Jones at 5:34 for the 4-3 deficit, the play was reviewed, but the goal stood.
- The Badgers tied the contest late in the third period as Max Zimmer ripped a one-timer from the left slot off a defensive zone turnover by Penn State for the 4-4 score at 17:09 to send the game into overtime.
- After a scoreless overtime period, Wisconsin took the extra point in the shootout as Weissbach scored the lone goal for the 1-0 shootout victory.
Jones moves to 12-9-3 on the year after making 32 saves while Berry now stands at 5-3-1 after stopping 32 pucks.
- Smirnov's team-leading 12th goal of the season in the first period was the 10th 4-on-4 goal this season for the Nittany Lions as they lead the nation in that category.
- Smirnov registers his seventh multi-point game of the season and the 20th of his career.
- With 68 career points, Smirnov leaps Taylor Holstrom for eighth on the all-time Penn State points list while his 31 goals now tie Dylan Richard for sixth on the all-time goals list.
- Biro's penalty shot goal was the third in program history and the first since Smirnov beat Minnesota's Eric Scheirhorn last February at Pegula. Tommy Olczyk '16 has the other penalty shot goal for the Blue and White coming on October 10, 2014 against UConn.
- Biro secures his seventh multi-point effort this season and the 10th of his career with a goal and an assist.
- Penn State allowed three third period goals for the second straight night and are now being outscored 39-34 in the final period on the year.
- Penn State falls to 2-2 on the year in shootouts.
- Both teams close out the regular season series 1-1-2-1 against each other splitting the 12 points earning six each.
- The two teams combined for 48 penalty minutes each being whistled for 12 penalties for 24 minutes each.
- Neither team converted on the power-play as Penn State went 0-for-3 while Wisconsin was 0-for-4 and each team had 36 shots on net.
Penn State returns home next weekend to close out the regular season series against the top-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.