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GAME DAY CENTRAL
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INSIDE THE NUMBERS
MADISON, Wis. – The 14th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions wrap up back-to-back road weekends as they travel to No. 18 Wisconsin for a pair of Big Ten Conference matchups on Friday and Saturday evening.
HOW TO WATCH
- Friday’s game will be available live across the nation on the Big Ten Network and streamed online via the BTN2Go app with puck drop slated for 9 p.m. Eastern Time while Saturday’s contest will stream on BTN2Go and is available locally on Fox Sports Wisconsin at 8 p.m. ET.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUP
- The Nittany Lions enter the weekend on a three-game losing streak after going unbeaten in their previous 11 games.
- The Badgers are coming in winners of two of their last three contests including a 5-0 shutout over No. 1 Notre Dame last Sunday afternoon. However, Wisconsin was winless in five games prior to those three games including a 5-1 loss and 3-3 tie with a shootout loss in Happy Valley at the beginning of January.
- This weekend marks the 24th and 25th games of the all-time series with Penn State holding the 14-8-1 all-time lead including the 13-2-1 mark over the last 16 games dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season.
- The Nittany Lions are also 6-4-0 all-time at the Kohl Center including a series sweep last season with 6-3 and 5-2 victories. The first of those games marked head coach Guy Gadowsky’s 250th all-time victory in his coaching career.
- The Badgers enter the weekend tied for fifth in the Big Ten with Minnesota as each team has 20 points. Wisconsin is 6-8-2-0 in conference play and 12-12-3 overall and ranked 18th in the latest USCHO.com national poll.
- Wisconsin is just three points behind Penn State for fourth in the conference as the Nittany Lions enter the weekend with 23 points.
- A pair of underclassmen lead the way on offense as sophomore Trent Frederic paces the team with 11 goals followed by freshman Tarek Baker with 10. Ryan Wagner leads the team with 22 points on nine goals and 13 assists.
- Wisconsin’s offense is pretty well spread out as nine players have registered at least five goals on the season with six players scoring seven or more goals. Freshman Wyatt Kalynuk has generated much of this offense from the blue-line with a team-best 18 assists and 20 points to rank right behind Wagner.
- While Penn State leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation scoring 3.77 goals per contest, the Badgers enter the weekend third in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation averaging 3.19 goals per contest.
- The Badgers are also closely behind the Nittany Lions in power-play percentage ranking second in the Big Ten and Tied 18th in the nation converting at 21 percent (22-for-105). Penn State is converting at 21.2 percent (21-for-99) to lead the Big Ten and rank 15th in the nation.
- Both teams are middle of the pack in the Big Ten in terms of penalty-kill as Penn State ranks fourth in the conference and 16th in the nation at 83.1 percent (74-for-89) and Wisconsin sits at fifth in the Big Ten and 21st in the nation at 82.6 percent (90-for-109).
- Both Jack Berry and Kyle Hayton have been splitting time between the pipes recently with Berry being in net for Wisconsin’s 5-0 shutout over No. 1 Notre Dame snapping the Irish’s 15 game winning-streak and handing them their first Big Ten loss this season. Berry has a 2.31 goals against average and a .919 save percentage in eight games this season with a 4-3-0 record.
- Hayton has started the majority of games this season and boasts a 8-9-3 record with a 2.77 goals against average and a .896 save percentage.
FEASTING ON BADGER
- In seven career games against Wisconsin, sophomore Nate Sucese has scored six goals while adding six assists for 12 points.
- During a 5-1 victory earlier this month against Wisconsin, Sucese registered the sixth hat-trick in Penn State history. Sucese now has at least one point in six of his seven career games against the Badgers.
- Friday night will mark the 100th game of junior Andrew Sturtz’s career making him the 14th Nittany Lion to reach that milestone while attending Penn State. He is also the third fastest to do so behind Berger and David Goodwin ‘17 only missing four games since stepping on campus.
- In his 99 games so far, Sturtz has scored 51 goals while adding 43 assists for 94 points to rank second all-time in program history and 20th in the nation among active players. He is also one of just five active players to eclipse the 50-goal mark so far in their careers.
- Earlier this season, Sturtz became the all-time leading goal scorer in Penn State history passing Casey Bailey with a goal against Mercyhurst on November 4.
- Averaging 0.95 points per game for his career, Sturtz ranks second all-time in program history only behind the 1.16 of current teammate Denis Smirnov.
- Sturtz also holds the Penn State record for career special teams’ goals with 18 as his nine shorthanded goals are also a Penn State record and his nine power-play goals tie for fifth all-time. Sturtz is also a plus-49 for his career, which is a Penn State record and plus-11 better than Chase Berger who sits in second at plus-38.
AMONG THE NATION’S BEST
- Sturtz currently ranks tied for 3rd in the Big Ten and 11th in the nation with his 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) while senior Trevor Hamilton leads the Big Ten in defenseman scoring with 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) to rank seventh in the nation.
- Hamilton is also leading the Big Ten and is tied for the national lead in blocked shots with 64 after securing ten last weekend against Michigan including seven on Saturday night.
- Joining in on the fun is sophomore Kris Myllari whose 49 blocked shots rank fifth in the Big Ten and tied for 15th nationally.
- In total Penn State has blocked 341 shots this season ranking fourth in the Big Ten and 16th in the nation.
- Last Saturday, Myllari secured one goal and one assist during Penn State’s comeback bid against Michigan. With those two points he moved into a tie with Nate Jensen for seventh on the Penn State all-time points list for defensemen.
- His 13 career goals rank third all-time for Nittany Lion blue-liners and are just three shy of Vince Pedrie’s program record of 16.
I’M COMING HOME
- Freshman Cole Hults will return home this weekend as the Stoughton, Wisconsin native will play in his home state for the first time wearing enemy colors.
- Hults grew up just 25 minutes south of the Kohl Center, where both games will be played this weekend, and played junior hockey for the Madison Capitols of the USHL the past three seasons.
- As a freshman for the Nittany Lions, Hults has played in every game so far this season scoring a pair of goals while adding 13 assists for 15 points ranking tied for fourth in the Big Ten for defensemen scoring and second among rookies only trailing the 20 points of Wisconsin blue-liner Wyatt Kalynuk.
- 11 of his 15 points came in his first 10 games this season as part of a career-high eight-game point-streak (2-9-11) from October 13 - November 4.
HOT & COLD
- During its 11-game unbeaten streak Penn State led the nation scoring 54 goals for an average of 4.91 per game while averaging 40.18 shots per game. The Nittany Lions were a plus-23 during this stretch.
- The defense was also solid allowing just 2.09 goals per game to rank eighth in the nation during that span.
- However, during their latest winless streak of three games Penn State has averaged just 1.00 goals per game and are a minus-6 to rank tied for 56th in the nation in each category.
- Penn State has also been outshot in two of those games firing almost four shots less per game (36.67) and is allowing 4.00 goals per game ranking 48th in the nation.
- Penn State returns home to battle No. 1 Notre Dame in a pair of contests Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
- Should Notre Dame stay at No. 1 this would mark just the second time in program history that Penn State has battled the top team in the nation. The Nittany Lions lost the Midwest Regional Final last season to No. 1 Denver, 6-3.