Penn State Men’s Hockey: Two straight two-goal losses to Ohio State


Penn State took a step back over the weekend in two losses to a beatable Ohio State Buckeyes team, falling twice in Columbus by a score of 5-3 on Friday and Saturday.

Two third period collapses plagued the Nittany Lions(16-12-4, 8-7-1-0 Big Ten) as the Buckeyes (11-17-2, 6-10-0-0 Big Ten) extended their lead out of reach for Penn State on Friday and came back on Saturday to secure the sweep in the team’s final meeting in the regular season.

A pair of goals in under a minute gave the Buckeyes the edge they needed as they beat the Nittany Lions 5-3 Friday night.

More from Victory Bell Rings

Tommy Olczyk gave Penn State an opening jolt 31 seconds into the game on his seventh goal of the season. David Glen made a backhanded pass to Olczyk right on the doorstep and the senior finished the tally easily for the 1-0 strike, the fastest Penn State goal this season.

Ohio State evened the score on a 4-on-4 opportunity as Matthew Weis snuck in a five-hole tally from the slot on Penn State netminder PJ Musico with 5:34 to play in the first frame.

A minute and 19 seconds into the second, the Buckeyes took the 2-1 lead on the power play with Casey Bailey in the box. Tanner Fritz finished a play from the slot to give Ohio State the advantage through the remainder of the game.

Weis tacked on his second of the night at 12:13 of the second to double the Ohio State lead on the Nittany Lions.

However, Penn State countered with a goal of their own 58 seconds later to pull the score back to one at 3-2. Dylan Richard put in a Scott Conway rebound after the freshman stole a Buckeye pass that was initially stopped by Ohio State goaltender Christian Frey.

Josh Healey gave the Buckeyes the two-goal lead back 8:02 into the third period to effectively put the game to bed for the Nittany Lions with a wrist shot from the top of the slot.

Fifty-seven seconds later, Luke Stork put the final nail in the coffin off a Penn State turnover to make it 5-2 with 11:01 to play in the game.

Captain Patrick Koudys tried to stop the bleeding with a final goal with five minutes to play after Musico was pulled for the extra man, but the push would not be enough for the Nittany Lions as the team took the 5-3 loss.

Musico held a 30-save performance over the 60 minute game, with Penn State outshooting the Buckeyes 49-35. Ohio State also took advantage of one of their three power plays while the Nittany Lions did nothing with their two chances.

Penn State looked to turn it around Saturday evening, but a three-goal third period for the Buckeyes cemented the 5-3 loss for the Nittany Lions.

Taylor Holstrom went out in the early stages of the third with an injury and from there, the tide turned in favor of Ohio State, as the Buckeyes tallied three goals in four minutes to cap off the comeback victory.

Again, Penn State got out to the early 1-0 lead, this time off a Bailey shot from Holstrom from the right post that beat Frey for the opening score.

Holstrom doubled Penn State’s lead to 2-0, teaming up again with Bailey and linemate David Goodwin off some nice behind-the-net passing to go up by two goals with 3:28 to play in the period.

Ohio State put a halt to the Nittany Lion momentum on a goal from Justin DaSilva 43 seconds after Holstrom’s tally. A one-timer from high in the slot beat Penn State goaltender Matt Skoff to cut the lead to 2-1 after the first period.

The Buckeyes evened the score on the power play 4:23 into the second as Sam Jardine finished a shot with traffic in front through the slot to tie the game 2-2 in the opening moments of the middle frame.

After what looked to be a 3-2 goal by Eric Scheid that was called off for a kicking motion by the officials, Mike Williamson gave Penn State the lead seconds later on a shot from the right point.

However, the game turned on the Holstrom injury and Nick Schilkey was the first to pot in a goal after the injury to the forward that made it 3-3 with 10:42 to play. Tanner Fritz gave Ohio State the lead on a rebound that took a wild hop off the end boards and Nicholas Jones finished up the scoring for the Buckeyes to make it 5-3.

Ohio State outshot the Nittany Lions 44-27, with Skoff putting up a 39-save performance in net for Penn State. The Nittany Lions had no power plays in the game while the Buckeyes capitalized on one of their two chances in the game as Penn State lost five of their last six matches.

Penn State heads home for their final series in Pegula for the season, as the Nittany Lions will face rival Michigan (19-11-0, 11-5-0 Big Ten) on Friday and Saturday.