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How Penn State Hockey Earned Big Ten No. 2 Spot

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Penn State Hockey takes the ice at Pegula Ice Arena (Image via Patrick Sweda, Nittany Central)

Penn State Hockey fought hard this past weekend inside Pegula Ice Arena, beating the Buckeyes (2-1) Friday, then dropping a game to them (3-4) Saturday night.

This series marked the last of a six-game homestead for the Nittany Lions. Penn State Hockey now improves to 14-4-0 on the year, and 6-4 in conference play.

Following this weekend’s series, Penn State Hockey Successfully earned the No. 2 spot in the Big Ten, only below 8-2 Minnesota.

The Jimmy Dowd Jr. Show

Penn State Hockey Defenseman, Jimmy Dowd Jr. had an incredible game Friday night, factoring in both goals, and scoring the game-winner.

The Nittany Lions scored late in the opening frame with a powerplay goal from Conner MacEachern, redirecting a shot from Dowd at the 18:29 mark. At 16:02 of the second period, the Buckeyes tied it, as Cole McWard whistled one through traffic.

The game stayed tied until the last frame, when Jimmy Dowd Jr. fired a point shot off a Buckeye stick, slipping through Jakub Dobes for the 2-1 Nittany Lion lead.

Penn State Hockey scored the opening goal for the 13th time in 17 games this season, improving to 12-1-0 when doing so. It marked Dowd’s third multi-point game this season and his 11th for his career.

Kevin Wall also had the secondary assist on each goal scored in this game. The Nittany Lions dominated in the faceoff circle; Ture Linden was 19/21 in the faceoff dot while Conner MacEachern contributed 20/29. This was good for an overall faceoff win advantage of (55-22) Penn State. The final score came to be 2-1 Penn State.

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Penn State Drops Series Finale 4-3

Penn State Hockey opened the scoring early on with a shorthanded tally from Kevin Wall, his eighth of the season.

The Buckeyes answered quickly, as 24 seconds later Jake Wise rifled one into an open net after a defensive breakdown from Penn State. It was soon after that the Buckeyes grabbed the lead, and Jaedon Leslie scored at the 5:59 mark of the first period.

Later into the opening stanza, Penn State tied the game 2-2 with a nifty cross feed from Jimmy Dowd Jr. to goal scorer Danny Dzhaniyev.

Again though, Ohio State responded with a goal from Tate Singleton 56 seconds later. Ohio State kept the pressure, pushing the lead to two goals from a redirected pass that Joe Dunlap placed right in the corner. Penn State had a disappointing remainder of the second period, generating hardly any time on attack. Early in the third, Ture Linden finally broke his eight-game goalless drought, slipping in a rebound chance to make the deficit 4-3.

The sense of urgency started to kick in around the two-minute mark, earning a powerplay opportunity with Liam Souliere pulled, making it a 6-on-4-man advantage. Kevin Wall had a slip-second chance to slip one past Dobe’s shoulder with under a minute to go, but barely rifled it on the outside of the post. Penn State fell 4-3 to the Buckeyes, splitting the series.

Penn State Hockey held a 40-24 shot advantage and went a perfect 3 for 3 on the penalty kill. This marked only the second loss all year when scoring the first goal of the game—also holding the faceoff advantage again with a (43-33) difference. Ture Linden went 12 for 24 while Conner MacEachern went 14 for 24. Dobes stopped 37 of 40 shots in this game, while Liam Souliere made 20 saves and now holds a 12-4-0 goaltending record.

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