Wisconsin out-shot the Nittany Lions 14-8 in the first period, but couldn’t take advantage of any of those opportunities, with goalie Peyton Jones shutting things down. While the Badgers struggled, Penn State got goals from David Goodwin and Brandon Biro to take a 2-0 lead after one.
The Badgers showed life in the second period, with Seamus Malone knocking home his eighth goal of the year, followed by captain Luke Kunin finding the back of the net on the power play just 1:02 later to tie the game at 2. The goal was Kunin’s 18th of the year.
But Penn State had a swift answer, retaking the lead less than a minute later thanks to Denis Smimov’s 12th goal of the year.
“Yeah, a little bit,” Kunin said when asked if the quick strike back took their momentum away. “We have to keep our emotions (in check). Never too high, never too low during a game like that.
“We have to be better on the bench when things like that happen and bounce back quicker.”
Goodwin would add his second goal of the night for the Nittany Lions, giving them a 4-2 lead at the end of two.
A Trevor Hamilton short-handed goal just 56 seconds into the third period essentially sealed the game for Penn State, which snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory.
A late goal from Wisconsin’s Jake Linhart, his fourth of the year, and then an empty-netter from Penn State topped off the scoring.
The Badgers fell to 15-9-1 on the year, and 8-3 in the Big Ten. Thanks to a Minnesota loss, Wisconsin stayed in a tie for first place in the conference with the Gophers.
Wisconsin will look for a split of their two-game series with Penn State on Saturday night, with the puck dropping at 7 p.m.