Penn State Concludes Season By Stunning Wisconsin in OT
CHN Staff Report
One night after getting clobbered, 5-0, in the same arena, Penn State stunned host Wisconsin with a 3-2 overtime win Monday in Madison.
Taylor Holstrom scored the game winner, capping a comeback from down 2-0 in the third period.
"When we went down two and said, 'Let's answer right away,' and it couldn't have been quicker than that," PSU coach Guy Gadowsky said. "That gave us a big boost."
Penn State then pulled out all the stops in OT.
"It was a no brainer on the bench," Gadowsky said. "We weren't shooting for a tie on that, that's for sure."
The loss is devastating to Wisconsin's NCAA Tournament hopes, as it dropped to 28th in the Pairwise with two regular-season WCHA weekends remaining.
"We're going to look back on this game and say, it was a game of missed opportunities," Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. "We're going to probably to look at the film and say we out-chanced them 2-to-1. We didn't score enough to put it out of the game in regulation."
The game officially concludes Penn State's first season as a Division I program, and it can be considered nothing less than a success. Penn State, which finished 11-12 overall against Division I opponents, had wins against established Division I opponents such as Vermont, Ohio State, Michigan State and now Wisconsin.
"It's our biggest win of the year," Gadowsky said. "This is our playoffs, this is our final exam."
Penn State seemed to play its best in the biggest stages, winning games at a sold out Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and Consol Center in Pittsburgh. And it was 2-0 in games played on the Big Ten Network.
Each time Penn State reached a milestone with one of those victories, and each time you could say, "That's a nice win for Penn State, that really puts a nice stamp on its first season." But each time, Penn State went out and did one further, and then one beyond that.
Holstrom, who transferred to Penn State from Mercyhurst two years ago, was emblematic of the big-game mentality. He finished with nine goals this season, including other game winners against Ohio State and Michigan State. Seven of his nine goals were against Ohio State, Michigan St, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Freshman netminder Matthew Skoff matched a career-high with 42 saves against the Badgers.
Penn State was led in goals this season by freshmen Casey Bailey (12) and David Glen (13).