Men's hockey set to host Wisconsin

February 06, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's hockey team plays host to Wisconsin on Friday night in the Nittany Lions' annual white out game at 6:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network. The series concludes Saturday at 2 p.m. for a broadcast by American Sports Network on local television. Both games will be carried on BTN2Go.

TICKET INFORMATION
A limited number of tickets remain on TicketMaster and the Penn State Ticket Exchange".

PARKING & TRAFFIC INFORMATION
Parking for hockey games is $5 in the Jordan East and Stadium West Lots if you do not have a parking permit that came with your season tickets.

PEGULA ICE ARENA BAG POLICY
Fans attending Penn State men's hockey games at Pegula Ice Arena will have to comply with the updated Penn State University Bag Policy. Fans are advised that no backpacks or briefcases may be brought into the arena. For more information visit the Safety Policy SY44 Page or Penn State's Bag Policy Page.

SCOUTING THE BADGERS
Wisconsin (2-16-4, 0-6-2-2 Big Ten) enter this weekend coming off a barn-burning series with Minnesota, falling 7-5 in the opener and tying 4-4 in the finale, taking the extra point in the shootout. All four of Wisconsin's points have come against Minnesota in the shootout.

Since they last met Penn State on Dec. 5-6, the Badgers have gone 1-6-2, finding some scoring touch along the way. The Badgers beat No. 5 Michigan Tech, 2-0 on Jan. 3, tied No. 2 Boston University, 3-3, a week later and took Minnesota to a pair of shootouts. UW's offense has produced three games of at least four goals in the past four outings, after only pulling the feat once in the opening 18 games.

On the flipside, Wisconsin has allowed four or more goals in 10 of the past 13 games, which includes PSU's sweep in December.

Anchoring the defense is Joel Rumpel who has 20 starts this season and an impressive shutout of Michigan Tech. Rumpel (3.80 GAA, .894 sv. pct.) is 2-14-4 this year, but ranks tied-for-fifth in UW history with 51 wins.

Grant Besse leads the team in goals (9) and points (16), while Joseph LaBate has a team-best eight assists. LaBate also has a team-high three power-play goals for a Badger team that scores 15.3 percent of the time (38th nationally). The penalty kill allows goals 25.9 percent of the time, which ranks 57th out of 59 teams.

Wisconsin will be without freshman forward Corbin McGuire for Friday's game for kneeing Minnesota's Connor Reilly in Saturday's 4-4 tie. McGuire has appeared in 21 games.

SERIES HISTORY WITH WISCONSIN
All-Time Series: WIS leads 6-3-0
Series Record at PSU: WIS leads 2-0-0
Series Record at WIS: Tied 3-3-0
Series Record on Neutral Ice: WIS leads 1-0-0
PSU Streak: 2 wins
First Meeting: 2/24/13, WIS 5-0
Last Meeting: 12/6/14, PSU 4-2
Last PSU Win: 12/6/14, 4-2
Last WIS Win: 3/21/14, 2-1
Last Tie: n/a
Largest PSU Win: 5-2, 12/5/14
Largest WIS Win: 7-1, 12/6/13

NITTANY LIONS UPEND NO. 14 VERMONT IN PHILLY
The comeback kids were at it again on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 31) as David Thompson's first career goal late in the third period gave Penn State a 4-2 comeback win over No. 14 Vermont in front of 11,674 fans at Wells Fargo Center.

In a 2-2 game, sophomore Ricky DeRosa sent a pass up the boards to Thompson at the point as he one-timed a blast past UVM's Mike Santaguida with 3:09 remaining in the game for a 3-2 lead. David Goodwin's empty-netter two minutes later capped Penn State's four unanswered goals to improv to 13-7-4 overall.

Down 2-0 with 5:10 remaining in the second, Casey Bailey netted his 18th of the year from the right wing off Luke Juha's 12th assist of the year just 14 seconds after Vermont (15-9-2) staked a two-goal lead. Taylor Holstrom picked up his team-leading 19th helper of the year as well.

Momentum in the game changed when the Nittany Lions killed off 1:17 of a 5-on-3 power play to open the third period leading to Scott Conway's game-tying goal three minutes later. Eric Scheid sent a pass from behind the net to Conway as his initial chance was stopped, but the follow up was not and he scored his sixth of the season, which came on the power play.

Conway's power-play goal was crucial as the Catamounts came in with the second-best penalty kill in the nation, having given up only seven goals all year. PSU went 1-for-3 on Saturday, while UVM was 1-for-6.

Bailey and Patrick Koudys picked up a game-high two points on the day, while Thompson had a game-best plus-three rating.

Senior goaltender PJ Musico earned the win in his first start of the season by making 33 saves, including 12 in each the first and second periods.

THOMPSON GARNERS BIG TEN ATTENTION
On the heels of his first collegiate goal, which was a game-winner over No. 14 Vermont, David Thompson was named the Big Ten's Third Star of the Week on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The award is Thompson's first of his career.

Thompson completed Penn State's comeback from two goals down with a strike from the blue line with only 3:09 remaining in the game. The goal was his first of his career and he would later put the final touches on a plus-three showing when Penn State added an empty-netter to defeat 14th-ranked Vermont, 4-2.

The sophomore's goal was all the more special by taking place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, just miles from his hometown of Glen Mills. Thompson now has a career-best point streak of three games and is the seventh different Nittany Lion to earn a Big Ten weekly honor. PSU has won eight weekly awards this season.

CARDIAC CATS STRIKE AGAIN
In 2015, the Nittany Lions have made it a habit of going down early and finding a way back to even the score or win.

In all but one of the seven games during 2015, Penn State has trailed and in five of those six games, PSU fell behind by multiple goals. Nevertheless, Penn State came back to tie or go ahead in each instance. The record in those games is 3-1-2.

This season as a whole, Penn State has come back to even the score or go ahead from multiple-goal deficits on five occasions, going 3-1-1.

In all, Penn State has come back to tie or go ahead 12 times this season, going 7-2-3.

RIGHT WHERE WE WANT `EM
The Nittany Lions have excelled in goals while trailing or tied in the New Year. Penn State leads the nation in this category over that time frame with 24 goals (3.43 per game). PSU has scored 29 goals while ahead in that span, which means 83 percent of the team's goals have come while tied or behind.

While tied or trailing since Jan. 9, Penn State leads in the county in even-strength goals (18), shot-handed goals (2) and goals that carry two assists (19).

THIRD PERIOD SCORING LEADERS
Since Penn State's first game of the new year on Jan. 9, the Nittany Lions are tied for the nation's lead in third-period goals with 16 (BU, Robert Morris & Union). The Nittany Lions and Dutchmen are averaging 2.29 goals per game in the third period since Jan. 9.

Leading the Penn State third-period charge is Casey Bailey with four goals, while line mate David Goodwin has three tallies in that span.

DEFENSIVE CORPS STEPPING UP OFFENSIVELY
Over the past five games, Penn State has received a crucial scoring and assist bump from an unfamiliar place: the defense.

The Nittany Lion defense has contributed two goals and 11 assists for 13 points, which may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but that's 33 percent of the entire defense's point output for the year.

For Penn State, the production has been widespread with every defenseman that's skated in more than one game tallying a point and three with two points (David Thompson, Nate Jensen, Luke Juha, Patrick Koudys).

MUSICO TO MY EARS
Entering the season, PJ Musico was Penn State's third goaltender and didn't see action through the first 16 games of the year. Since then, Musico has played in five of the past eight games, initially in a reserve role earning more playing time on each occasion, before garnering his first start vs. No. 14 Vermont.

Against the Catamounts, Musico made 33 saves to earn his second win of the year, improving to 2-1-1. His 33 saves were the most since making 46 at Wisconsin on Feb. 24, 2014. The start was his first since March 7, 2014, also against Wisconsin.

Musico is now 2-1-0 with a .926 save percentage and a 2.23 goals-against average in 161 minutes of play.

OFFENSIVE PRODUCTIN FUELING LIONS
Penn State is currently riding a season-best six-game unbeaten stretch having scored a bevy of goals in the past seven games. The Nittany Lions have tallied 29 goals (4.14 per game), scoring at least four goals in all but one game in that stretch. The 4.14 goals per game rank fourth nationally since Jan. 9.

Penn State scored five goals or more in three straight games for the first time in program history against Michigan State and Northern Michigan.

JUNIORS PROVIDING THE SCORING
Penn State's juniors have been the most productive scoring class this year with 42 goals and 50 assists for 92 points. The three other classes combined have totaled 42 goals and 83 assists for 125 points.

BALANCED NITTANY LION SCORING
Penn State has 84 goals through 24 games, an average of 3.50 goals as opposed to last year's 2.22 average.

Eight Nittany Lions have tallied 10 or more points so far this season: Casey Bailey (29), Taylor Holstrom (24), David Goodwin (23), Eric Scheid (19), Scott Conway (16), Curtis Loik (15), Dylan Richard (15) and Luke Juha (12). Last season 12 Lions garnered at least 10 points or more in 36 contests.

Moreover, 16 different Nittany Lions have registered a goal this season with a total of 22 Lions recording a point. In 2013-14 alone, 16 Lions scored goals with 21 total earning points.

SECOND LINE SCORING RE-EMERGES
Penn State's second line of Eric Scheid, Dylan Richard and Scott Conway provided the scoring punch it was missing from its top line against Northern Michigan.

The scoring continued in Saturday's win over Vermont as Conway tallied the game-tying goal off a Scheid feed on the power play.

Scheid (2g, 3a) and Richard (3g, 2a) each finished with five points against Northern Michigan, while Conway notched four points on a goal and three assists.

The trio have now appeared in seven games this season (5-0-2), tallying 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points and a plus-seven rating. The scoring marks and plus-minus rating rank each second on the team.

SCHEID'S CONTRIBUTIONS CONTINUE
Forward Eric Scheid missed six games and returned to the ice in impressive fashion, tallying three multi-point games and a pair of two-goal performances to pace the Penn State offense.

Scheid tallied four points in two games including a three-point game on Saturday, Jan. 10 against Ohio State.

While Scheid's five-game point streak came to an end in Jan. 17's 5-2 win over MSU, he threw in his fifth goal during that streak in Friday's 2-2 tie.

The Minnesota native used his speed to produce two assists against Northern Michigan in the Friday game and scored twice in the Saturday finale. He added an assist on the game-tying goal vs. Vermont this past weekend.

Scheid is second on the team with 12 goals. The Nittany Lions went 2-4-0 in during his absence, which puts PSU at 11-3-4 when Scheid is in the lineup.

FIRE AWAY!
Penn State likes to shoot the puck. A lot. The Nittany Lions lead NCAA Division I men's hockey with 41.75 shots per game, a full five shots more than second best Robert Morris (36.20) and six-plus shots ahead of Michigan (35.57). PSU crested the 1,000-shot mark on Saturday vs. Vermont.

The Nittany Lions have fired 50 or more shots on six occasions this season, going 4-0-2. Moreover, PSU has attempted 40 or more shots 13 times, going 8-3-2 in those games.

The Nittany Lions have out-shot their opponents in 21 of 24 games this year. Thanks to two shots in the final seconds, Ohio State became the second team to out-shoot the Nittany Lions when PSU won, 4-1. Michigan out-shot PSU in both games this season. PSU is 11-6-4 when out-shooting its opposition.

Against Northern Michigan, Penn State shot the puck 117 times with 53 on Friday vs. NMU and 64 on Saturday in an overtime tie.

Contributing to the staggering shot totals is Casey Bailey who leads the nation in shots on goal (144), averaging a nation-high six shots a game. Bailey has three games of 10 shots or more this season.

Penn State ranks second nationally in shots on goal margin per game (+10.71), while Wisconsin ranks 57th of 59 teams at -12.27.

Wisconsin ranks 57th nationally in shots per game with 23.82, while ranking 56th nationally in shots allowed per game (36.09).

In games where PSU fails to shoot at least 30 times Penn State is 1-0-1 with a tie vs. Alaska Anchorage and a win at Michigan.

TOP LINE REMAINS PRODUCTIVE, INTACT
Penn State has used 36 different offensive line combinations through 24 games, but one thing has remained constant: David Goodwin-Taylor Holstrom-Casey Bailey will play and score.

The three have combined for 32 goals, 38 assists and a plus-33 rating. Currently, the line is 11-5-4 this season.

At home, the trio is lethal. Bailey and Goodwin each have 15 points, while Holstrom has 14 points.

The threesome have been together in 20 of 24 contests (only times not together were Oct. 17 at Alaska, Dec. 5-6 at Wisconsin and Dec. 30 vs. Western Michigan), accounting for 70 of Penn State's 217 points (32.6 percent).

Only the Richard-Conway-Scheid line (26 points) has more than nine points this season.

BAILEY FOUR OFF SCORING LEAD
Behind a Big Ten-leading 18 goals, junior forward Casey Bailey has regained his scoring form from 2012-13 that saw him tally 14 goals during his freshman campaign. Last season, Bailey tallied nine goals in 32 games.

Entering this week, Bailey is behind only Union's Daniel Ciampini (22 goals) and RIT's Matt Garbowsky (19), while tied with Harvard's Jimmy Vesey, BU's Danny O'Regan, Minnesota State's Bryce Gervais, Cody Wydo of Robert Morris and AIC's Austin Orszulak.

Bailey ranks third nationally in goals per game (0.75) behind Vesey (0.90) and Ciampini (0.85).

Bailey is first on the team with nine multi-point games this season and has 17 in his Penn State career. He has tallied a point in 17 of 24 games this year.

ROLLING WITH HOLSTROM
Penn State's most productive passer has been Taylor Holstrom with five goals and 19 assists for 24 points.

His 19 assists are the most in a Penn State uniform in a single season. Holstrom is five dishes away from matching his freshman performance in 2010-11 at Mercyhurst.

Currently, Holstrom is tied for eighth in the nation with 0.90 assists per game.

BAILEY, HOLSTROM UP FOR HOBEY BAKER
The forward tandem of Casey Bailey and Taylor Holstrom were nominated for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, as announced Wednesday, Jan. 7. Fan voting, which accounts for one percent of all voting, continues through March 8 before the 10 finalists are named.

Bailey leads the Big Ten in goals (18), while Holstrom is three assists off the Big Ten lead with 19.

IMPROVING IN BIG TEN PLAY
The Nittany Lions started 0-9-0-0 in Big Ten play last season, but finished the year going 3-7-1-0 down the stretch before going 1-1 in the Big Ten Tournament.

A 1-0-1 showing against Michigan State put PSU at 5-2-1-0 this season. The Nittany Lions have gone 9-10-2-0 vs. Big Ten competition since Feb. 8, 2014. Penn State has already surpassed its Big Ten win total from last season.

Penn State sits in second place in the Big Ten with 16 points behind Michigan (21). The Nittany Lions are one of only two Big Ten teams to defeat the Wolverines this season, winning at Yost Ice Arena on Nov. 21.

AVOIDING THE PENALTY BOX
Penn State has been penalized fewer times in 2014-15, averaging 4.0 penalties per game and 9.8 minutes per game, resulting in 81 power play chances for its opponents (3.38 per game). The 81 penalty kill attempts are tied for the eighth fewest in the country and fifth fewest per game.

Last year, The Nittany Lions were committing 5.3 penalties for 12.3 minutes per game and teams were capitalizing on 18.9 percent of the resulting power plays (4.42 chances per game). This year's penalty kill is allowing goals 18.5 percent of the time. The result has been only 15 power-play goals against, the second fewest in the Big Ten.

POWER PLAY WOES CORRECTED?
The Nittany Lions were one of the top power play units in the nation, ranking as high as fifth in mid-December, however PSU had been struggling on the man-advantage of late.

During a six-game home stand (Jan. 9-24) Penn State staggered to a 3-for-31 stretch on the power play, slipping to 14th nationally in power play percentage (20.9).

Following a 2-for-12 weekend vs. NMU, which snapped a 1-for-19 skid, the Nittany Lions pegged Vermont's second-ranked penalty kill for a key goal in three opportunities.

PSU rose to 13th in the country with a 21.3 percent conversion rate. Wisconsin has the 57th rated penalty kill at 74.1 percent.

BLOCKING SUCCESS
Penn State's defense has allowed an average of 31 shots per game to reach net this year, but that number would be higher if not for the blocking ability of PSU's defensive corps, which has stopped 316 from reaching frame (13.17per game).

Senior captain Patrick Koudys (39), junior Luke Juha (36) and sophomore David Thompson (31) lead the team in the category.

PACKING THE PEG
Penn State has played to a sellout crowd in 27-of-30 home games, including 11 of 12 this season. More than 6,000 fans have filed into the arena on 16 occasions with a season-high 6,203 see Penn State beat Northern Michigan, 5-4, on Friday, Jan. 23. That crowd was the fourth-best at PIA.

Currently, Penn State ranks sixth in average attendance (6,005) and leads the nation in building capacity percentage (103.8 percent). Only Quinnipiac (102.0) can boast a capacity percentage over 100.

Last season, 108,193 total fans packed Pegula Ice Arena during the facility's inaugural campaign, filling the 5,782-seat arena with an average of 6,011 fans per game.

WINS OVER RANKED TEAMS
Penn State's victory over No. 14 Vermont was the program's fifth against ranked competition.

Prior to Nov. 15, 2014 PSU was 0-8-0 against top-five squads, beating No. 4 UMass Lowell, 4-1.

Saturday's game against No. 14 Vermont was just the third game against a USA Hockey ranked foe this season.

Last season, Penn State went 3-16-0, with all three wins coming against Michigan, while in 2012-13 the Nittany Lions went 1-3-0. Penn State now stands at 5-20-0 all-time against ranked teams.

NEXT TIME OUT
Penn State takes on Wisconsin in the series finale on Saturday at 2 p.m. for a game televised by American Sports Network and BTN2Go.

Next weekend, the Nittany Lions leave the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the first time since Dec. 6 by traveling to Michigan State.   

Last Updated February 06, 2015