Liam Folkes put a cap on a wild weekend at Pegula Ice Arena.
Penn State defeated Wisconsin in a decisive game three 4-3 in overtime Sunday night keeping the season alive. Folkes scored the first and last goals of the contest. Penn State now moves to the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals where it will take on top seed Ohio State Sunday in an elimination game.
Wisconsin had won the first of the three-game series Friday night 4-3. Penn State rallied back to win Saturday’s game 6-2. Now Penn State will move on.
You can read a media release courtesy of Penn State athletics below:
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Junior Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ontario) once again scored the first and last goal of a Big Ten Tournament game against Wisconsin as his overtime winner on Sunday evening gave Penn State the 4-3 victory in game three of a best-of-three Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series from Pegula Ice Arena.
Penn State improves to 21-14-2 overall this season while Wisconsin falls to 14-18-5 on the year with the setback. Penn State is now 9-5-0 all-time in Big Ten Tournament and has advanced to the semifinal round three-straight seasons and five times overall in the six year history of the league.
The Nittany Lions will travel to top-seeded Ohio State next weekend for a 3:30 p.m. semifinal matchup on Sunday at Value City Arena, Wisconsin’s season has come to an end.
HOW IT HAPPENED
· Penn State opened the scoring for the first time on the weekend as junior Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) fired a heavy shot from the left circle that produced a juicy rebound and Folkes smacked the bouncing puck into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead just 78 seconds into the contest.
· Wisconsin answered as Brock Caufield ripped a shot from the slot over the right shoulder of PSU net-minder Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 1-1 score at 5:24 of the first period.
· The Nittany Lions regained the lead early in the middle frame as sophomore Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis.) ripped a shot from the point during the power-play that snuck through traffic and past Badger goaltender Daniel Lebedeff for the 2-1 lead at 4:09 of the second period.
· The Badgers tilted the game in their favor midway through the second period scoring twice in a 24 second span as Max Zimmer finished off an odd-man rush during the power-play before setting up Josh Ess for a snipe from the slot for the 3-2 lead at 10:10 of the frame.
· Penn State tied the contest once more turning a 4-on-1 break one way into a 3-on-1 the other and sophomore Alex Limoges (Winchester, Va.) finished under the blocker of Lebedeff off a feed from Folkes for the 3-3 score at 18:54 of the second period.
· After a scoreless third period, the game went into overtime and each team had multiple chances over the beginning minutes, but ultimately it would be Limoges stripping a puck from a Badger defenseman at the end wall and centering a pass to Folkes for a point-blank one timer and the 4-3 victory at 10:50 of the extra session.
Jones improves to 17-11-2 on the year with the victory after stopping 36 shots while Lebedeff made 46 saves, but falls to 11-12-2 overall with the loss.
“I got to give a lot of credit to Wisconsin first, that was a great series and a great game. I know they were banged up, they played without their captain, you have to give them a ton of credit. They showed a ton of heart tonight, and probably deserved better, but I thought we played pretty well as well and probably a pretty fitting end considering what Folkesy [Liam Folkes] has done [against Wisconsin in the past].”
Q: Do you think the big 4-on-1 rush that Peyton [Jones] came up with a huge save on was a big turning point for you guys?
A: “Yeah, absolutely. We sort of messed up before on the PK before, we went and tried to score on a 2-on-1 and a third guy joined and that’s how they got their power play goal. This was sort of similar, but two guys did a great job. Alex Stevens played it great, he played that 4-on-1 well and we don’t really practice 4-on-1’s very much, but if we did you would want him to play it just like that, obviously a huge save and then Paul DeNaples got it up ice. That was huge, that was the turning point.”
Q: You guys went down in the series and tonight you give up two goals in 26 seconds, so what can you say about this team’s resiliency throughout the game?
A: “You have to be impressed with it. They keep doing it. I think it says a lot about the team and the Roar Zone was packed today, and that helps a ton, and says a lot about the program.”
Q: How did you see that (Overtime) goal from the bench?
A: “From the bench, we just saw that we got it deep and I think Limo [Alex Limoges] had a bit of a jump on their defenseman and was able to battle the puck from them. That’s what I saw from the bench, and Limo is so heavy on the puck, as you know, that’s one of his best strengths winning battles and when he did, we just saw Folkesy alone. Actually, I didn’t even see it go in the net, I saw the pass and I saw Folkesy sprint to the glass and that’s all I saw.”
Q: What do you think it says about you guys that over the course of the season we have seen you play well and we have seen you play not so well, but consistently the last three or four years when it gets to “you win or you are done” you guys have played a pretty solid similar brand of hockey and are able to put it together?
A: “I think that is a testament to the locker room, and that is what it’s all about. I think Peyton has to take a little credit for that too just because of the way he is. I think it is easy to get really tight in the playoffs and in overtime, particularly, and I think the way he handles himself wears off and I think there is a lot of other leaders in that room that follow that pattern as well.”
· Penn State’s nine Big Ten Tournament wins are now the most in league history just ahead of Ohio State’s eight wins while the 13 goals scored in the tournament so far tie their own mark for the second-most in a single tournament just two shy of Michigan’s 2018 record of 15. The Nittany Lions are now 4-2 all-time against Wisconsin in Big Ten Tournament play.
· With one goal and one assist Limoges has set a new Penn State single-season points record with 48 passing Smirnov’s 47 from 2016-17. Limoges’ 22 goals also tie the Penn State single-season record held by Casey Bailey and Andrew Sturtz ’18. Limoges’ five goals in the tournament thus far have also tied the single-tournament record held by Michigan’s Kyle Connor from 2016.
· Limoges collects his 15th multi-point effort this season and the 18th of his career in the process.
· Folkes continued his stellar play against the Badgers in the Big Ten tournament with two goals and one assist marking his third multi-goal game this season and the fifth of his career while marking his 12th multi-point game this season and the 18th of his career. The junior now has 15 points in nine Big Ten Tournament games to lead all current Nittany Lions including 11 points in four tournament games against Wisconsin.
· Folkes is also now the sixth player in program history to hit the 40-point mark in a single-season and the third this season joining his two linemates, Barratt and Limoges, his 41 points are the fourth most in a single-season in program history.
· With 77 career points, Folkes jumps into a tie with Eric Sheid ’16 and Dylan Richard ’17 for eighth on the Penn State all-time points list while Limoges’ 29 career goals tie David Glen ’16, Pavlychev and Biro for tenth on the all-time goals list.
· With nine points in three games so far this tournament, Folkes has now set a new Big Ten Tournament record for most points in a single-tournament.
· Hults moves into fifth all-time in goals by a defenseman with the ninth of his career while his 28 points are now the third most in a single-season by a defenseman in program history.
· With 21 wins this season, Penn State has tied its 2015-16 season total for the second most in program history while its 15 home victories are a new single-season record.
· Penn State controlled the pace of play holding the 50-39 edge in shots while both teams went 1-for-3 with the man-advantage.