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B1G Start: Badgers use offensive onslaught to take down PSU, 7-1


Game Photo
Penn State 17 Wisconsin 7, Penn State 1
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 8,945

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1st 2nd 3rd Final
 Penn State
1 0 0 1
2 2 3 7
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Eaves/Players Postgame Small Video Graphic
 Scoring Summary
1st 2:54 WIS Besse (Little, Barnes)
1st 3:54 WIS Simonelli (Barnes, Zulinick)
1st 11:47 PSU Olczyk (DeRosa, Jensen)
2nd 5:52 WIS Mersch (Kerdiles)
2nd 8:46 WIS Barnes (LaBate, Zengerle)
3rd 12:37 WIS Kerdiles (LaBate, Simonelli)
3rd 14:33 WIS Schulze (LaBate, Zengerle)
3rd 19:23 WIS Navin (Soleway, Dahl)
 Goaltender Summary Min GA Sv
PSU Skoff (3-4-1) 52:24 5 33
PSU Musico (0-0-0) 07:23 2 3
PSU EMPTY NET 00:13 0 0
WIS Rumpel (3-1-0) 60:00 1 27
 Statistical Comparison
 Shots on Goal 28 43
 Power Plays 0-4 0-3
 Penalties-Minutes 4-8 5-10
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Dec. 6, 2013

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin men’s hockey team’s inaugural Big Ten home match was heralded with pregame festivities that included fog machines, flashing lights, spinning Badger logos on the ice, and a giant American flag held up by the student section.

But the Badgers (5-5-1, 1-2-0-0 B1G) made sure that those weren’t the only fireworks of the night, riding two early goals and a balanced offensive attack past Penn State (3-8-1, 0-1-0-0 B1G) on Friday night at the Kohl Center, 7-1.

 Fast Facts
• Offense give UW win in the first game of a 12-game home stand, the longest in school history.
• Seven different Badgers scored goals for the Badgers, and LaBate led the team with three points.
Joel Rumpel improved to 3-1-0 on the season with 28 saves.

Grant Besse (Plymouth, Minn.) and Frankie Simonelli (Bensenville, Ill.) gave the Badgers a lead they would never relinquish, as they each scored a first-period goal to give the Badgers an early 2-0 cushion.

The scoring opened less than three minutes into the game, when Sean Little (Fond du Lac, Wis.) stripped the puck from Penn State and finished a two-on-one advantage with a pinpoint pass to Besse, who powered home the goal. Simonelli quickly followed suit, beating Nittany Lion goaltender Matthew Skoff from just inside the blue line just a minute later. The two goals came on Wisconsin’s first two shots of the game.

Penn State would cut the lead to a single goal heading into the first intermission, as Tommy Olczyk sliced down the high slot, took a feed from behind the UW net and beat Wisconsin goalie Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan).

But the Wisconsin scoring barrage quickly ended whatever comeback hopes the Nittany Lions had, as the Badgers scored five unanswered goals off the sticks of five different players to put Penn State away for good.

After Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) gave Wisconsin a 3-1 lead in the second period with his seventh goal of the season, Tyler Barnes (Eagan, Minn.) stretched the UW lead to 4-1 with a Sportscenter-worthy finish past Skoff.

The senior collected a rebounding Joseph LaBate (Eagan, Minn) back hand shot and finished between his legs with his back to the net to send the Kohl Center faithful into a frenzy.

Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.), Kevin Schulze (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Brad Navin (Waupaca, Wis.) all connected in the final stanza to set the final margin.  

The scoring eruption became just the latest in a long string of stellar offensive performances at home for the Badgers, who are now averaging five goals per game in home contests while sporting a 4-0-1 record in Madison.

Rumpel returned to the win column by turning away 27 of the 28 shots he saw, while Skoff managed 33 saves on 38 shots. He was relieved by PJ Musico, blocked three of the five shots he faced.

It was a relatively uneventful night on special teams, as PSU (0-4) and UW (0-3) combined to go 0-7. The Badgers outshot the Nittany Lions, 43-28.  

The Badgers return to the ice on Saturday night at 8 p.m. looking for a sweep. The game is the second of a 12-game home stand for Wisconsin. The game airs live on Fox Sports Wisconsin alternate, BTN2Go.com and the BTN2Go app, while also airing tape-delayed at 10:30 p.m. on the Wisconsin Channel.

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