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Home Cooking: Kerdiles' late goal sends UW past PSU, 4-3

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Penn State 17 Wisconsin 4, Penn State 3
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 10,079

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1st 2nd 3rd Final
 Penn State
1 1 1 3
1 1 2 4
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 Scoring Summary
1st 6:39 PSU Scheid (Juha, Williamson)
1st 10:14 WIS Little (Dahl, Kerdiles)
2nd 5:59 WIS Mersch (Kerdiles, McCabe)
2nd 12:09 PSU DeRosa (Saar, Koudys)
3rd 6:59 WIS Faust (Meuer, Little)
3rd 7:41 PSU Saar (DeRosa, Olczyk)
3rd 11:52 WIS Kerdiles (Simonelli, Mersch)
 Goaltender Summary Min GA Sv
PSU Skoff (3-5-1) 58:58 4 27
PSU EMPTY NET 01:02 0 0
WIS Rumpel (4-1-0) 60:00 3 27
 Statistical Comparison
 Shots on Goal 30 31
 Power Plays 1-2 1-6
 Penalties-Minutes 6-12 2-4
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Dec. 7, 2013

MADISON, Wis. -- Lately, the pregame festivities have matched the on-ice action for the Wisconsin men's hockey team. After Friday's fog machines and light show preceded an offensive exhibition by the Badgers, Saturday's series finale featured a mic failure during the national anthem which resulted in the crowd finishing it out before sound was restored in time to allow singer Joseph Scala to hit the final two notes of the song.

On the ice, the Badgers (6-5-1, 2-2-0-0 B1G) proved capable of their own strong finish, edging past Penn State (3-9-1, 0-2-0-0 B1G) on a third period Nic Kerdiles goal to seal a 4-3 win and a series sweep after an up-and-down start.

 Fast Facts
• Little entered the weekend without a point, but tallied two points to stoke the Badger win.
• Wisconsin improves to 5-0-1 at the Kohl Center.
• Nick Kerdiles netted the game-winning goal with 8:08 left in regulation.

The Irvine, Calif., native netted the game-winner with 8:08 to play when the Badgers forced a turnover and the puck ultimately found Kerdiles, who faked a shot and went top shelf on PSU goaltender Matthew Skoff to set the stage for the sweep.

The goal came just four minutes after the Nittany Lions evened the score at 3-3 on a Zach Saar tally off a rebound.

In a game that saw a pair of lead changes, Penn State got off to a fast start by converting on a 5-on-3 power play just five minutes into the game. Eric Scheid beat Wisconsin goalie Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) off a backdoor feed to give PSU an early 1-0 edge.

But the Badgers responded with two-straight goals to take a lead. The first finish came off the stick of Sean Little (Fond du Lac, Wis.), who capped a superb series with his first goal of the season, squeezing a shot past Skoll from the high slot off a feed from Jefferson Dahl (Eau Claire, Wis.).

Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.) then got in on the act, breaking the Badgers' recent power play slump with a man-advantage tally six minutes into the second period.

After Penn State knotted the score at two before the second intermission, Wisconsin re-took the lead out of the break when Joe Faust (Bloomington, Minn.) netted his first of the season with a blast from the point.

On Faust's goal, Little was again crucial, forcing a turnover deep in the Penn State zone with a big hit on a Nittany Lion player and then turning and feeding the puck to Keegan Meuer (Madison, Wis.) who set up Faust for the goal. 

The 3-2 lead didn't last for long, though, as Penn State scored just a minute later before Kerdiles' heroics sealed the game.

Saturday's game is the latest in a string of strong finishes by the Badgers, who have come back from 3-0 and 2-1 deficits against Lake Superior State and Miami, respectively, this season to draw and win.

With the win, the Badgers also improve to 5-0-1 at the Kohl Center.

Rumpel earned his fourth win of the season with 27 saves on 30 shots, while Skoff matched him with 27 saves on 31 shots.

Wisconsin finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Nittany Lions converted once on two chances.   

The Badgers return to action and continue their school-record 12-game home stand next weekend against Colorado College. Friday's game is set for 6:30 p.m. before the series concludes Saturday at 7 p.m.


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