Don’t look now Badger fans, but the No. 12 University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (9-6) might be the hottest team in the Big Ten.
With a 4-1 victory over the Nittany Lions (7-8) Thursday night at Pegula Ice Arena in Happy Valley, the Badgers have won three straight games and five of their last six, with the only loss coming against No. 4 Minnesota — a series the Badgers and Gophers split.
Wisconsin first put points on the board in the power play, where Cole Caulfield passed across the ice to Dylan Holloway. Holloway was able to find Ty Pelton-Byce near the goal who knocked it home but caused the puck to bounce out of the goal, prompting a review.
The officials eventually called the play in favor of Wisconsin, giving the Badgers a 1-0 lead. Wisconsin would double their lead when Mathieu De St. Phalle, the freshman out of Lake Forest, Illinois, notched his first career goal as a Badger off a pass from Owen Lindmark.
Penn State would narrow Wisconsin’s lead late in the second period when Kevin Wall snuck the puck in past Cameron Rowe.
Wisconsin would close the game away in the third period again on the power play, with Cole Caulfield scoring off an assist from Dylan Holloway. Jack Gorniak laid a screen and Caulfield blasted the puck over the goalie's shoulder, sending the Badgers ahead 3-1.
Dominick Mersch would later score a goal on an empty net of Penn State, cementing the Badgers victory.
Although Wisconsin had a terrific game offensively, the star of this game was Cameron Rowe who had 45 saves on 46 shots. Rowe is now undefeated as the starting goalie this season.
Cole Caufield also extended his point streak to seven games, and has scored five goals and six assists over that period.