Badgers hockey suffers season-ending loss to Penn State

The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team’s season came to an end Thursday despite a strong start, as they fell 5-2 to No. 19-ranked Penn State at Xcel Energy Center in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten hockey tournament.

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The Badgers are currently rated No. 41 in the Pairwise, and finish the season well outside of NCAA tournament contention for the second consecutive season.

Wisconsin came out firing, out-shooting Penn State 5-0 through the first five minutes of the game, before Eric Scheid opened the scoring for the Nittany Lions at 12:55 of the first period.

Connor Varley made it 2-0 Penn State just a few minutes later.

Leading scorer Luke Kunin cut the Nittany Lions’ lead in half on an odd-man rush less than four minutes into the second period, but it was as close as Wisconsin would get.

Ricky DeRosa and Tommy Olczyk scored in the second period to send Penn State into the final stanza with a 4-1 lead, but Wisconsin wasn’t done.

Grant Besse scored to pull the Badgers back to within two goals less than four minutes into the third period, before Scheid scored on an empty net with time winding down.

Wisconsin goaltender Matt Jurusik made 24 saves, while Penn State’s Eamon McAdam made 35 saves.

The Badgers finish the season 8-19-8 overall and 3-13-4-2 in the Big Ten.