Penn State Men’s Hockey Series Grades: Minnesota

Story posted February 21, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Bourandas

Penn State’s final home series of the season didn’t go quite as planned as the Nittany Lions got swept against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Here’s how each position group performed over the weekend.

Offense: C

Compared to past series’, there was a ton of improvement from the offensive side of things.

The opening game of the series only saw one goal which came from Ryan Kirwan but things were a lot different at the start of the next game.

Penn State was able to jump out to a quick 3-0 lead as well as a 4-2 lead but over time would see both leads evaporate.

Despite scoring four goals in the loss, a majority of that scoring came from the first period which hurts the Nittany Lions overall grade here.

Defense: B-

Through a majority of the weekend, the defense for Penn State played well but that second game collapse hurts the grade.

As mentioned before, Penn State held a huge lead but let the Golden Gophers score four consecutive goals with three of them coming in the third and final period to secure a 6-4 Minnesota win.

The opening game saw much better results as despite having a high shot total, the Golden Gophers only had two goals while Liam Souliere was in net for Penn State.

While one period shouldn’t be enough to destroy a grade, it cost Penn State a win against the No. 5 team in the country so it does here.

Goaltending: C+

Once again, the decision to utilize both goaltenders over the weekend saw mixed results.

Opening up the weekend was Souliere who played almost surprisingly well during the loss.

Souliere made 32 saves with a staggering 19 of those saves coming in the second period while only allowing two goals during the game.

If the Nittany Lions had provided him with offensive support there may have been positive results but that would prove not to be true in the next game.

Oskar Autio got the nod over Souliere and after a good start, Autio crumbled with the game on the line. Autio made 28 saves with his save total going up each period while allowing five goals in the loss.

Let’s talk more about this in the next category.

Coaching: B-

Just pick a goaltender already.

Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky has resorted to this two-goaltender system for most of the season which hasn’t seen the results he’s been looking for.

Both Autio and Souliere have struggled with the lack of an ability to have multiple starts in a row and it’s hurting the team overall and it may continue to do so with the Big Ten tournament right around the corner.

Outside of that, Penn State struggled on the penalty kill this weekend allowing a crucial game-tying goal while on that unit in game two.

Penn State only had one opportunity on the power play throughout the series as well compared to the Golden Gophers’ five which doesn’t help as well.

There’s only one series left in the regular season for this Penn State team giving them one more chance to gain some momentum heading into the Big Ten tournament.

Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email