Penn State Men’s Hockey Series Grades vs. Ohio State

Story posted January 30, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Joshua Bartosik

This past weekend involved mixed emotions for the Nittany Lions as they took on the No. 12 Ohio State Buckeyes.

Game 1 involved a back and forth thriller that required extra hockey. Penn State came out on top 2-1 in the shootout to steal the game from the Buckeyes.

Game 2 was all Ohio State as the Buckeyes blanked the blue and white 6-0. This split now puts Penn State at 5-12-1 in conference play before they travel to South Bend next weekend.

Here are the grades for each group in this weekend’s series.

Offense: C-

Beating the top team in the conference is certainly something to be proud of. However, the streaky offense of Penn State is not something to celebrate.

With only two goals on 95 shots by series end, no one seemed to be able to crack superstar freshman goaltender Jakub Dobeš. This comes as a complete turnaround from their series against Wisconsin last weekend which saw them pelter Jared Moe and Cameron Rowe with a plethora of shots and light the lamp 11 times.

Some positives to come out of the series were the performances of Ben Schoen and Danny Dzhaniyev. Dzhaniyev had a goal and an assist on the late game-tying goal in Friday’s contest. Schoen was the recipient of that assist and had a helper of his own as he buried the shootout winner.

Defense: D

The recurring theme of the Penn State blueline this season has been the inability to breakout and transition out of their own end.

Both goals against in Game 1 came on defensive breakdowns that left a Buckeye all alone in front of the goaltender. By the middle of the third period, the backend had tightened things up to survive until overtime and eventually the shootout.

Game 2 saw the Nittany Lions turn the puck over twice early in the first period for two quick goals for Jake Wise, and it was all downhill from there. Penn State never regained their footing and four more goals followed the first period blunders.

Goaltending: C

Liam Souliere was solid in Game 1 with 28 saves on 30 shots and stopping three of four shots in the shootout to help lead Penn State to victory.

Oskar Autio, the normal starter for the Nittany Lions, was not so lucky in Game 2. Autio gave up six goals on 20 shots and looked lost all night, never getting a chance to build confidence in net and eventually getting pulled for third string goaltender Doug Dorr.

The complete opposites of play between the two puckstoppers might raise questions about who gets the start next weekend against No. 11 Notre Dame.

Coaching: C-

Guy Gadowsky’s squad continues to come up short on special teams when it matters most.

Even though the penalty kill was solid with a 4-for-5 weekend, Penn State went 0-for-5 on the power play this series and couldn’t capitalize on any of its opportunities.

After Penn State went down early going into the first intermission in Game 2, there was an expectation to come out and fight back in the second period. That turned out to be the exact thing the blue and white did not do, giving up a goal under two minutes in to Joe Dunlap to essentially put the game away early.

Adjustments need to be made before another critical series for the Nittany Lions as the college hockey season enters the stretch.


Joshua Bartosik is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email