Penn State Men’s Hockey Series Grades vs. Wisconsin

Story posted December 15, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Bourandas

Last weekend was an ugly one for Penn State as it struggled but still managed to record the series split on the road against Wisconsin.

The Nittany Lions dropped Game 1 of the series before needing overtime to take the win in the final game of the series the next day.

Here’s a look at how each position group performed during the series.

Offense: B-

Six goals during a two-game series looks good but there is much more that meets the eye.

Only one of those goals were scored in the opening game of the series with the only goal coming from Tyler Gratton.

That goal came during the third period and was the only one of Penn State’s 35 shots to find the back of the net.

The next day saw much improvement offensively but after taking a 4-1 lead in the second period, the Nittany Lions took their foot off the gas.

While the Badgers rallied during the third period, the Nittany Lions were unable to score again until overtime when captain Paul DeNaples came through in the clutch.

Getting five goals off of 52 shots is definitely a pretty good stat but when just nine of those shots came in the third period, there are definitely some problems to be addressed.

Defense: D-

The only thing preventing the Nittany Lions defense from receiving an “F” grade was two solid periods at the start of Game 2.

Game 1 was bad from the start as the blue and white allowed three goals during the second period alone with two coming on the power play.

Wisconsin also outshot the Nittany Lions 42-35 in the win.

The following day saw a complete collapse by the Penn State defense as it blew a 4-1 lead, allowing three goals in the third period including another power-play goal.

That came despite the Nittany Lions outshooting the Badgers by more than double the attempts.

Luckily for Penn State, the defense was bailed out by an early overtime goal, though eight goals in two games is not going to get the job done down the road.

Goaltending: F

Here’s where the “F” grade comes in.

Oskar Autio got the nod for both games in this series and gave up seven goals over those games.

In the opening game, Autio made 38 saves while allowing three goals during the loss.

Autio saw more action as the game went along with his save total increasing each period.

The second period was the roughest for Autio as he made 14 saves while allowing three goals.

Despite a win the next day, Autio’s performance in Game 2 is what gives him this low grade.

Autio recorded his fourth-lowest save total in a game this season with 20, but allowed four goals during the game as both he and the defense collapsed during the third period.

Coaching: D

This series might be the hardest one to grade from a coaching perspective so far this season as there was a ton of physicality during the two games.

While there isn’t much Guy Gadowsky can do regarding the fights, being on the penalty kill a total of ten times during the series definitely doesn’t make a coach’s job any easier.

The power play killed Penn State in the opening game with two power-play goals from the Badgers in a three-goal second period.

The following day saw another power play goal during Wisconsin’s comeback attempt.

This series was definitely the most physicality from the blue and white this season, but at the end of the day physicality almost always leads to penalties.

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