Ohio State Game Grades
The Big Ten Tournament and the Penn State Men’s Hockey team continued this weekend. After the Nittany Lions miraculous overtime win last weekend over Wisconsin, Penn State looked to keep the momentum rolling.
In their way, however, was the power house of the conference, the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes ran away with the Big Ten all year long with their physical play on both ends of the ice. Penn State came out with very high energy from opening puck drop, scoring twice in the first period. Liam Folkes and Alex Limoges got goals past Tommy Nappier, the Ohio State goaltender.
It didn’t stop there as the Nittany Lions scored again on a goal by Brandon Biro to take 3-0 lead going into the final period. Nate Sucese added two more for the Nittany Lions in the third period en route to the four-goal victory. The Nittany Lions stunned the Buckeyes and move on to the championship game next Saturday against Notre Dame.
Here are the game grades for Penn State after the win:
The offense has carried this team all year long, and in a game of this magnitude they didn’t disappoint. The top line of Folkes, Limoges and Evan Barratt continued their dominant play combining for four points on the afternoon.
The Nittany Lions were just more aggressive and showed more sense of urgency than the Buckeyes in the offensive zone, and that was one of the main differences in the game. Penn State only outshot Ohio State 36-32, but it was the quality of the shots and being able to cash in on the opportunities in front of the net that was key. The offense looked motivated and took care of business all game long in this one.
One of the main questions for Penn State heading into the Big Ten Tournament was if the defense was going to able to perform at a high level. In this game they answered that question with a resounding yes because they matched Ohio State’s intensity.
The Nittany Lions got to loose pucks and were in control of the puck in their defensive zone. The physicality of the Penn State in its own end frustrated the Buckeyes offensive rush and turned it into offense on the other end. This may have been Penn State’s best performance defensively all season.
Peyton Jones certainly has had his ups and downs all year, but he was ready to play in this game. Jones only allowed one goal passed him on 32 shots. Some of his saves were huge momentum boosters for the team, and they fed off of his energy in between the posts. Although Jones has been inconsistent in spots this year, he showed up in a huge game and was a major reason why the Nittany Lions were successful.
Guy Gadowsky and his team has struggled all year to play a full 60 minutes of hockey. Many times throughout the season the Nittany Lions would have a third period lead and blow it, but not in this game. Gadowsky had his guys ready to play in this game from opening puck drop all the way throughout the final buzzer.
Gadowsky has to be happy with how his team responded after getting swept by the Buckeyes in mid- January. Penn State still has another tough task next weekend, but expect the Nittany Lions to bring the same energy they had yesterday.
Matthew McClure is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email email@example.com.