Penn State Hockey Series Grades: vs. Minnesota
For the second straight series and the second time in program history, the Penn State Nittany Lions knocked off a No. 1 ranked team in the country.
Despite a game one triumph, the Nittany Lions dropped game two splitting their second straight series.
Here’s a look at how each position group performed on the road at Minnesota.
The depth of the Nittany Lion’s forward group continues to stand out from series to series. Eight different players have scored three or more goals for Penn State.
Against the Golden Gophers, Christian Sarlo collected his first and second goals of the season, with the highlight coming in the first game where Sarlo waited out the whole Minnesota defense for a wonderful goal.
In game two, Sarlo scored the Nittany Lions lone goal. Penn State continues to show that it can roll four lines that can all score against any opponent.
However, it’s hard to ignore the major struggles of the Penn State power play that carried into this series. Against Minnesota, the Nittany Lion powerplay went 0-for-4.
On an olympic sized rink against one of the most prolific college hockey teams in the nation, the young Penn State defense continues to look like a seasoned group.
In game one, the defense group made a solid effort in remaining calm and disciplined in a one goal game. In game two, the defensemen kept the Nittany Lions in it as long as they could, killing off ⅚ penalties in the process.
Overall, the Nittany Lions only allowed five goals over the two-game series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers - another positive series for the Penn State defense.
Liam Souliere continues to look like a sharp, confident number-one netminder for the Nittany Lions.
The numbers back it up too. Souliere has racked up eight wins this season with a 1.811 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.
Souliere didn’t post any unreal numbers throughout the two games in Minnesota, but he stepped up to make the big time save when needed.
Souliere didn’t have much of a chance on any of the goals he conceded and didn’t surrender any overly bad goals either. Another job well done by the Penn State goaltender.
Obviously, going up to Minnesota and knocking off the No. 1 ranked Golden Gophers is a massive achievement for head coach Guy Gadowsky and his staff.
Although the team had massive success in game one, Nittany Lions’ weaknesses showed their faces in game two.
The Penn State power play continues to struggle mightily which should be the number one thing the staff addresses in practice this week.
If this team wants to continue to win games in conference, they’ll need to score outside of five-on-five hockey.
Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.