Series Grades: Arizona State
The Nittany Lions took advantage of a struggling Arizona State team this weekend as they went on for their first sweep of the series.
Penn State dominated the Sun Devils over the course of the series. Scoring 11 goals over the course of the two games was the main catalyst to a series sweep. Evan Barratt was the dominant player for the Nittany Lions on Friday as he scored two goals and had a team high five shots. Also, Brandon Biro and Nate Sucese each added one goal and two assists as a part of a complete team effort. Biro was also the leading scorer on Saturday as he posted one goal and one assist. Compiling 95 shots compared to Arizona State’s 40 in this series showed how dominant the Nittany Lions can be, regardless of the opponent. Injuries have held Penn State’s offense back, but this could be the start to a revival in Hockey Valley.
The Nittany Lions were able to hold Arizona State in check this weekend. The Sun Devils don’t have an electric offense, but Penn State was phenomenal in shutting them down. Holding Arizona State to 40 shots over the course of two games is a great start to Penn State getting back to the team we expected them to be. Senior Trevor Hamilton was great this weekend as he had two points, eight shots, and five blocks. Cole Hults is continuing to develop and was impressive this weekend with a plus/minus of +5. Penn State also held the Arizona State power play scoreless this weekend on seven opportunities.
Peyton Jones and Chris Funkey played outstanding this weekend as they were able to hold the Sun Devils to only two goals. Funkey was able to have a shutout on Friday where he saved all 15 shots the Sun Devils were able to throw at him. Even though he wasn’t tested a lot, Funkey was able to shut down any opportunity that Arizona State potentially had. Jones played Saturday and was equally as good as Funkey was on Friday. Jones allowed two goals on 23 shots in the 4-2 win on Saturday. A little more tested than Funkey, Jones did a great job of deflecting the good opportunities Arizona State had. Jones has struggled up to this point, but this could be a turning point for him this season.
Coach Guy Gadowsky has looked for consistency this whole season and facing a struggling Arizona State team may have been the right moment for this Penn State team to turn their season around. Gadowsky has had to shuffle lineups this season due to injuries, but seemed to have the right combinations this weekend against the Sun Devils. Penn State was unable to sweep an opponent this season until this past weekend. Penn State seemed focused this weekend amid the trip across the country and that has to be credited to Gadowsky and his staff.
Camden Tofil is a freshman majoring in advertising/public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.