Series Grades: Michigan State
The Nittany Lions were able to secure their first Big Ten series victory of the year by getting four points over Michigan State.
Penn State’s offense continued to be good this weekend against Michigan State as they totaled nine goals over the course of two games. The Nittany Lions exploded on Friday for seven goals, including four in the first period. Kris Myllari and Evan Barratt each scored 73 seconds apart to quickly jump out on the Spartans. Penn State would go on to score two more in the first period en route to a 7-2 win on Friday. Liam Folkes and Sam Sternschein each tallied two goals for the Nittany Lions, while Chase Berger added three assists. On Saturday, Penn State was able to come-back from a 2-1 deficit going into the third period. Trevor Hamilton tied the game with 34 seconds left, but would go on to lose in a shootout. Penn State outshot Michigan State 80-52 over the course of the series. The offense was the catalyst for the Nittany Lions first Big Ten series win this season.
The Nittany Lions allowed only four goals this weekend to Michigan State in a series win. Penn State however let up several opportunities to the Spartans, but goalie Peyton Jones was able to bail out the defense in a couple different situations. Senior Trevor Hamilton and sophomore Kris Myllari led the team this weekend with a plus/minus of +3. The Nittany Lions were excellent in blocking shots this weekend as they blocked 21 shots over the course of two games. Lastly, Penn State’s penalty kill was phenomenal again this weekend as they held the Spartans scoreless in their five power-play opportunities.
Peyton Jones played both of the games this weekend against Michigan State and was very good. Jones had a rough start to the season, but has seemed to get back to playing like he did last year with two solid series outings. He allowed two goals in each of the games against the Spartans, which is an improvement from his current goals against average. He stopped 27 of 29 shots on Friday and stopped 21 of 23 shots on Saturday night. Jones was also excellent on the penalty kill as he made several key stops that led to Michigan State going scoreless on the power play over the course of the series.
Coach Guy Gadowsky’s team may finally be getting the consistency they have been looking for this season. With 10 points in their last four games, the Nittany Lions are finally starting to look like the team many expected them to be this season. Injuries were a big part to the slow start for the Nittany Lions, but as they are starting to get healthy, it seems Penn State could look to be a factor in the Big Ten. Gadowsky will look to carry this momentum within his team as the Nittany Lions will travel next to Columbus to face Ohio State.
Camden Tofil is a freshman majoring in advertising/public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.