Series Grades: Notre Dame
The Penn State Nittany Lions went into overtime in both games in the series against Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a period where, before, they had been 3-0 on the season. This is the second series this season where the Nittany Lions went into overtime in both games; they beat Arizona State twice the last time. While this series wasn’t as lucky for the Nittany Lions, they were still able to record the split with Alex Limoges being the hero in Game 1. Here are the series grades for this exciting weekend.
Compared to most games the Nittany Lions have played this year, scoring four goals in two games isn’t the best. The only reason this isn’t falling into the C range is that those four goals were enough to sneak the Nittany Lions into overtime twice. Limoges continued his impressive season, scoring his ninth goal in Game 1, which leads all Nittany Lions in that category. Game 2 saw production from unlikely sources, as Sam Sternschein and Tyler Gratton got pucks through the net. They had one combined goal before this series.
Game 1 carries this grade, after the Nittany Lions gave up just one goal against a Notre Dame offense that has had its moments, even after coming into this matchup off a two-goal weekend against Michigan. In Game 2, however, the Nittany Lions had momentum for most of the game, holding the Irish to just 27 shots. But it all unraveled in the third period after Colin Theisen tied it and Spencer Stastney won it in overtime.
Compared to what we’ve seen in the past from Oskar Autio, this was one of the best series he’s played all season. The only other series that could rival this was his Michigan State series, where he gave up only three goals in the two -game set. This is the reason he has the highest grade thus far. Aside from one slip up in the second period of Game 1, Autio held his ground, as he saved 31 shots and stood strong in the overtime win. In Game 2, he wasn’t asked to do as much, as he saved only 24 shots, allowing three goals in the loss. Although Game 2 hurts, it was still some of the best we’ve seen of Autio thus far.
Head coach Guy Gadowsky did a solid job keeping his Nittany Lions disciplined during the two-game series. Penn State only took a combined two penalties all series, having just one in each game. The only problem is that Notre Dame was slightly more disciplined, as the Fighting Irish stayed penalty free in Game 2, which they won in overtime.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.