Penn State vs. Long Island Series Grades

Story posted October 6, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Jacob Cheris

Penn State played its first series of the new season. It was able to sweep the Long Island Sharks in a pretty dominating fashion. Game one was a fast-paced contest that was very physical, along with Monday’s battle. Let’s take a look at the first series grades of the 2021-22 season.

Offense: A

Sunday’s contest was very high paced. The offense had a ton of jump to its game. This was especially noticed on the forecheck. Penn State had multiple high-danger scoring opportunities when it put pressure on the LIU defense.

However, it took the Nittany Lions until about the 10-minute mark of the first period to get a quality scoring chance. Most of the shots on net were from the outside, which led to easy saves for Sharks goaltender Kris Carlson.

Game two told a different narrative. Penn State outshot LIU 9-6 in the first period. Two of those chances were converted into goals, and almost all of the shots in the opening frame were from the high-danger areas.

Defense: B

They always say a good defense makes a great offense. The defense was very active in game one. They were jumping into the play very frequently. Jimmy Dowd, Christian Berger and Simon Mack were spotted below the goal line many times.

Dowd, Berger and Mack all had points on Monday because of how aggressive they were in the offensive zone. They also did a really good job keeping pucks alive in the offensive zone.

The defense also did a really good job neutralizing the Sharks chances. LIU only had 43 shots in this series.

Goaltending: A

Oskar Autio did not have a lot to work with on Sunday. The lone goal he allowed in game one was off of a collision in front of the net, and the puck found its way to the back of the cage. He was sometimes shaky with his movements, but overall, he was solid.

One aspect of his game that can improve is his rebound control. He was not always on top of shots. In game two, he did look more comfortable in the crease.

Autio had a total of 40 saves in this series.

Coaching: B

Guy Gadowsky had the same game plan in this series as he had in years past — Get shots to the net and generate as much offense as possible.

The special teams were terrific. The Nittany Lions were able to kill off a five-minute major penalty in game one after Kevin Wall was ejected from the game due to a hit to the head. In game two, Penn State had a five-minute power play of its own and was able to capitalize late from Berger.

Even though Penn State converted on the power play twice, the Nittany Lions did a great job cycling the puck. The Nittany Lions only had 10 power-play shots in this series, but give credit to the LIU penalty-kill unit.

However, the Nittany Lions struggled to stay disciplined on Monday. They took only three penalties in the first game, but took six in the second. Three out of the six were in the first period. Penn State only allowed one power play goal, though. Gadowsky has to get his group to play more disciplined.

Line changes were not always clean for Penn State, but, the Sharks struggled with their transition game to try and catch the Nittany Lions on a bad change.

Penn State plays its next series against the Canisius Golden Griffins at home.


Jacob Cheris is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jacobcheris19@gmail.com