Penn State vs. Niagara Series Grades

Story posted October 25, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Rocco

After a week off Penn State took on the Niagara Purple Eagles in a two-game series at Pegula Ice Arena.

The Nittany Lions came away with the sweep-winning game one 4-0 and game two 6-2.

Let's take a look at how the blue and white graded out this past weekend.

Offense: A+

Anytime you can find the back of the net 10 times in two games you are doing something right.

Leading the charge for Penn State was junior forward Kevin Wall. Wall, a Carolina Hurricane draft pick, scored five goals this past weekend.

Wall electrified the crowd in game two when he scored his third goal on a penalty shot extending the Nittany Lion lead to 5-2.

Sophomore forward Tyler Paquette also had a very solid series scoring two goals in the game two victory.

Freshman forward Ben Schoen tallied his first-ever goal at Penn State in game one of the series.

The blue and white are getting contributions from up and down its lineup.

Defense: A

Penn State’s defense got a big boost this series as Clayton Phillips, a Pittsburgh Penguin draft pick, returned to the lineup after missing the last series with an injury.

The Nittany Lions’ defense was solid throughout the series as they only allowed 58 shots in two games.

Sophomore defender Christian Berger even scored a goal and tallied an assist in the game one win.

Goaltending: A

The goalies for Penn State have been excellent this season.

Senior goalie Oskar Autio got the start in game one of the series and he was magnificent posting a shutout.

He was not tested often, facing just 23 shots but the saves he made were very crucial for Penn State to maintain its lead.

In the third period, he saw 12 shots come his way as Niagara was just throwing the puck toward and he made a couple of outstanding saves that had fans shocked he made the save.

Coach Guy Gadowsky went to his backup in sophomore Liam Souliere and he was just as good.

Souliere allowed just two goals on 35 shots and he was under constant pressure during the first two periods as Niagara had 28 shots through the two periods.

Coaching: B

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 solid in the series but this is room for improvement especially on the power play.

Penn State had seven chances to capitalize on the man advantage opportunities and they only cashed in once.

The Nittany Lions are going to have to do a better job on the power play if they want to compete with the top teams in the conference.

However, the penalty kill in this series was excellent. Penn State took 11 penalties and Niagara failed to score on all of those chances.

The blue and white made the smart play and just got the puck out of the zone and made Niagara go the length of the ice on almost every power play.

The Nittany Lions have to do a better job of staying disciplined because teams will convert when they are consistently on the power play.

Penn State is set to face North Dakota this weekend.

Alex Rocco is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email afr5646@psu.edu