Series Grades: Penn State vs. Notre Dame
The Penn State Nittany Lions returned to the ice in a series against Notre Dame after a 34-day program shut down due to COVID-19, and it did not go well.
The rust on the Nittany Lions was evident as they were swept by the Fighting Irish.
In the first game, Penn State started hot with a Mason Snell goal 2:41 into the first period, but the Irish would respond moments later. Snell would score again in the second as his shot hit off a Notre Dame defender in front, but the Irish would erupt for four straight goals to win.
In the second game, the Nittany Lions scored first once again as Christian Sarlo picked up his fourth of the year, but that was all Penn State got. The Irish answered with seven straight goals to win 7-1 and complete the sweep.
Here are the game grades from this tough weekend.
When a team is coming off of a long break like Penn State did, it is hard to get back into the swing of things.
The offense for the Nittany Lions looked similar to what we have seen as they generated plenty of shots, but were unable to convert. Penn State was unable to create a lot of scoring chances and it cost the team as they were only able to score three goals the whole weekend.
Snell was the bright spot offensively, picking up two goals himself.
The Penn State defense was obliterated by this Notre Dame attack in both games, as the Irish tallied 30-plus shots.
There was nothing good about this weekend for the Penn State defense other than after the first period of game two they were leading 1-0. However, it all unraveled with the Irish scoring three goals in the second and four in the third.
Oskar Autio made some great saves, but overall this was a terrible series in terms of goaltending.
In Game 2, Autio made a phenomenal pad-stop on a breakaway and in Game 1 he made some good saves to try and keep the game close, but couldn’t do enough. Autio was pulled after 41 minutes in Game 2 for Liam Souliere, who was later pulled after giving up two goals on nine shots.
Will Holtforster saw some action as he replaced Souliere and gave up one goal on four shots faced.
Head coach Guy Gadowsky’s squad was outmatched in every facet of the game. Penn State was outscored 12-3, even after outshooting Notre Dame in both games.
Needless to say, the Nittany Lions have a lot to figure out as they'll play this same Notre Dame team next Sunday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
Matt Scalzo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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