Series Grades: Penn State vs. Michigan

posted January 29, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew McClure

After losing their series against No. 3 Ohio State last weekend, No. 15 Penn State needed to bounce back. This weekend, the Nittany Lions faced another difficult opponent in the Michigan Wolverines.

In game one, the Wolverines scored four unanswered goals in the second period en route to a 5-1 victory. Jimmy Lambert and Dakota Raabe both had two point nights, leading the Wolverines to a convincing win.

In game two, the game was played at Madison Square Garden and Penn State’s stars showed out. Evan Barratt, Alex Limoges and Liam Folkes combined for six points on the night and Penn State won 5-2. The Nittany Lions snapped a four-game losing streak with the win.

Here are the game grades for Penn State this weekend:

Offense: B

Penn State’s high-powered offense has been struggling as of late, and in game one of this series it continued. The Nittany Lions did have 38 shots on goal but could only sneak one goal past Michigan goaltender Hayden Lavigne.

Penn State needs to take more advantage of the power play opportunities they get. The Nittany Lions went 0-4 on the power play which was key for the Wolverines momentum on defense

The Nittany Lions offense, however, bounced back very well in game two at the Garden. Penn State took advantage of the opportunities they got in the first period by scoring three goals on only eight shots.

Penn State added two more goals in the second period from Limoges which ultimately was the dagger. This is the first time Penn State had five or more goals in a game since Dec. 8 against Notre Dame, where they finished with nine goals.

Defense: C+

The Penn State defense is way too inconsistent. In Thursday’s loss, the Nittany Lions came out flat in the second period and allowed Michigan to get ahead.

Penn State put themselves in a hole on defense and were unable to get back in the game. These defensive meltdowns are occurring too often, and in this game, it was just another prime example of that.

In Saturday’s win, Penn State may have had one of their best games on defense this season. Penn State matched Michigan’s physicality and were able to confuse the Wolverines offense. Penn State has been struggling on defense all year long, so it was nice to see them be successful on their own end of the ice.

Goaltending: B-

Peyton Jones got a break in Thursday’s game and the freshman Oskar Autio got the start. In his first start, Autio had 31 saves but allowed four goals in the second period. Autio made some nice saves throughout the game, but Michigan made the most of their opportunities and got some shots past the freshman goaltender.

In Saturday’s contest, Jones started and played one of his best games of the season. Jones had 35 saves and only allowed two goals. Jones made some big saves in this one, which helped snatch the win. Jones now has 10 wins on the season and looks to keep up the momentum moving forward.

Coaching: B

Head coach Guy Gadowsky and his team played a very tough series versus the Michigan Wolverines. After the horrendous loss in game one, Gadowsky and the Nittany Lions bounced back very well and finally found their stride.

Gadowsky has to be happy with how his team responded, hoping this win can turn the rest of their season around. After the split this weekend, Penn State’s record is 14-10-2 (6-9-1) and in a three-way tie for fifth place.

Penn State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin all have 20 points in the league. The Nittany Lions have a bye before Minnesota comes to town in two weeks.


Matthew McClure is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email After losing their series against No. 3 Ohio State last weekend, No. 15 Penn State needed to bounce back. This weekend, the Nittany Lions faced another difficult opponent in the Michigan Wolverines.

In game one, the Wolverines scored four unanswered goals in the second period en route to a 5-1 victory. Jimmy Lambert and Dakota Raabe both had two point nights, leading the Wolverines to a convincing win.

In game two, the game was played at Madison Square Garden and Penn State’s stars showed out. Evan Barratt, Alex Limoges and Liam Folkes combined for six points on the night and Penn State won 5-2. The Nittany Lions snapped a four-game losing streak with the win.

Here are the game grades for Penn State this weekend:

Offense: B

Penn State’s high-powered offense has been struggling as of late, and in game one of this series it continued. The Nittany Lions did have 38 shots on goal but could only sneak one goal past Michigan goaltender Hayden Lavigne.

Penn State needs to take more advantage of the power play opportunities they get. The Nittany Lions went 0-4 on the power play which was key for the Wolverines momentum on defense

The Nittany Lions offense, however, bounced back very well in game two at the Garden. Penn State took advantage of the opportunities they got in the first period by scoring three goals on only eight shots.

Penn State added two more goals in the second period from Limoges which ultimately was the dagger. This is the first time Penn State had five or more goals in a game since Dec. 8 against Notre Dame, where they finished with nine goals.

Defense: C+

The Penn State defense is way too inconsistent. In Thursday’s loss, the Nittany Lions came out flat in the second period and allowed Michigan to get ahead.

Penn State put themselves in a hole on defense and were unable to get back in the game. These defensive meltdowns are occurring too often, and in this game, it was just another prime example of that.

In Saturday’s win, Penn State may have had one of their best games on defense this season. Penn State matched Michigan’s physicality and were able to confuse the Wolverines offense. Penn State has been struggling on defense all year long, so it was nice to see them be successful on their own end of the ice.

Goaltending: B-

Peyton Jones got a break in Thursday’s game and the freshman Oskar Autio got the start. In his first start, Autio had 31 saves but allowed four goals in the second period. Autio made some nice saves throughout the game, but Michigan made the most of their opportunities and got some shots past the freshman goaltender.

In Saturday’s contest, Jones started and played one of his best games of the season. Jones had 35 saves and only allowed two goals. Jones made some big saves in this one, which helped snatch the win. Jones now has 10 wins on the season and looks to keep up the momentum moving forward.

Coaching: B

Head coach Guy Gadowsky and his team played a very tough series versus the Michigan Wolverines. After the horrendous loss in game one, Gadowsky and the Nittany Lions bounced back very well and finally found their stride.

Gadowsky has to be happy with how his team responded, hoping this win can turn the rest of their season around. After the split this weekend, Penn State’s record is 14-10-2 (6-9-1) and in a three-way tie for fifth place.

Penn State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin all have 20 points in the league. The Nittany Lions have a bye before Minnesota comes to town in two weeks.

 


Matthew McClure is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email mcm5964@psu.edu.