Hockey Game Grades: Notre Dame
Penn State improves their record to 3-1-1, leaving Notre Dame with a 3-3 tie on Friday night and a 3-2 overtime victory on Saturday night. Here are this weekend’s game grades.
The pace of these games this weekend was in Penn State’s favor; end to end action that never stopped. Penn State’s offense showed incredible puck possession in Notre Dame’s zone, allowing them to dictate the play for most of the game on Friday and Saturday night.
Nikita Pavlychev is an invaluable piece for this Penn State offense, he makes his presence on the ice known from the start of his shift to the end. Pavlychev knows that his size is a major key for Penn State and he plants himself right in front of net, which paid off big time when he opened the scoring of Friday night’s game on the power play.
The young players, Nate Sucese and Andrew Sturtz, continue to put points up and make things happen for this offense.
Enough cannot be said about the defensive pairing of Trevor Hamilton and Kevin Kerr. They eat up the most minutes for this Penn State defense, and they should.
They are a solid pair that plays tight to the crease and seem to know what each other is doing before they do it. The pairing is also not afraid to step up on offense, both Hamilton and Kerr tallied an assist in Friday’s game and Hamilton had another on Saturday.
This defense plays low and tight to the crease which forced Notre Dame to take shots from further out, giving Peyton Jones a better chance at tracking the puck.
Goal Tending: A-
Peyton Jones, a freshmen goaltender, was impressive and solid during this past weekend’s match up with Notre Dame.
The only time he visibly faltered was in the second period of Friday night’s game when a shot from the blue line found its way into the back of the net. It looked as if Jones wasn’t expecting it or paying attention to the puck and it went in untouched.
After that and through play on Saturday, Jones regained his composure and put on a stellar performance.
Special Teams: Penalty Kill A+, Power Play C+
Penn State remained perfect on the penalty kill through Friday night’s game but lost that reputation on Saturday when they let up two power play goals. It was a long time coming for the Nittany Lions who took 32 penalties in just five games, it was only a matter of time before an opponent found a way to capitalize.
The power play, however, was not so great. Penn State was only able to capitalize one time in 15 chances against Notre Dame. It’s not for lack of trying, with 50 shots on the power play so far this season the puck will eventually find the net for Penn State.
Carly Pendergast is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.