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Penn State Concludes Road Trip Against Ohio State

The Nittany Lions will look to bounce back from Monday’s loss to Michigan State.

Heather Weikel | Black Shore Diaries

Penn State opened its season with an open competition for the crease. Coach Guy Gadowsky wanted to see what junior Oskar Autio and freshman Liam Souliere had to offer before committing to either as the team’s starting goaltender.

With 10 games worth of tape to review, a decision may be imminent.

“We haven’t defined anything but I think obviously Oskar Autio has been doing everything he needs to do to make sure he gets a lot more starts,” coach Guy Gadowsky said. “We’re still going to see how it plays out but obviously we’re very happy with what Oskar did his last few starts.”

Autio entered his third season as a Nittany Lion with just five starts under his belt, having backed up Peyton Jones in his first two seasons. He’s already eclipsed that mark this season, with a 3-3-0 record through six starts.

On Monday, he earned his third career shutout as he stopped 23 shots in Penn State’s 1-0 win over Michigan State. In his past two starts, he’s allowed two goals on 55 shots.

Autio has looked far more comfortable in net than Souliere, which is only natural for a first-year goalie. In his four starts, Souliere is has yielded over a full goal per game more than Autio.

Scouting Ohio State

Phase I was not kind to the Buckeyes. They lost three straight to open the season and have stumbled to a 3-6-1 record overall, sitting fourth in the conference with 10 points.

The issue certainly hasn’t been on defense. The Buckeyes are allowing a little less than three goals per game, anchored by Tommy Nappier. The senior goaltender has started every game for the Buckeyes, posting a 2.75 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Putting pucks in the opposing net has been much more of an issue. The Buckeyes are averaging barely more than two goals per game and slightly less than that in true Big Ten play. Steve Rohlik’s squad lost three of its top five scorers from last season, including leading scorer Tanner Laczynski and leading goal scorer Carson Meyer.

Freshman Travis Treloar paces the Buckeyes this season with nine points while Quinn Preston tops the goal chart with four tallies.