No. 17 Penn State men’s hockey is coming off a weekend split against Big Ten rival Michigan at Pegula Ice Arena.
Freshman forwards Alex Limoges and Evan Barratt featured on the third line alongside sophomore winger Liam Folkes. Both are centers by trade, but Limoges played on the left wing, while Barratt handled faceoff duties down the middle.
Each played well over the course of the weekend: Limoges recorded his first collegiate goal to tie the game at three during the third period of Friday night’s victory. Evan Barratt picked up his first collegiate point with an assist on the same goal in his first game at Pegula.
“It felt great,” Limoges said after the game. “It was a lot of fun to score with the student section right behind us and it was a big goal to tie the game there.”
Head coach Guy Gadowsky offered high praise to both Limoges and Barratt, who combined with Liam Folkes for three points on Friday night.
“[Limoges] has been due,” Gadowsky said. “He’s had a lot of chances. You can see with Limo that every game he just seems to get more and more comfortable.”
As for Barratt, Gadowsky said there’s no other way to describe him other than he’s just a hockey player. He said Barratt is kicking pucks and using his backside to separate men from the puck. “He just uses everything in his power to be effective. He’s just a hockey player, and I thought that line was excellent.”
Gadowsky thinks both freshmen will continue to improve as the season goes on, but he also likes how Folkes fits on the right flank of the line.
“I think Folkes fits really well there,” he said. “He’s a smart guy, he has a lot of speed, and I think he’s great there as a right-hand shot. I’m really optimistic about that line.”
After missing five games due to an upper body injury, Barratt played center this weekend and said he enjoyed playing alongside his new linemates.
“It was awesome,” he said. “Those two are very smart hockey players, they win their puck battles, and they do all the right things out there. That made my job very easy, and I’m looking forward to see if we continue playing together.”
The Nittany Lions are back in action this weekend for a two-game series at Pegula against Mercyhurst. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.