Penn State hockey center Evan Barratt found himself in a familiar place after his team’s game against Michigan State.
The forward’s insane goal against Michigan State was good enough to land at No. 9 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of Saturday night.
After Liam Folkes deflected Evan Bell’s point shot wide of goal, Barratt flipped the puck up into the air and batted it in on his backhand. The goal was a beautiful display of hand-eye coordination, hockey instincts, and pure skill, but the center’s celly definitely left a lot to be desired.
“I mean, that’s just Evan. The stuff he does in-game is amazing,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said postgame. “That’s really hard to do when no one’s bugging you in practice. To do that in a game is just special. I can’t comment too much on [the goal] because it’s out of the realm of what I can do.”
“What’s the worst thing that can happen, honestly? Why not try it,” Barratt added. “I guess I’m just confident in my ability to try things and know the time and place to try them. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Barratt’s forward line with Alex Limoges and Liam Folkes took college hockey by storm last year, but the trio is off to a quieter start to the 2019-20 season — by their ridiculous standards, at least. The Chicago Blackhawks’ prospect has two goals and five assists in nine games played.
Although he currently isn’t on pace to beat his 43-point output from a year ago, Barratt has been strong defensively and serves as one of Penn State’s top penalty killers. He has that role on top of his game-changing potential with the puck on his stick — as evidenced by his highlight-reel tally on Saturday night and numerous other appearances on SportsCenter.
This was Barratt’s third time featuring in SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. His incredible tally against Arizona State was ranked as the second-best play of the night on November 4 of last year, and he checked in at No. 6 on the list during the 2019 U-20 World Junior Championship. Barratt scored a nifty backhander against Slovakia while playing for the United States. He went onto win a silver medal at that tournament.
No. 6 Penn State (7-2-0, 3-1-0 Big Ten) will hit the road for the first time all year next weekend for a two-game series against Minnesota. Puck drop is slated for 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Mariucci.
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