Archive for NCAA – Penn State

Penn State Prepare For Alaskan Journey


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The longest road trip ever undertaken by the Penn State men’s ice hockey team to date was, of course, last season’s mid-October trek to Colorado for a pair of non-conference games with the Air Force Academy. This year, the Nittany Lions will be traveling just a little bit further on down the proverbial line and should encounter more than its fair share of mystery facing off against both the University of Alaska – Anchorage Seawolves as well as the Unviersity of Alaska – Fairbanks Nanooks at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament. With the spirits of both Alaskan schools certainly bound to be absolutely sky high after having both beaten the six-time NCAA champion University of Wisconsin Badgers at the annual Kendall Hockey Classic last weekend, it figures to be a most interesting journey, then, for third-year head coach Guy Gadowksy as well as the rest of his Penn State squad.

On the heels of the Nittany Lions’ school record-setting 7-1 triumph over the University of Connecticut Huskies, this blog wonders which eighteen skaters will actually be donning the Penn State jersey when the puck drops against the University of Alaska – Anchorage on Friday night. Will either of the two freshmen, Finnish defenseman Erik Autio and Canadian legionnaire Scott Conway, who both appeared in the Nittany Lions’ season-opening 2-2 tie with UConn be regaining a place in the line-up or does Gadowsky stick with the exact same group that scored the most goals in any one game since Penn State made the mighty leap from “club hockey” to Division I three years ago now? Conway, in particular, was rather involved on his NCAA debut and ended up leading the hosts last Friday night with four shots on goal.

One Nittany Lions player who should really need any extra special motivation for this Friday night’s clash with the Seawolves would be left wing Casey Bailey, the soon-to-be 23-year old junior who originally hails from Anchorage. Another Penn State player who should be particularly pumped up to play would be center Eric Scheid, the redshirt junior from Blaine, Minnesota, who scored six goals in 30 games for the University of Alaska – Anchorage during the 2011/12 NCAA season. Both players should also be most anxious to continue personal goal-scoring streaks initiated against UConn last Saturday night.

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Penn State Nittany Lions left wing Casey Bailey (25) uncorks his shot well before University of Connecticut Huskies defenseman Ryan Segalla (3), the fourth round pick (# 119 overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2013 National Hockey League Draft, can effectively interfere during the lopsided non-conference meeting of Hockey East and Big Ten teams last Saturday afternoon at the splendid Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania.
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Exactly which goaltender the University of Alaska – Anchorage will call upon for Friday’s game against the Penn State Nittany Lions remains to be seen. The Seawolves’ Canadian tandem of sophomore Michael Matyas and freshman Olivier Mantha each performed capably in their first starts of this 2014/15 NCAA season, respectively, at the Kendall Hockey Classic last weekend. However, both of these two netminders remain extremely inexperienced in the grand scheme of things — last season, the University of Alaska – Anchorage relied heavily upon two now-graduated senior goaltenders who combined to appear in 35 of the school’s 38 games.

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Penn State 7 – UConn 1


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A shorthanded goal as well as another pair of strikes within twenty-six seconds of each other were all part of a five-goal second period explosion from the home side as hungry Penn State overwhelmed visiting UConn 7-1 to win the 2014/15 NCAA season-opening series in convincing fashion.

Nittany Lions head coach Guy Gadowsky had stated the previous evening that his squad would clearly have to be more accountable to positive results this season and his players obviously took this message to heart. In a most direct response, six different skaters put their names on the scoresheet as Penn State scored seven goals in a single ice hockey game for the very first time in school history. Powering the attack with three points apiece in the lopsided triumph over UConn, the newest member of Hockey East who had defeated the Nittany Lions twice (4-3 and 4-1) two seasons ago in Storrs, were the senior two-goal scorer Taylor Holstrom as well as junior Casey Bailey in addition to sophomore David Goodwin.

Penn State’s first two goals came as a direct result of UConn netminder Rob Nichols‘ failure to control his rebounds. Canadian legionnaire David Glen, the 23-year-old junior from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, who led the Nittany Lions with 16 goals in 27 NCAA games two seasons ago but slumped to just three goals in 32 appearances last term, pounced after Nichols kicked out a shot from Curtis Loik, the 21-year-old Canadian import from West Vancouver, British Columbia, in the opening period. Eric Scheid, the 22-year-old from Blaine, Minnesota, who paced Penn State with both 11 goals and 20 points last season, followed up his own shot and doubled the home side’s advantage only 43 seconds into the second session.

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Penn State center ERIC SCHEID, the redshirt junior who scored six goals in 30 games as a freshman for the University of Alaska – Anchorage during the 2011/12 NCAA campaign, flips the puck past UConn netminder ROB NICHOLS early in the second period at the magnificent Pegula Ice Arena. =============================================================================

Penn State’s defense had come up large early in the first period after defenseman Connor Varley, the 22-year-old homegrown junior from Lansdale who had only six penalty minutes all of last season, was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking from behind. With Canadian legionnaire and new team captain Patrick Koudys, the 22-year-old senior from Smithville, Ontario, who was the fifth round choice (# 147 overall) of the Washington Capitals at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, already sitting in the box after being caught for interference, the Nittany Lions were forced to contend with a 5-on-3 situation but did so admirably. Also setting the stage for the forthcoming offensive fireworks was Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff, the 23-year-old homegrown junior from McKees Rocks who stopped all 14 UConn shots he faced in the opening twenty minutes.

Skoff, who registered all eight of the Nittany Lions’ victories last season, enjoyed an excellent opening weekend series while stopping 54 out of the 57 Huskies shots that came his way in the two contests for an outstanding .947 save percentage.

Holstrom, the 24-year-old senior right wing from Yorba Linda, California, who has now scored 19 goals in 61 NCAA games for Penn State in his collegiate career, grabbed a stranglehold of the game for the home side in the second period by sandwiching a pair of strikes around UConn’s lone goal. Goodwin, the 22-year-old sophomore left wing from Des Peres, Missouri, who had the dramatic, game-tying goal for the Nittany Lions in the season opener against the Huskies the previous night, made certain there would be no way back for the visitors. Bailey, the 23-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska, put the finishing touches on the Penn State’s rout by notching his 24th career goal on his 60th career NCAA appearance.

Canadian legionnaire Jonathan Milley, the monstrous right wing (6’4″ 245 lbs) originally hailing from Gatineau in the Province of Quebec, also lit proverbial lamp on behalf of the irresistible Nittany Lions.

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October 11, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 6,016

PENN STATE 7 – UCONN 1

13:24 … PSU – Glen (Loik)
20:43 … PSU – Scheid (Milley)
24:10 … PSU – Holstrom (Richard) – shg
26:02 … UCONN – Naas (Tyson, Segalla)
33:01 … PSU – Holstrom (Bailey, Goodwin)
33:27 … PSU – Goodwin (Holstrom, Bailey)
38:52 … PSU – Milley (Goodwin, Juha)- ppg
56:27 … PSU – Bailey (Juha)

shots-on-goal : PSU 42 ( 12 + 18 + 12 ) – UCONN 29 ( 14 + 8 + 7 )

penalty minutes : PSU 23 – UCONN 10

power plays : PSU 1/4 – UCONN 0/3

PENN STATE : Skoff – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Jensen ; Williamson, Varley – Bailey, Goodwin, Holstrom ; Richard, Scheid, Milley ; Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Robinson, Gardiner, Olczyk

UCONN : Nichols (Communale) – Pratt, Segalla, Huson, Poe, Austin, Kunnas – Naas, Pauly, Ronan, Norris, Smith, Tyson, Gerling, Richardson, Wight, Kirtland, Sharib, Ferriss

Note — Penn State’s previous school record for most goals in any single NCAA Division I game was established when the Nittany Lions defeated Sacred Heart 6-3 almost two years ago on October 27, 2012.

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Penn State 2 – UConn 2


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Despite controlling the tempo throughout much of the match, the hosts left it rather late but did find an equalizer after lifting the goaltender in favor of a sixth attacker as PENN STATE skated to a 2-2 tie with the visiting UCONN in the 2014/15 NCAA season opener for both schools.

The Nittany Lions came out flying in the first period and dominated (13-5) in the shots-on-goal department but were unable to put a puck past competent Huskies goaltender Rob Nichols, the sophomore native of Dallas, Texas, who put up strong numbers (13 ga, 1.91 avg, .939 save percentage) in a reserve role last term. The University of Connecticut, who upgraded to Division I in 1998 and are now full-fledged members of the powerful Hockey East conference, righted their ship and went to the lead just after the halfway point of the contest thanks to Patrick Kirtland, the junior left wing whose father had played Division III college hockey for UConn in the late 1970s and whose brother had skated for Ohio State only just a few years ago. Earning an assist on the goal for the visitors was Joona Kunnas, the sturdy sophomore defenseman by way of Vantaa, Finland.

Ironically enough, Penn State’s newly imported Finnish rearguard, Erik Autio, the 19-year-old freshman from Espoo who represented his country at the IIHF World U-18 Junior Championships two seasons ago, drew a minus for UConn’s opening salvo.

The Nittany Lions did not stay down for long after being awarded a penalty shot roughly four minutes later when talented Huskies defenseman Ryan Segalla, the sophomore from Hanover, Massachusetts, who was the fourth round selection(# 119 overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2013 National Hockey League Draft, was caught for hooking from behind. Penn State right wing Tommy Olczyk converted his chance on the backhand to haul the home side level. It certainly had to be a most satisfying moment for the hard-working senior from Long Grove, Illinois, who, in late January of last season, had been denied on the penalty shot by the standout freshman goaltender for Boston College, Thatcher Demko, it should be remembered.

UConn appeared as if it might post its third consecutive triumph over Penn State in this new inter-regional rivalry series that was inaugurated two years ago when veteran right wing Trevor Gerling, the 23-year-old senior out of Seattle, Washington, redirected a point shot from defenseman Johnny Austin, the promising 19-year-old freshman from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, past Nittany Lions goaltender Matthew Skoff with just under five minutes to play in regulation.

But Penn State grabbed a deserved share of the spoils with Skoff on the bench and the net empty. A hustling play by David Goodwin enabled the sophomore left wing from Des Peres, Missouri who was the Nittany Lions’ second-leading scorer last season with 18 points to be the first to be able to react to a rebound left right there on the doorstep. A quick backhanded stab allowed Goodwin to record the eighth goal of his collegiate career and eventually saw to it that the Nittany Lions did not begin this 2014/15 NCAA campaign with a defeat.

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Penn State right wing TOMMY OLCZYK tallied his ninth career NCAA goal for the Nittany Lions with a backhander through the five-hole on a penalty shot during the second period of the 2015 season-opening clash with the visiting University of Connecticut Huskies at the sold-out Pegula Ice Arena.
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October 10, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 6,017

PENN STATE 2 – UCONN 2

30:30 … UCONN – Kirtland (Norris, Kunnas)
34:27 … PSU – Olczyk (penalty shot)
45:14 … UCONN – Gerling (Austin, Naas)
59:12 … PSU – Goodwin (Holstrom, Richard) – ext att

shots-on-goal : PSU 35 ( 13 + 6 + 11 + 5 ) – UCONN 28 ( 5 + 11 + 10 + 2 )

penalty minutes : UCONN 4 – PSU 2

power plays : UCONN 0/1 – PSU 0/2

PENN STATE : Skoff – Koudys, Thompson ; Jensen, Juha ; Autio, Varley – Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Conway, Scheid, Milley ; DeRosa, Richard, Olczyk

CONNECTICUT : Nichols – Segalla, Huson, Poe, Austin, Kunnas, Cooke – Naas, Pauly, Schwartz, Ronan, Norris, Tyson, Gerling, Richardson, Wright, Kirtland, Sharib, Ferriss

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Penn State left wing DAVID GOODWIN, the 22-year-old who scored a goal against Army in the first game ever played at the Pegula Ice Arena and ultimately tied with fellow freshman Dylan Richard and sophomore defenseman Luke Juha for the Nittany Lions’ team lead with 11 assists last season, shovels the puck past UConn goaltender ROB NICHOLS in the final minute of regulation at the Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania.

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Big Ten Tourney : Wisconsin 2 – Penn State 1


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A poor line change which directly led to a penalty as well as a pair of unanswered goals from the Big Ten’s leading goal-scorer in each of the last two seasons were just a little bit more than the underdog was prepared to deal with as the six-time NCAA national champion WISCONSIN BADGERS were able to fend off the brave but overmatched PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS 2-1 at the semifinal stage of the inaugural BIG TEN ICE HOCKEY TOURNAMNET.

Wisconsin (23-10-2) had earned the right to bypass the quarterfinal round after finishing second in Big Ten Conference standings during the regular season whereas the previous evening Penn State (8-26-2) had seen the Nittany Lions skating against the Michigan Wolverines in an exciting tournament contest that almost made it to the halfway mark of the second overtime period, it certainly shall be noted here.

Fatigued or not, it was the Nittany Lions who went to the lead after Canadian legionnaire CURTIS LOIK, the sophomore left wing from North Vancouver, British Columbia, did well to finish off a two-on-rush rougly a minute into the second period. Loik’s 7th strike of the season (which placed the 20-year-old in a tie for fourth place on the Penn State goal-scoring chart) was set up by a fabulous saucer pass from KENNY BROOKS, the versatile right wing from Las Vegas, Nevada, who was one of only four players to appear in all 36 of the Nittany Lions’ NCAA games during the 2013/14 NCAA campaign. It was Brooks who initiated the scoring movement with a fine defensive play in his own zone; an important touch by Canadian legionnaire DAVID GLEN, sent Brooks away down the right wing.

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Penn State Nittany Lions defenseman CONNOR VARLEY (2), the homegrown sophomore from Lansdale who has scored four goals in 56 NCAA games thus far in his collegiate career, battles with Wisconsin Badgers blueliner EDDIE WITTCHOW, the sophomore from Burnsville, Minnesota, who was the sixth round pick (# 154 overall) of the Florida Panthers at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, during the Big Ten Conference tournament semifinal contest at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Wisconsin would not remain behind for long and equalized only 28 seconds later when center JEFFERSON DAHL sent a cross-ice pass to Badgers scoring ace MICHAEL MERSCH streaking in on the right wing. The senior from Park Ridge, Illinois, who led all Big Ten Conference skaters in goal-scoring the past two seasons in succession, skillfully shifted to his forehand and then powered the puck past Penn State netminder MATTHEW SKOFF. It was the 21st time that Mersch had lit the lamp this season but, unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, Wisconsin’s big gunner was only just getting started.

Penn State were able to kill off a couple of penalties in the second period but a bad line change and subsequent bench minor with barely over a minute to skate before the final intermission would prove to be the Nittany Lions’ undoing. Wisconsin’s highly touted left wing NIC KERDILES, the second round selection (# 36 overall) of the Anaheim Ducks at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft who appeared with the United States national team at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Sweden this past winter, picked out Badgers center MARK ZENGERLE at the right side of the net and the Big Ten’s leader in assists this season quickly centered the puck to an unmarked Mersch in front. The scoreboard clock showed just 10.5 seconds remaining in the period when the fourth round choice (# 110 overall) of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2011 NHL Draft easily tallied his second goal of the contest.

Penn State did have a couple of power play chances halfway through the third period but were only able to generate a combined total of two shots on goal during those two opportunities. Wisconsin’s Canadian legionnaire JOEL RUMPEL, the undrafted junior netminder from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, had a solid outing and showed why he had been named as one of ten finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award the previous day. Perhaps the Badgers’ best defensive exhibition of the evening came in the closing stages when both fabulous forechecking and deliberate puck possession from the Wisconsin trio of Kerdiles, Zengerle and right wing TYLER BARNES, the proverbial local boy from Eagan, Minnesota, prevented the Nittany Lions from removing their goaltender until only eight seconds were left in the contest.

And, thus, out of the very first conference playoff tournament went number six seed Penn State — but not without a measure of honor.

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Wisconsin Badgers prolific right wing MICHAEL MERSCH (25) buries the centering pass from close range in the slot to score his second goal of the closely-contested Big Ten Conference tournament semifinal match-up with the underdog Penn State Nittany Lions at the Xcel Energy Center in the capital city of Minnesota.
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March 21, 2014
Big Ten Conference Semifinal
Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, Minnesota
Attendance : 7,963

WISCONSIN 2 – PENN STATE 1

20:55 … PSU – Loik (Brooks, Glen)
21:27 … WIS – Mersch (Dahl, Zulinick)
39:49 … WIS – Mersch (Zengerle, Kerdiles) – ppg

shots-on-goal : WIS 34 ( 11 + 13 + 10 ) – PSU 25 ( 8 + 8 + 9 )

penalty minutes : Wisconsin 8, Penn State 8

WISCONSIN : Rumpel – McCabe, Faust ; Schulze, Simonelli ; Wittchow, Drake – Kerdiles, Zengerle, Barnes ; Zulinick, Dahl, Mersch ; Besse, LaBate, Little ; Navin, Meuer, Soleway

PENN STATE : Skoff – Jensen, Juha ; Koudys, Thompson ; Williamson, Varley – Bailey, Scheid, DeRosa ; Goodwin, Holstrom, Milley ; Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Olczyk, Richard, Saar

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Big Ten Tourney : Penn State 2 – Michigan 1


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The very first Big Ten Conference tournament game in school history provided the perfect opportunity to show why the Nittany Lions ever wanted to make the mighty leap from “club hockey” to the elite level of the NCAA collegiate ranks — and PENN STATE responded accordingly!

Despite having won the sparse total of just seven contests, including only three in the new Big Ten Conference, during the regular season and going into the quarterfinal match-up in St. Paul as decided underdogs, the never-say-die Penn State Nittany Lions were able to parlay diligent defensive play and standout netminding into a landmark 2-1 double overtime triumph over the Michigan Wolverines.

Penn State (8-25-2) did well to kill off three penalties in the first two sessions periods and seized the initial advantage with just 23 seconds to play before the end of the second period. A long home run pass from Canadian legionnaire LUKE JUHA, the sophomore defenseman from Mississauga, Ontario, who led all Big Ten rearguards with four power play goals during the regular season, sent Nittany Lions center TAYLOR HOLSTROM skating in all alone on Michigan shot-stopper ZACH NAGELVOORT, the surprising freshman whose .929 save percentage in 2013/14 would be the second-highest mark in the Wolverines’ storied school history. Holstrom, who finished the regular season in good form having scored four goals in Penn State’s last eight games, had no trouble beating Nagelvoort low to the stick side to register his eighth goal on the 2013/14 NCAA campaign.

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Michigan (18-13-4) were able to haul themselves level with just under nine minutes remaining in the third period after Penn State defenseman MIKE WILLIAMSON, the freshman Canadian import whom the Vancouver Canucks had chosen in the sixth round (# 175 overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft, made an ill-advised pass behind his own net that was intercepted by Wolverines center CRISTOBAL NIEVES, the sophomore from Baldwinsville, New York, whom the in-state New York Rangers had snatched in the second round (# 59 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft; an alert backhand pass from Nieves found Michigan left wing PHIL DI GIUSEPPE in the right faceoff circle and a quick one-timer from the Canadian legionnaire whom the Carolina Hurricanes selected in the second round (# 38 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft left Penn State goaltender MATTHEW SKOFF no chance whatsoever.

Skoff, the homegrown sophomore from McKees Rock who was the only Penn State goaltender to post a victory throughout the entire 2013/14 NCAA campaign, made a season-high 52 saves in dumping Michigan for a third time this term and was easily the Nittany Lions’ most influential player on the night. Ironically enough, it was actually Penn State’s leading goal-scorer, center ERIC SCHEID, however, who made the most pivotal defensive play of the entire evening in the first overtime with the puck dancing on the goal line after Wolverines center ANDREW COPP, the homegrown sophomore from Ann Arbor who was the nabbed in the fourth round (# 104 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, had struck the iron with a backhand shot. Scheid, the redshirt sophomore transfer from Blaine, Minnesota, who led the Nittany Lions with both 11 goals and 20 points in 2013/14 after transferring in from the University of Alaska – Anchorage, stuck his skate out and swept the puck away in the nick of time.

Skoff, for his part, made 23 saves for Penn State while keeping Michigan off the scoreboard during the roughly 33 minutes of overtime play in St. Paul — this after the Nittany Lions netminder had totaled 29 saves during the 60 minutes of normal regulation time.

The greatest Penn State hero of them all would turn out to be none other than ZACH SAAR. The monstrous (6’5″ 235 lbs) freshman right wing from Richland, Michigan, as it was, had also been credited with the game-winning goal when the Nittany Lions defeated the Wolverines 4-0 earlier in the season to secure the all-important first-ever Big Ten Conference victory, as well. Saar gained control of a loose puck in the left circle immediately following a faceoff and whipped a wrist shot that somehow eluded Nagelvoort, who had a remarkable evening with 63 saves, himself, to the stick side.

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March 20, 2014
Big Ten Conference Quarterfinal
Xcel Engergy Center – St. Paul, Minnesota
Attendance : 7,333

PENN STATE 2 – MICHIGAN 1

39:47 … PSU – Holstrom (Goodwin, Juha)
51:06 … MICH – Di Giuseppe (Nieves)
92:47 … PSU – Saar (Richard)

shots-on-goal : Penn State 65 ( 13 + 16 + 15 + 13 + 8 ) – Michigan 53 ( 11 + 11 + 8 + 15 + 8 )

penalty minutes : Penn State 8 – Michigan 4

MICHIGAN : Nagelvoort – Downing, Bennett ; Serville, Sinelli ; Clare, Lohan – Guptill, Compher, DeBlois ; Motte, Copp, Hyman ; Di Giuseppe, Nieves, Moffatt ; Kile, Lynch, Allen

PENN STATE : Skoff – Jensen, Juha ; Koudys, Thompson ; Williamson, Varley – Bailey, Scheid, DeRosa ; Goodwin, Holstrom, Milley ; Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Olczyk, Richard, Saar

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Penn State vs Michigan, 2014 Stats


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Michigan Wolverines left wing TYLER MOTTE (14), the productive 18-year-old homegrown freshman from St. Clair who was the the fourth round choice (# 121 overall) of the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Black Hawks at the 2013 National Hockey League Draft last summer, is squashed by a small army of Penn State Nittany Lions defenders during the Big Ten Conference regular season affair at the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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PENN STATE statistics vs Michigan, 2014
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4 pts … 2 go … 2 as … 3 ga …… David GOODWIN
4 pts … 4 go … 0 as … 4 ga …… Casey BAILEY
4 pts … 1 go … 3 as … 4 ga …… Taylor HOLSTROM
3 pts … 1 go … 2 as … 4 ga …… Eric SCHEID
3 pts … 1 go … 2 as … 4 ga …… Ricky DEROSA
2 pts … 2 go … 0 as … 4 ga …… Zach SAAR
2 pts … 1 go … 1 as … 4 ga …… Dylan RICHARD
2 pts … 0 go … 2 as … 4 ga …… Tommy OLCZYK
2 pts … 0 go … 2 as … 4 ga …… Kenny BROOKS
1 pts … 0 go … 1 as … 1 ga …… Jonathan MILLEY
1 pts … 1 go … 0 as … 2 ga …… Curtis LOIK
1 pts … 1 go … 0 as … 4 ga …… David GLEN
0 pts … 0 go … 0 as … 4 ga …… Jacob FRIEDMAN
0 pts … 0 go … 0 as … 4 ga …… Max GARDINER

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Penn State defenseman CONNOR VARLEY (2), the 21-year-old homegrown sophomore from Lansdale, who led all Nittany Lions rearguards in scoring with 12 points in 27 games during his freshman campaign, competes for the puck with Michigan left wing LUKE MOFFATT (9), the 21-year-old senior from Paradise Valley, Arizona, who was the seventh round choice (# 197 overall) of the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, during the Big Ten Conference regular season tilt at the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan, roughly one month ago.
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1 pts … 0 go … 1 as … 2 ga …… Luke JUHA
1 pts … 0 go … 1 as … 2 ga …… Nate JENSEN
1 pts … 0 go … 1 as … 3 ga …… Mike WILLIAMSON
1 pts … 0 go … 1 as … 4 ga …… Patrick KOUDYS
1 pts … 0 go … 1 as … 4 ga …… David THOMPSON
0 pts … 0 go … 0 as … 4 ga …… Connor VARLEY
0 pts … 0 go … 0 as … 2 ga …… Mark YANIS
0 pts … 0 go … 0 as … 1 ga …… Peter SWEETLAND

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Penn State netminder MATTHEW SKOFF, the 22-year-old homegrown sophomore from McKees Rock who has been the goaltender of record in 16 of the Nittany Lions’ 20 victories since the formal transition to NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey was made two seasons ago, sports a career record of two wins against one loss after three all-time appearances against the Big Ten Conference rival Michigan Wolverines.
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2.80 avg … .921 svpct … 171:44 min … 8 go … 3 ga … Matthew SKOFF
4.05 avg … .857 svpct ….. 44:23 min … 3 go … 2 ga … P.J. MUSICO
6.96 avg … .727 svpct ….. 25:52 min … 3 go … 1 ga … Eamon MCADAM

Penn State head coach GUY GADOWSKY made it official on Tuesday afternoon that it is sophomore MATTHEW SKOFF who has been tapped to start the very first post-season playoff game in Nittany Lions school history, an appropriate selection considering not only the player’s performance this season but Skoff’s entire body of work over the last two terms, as well.

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Penn State 4 – Ohio State 2


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Fittingly enough, it was the Nittany Lions captain TOMMY OLCZYK who came through with what was, perhaps, the most influential goal in PENN STATE’s final home contest of this 2013/14 NCAA season. A pivotal late first period strike which left visiting OHIO STATE in the always unenviable position of having to chase the game, so to speak. Additionally, there was also the power play goal from veteran center TAYLOR HOLSTROM seven minutes into the third period that effectively broke the Buckeyes’ proverbial backs and enabled the Nittany Lions to exit the Pegula Ice Arena as 4-2 victors.

A pair of early Penn State goals scored by defenseman NATE JENSEN and left wing CURTIS LOIK provided a certain symmetry to the Nittany Lions’ 2013/14 NCAA schedule, then; both Jensen, the 23-year-old redshirt junior from Shorewood, Minnesota, who had sat out eight straight games prior to the start of this weekend series with Ohio State after suffering a concussion against in early February, as well as the Canadian legionnaire Loik, the 21-year-old sophomore from North Vancouver, British Columbia, also tallied goals in the Nittany Lions’ very first game of this season against Army at the beginning of last October.

Interesting enough, three of the four goal-scorers (Holstrom, Jensen, Olczyk) from the Nittany Lions’ regular season finale opposite the neighboring Buckeyes on Saturday night are all holdovers from the last Penn State squad that competed at the American Collegiate Hockey Association (i.e. “club hockey” level) only just two years ago.

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Penn State left wing TOMMY OLCZYK (14), the 23-year-old junior from Long Grove, Illinois, who scored 24 goals in 31 games for the Nittany Lions during their final season of play at the club hockey level two seasons ago, has a quality chance in prime scoring territory but will be denied by Ohio State’s Canadian legionnaire MATT TOMKINS, the 19-year-old freshman goaltender from Sherwood Park, Alberta, who was the seventh round (# 199 overall) choice of the Chicago Black Hawks at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft, during the Big Ten Conference season finale at the Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania.
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MATTHEW SKOFF, the 22-year-old homegrown sophomore from McKees Rock who also delivered a quality start in his last appearance against visiting Wisconsin seven days earlier, put forth a solid effort in between the pipes to complete his work at the Pegula Ice Arena this term. By stopping 27 of 29 Ohio State attempts on goal, the usually realiable Skoff (21 games, 3.17 average, .898 save percentage) registered his seventh victory of this season — a figure which just so happens to matches the Nittany Lions’ total number of triumphs this term. Clearly, it is Skoff who has earned the right to enter the Big Ten Conference tournament as Penn State’s first choice.

DYLAN RICHARD, the 21-year-old freshman from Sherwood Park, Alberta, continued with the noticeably improved form he has shown as of late while contributing two key assists against the visiting Buckeyes. The Canadian legionnaire concludes his first year on a very positive note having totaled 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in the Nittany Lions’ last 13 regular season games. Richard (28 ga, 4 go, 14 pts, -3 def rat), who had multiple-point outings in Big Ten Conference matches against Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State (twice), will also most likely finish this 2013/14 NCAA campaign in second place on the Penn State scoring chart for freshmen.

And so, the Nittany Lions close out their official NCAA regular season account with the experience-filled record of 7 wins against 25 losses with 2 ties.

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Penn State shot-stopper MATTHEW SKOFF, the second-year player who has been the goaltender of record for 16 of the 20 victories that the Nittany Lions have been able to register in school history since making the jump to the NCAA Division I level in men’s ice hockey, focuses intently on the rebound as buzzing Ohio State right wing ANTHONY GRECO (14), the undersized 20-year-old sophomore from Fairbault, Minnesota, gazes from a safe distance during the Big Ten Conference season finale at the Pegula Ice Arena.
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March 15, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 5,892

PENN STATE 4 – OHIO STATE 2

02:51 … PSU – Jensen (Richard) – ppg
06:59 … PSU – Loik (unassisted)
09:44 … OSU – Gedig (Fritz, McCormick) – ppg
18:43 … PSU – Olczyk (Richard, Jensen)
23:25 … OSU – Greco (McCormick, Jardine)
46:55 … PSU – Holstrom (Jensen, Bailey) – ppg

shots-on-goal : PSU 32 ( 11 + 10 + 11 ) – OSU 29 ( 8 + 10 + 11 )

penalty minutes : Ohio State 18 – Penn State 14

PENN STATE : Skoff – Koudys, Thompson ; Williamson, Varley ; Jensen, Sweetland – Bailey, Scheid, Richard ; Goodwin, Holstrom, Milley ; Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Olczyk, McDonagh, Saar

OHIO STATE : Tomkins – Gedig, Healey ; Jardine, McLean ; DaSilva, Brevig – McCormick, Fritz, Greco ; Dzingel, Oddo, Schilkey ; Gust, Niddery, Angeli; Lippincott, Statchuk, Johnson

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Ohio State 4 – Penn State 2


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“PENN STATE HOCKEY : NITTANY LIONS FALL FLAT AGAINST OHIO STATE”

“It just wasn’t a good night for the PENN STATE men’s hockey team,” writes GORDON BRUNSKILL of the CENTRE DAILY TIMES. The Nittany Lions racked up penalties, twice had two of their own players collide to knock each other down and despite winning the shot count could not muster many high quality chances at Pegula Ice Arena. Led by the Big Ten’s leading scorer RYAN DZINGEL, who had two goals an assist, OHIO STATE rolled to a 4-2 win to open the final weekend of hockey on campus.”

Wow!

Even the feel-good-articles-no-matter-what-happens professional propagandists are obviously struggling to cope mightily these days. This must be what transpires when there are no more life-saving bone marrow transplants to laud. Or any money-raising dance marathons to promote.

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Penn State goaltender P.J. MUSICO (1), the 23-year-old junior from Orange, California, who began this term as third-string on the depth chart but was making his third start in the Nittany Lions’ last four games as this 2013/14 NCAA campaign concludes, blocks the centering pass from Ohio State right wing NICK SCHILKEY (37), the 19-year-old rookie from Marysville, Michigan, who topped all Buckeyes freshmen with both 12 goals and 24 points this winter, during the Big Ten Conference men’s ice hockey match at the Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania.
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Meanwhile, it might be prudent to remind Mr. Brunskill that, speaking rather bluntly, the Nittany Lions have not been able to muster many high quality scoring chances all season long, this even against some of the weaker schools in all of NCAA men’s ice hockey such as Rochester Institute of Technology and Robert Morris University.

The fact of the matter is that, very early in the season, Penn State head coach GUY GADOWSKY adopted a policy that placed a premium on “getting pucks to the net” as soon as the slightest opportunity presents itself. Considering the Nittany Lions’ overall lack of technical skill but given that Penn State do have a number of forwards with imposing physical attributes, this simplistic strategy was, indeed, a prudent one to implement. The only trouble is, the Nittany Lions’ opponents already know full well what is coming in advance and, therefore, are effectively able to adopt measures specifically designed to deal with Penn State’s low-percentage attack.

It was not an accident of nature that the Nittany Lions were unable to score more than two goals in an eye-opening 23 of their first 33 contests during this most disappointing 2013/14 NCAA campaign — underachieving Penn State definitely went backwards in their second season, contrary to popular belief.

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Penn State Canadian legionnaire CURTIS LOIK (15), the 20-year-old sophomore left wing from North Vancouver, British Columbia, is unsuccessful with his attempt to catch Ohio State rookie goaltender CHRISTIAN FREY (30), the 20-year-old freshman from Arlington, Texas, who joined the Buckeyes in mid-winter from the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the developmental United States Hockey League but adapted to the NCAA Division I level immediately, asleep on the job during the landmark Big Ten Conference men’s ice hockey game at the Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania.
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March 14, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 5,767

OHIO STATE 4 – PENN STATE 2

09:07 … OSU – Dzingel (McCormick, Fritz) – ppg
23:08 … OSU – Dzingel (Oddo, Schilkey)
25:14 … PSU – Williamson (Scheid) – ppg
26:50 … OSU – Oddo (Schilkey, Gedig)
27:25 … OSU – Schilkey (Dzingel, Healey)
58:05 … PSU – Milley (Thompson, Goodwin)

shots-on-goal : PSU 42 ( 12 + 13 + 17 ) – OSU 30 ( 8 + 13 + 9 )

penalty minutes : Penn State 15 – Ohio State 8

PENN STATE : Musico – Koudys, Thompson ; Williamson, Varley ; Jensen, Sweetland – Bailey, Scheid, Saar ; Goodwin, Holstrom, Milley, Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Olczyk, Richard, Olczyk

OHIO STATE : Frey – Gedig, Healey ; Jardine, McLean ; DaSilva, Brevig – McCormick, Fritz, Greco ; Dzingel, Oddo, Schilkey ; Gust, Niddery, Angeli ; Lippincott, Statchuk, Johnson

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Many spectators disguised as empty seats watch as Ohio State netminder CHRISTIAN FREY (13 ga, 2.29 avg, .930 svpct) sweeps the puck away from forechecking Penn State right wing KENNY BROOKS (13) during the Big Ten Conference men’s ice hockey match at the obviously less-than-full Pegula Ice Arena in State College on Friday night … the official reported attendance figure of 5,767 fans for the neighboring Buckeyes’ historic first visit to The Peg on Friday night was the second-lowest total of the 17 home games the Nittany Lions have contested at Penn State’s brand new athletic facility thus far.

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Wisconsin 3 – Penn State 2


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The decisive odd-man rush set up by the long stretch pass was finished off with aplomb only less than half a minute before the end of the overtime session as the # 5 ranked WISCONSIN BADGERS nipped the unlucky PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS 2-1 to complete the two-game Big Ten Conference weekend series sweep in State College.

The frustrating loss did mark the tenth one-goal defeat for the second-year NCAA Division I program this season. Resurgent Penn State right wing CASEY BAILEY (28 ga, 9 go, 12 pts), the 22-year-old sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska, who topped the fledgling Nittany Lions with 27 points (14 goals) in 27 games last season but had difficulty scoring during the first half of this 2013/14 campaign, continued his recent good run of form. Bailey, who netted twice for Penn State in as many contests with visiting Wisconsin this past weekend, has now snatched an impressive seven goals in the last eleven Big Ten Conference games for head coach GUY GADOWSKY’s side.

Wisconsin center MARK ZENGERLE, the 24-year-old senior from Rochester, New York, who is the second-leading scorer (32 ga, 9 go, 27 as, 36 pts) in the Big Ten Conference this season, worked the one-two with exlposive linemate NIC KERDILES to absolute perfection after taking the long outlet from Badgers defenseman JOE FAUST, the 22-year-old senior from Bloomington, Minnesota, who was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the fourth round (# 114 overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Draft. Kerdiles, the sophomore left wing from Irvine, California, who was chosen by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round (# 36 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft and represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Scandinavia earlier this term, also notched a shorthanded tally at the expense of Penn State on Saturday night, as well. As genuine a “Nittany Lions Killer” as there was this season, not only did Kerdiles register one goal in all four of the Badgers’ games with Penn State this season, the skilled 20-year-old added six assists for a most impressive total of ten points.

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Wisconsin’s imported Canadian right wing JEDD SOLEWAY (22), the luckless 19-year-old freshman from Vernon, British Columbia, who was chosen by the Phoenix Coyotes in the seventh round (# 193 overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft last summer but remains in search of his first collegiate goal for the Badgers this term, barges into Penn State netminder MATTHEW SKOFF (31) during Saturday night’s Big Ten Conference tilt at the Pegula Ice Arena in State College.
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March 8, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 5,829

WISCONSIN 3 – PENN STATE 2 … (overtime)

09:01 … WIS – Meuer (Wittchow)
10:07 … PSU – Bailey (Glen, Richard) – ppg
37:21 … WIS – Kerdiles (Zengerle) – shg
57:16 … PSU – Brooks (Loik, Varley)
64:39 … WIS – Zengerle (Kerdiles, Faust)

shots-on-goal : PSU 43 ( 16 + 16 + 7 + 4 ) – WIS 29 ( 7 + 12 + 5 + 5 )

penalty minutes : Penn State 10, Wisconsin 10

PENN STATE : Skoff – Koudys, Thompson ; Williamson, Varley ; Yanis, Sweetland – Richard, Scheid, Bailey ; Goodwin, Holstrom, Milley ; Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Olczyk, DeRosa, Friedman

WISCONSIN : Rumpel – McCabe, Faust ; Schulze, Simonelli ; Wittchow, Drake – Kerdiles, Zengerle, Barnes ; Besse, Dahl, Mersch ; Zulinick, LaBate, Little ; Navin, Meuer, Soleway

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Wisconsin center MARK ZENGERLE (9), the 24-year-old senior from Rochester, New York, who rocketed into second place on the Big Ten Conference scoring chart by totaling six points in two games against Penn State this weekend, celebrates after netting the game-winning goal in overtime that allowed the visiting Badgers to upend the host Nittany Lions at the Pegula Ice Arena in State College on Saturday night.

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Wisconsin 4 – Penn State 2


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After scoring three times unanswered over the first half of the contest, the complacent visitors were forced to hang on for dear life once the hosts had almost hauled themselves level with two goals in the final eight minutes but, ultimately, the # 5 ranked WISCONSIN BADGERS were finally able to fend off the late-charging PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS 4-2 in the the Big Ten Conference series opener on Friday night.

Both NIC KERDILES, the talented sophomore left wing from Irvine, California, who was the second round choice (# 36 overall) of the Anaheim Ducks at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft, and playmaking center MARK ZENGERLE, the 24-year-old senior from Rochester, New York, had four-point efforts after each totaling a goal and three assists in the Badgers’ triumph over the Nittany Lions. Prolific right wing MICHAEL MERSCH, the 21-year-old senior from Park Ridge, Illinois, who was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round (# 110 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, started the ball rolling for Wisconsin by scoring his 20th goal of this 2013/14 NCAA season less than five minutes in. First line right wing TYLER BARNES, the 24-year-old senior from Eagan, Minnesota, also bulged the back of Penn State’s net on behalf of the guests.

Performing behind what continues to be a depleted defensive corps, Penn State netminder P.J. MUSICO (6 ga, 4.11 avg, .875 svpct), the 23-year-old junior from Orange, California, who began this term listed as third-string on the Nittany Lions depth chart, made thirty saves in what was just his second start of the current campaign.

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Penn State center TAYLOR HOLSTROM (28), the 23-year-old redshirt junior from Yorba Linda, California, who is one of the Nittany Lions’ remaining handful of “club hockey veterans” who made the mighty leap up to the NCAA Division I level two seasons ago, seeks to skate around Wisconsin Badgers defenseman FRANKIE SIMONELLI (27), the reliable 21-year-old senior from Bensenville, Illinois, during Friday night’s Big Ten Conference clash at the sold out Pegula Ice Arena in State College.
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March 7, 2014
Pegula Ice Arena – State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 6,015

WISCONSIN 4 – PENN STATE 2

04:41 … WIS – Mersch (Zengerle, Kerdiles) – ppg
14:47 … WIS – Barnes (Kerdiles, Zengerle)
31:11 … WIS – Kerdiles (Zengerle, Drake)
52:04 … PSU – Bailey (Richard, Koudys) – ppg
59:00 … PSU – Holstrom (Richard, Koudys)
59:54 … WIS – Zengerle (Kerdiles, McCabe) – eng

shots-on-goal : WIS 34 ( 16 + 18 + 8 ) – PSU 26 ( 8 + 9 + 9 )

penalty minutes : Penn State 12, Wisconsin 10

PENN STATE : Musico – Koudys, Thompson ; Williamson, Varley ; Yanis, Milley – Richard, Scheid, Bailey ; Goodwin, Holstrom, Friedman ; Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Olczyk, DeRosa, Saar

WISCONSIN : Rumpel – McCabe, Faust ; Schulze, Simonelli ; Wittchow, Drake – Kerdiles, Zengerle, Barnes ; Besse, Dahl, Mersch ; Zulinick, LaBatte, Little ; Navin, Meuer, Soleway

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Penn State skipper TOMMY OLCZYK (14) is thwarted by Wisconsin’s Canadian import JOEL RUMPEL (33), the 22-year-old junior from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, who is a rather serious candidate to win the inaugural Mike Richter Award that will be presented to the player selected as the standout goaltender in all of NCAA men’s ice hockey during the 2014 Frozen Four tournament in Philadelphia later this spring.

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