Since I spent an obscene amount of time last week making YouTube videos, I figured using one as the centerpiece of Breakout Past twice in a row wouldn't harm anything. This installment is a team motivational video leading up to the 2004 ACHA National Tournament and included on the 2003-2004 Icers highlight video.
Most of you probably know by now that I'm pretty big on the whole old-new connection thing. This doesn't disappoint in that department, as it includes a senior-year Bill Downey and a Big Ten Tournament championship (Illinois, Indiana and ACHA Ohio State were the other participants in that Thanksgiving weekend showcase). Actually, it collides the two items in one fantastic clip of captain Downey holding the Big Ten trophy, something that has a chance of happening again someday (please?).
Some other things to look for: the final turn for Glenn Zuck who, with then-junior Kevin Jaeger, formed one of the best tandems to ever lace up for the blue and white. They combined for 189 points that year, which is sort of okay for a 38-game schedule. The senior class, one of the most successful in Icers history both individually and as a team, was rounded out by goalie Brian Gratz, defensemen Eric Harbaugh and Curtiss Patrick and forwards Brendan Roache, Pat Schaeffer, Joe Sheridan, Jack Weber and Greg Windsor.
Actually, Sheridan provides yet another link to the present, as he's been involved in the process to get Penn State and Neumann in on the Winter Classic through his role as an assistant general manager at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.
Time to shut up and show you the video. As with last week, I'm limited by TYT's layout, so here's the YouTube page.
As we know (and as might be obvious from that), Penn State obliterated its regular-season schedule, dropping only a pair of games at Ohio to kick off the spring semester. However as we also know, the Drive 4 Five didn't reach its intended destination.
At nationals, the Icers blew through Towson, host Iowa State and Minot State by a combined 29-3 count to reach the final before Ohio won a third straight game against the Icers to get revenge for the 2003 championship game. This despite PSU holding a two-goal lead after the first period of the title tilt, then coming back from two down to pull level at four with under five minutes left in regulation. But Bobcat forward Tony Arkeilpane quickly answered that last rally when his shot with 2:56 left went first off of Justin DePretis, then behind Scott Blackman to freeze PSU's string of Murdoch Cups at four consecutive and seven total - a number that still holds up today.