PennStateWomensHockey.com has confirmed, via Joe Battista, that there will be non-varsity programs next season for both men and women in addition to the NCAA programs for both genders.
That the Ice Lions will continue is not a surprise. The team has a long and successful history, and may now be entering their golden age with a 25-2-0 record and a bid to this year's national championships in hand (or Hand, if you prefer). Former Icers Joe Zitarelli and Mac Winchester (along with Chris Lewis, a recruit who tried out) have played vital roles for the team this year, and a similar influx of players may occur next season though the ACHA Division 1 team's transition to varsity status.
(As a quick aside, many have asked about the Ice Lions adopting the name "Icers" and/or moving up to ACHA D1. I addressed those issues in a previous post, but if you don't feel like clicking, my opinion is no on both.)
The addition of a second women's program to supplement the NCAA team is an intriguing and a wise move. One only needs to consider the numbers involved in the situation to see that. The Lady Icers brought in 12 players this season with freshman eligibility (one, Christina Hurle, has departed). Two young midseason transfers - Taylor Gross and Jess Desorcie - also joined the program, and at least 16 more are coming in next year with the intent of playing for the NCAA team. Only a relatively small senior class concludes its run this season. Clearly, the numbers to support icing two teams will be there.
Look for continued coverage of both club teams, along with the NCAA teams, on TYT as developments continue into next season.