First off, I want to thank each of you for your support, or at least understanding, of my absence for Saturday evening's men's win over Sacred Heart. Suffice it to say, I'm a little bit of a hothead and needed to take a step back from things for a few hours. Simple as that.
The issue, for those who don't follow me on Twitter, is that there was a media tour given of the Pegula Ice Arena site yesterday (I'm sure you've seen some of the photos and videos that resulted from that already, they're pretty amazing - one photo is above, of course, and one video is linked below). Despite carrying a full-season credential for Penn State hockey, I was not invited. Last night, I was given the explanation that the tour was designed to take advantage of the "national and regional" media in town for the Penn State-Ohio State football game and who don't cover PSU hockey on a regular basis. I'd be a hypocrite if I took any great issue with that idea, as I've expressed concern over the interest of the wider Penn State community before, and the growth of the programs should always come ahead of this blog and my ego.
However, that explanation doesn't account for the fact that among others Rob Greissinger, one of the Daily Collegian's hockey writers, was on the tour. So was Ben Jones, who regularly covers hockey for StateCollege.com. So was Greg Pickel, whose hockey stuff can be read on several different outlets. All three of them do a fantastic job, and this isn't meant to imply otherwise, but their presence would seem to contradict the reasons given for my exclusion. Student papers and websites named for Penn State's home borough are not "regional" or "national," and as stated, there has been no shortage of great hockey coverage from those outlets. All three of them are fully credentialed for hockey as well and at every men's home game and even some away games. In short, their inclusion was not growing Penn State hockey's coverage footprint in any way.
More than anything, I think this and a lot of things simply boil down to "we just don't like (or respect or both) you, and aren't going to include you if we don't absolutely have to." There's a larger conversation in there about whether I should be media (which involves dancing a certain dance in exchange for less access than they give themselves) or a blog (which doesn't have to follow rules, but gets no access), but I'll save that for some other time. In general, my feeling that I'm sort of awkwardly caught between those two things.
Before moving on, I do want to reiterate one thing: my love of Penn State hockey. It's why I've paid thousands of dollars for the privilege to do this. And honestly, it's what makes my continued struggles in certain areas so perplexing to me, because I believe that I've demonstrated - both through this blog and otherwise - my support for the programs.
Anyway, on to the business of the day...
I probably need to give some thought to how I handle away games with no available video (sort of a new reality this season) and when I'm not in attendance. The cruel truth is that I don't have any great insight regarding those games - how can anyone without the ability to see it? - and simply post about those by cobbling together the available recap stories, the box score and maybe a couple tweets. I'll try to interpret what can be interpreted and offer some context.
Is the result a worthwhile product? Does it add anything to the conversation? Does it assume facts not in evidence? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm offering something unique and making the best of a bad situation. Or maybe I'm offering an inferior product just in the name of not taking the easy way out.
This time around, and in consideration of the fact that I was even less plugged in than normal for a "blind" game (see above), I'm simply going to re-publish Penn State's game release here. Actual media outlets do this all the time and get to be called actual media outlets, so maybe they're on to something. As with anything I do here, I'm accepting feedback on which approach you'd prefer. Naturally, if I'm in attendance or if streaming video is available (which will be most of the time), I'll continue with the usual live blog/recap approach.
|Junior defenseman Nate Jensen scored his first goal of the season to help PSU pull away in the third.|
Six Different Lions Score in 6-3 Win Vs. SHU
MILFORD, Conn. - Six different Nittany Lions scored as the Penn State men's hockey team skated to a 6-3 victory against Sacred Heart at Milford Ice Pavilion Saturday evening. The Nittany Lions improved to 4-2-0 with their third straight win.
Senior forward Michael Longo (Allison Park, Pa.) and junior defenseman Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn.) notched their first goals of the season, and junior forward Michael McDonagh (Wilmington, Mass.) tallied a game-high three assists. Sophomore Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.) and freshmen Curtis Loik (North Vancouver, B.C.), Jonathan Milley (Gatineau, Que.) and Mark Yanis (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) also scored.
The Nittany Lions fell behind, 1-0, early in the first period before scoring three goals in a 5:06 span to take a 3-1 lead. The Pioneers tallied later in the frame before the teams traded goals in the second period as Penn State skated to a 4-3 second-period advantage. The Nittany Lions added a pair of goals in the final stanza as they defeated their fourth Atlantic Hockey opponent of the season.
Penn State outshot the Pioneers by a 31-19 margin. The Nittany Lions were 0-for-5 on the power play, while Sacred Heart finished 0-for-4 with the man advantage. Sophomore goaltender PJ Musico (Orange, Calif.) improved to 4-0-0 with 16 saves, while Sacred Heart netminder Andrew Bodnarchuk turned aside 25 shots.
Penn State found itself down 1-0 just 5:03 into the game before the Nittany Lions responded with their three-goal run. Following Josh Phillips' marker, Longo knotted the game at 1-1 with his first career tally just 32 seconds later. McDonagh passed to freshman defenseman Joseph Lordo (St. Louis. Mo.), who fired a shot from the blue line that Longo tipped in for the goal.
Gardiner gave Penn State a 2-1 advantage 1:07 later. Freshman defenseman Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont.) sent a pass across the blue line to classmate Yanis, who found Gardiner near the edge of the crease. The Deephaven, Minn., native's first attempt was stopped before he took the puck around the cage and slipped it to the back of the net.
With 9:19 left in the period, Milley extended the Penn State lead to 3-1. Freshman defenseman Connor Varley (Lansdale, Pa.) passed to classmate Casey Bailey (Anchorage, Alaska), who recorded a point in his third straight game, along the half boards. The Anchorage, Alaska, native found Milley near the bottom of the left circle, where he put a shot toward the goal that went past Bodnarchuk.
Sacred Heart closed the gap to 3-2 with 2:24 left in the opening frame. The Pioneers skated through the neutral zone on an odd-man rush before Brian Sheehan wristed a shot that was caught in Musico's pads before trickling in for the goal.
Both teams scored once in the second period as Penn State secured a 4-3 lead. With 11:51 left in the frame, Jensen gave the Nittany Lions a 4-2 advantage. Lordo passed up the boards to McDonagh, who raced down the right-wing boards before sending a backdoor pass to Jensen for the goal.
Drew George tallied for the Pioneers with 7:27 left in the period to make it a 4-3 game. George received a pass from Eric Delong and finished the tic-tac-toe play for the marker.
In the third period, Yanis extended the Penn State lead to 5-3 with his second goal of the season. McDonagh passed to Yanis at the blue line, where the defenseman rifled a slap shot high to the blocker side. Senior forward Eric Steinour (Carlisle, Pa.) also recorded his first assist of the season.
Loik added his goal 1:15 later. Freshman David Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) passed to Jensen, who took the puck into the slot. Loik then batted the puck out of mid-air and into the back of the net. Glen extended his point-scoring streak to three games with the helper.
Penn State will return to action Tuesday, Oct. 30 when it visits Fredonia State. Opening faceoff is set at 7 p.m.