I didn't realize you were actually at the game. I could have said hello in person. Unfortunately, I had to go out of town for both the first men's and first women's game. Regret.I guess it's just a cold dose of reality, but getting swept by Syracuse by a combined 10-0 shows how hard of a climb this is going to be. I can't imagine how PSU will stack up against a team like Mercyhurst, let alone a power like Minnesota.With the exception of the UConn transfers, this is a massive step-up for all of the PSU players - probably moreso than it is for the men's team, who have at least played in the USHL against many of the same guys they'll play against in college. Despite all of that, I didn't see too many big mistakes or any moments when PSU looked clueless. The difference appeared mostly to be physical. Syracuse was noticeably bigger - which wouldn't seem to matter much in women's hockey but it does - and just a bit faster and stronger. In men's hockey, that kind of advantage can sometimes be mitigated by a lot of hard hitting, the left-wing lock, and the occasional fight to take the other team out of their game, but that's not possible in the women's game. You just have to play them straight up, in which case even a slight advantage in any category can lead to a rout.On the other hand, there were a number of bright spots. There was no lack of effort throughout the game and they did create a number of good chances. Whittinger was excellent and Yox and Catanzariti, in particular, showed some great skill. I don't think the gap in overall quality is as great as the score-line suggests. With more experience and practice together, special teams will improve as will their ability to break out of their own zone. Size can't be taught, but speed, strength, and conditioning will definitely improve as the underclassmen work their way through the program.It wasn't a massive crowd - around 200-400 (I guess?). That isn't bad for a new program in a relatively new sport (women's hockey is still pretty novel even to most hockey fans) on a day when soccer and field hockey (plus the NFL) were also playing. Mostly friends and family - including a big Jill Holdcroft contingent - I think, but I noticed a number of Greenberg regulars like me who were just there because it's PSU hockey. Syracuse had a fair number of fans there too.There is something really gratifying about seeing hockey players with ponytails coming out of the back of their helmets and I noticed more than a few little girls (and boys!) at the game fully into it. That's all for the good.