"I felt we made a mistake in building a baseball field. I thought that should have been the ice skating rink, because I think hockey in this state right now, not just hockey, but ice skating, if you come up to our office building at 6:00 in the morning, some mornings you can't get a parking spot because parents have taken their kids up here to skate...I think hockey will be a great addition to our intercollegiate program. [The Pegula gift] is a great, great gift. And I think very far-sighted and I'm really pleased with it." - Joe Paterno

Monday, December 31, 2012

Three Stars: December 24-30


3. Penn State Hockey Tailgate
(psu.edu)

College of Communications alumnus/alumna? Planning on going to the Penn State-Vermont game in Philadelphia on January 19th? Good news: you have a place to pregame.

2. How Stuff Works - College Hockey Edition, Part 3: NCAA and Junior Hockey
(Black Shoe Diaries)

IcersGuy continued his outstanding series explaining college hockey to the masses last week with a tutorial on the junior hockey system.

If you missed it, Part 1 outlined the differences between club and varsity hockey, while Part 2 discussed college hockey's ever-changing conference alignment.

1. PSU Moves Up in Season's Second Poll
(psuwihc.com)

The PSU Women's Ice Hockey Club finally has a website. It might look a little familiar, but hopefully the webmaster's grind can make up for it. Also, the team has a new Facebook page, and their not-new Twitter account is still there, so get after that.

Captain Carly Szyszko (pictured) and the fourth-ranked team are back in action on January 13th at Navy for a Sunday afternoon tilt.

Best of the Rest


@Cmen12
(Twitter)

Because the men's team didn't use their allotted morning skate time on the second day of the Three Rivers Classic, women's players Cara Mendelson and Katie Murphy did. Well played.

Penn State Smaller Sports Weekly Roundup
(Black Shoe Diaries)

It's a good thing that IcersGuy dropped the second-star post this week, because BSD needed to win some karma points back after this steaming pile. Not only is men's hockey a "smaller sport" in BSD's estimation (I mean, it's no wrestling, after all), but it gets treatment like:
Because the NHL is still locked out (LULZ @ U HOCKEY FANZ)...
...and proceeds from there with some lazy, predictable trolling of both Penguins and Flyers fans. Didja know, for example, that PSU has more wins than the Flyers this year?!?! Because they're locked out!!!! Get it?!??!?!?

Jenna Hendrikx Takes Time from NCAA Season to Attend Do It for Daron Event
(Bleacher Report)

As much (deserved, mostly) criticism as Bleacher Report takes, it actually does deliver pretty good women's hockey stuff, including this quick feature on Mercyhurst's Jenna Hendrikx. Hendrikx attended a Provincial Women's Hockey League game over the holiday break to benefit Do it for Daron, a foundation created to honor the life of Daron Richardson, the daughter of then-Ottawa Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson (and a PWHL player herself) who tragically took her own life in 2010. Do it for Daron supports teen suicide and depression awareness and causes.

NCAA 2012-13 Women's Hockey Midseason Report Card
(Bleacher Report)

Mercyhurst's Christine Bestland gets tabbed as college hockey's midseason MVP in this slideshow, while Rebecca Vint of Robert Morris scoring five goals against Penn State on November 10th is given best single-game performance so far. Someday we'll be on the other end of things like that, I promise.

Colonials Ink Seven for 2013-14 Season
(rmucolonials.com)

As long as we're on the CHA, Robert Morris released the names of a pretty strong group of signees for next season. Over one month after the early signing period closed, but hey, better late than never.

Kale Dolinski and his ASU teammates went 1-1 in British Columbia over the weekend, losing to UBC but beating Simon Fraser. Photo: Allyson Cummings/House of Sparky.

Sun Devils Get Big 5-3 Win, Split Canadian Series
(House of Sparky)

While Arizona State's SB Nation blog tends to be a little... uhhh... homertastic concerning the school's ACHA team, it does provide very good coverage, including of the Great Northwest Showcase over the weekend. The Burnaby, BC event involved games between ACHAers (and Penn State opponents) ASU and Oklahoma, and Canadian non-varsity power Simon Fraser as well as the CIS program from the University of British Columbia.

Long story short, the ACHA representatives were blasted by the Canadians to the tune of a combined 12-2 count on the showcase's first day. However, the Sun Devils bounced back with a win over Simon Fraser on Saturday after losing to UBC, while Oklahoma extended the Thunderbirds to overtime to follow up their loss to SFU.

MSU salvages 1-1 tie against WMU But Falls in Shootout
Spartans drop 3rd place game to Michigan 5-2
(The Munn Minute)

In another holiday tournament involving a future PSU opponent, Michigan State settled for a fourth-place finish at the Great Lakes Invitational after a third-period barrage boosted archrival Michigan to a 5-2 win in the GLI consolation game. On the first day of the tournament, Western Michigan and Michigan Tech (the eventual champion, for the first time since 1980) ousted the two Big Tenners from title consideration.

I guess I should point out that the GLI was originally scheduled for the Detroit Tigers' Comerica Park this year before being moved back to its customary Joe Louis Arena home. Thanks so much, NHL players and owners.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Three Rivers Classic: The Media Experience

Because TYT doesn't employ a professional sports photographer (Steve Hass is nice enough to help out with women's home games, but he's not available at my beck and call to run to Pittsburgh), and in an attempt to provide worthwhile content, I thought it would be a good idea to give an insider's look at the media experience for the Three Rivers Classic. It was my second time in the press area of a major league venue (following Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park for the outdoor game last season), but my first time in an NHL arena. Since I'm guessing most of you aren't professional media members, hopefully you find this interesting.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge and open a gallery view.



First off, some touristy stuff. On Friday, I missed the exit for CONSOL Energy Center and ended up at the top of Mount Washington, where I caught an unreal view of Pittsburgh. I was running late then, but came back early on Saturday to make sure I got a picture.


It's kind of bizarre knowing that The Igloo used to be in that big, empty area. The photo was taken from the South Parking Lot, which is north of CONSOL Energy Center but south of the arena that stood when it received its name.


They kind of like Mario Lemieux in this area.


The most photographed side of the CONSOL Energy Center - probably because it reflects the downtown skyline.


The media entrance is through the Penguins' administrative offices, near the corner of Washington and 5th, right next to ticket windows and near a major gate. For the 4:30 p.m. starts of the Three Rivers Classic, the door opened at 2:30.


Just inside that door is a table for credential distribution. As you can see, there was a good deal of media interest in the tournament. Many notable figures from Pittsburgh sports media were on the list (Mark Madden of 105.9 FM and Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review were the two I seemed to run into every 20 seconds), as was ESPN's John Buccigross (although he didn't show).


From there, an elevator goes up to the first floor, the event level - since everything in Pittsburgh is on a hill, the media entrance is actually below the ice surface. Notably, for media folks, the event level is home to the media room. A huge buffet was set up before the games on both days. And as you might be able to figure out from the right side of the photo, we'll be back later.


A closer look at the food - this was only about half of what was available, as a salad station and a dessert table are off camera.


When exiting the media room and exploring the event level, it's not surprising to see the Nittany Lions warming up in the hallway...


...because the event level also contains the locker rooms...


...including the one used by the Penguins. I wasn't allowed in here, but then again, neither is Sidney Crosby right now.


When finally proceeding up to the press box, a different elevator from the first one must be located, which isn't particularly easy to do. Getting there involves walking past the zamboni entrance.


That elevator lets media off on the seventh floor, most of which looks something like this. The walls are lined with photos and news clippings of great moments from Penguins history.


And yes, there's more food up here, in case you didn't eat enough rigatoni and roast beef back in the media room. This is why sports media members are disproportionately fat. Interestingly, CONSOL Energy Center does not stock Coke. Or Pepsi. Nope, they roll with RC Cola. Immediately behind me as I took this photo were game notes and line charts for each team, as well as a big clock synchonized with the scoreboard.


Once past the snack nook, the floor is basically a long hallway. On the left-hand side are doors for the broadcast media booths, as well as the press-box coaches and video review people. There are also a series of black curtains (one set of those is the third thing down the left wall below) that guard small flights of stairs down to the print media's area.


Here's the room set aside for PSU's coaching staff.


As I mentioned, those booths are just above and behind the non-broadcast people, a group that included a certain Penn State hockey blogger. The table was cramped, but I actually thought the area was kind of neat. You can see that there's a shelf for non-essentials, which helps with the space crunch. Monitors are stationed at frequent intervals right in front of us and those speakers on the back wall, in addition to the PA, transmit the postgame press conferences.


This never gets old. Each station has two electrical outlets as well as a port for those choosing to get their internet connection through a wire.


Here's how all of that looks to the rest of you - the table in the previous photo is just above the row of ads with the black background.


As you might imagine, the view isn't too great, although sometimes the bird's eye is quite helpful. Here's the opening faceoff from the Penn State-Robert Morris game.


From there, everyone sort of does their own thing. I, as I'm sure you know, frantically type into a live blog during the game. More traditional people gradually build their game recaps as things proceed and jot down questions. Bloggers and newspapermen alike tend to have Twitter open on their laptops. Broadcasters broadcast, of course. Some have no specific obligations and just watch the game for free because they can. Sometimes that game goes poorly, such as the one above. But sometimes, you get to witness something special that makes doing this worthwhile.


When the game ends, it's a bit of a rat race to get back downstairs to get that perfect seat for the postgame press conferences. The tables from the buffet have been moved out by this point, with several rows of chairs in their place.


Once the postgame is complete, most hurry back upstairs to finalize a recap of some kind with the quotes they didn't have before, or complete other work. Certainly, I would have rather seen Penn State play for the championship on Saturday, but the early time slot was quite beneficial in allowing for more postgame work time (it has to be said that Miami's media received the same game results from the weekend without the benefit of that extra time on either day). Surprisingly few people stayed through the entire two games on each day. And obviously, when done working, everyone heads back down the elevator, then down the other elevator, then out the door they came in.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12/29 Postgame: Taylor Holstrom, Casey Bailey, Guy Gadowsky, Steve Rohlik, Ryan Dzingel

Comments from (left to right in the first video) sophomore forward Taylor Holstrom, freshman forward Casey Bailey and head coach Guy Gadowsky following the Nittany Lions' 5-4 win over future Big Ten rival Ohio State in the consolation game of the Three Rivers Classic.

The second video features comments from (left to right) Ohio State associate head coach Steve Rohlik and sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel.




M: Penn State 5 vs. Ohio State 4

 

On October 19th, Penn State endured arguably its lowest point of the season, in an even-uglier-than-the-score 3-0 loss at NCAA Division III Buffalo State. The next day, the Nittany Lions rebounded for arguably their most significant win of the NCAA era at the time, 3-2 at RIT's homecoming in front of 10,556 orange-clad fans at Rochester, NY's Blue Cross Arena.

On December 28th and 29th, Penn State (9-10-0 all games, 8-9-0 NCAA, 6-8-0 NCAA DI) went even bigger. Or B1Gger, if you prefer. Just 24 hours after being blasted by Robert Morris 6-0 in their first game at the inaugural Three Rivers Classic, PSU delivered a stunning and historic 5-4 win over future Big Ten rival Ohio State (7-8-5, 6-3-3 CCHA) in the consolation game Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 10,797 at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center.

The history, of course, is due mostly to the fact that the Nittany Lions won in a first try against a future conference opponent. It shouldn't, however, be overlooked that it was also PSU's first victory over any major-conference opponent after beating Atlantic Hockey schools AIC, RIT, Army, Sacred Heart and Air Force in this season's other DI wins. "Stunning" also stands as an accurate descriptor, given the previous day's result and the fact that PSU was just 2-7-0 in all games since beating Air Force on November 10th, with the wins coming against an ACHA team and an NCAA DIII team.

In delivering the historic stunner (yeah, let's play that one out), the line of Casey Bailey (two goals, two assists), Taylor Holstrom (two goals) and Max Gardiner (three assists) led the way for the Nittany Lions, while OSU's Ryan Dzingel was magnificent in defeat with a hat trick on six shots. Former Ohio State signee Matt Skoff made 36 saves to help PSU survive a late Buckeye rally from a three-goal third-period deficit.


Dzingel dueled with Nittany Lion defenseman Nate Jensen all game long, and won the first battle on a nice give-and-go play with Clark Cristofoli where he worked around the Mercyhurst transfer and backhanded past Skoff 3:56 into the game. It would be the last time Penn State would trail.

After PSU struggled with organizing its breakout early on, the Buckeyes began to have problems at the 7:45 mark when an errant pass went right to Gardiner just inside the OSU line. The big Minnesotan fed Curtis Loik down low to finish, just seconds after having his previous attempt denied by Collin Olson, who made 32 saves. Ten minutes later, Holstrom gave Guy Gadowsky's troops the lead when he generated a turnover from Al McLean behind Olson and got the puck out to Bailey. The initial attempt was foiled, but Holstrom circled back out front to put home the rebound.

The Nittany Lions added a rare power play goal before the first period horn when Bailey - who would go on to make the all-tournament team - finished a nice passing play started by Gardiner winning a battle on the boards and including Luke Juha during a 5-on-3 with 1:17 to go. It was PSU's first goal on the advantage against a DI opponent since Jonathan Milley's effort against Army on October 26th, as the Nittany Lions rank 56th in DI with an 8.7 percent conversion rate.

The favored Buckeyes, Dzingel in particular, did not fade away. The Ottawa Senators draft pick cut PSU's lead to one 2:39 into the second period when he made a takeaway on Holstrom along the wall in the Penn State zone, walked to the middle and fired it behind Skoff. However, after surviving Tanner Fritz's attempted tying snipe off of the crossbar, the Nittany Lions received a crucial (and game-winning) response with goals just before the second period expired and just after the third period started. On the first, Bailey potted a second goal by deflecting Juha's point blast with just nine seconds remaining. Holstrom added his second of the game off of a brilliant drop pass in front following up on Connor Varley's shot in.

Once again, OSU would threaten the security of the lead, and once again it was through Dzingel, who joined Bailey on the all-tournament team, but not until after undressing Varley and then Skoff with some greasy mitts. Tyler Lundey and Curtis Gedig received assists on the the goal, but it was largely a solo effort. With Olson pulled for an extra skater following Gadowsky's use of his timeout and with 2:28 remaining, Alex Szczechura made it a one-goal game by taking advantage of chaos in front of Skoff with a stealthy wraparound. The goalie from nearby McKees Rocks, however, stood tall through a barrage the rest of the way, including one last prime attempt with Dzingel with 12.6 seconds left.

Penn State will attempt to follow the stirring win with a couple more when it travels to Storrs, CT for a series against Connecticut on January 4th and 5th. The team makes its Ice Pavilion return the following weekend against the U.S. National Team Development Program U18 team.


Friday, December 28, 2012

12/28 Postgame: Wydo, Schooley, Levine


Comments from (left to right in the photo) Robert Morris sophomore left wing Cody Wydo, head coach Derek Schooley, and senior goaltender Eric Levine following the Colonials' 6-0 win over Penn State Friday afternoon in the opener of the Three Rivers Classic at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center.



Derek Schooley: It was a tough hockey game actually for us. When you get a 4-0 lead, especially when you’ve only practiced twice, you get a 4-0 lead and usually what happens is you take your foot off the gas a little bit and that’s kind of natural. We did, which allowed them to outshoot us in the second period 14-4, but I thought we righted the ship in the third period. We got a goal to kind of take it completely out of question. But I thought we were very good offensively, we were great from the red line in, I thought we were a little sloppy in between the blue lines, defensively we’ve got some things we can tighten up, but when we made mistakes, Eric [Levine] was there to bail us out. We probably had a half dozen big saves, but a lot was from the perimeter. For the first game back, you score six goals and get a 6-0 win, you’ve got to be happy about it. Now I’ll open it up to questions.

What kind of statement did the team make tonight, not just to get a big win over a team that played you tough not very long ago, but to do it here, in Consol, and not get daunted by the stage or anything like that?

DS: Well we’ve played here before. We’ve got a lot of young freshmen, [but] we’ve practiced here before. I think getting an early lead was key for our hockey team, and then obviously we had a tremendous last five minutes of the period there. I don’t think we were intimidated by the stage, I don’t think we had any nerves, I think we just went out and we played hockey. We made mistakes, they made mistakes, unfortunately for them, their mistakes went in the net. That’s hockey for you.

Can you talk a little bit about the play of [Andrew] Blazek, with a goal and an assist? He seems to be heating up for you lately.

DS: Andrew’s a very good offensive player. He was a forward that we converted to defense a couple years ago. Really a great individual effort on the first goal, went wide to the outside, then beat a guy, then a nice shot. He’s got about four or five goals now, and he’s an offensive presence that joins the offense and makes plays. He’s still got some things he needs to work on in his end, he needs to simplify his game at times because he’s such a good skater, he tries to beat people too much. But he’s getting it. He’s starting to figure it out a little bit.

I know it’s not an apples to apples comparison, but you’ve been in the position where you’ve maybe had a little bit of an overmatched squad against a more experienced one. On a stage like this, when a game gets out of hand - when it’s such a lopsided score on such a big stage, what are some of your concerns, not only what you want to see from your team accomplish, but what you might want to do in setting tones for a budding rivalry when a score gets so out of hand on a big stage?

DS: I never felt comfortable or thought it was out of hand until it was 6-0. I think the way they came out in the second period, that was the way they took it to us in the first period at Penn State. We were back on our heels, they took it to us. Like I said, we were good offensively, we did the things we needed to do to score. We got good goaltending. I think when you get in those situations, you have to try to stay the course as much as possible. It’s human nature to take your foot off the gas a little bit, but you have to continue to try to stay the course a little bit, and do what you do to be successful. You can’t get away from that, and I thought we got away from it in the second period, hence the 14-4, and then we picked it back up in the third and capitalized on some chances.

What do you think a result like that after a close game does for the rivalry going forward?

DS: I mean it’s hockey. That’s hockey and that’s the way things are. Who knows, we win two, they may win the next two. It’s hockey, you deal with it and you play on. Every year’s a new year and every year’s a new team. I like playing them. I think it’s good for college hockey, and I think it’s good for hockey in western Pennsylvania. I think it gets a tremendous amount of exposure for our program and for Penn State, especially on a big stage. And hopefully after next year, we’re set to play next year again, hopefully we can continue that in future years. We’ll find out.

It’s obviously satisfying, Eric, to have a shutout and Cody, two goals, anywhere, but obviously on this stage, to be able to make over 40 saves, and then Cody to have two goals at the end of the first period there, just personally for you guys, how satisfying is it on this stage to be able to perform like that and get a W?

Eric Levine: Well I think you said the main thing, that we’re advancing to the championship. That was our goal, so shutout, no shutout, we got the win, that was the important thing. To be honest, I thought our start at Penn State was pretty bad, and we responded really well. It’s tough when you’re up 4-0, because their team is going to press hard, so you expected that, but the guys did a good job at the start. It’s nice, this is the first time I’ve had a chance to play here. It’s an unbelievable rink, it’s cool to put yourself in that position in an NHL-caliber rink, so it’s very nice, but I’m happy we got the win. We’re where we want, 7:30 tomorrow night.

Cody Wydo: Yeah, it’s really satisfying getting two goals tonight. It was a big crowd, probably one of the biggest I’ve ever played on, and just going out and actually, full team effort in the first period, pretty much what it was, everyone was clicking. Evan Renwick had two good shifts right there, he had two nice assists with my two goals.

How does this set the mood for tomorrow’s championship game?

EL: We’ll be playing one of two good teams. We played Ohio State a couple weekends ago, and they were an extremely good opponent. Miami, obviously, ranked fifth in the country, so they’re going to be a tough team. We’re excited, but we’re excited to play for a championship trophy. We’ve said it before, we have two championships we want to win, three if you count Atlantic Hockey, and this is the first one. It’s good to get a taste of a little bit of pressure. It’s going to be a stage that we’re going to have to get used to playing on, because when we come down to the end of the season, every game matters. So this is an important game, and it’s going to be good experience for us, it’s going to be good to play the 7:30, and whoever we play is going to be a tough opponent, so we’re going to need to be a lot better, but I like our chances.

CW: Yeah, Levy said it pretty good, whoever we play, they’re going to be good. If we play Ohio State, they’re going to be wanting revenge on us for beating them and tying them. Miami’s really skilled and a really good team, they’re ranked in the top ten. We’re just going to have to come out with our A game all three periods in order to have a good contest with them.

DS: To add to that, I hold Paul Steigerwald responsible too, because last night at the banquet he reminded Miami that we swept them four years ago. I would have hoped that they had forgotten about that by now, and he had to bring that up. So it’s back fresh in their minds too. I think the guys said it – it’s going to be a challenge no matter who we play. We need to play better, we need to continue to get better, and it’s our last non-conference game heading into a boatload of Atlantic Hockey games, and a nationally-televised game next Friday against Army. We need to put ourselves in the best position we possibly can.

Cody, your line was responsible for all three of those goals at the end of the first period. What was clicking for you guys, chemistry-wise, during that stretch?

CW: Coach has been mixing [Scott] Jacklin and [David] Friedmann up with us, and he put Friedmann with us today, which I thought was a good call. Pretty much the first goal, Blazek just took it end to end and had a nice shot, post and in. Second goal, we just had a nice rush and the puck found me in front of the net, so I just put it five hole. Then the third goal, we had another nice rush, and I was actually the fourth man in there and I came in late and the puck came right to me again. Right place, right time.

Eric, you faced almost 50 shots tonight. I know a lot of goalies like getting that constant action. Are you that way, and was it that kind of night where you just had to be on your toes?

EL: Yeah, I mean, every game’s different. I mean obviously, they had 48 shots, but that’s a little deceptive. Our defense, our backcheckers did a good job. Not too many shots came from high percentage scoring areas, so they kept it to the outside. There’s not much you can do as a team when teams want to shoot from far out. Though we gave up a lot of shots, we did a good job taking away some of the scoring chances. As a goalie, it’s nice to be comfortable, and to kind of get into a rhythm, and I certainly felt like that tonight. Every game’s different, and happy we got the win.

Eric, you mentioned the fact that this was your first game on this stage and playing in an arena like Consol. To get an early lead and have the advantage, how much did that help you out when you guys had a 1-0 lead two minutes into the game?

EL: It’s nice when you have guys who can put the puck in the net early on. Like I said, I thought we were fighting it a little bit at Penn State [13] days ago, so we knew we needed a better start. We came out, got four goals. As a goalie, that’s nice, but it doesn’t really change the way you play. You still want to just focus on the next shot. The guys battled hard, and they may have had 48, but there weren’t too many high-quality chances. It was nice to play in this venue, and great to get a win.

12/28 Postgame: Guy Gadowsky


Comments from head coach Guy Gadowsky following the Nittany Lions' 6-0 loss to Robert Morris Friday afternoon in the opener of the Three Rivers Classic at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center.



Coach, can you speak a little bit about the play of Matt Skoff, obviously coming in late and giving you some good minutes under trying circumstances?

Yeah, Skoffer played very well. We had predetermined that he will get the start tomorrow. Unfortunately, he had to come in today, but he was strong when he came in. Certainly, you’re not going to win a lot of games scoring zero goals. You’ve got to give Robert Morris credit, they played a very good game and they finished. They made plays, so give them credit.

What was the thought process in making the change after the first period?

Performance [laughter]. You know, I was thinking of making it right after the third [goal], but I thought it wasn’t fair to Skoffer actually... there wasn’t a lot of time left, and I thought that it would... instead of getting him in cold, it would give him a little time to prepare in between periods. P.J. is a great kid, he works hard, he’s had great games. Some nights, you just don’t have it.

Those three goals at the end of the first period, what did they do, not just on the scoreboard, but from a momentum perspective?

Like I said, you’re not going to win many games not scoring any goals, but certainly, we put ourselves in a deep hole. It could have been a little different, we had a breakaway - David Glen had a breakaway, I think on the power play. We score that and a couple of them stay out, it’s a different ballgame, but that’s ifs and buts. Bottom line is we put ourselves in a hole and we couldn’t come out of it.

How did you feel the atmosphere was?

That’s why I’m disappointed right now, because I was very curious to see... everywhere we’ve been, there’s been such great alumni at Penn State. Penn State is... I love Penn State. I love it. The student body, the alumni are unbelievable. I couldn’t wait to come here and see how it is. And the atmosphere was tremendous, I mean tremendous. I took a look when the first period wasn’t done yet, and it was phenomenal. You see a lot of blue and white. That’s why I’m disappointed, I would have loved for them to have seen a much better outcome from our standpoint. I tell you what, to me and the players, to come here, it’s a great building to play in, but to see the reception and the Penn Staters here, it’s really motivating. I think we’re all disappointed that that’s the result, for them, and I hope they give us another chance.

When you are in the early stages of what many people presume will be a rivalry, with a score like this, how can you use that going forward?

We’re going to remember it. The guys already know it, we’re going to remember it. We’re going to get a shot again, we’re in our infancy stage and we understand it. But we deserved the result we got tonight, and Robert Morris deserved the win they got tonight. We’re going to get better. We’re going to get a lot better. We’ve got a lot of work to do, we knew that going in. We knew where we’re at, and this is something...we’ll remember it.

Do you have a problem with the game misconduct call late in the second period?

[Initially] he was deciding whether it was a charge or a hit to the head. I thought that it was a charge, I thought that he hit him with his shoulder, and he sort of went low. I thought he tried to avoid it, but no… we knew we were going to get a call, I don’t think it deserved a game disqualification.

You mentioned last night that you only had eight players [present to travel with the team]. Would you blame that for some of the slow start today?

No, I don’t. Everyone had travel problems. Everybody’s playing on the same ice. Everybody had the same break. I certainly don’t think we handled it well, but all in all... I don’t have the final stats page, but they finished and we didn’t. It’s not like they came out and got 11 shots on goal for the game. We didn’t finish. We weren’t sharp. They finished. They’re either that much better right now, or that much more prepared. But hey, all teams here have the same travel.

M: Penn State 0 vs. Robert Morris 6



Guest recapper Ross Insana of Penn State ComRadio has the details on the Nittany Lions' disappointing 6-0 loss to Robert Morris to open the Three Rivers Classic Friday afternoon at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. RMU climbs to 8-4-2 (4-3-1 Atlantic Hockey) and will play Miami - which won 1-0 over Ohio State in Friday's second game - for the tournament championship Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. PSU drops to 8-10-0 in all games, 7-9-0 in NCAA games and 5-8-0 against NCAA Division I competition and will face the Buckeyes in the consolation game Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

The completed live blog is beneath Ross' recap.



Early on it looked like Penn State would get on the board quick and early as the David Glen line, flanked by Casey Bailey and Max Gardiner on his wings, buzzed in the Robert Morris zone less than a minute into the game to create two early opportunities on RMU netminder Adam Levine. Glen was able to grab a turnover to the left of Levine and almost put Penn State up 1-0. But from then on out the first period, and for that matter the rest of the game, was all Robert Morris and there we not many bright spots for Guy Gadowsky and Company.

Just 1:49 into the first, Robert Morris’ Andrew Blazek, a junior from the Pittsburgh area in Upper Saint Clair, was able to create his own opportunity by getting up ice quickly and used his speed to his advantage to beat Peter Sweetland and eventually beat Musico short side for his fourth of the season on Robert Morris’ first shot of the game.

On Robert Morris’ first powerplay opportunity of the game, a David Glen tripping penalty 4:21 into the first, the Nittany Lions did a good job keeping the Colonials to the outside, mucking it out down low, and getting in shooting lanes with three blocked shots. Robert Morris was only able to get one good look at Musico late in the powerplay with a scrum around the net the end the Robert Morris’ charge.

At the 8:50 mark, Robert Morris’ Brendan Jamison went off for tripping the fast-moving Casey Bailey through the Robert Morris zone to give Penn State their first powerplay opportunity of the game, which coming into today was clicking at only a 8.3% success rate (5-for-60). The Nittany Lions first unit of Glen, Bailey and Gardiner saw most of the time on the powerplay chance with a lot of quick puck moving and four shots thrown at Levine but no goal to boot.

David Glen had perhaps the Nittany Lions' best scoring chance of the game on a first-period breakaway, but would later get five and a game for a hit on Andrew Blazek. Photo: Steve Manuel/GoPSUSports.com

Minutes later Glen found an open seam through the Colonials defense in what was probably the Nittany Lions best opportunity of the game. He was able to get in all alone on Levine but did not manage to find the back of the net to get Penn State on the board. A few seconds later Musico was able to make a dazzling glove hand save on Robert Morris’ David Friedmann to keep the score at 1-0 with a little over seven minutes left in the first.

After what was a close game for most of the first, the Red Sea was parted for Robert Morris as their leader in points, Adam Brace, grabbed his sixth goal of the season with 4:07 left. Literally 28 seconds later, Cody Wydo made it 3-0 Robert Morris picking up the garbage (insert Mighty Ducks movie reference) off a Musico rebound in front. Wydo then struck again for his second of the game with 37 seconds left in the first, beating Musico in transition through the five-hole from the left faceoff circle. The sophomore winger finished the game with an impressive plus four for the Colonials.

“You’re not going to win many games not scoring any goals, but certainly we put ourselves in a deep hole. We score that and a couple of them stay out it’s a different ballgame, but that’s ifs and buts. Bottom line is we put ourselves in a hole and we couldn’t come out of it,” said Gadowsky post-game.

To start the second, Head Coach Guy Gadowsky made the bold but not surprising move to go with hometown guy and McKees Rocks’ own Matt Skoff between the pipes for the 2nd period.

“We had predetermined that he [Skoff] will get the start tomorrow. Unfortunately, he had to come in today, but he was strong when he came in,” said Gadowsky.

For most of the early portion of the second, Penn State controlled the time of possession in the offensive zone, but the story for the majority of the period was the number of penalties and activity after the whistle by both teams. About six minutes in, David Glen came down the left hand side with Casey Bailey subsequently driving to Levine and the Colonials net and was able to draw a slashing penalty on Robert Morris’ Jeff Jones to put Penn State on their second powerplay chance. Their best look at the net developed with a shot from the right point by alternate captain Nate Jensen with Gardiner screening Levine as Bailey went untouched right on the doorstep and was not able to finish.

After another shot from the point by Jensen, Gardiner and Robert Morris’ Evan Renwick got into a lot of extra-curricular activity with after the whistle that compelled the referee to send both to the box officially for coincidental “hitting after the whistle” minor penalties. The rest of the second period was mostly back and forth action with good shifts consecutively by the Loik/Holstrom/Brooks line and the Longo/McDonough/Olczyk line for Penn State despite the score still at 4-0 Robert Morris. The big moment came with 34 seconds left in the second as Glen nailed Blazek behind the Robert Morris cage and was called for a five minute major for contact to the head and given a ten minute game misconduct. No further suspension for Glen has been announced as of yet.

Just before the Glen major ended, Robert Morris cashed in to make it 5-0 in the third as Greg Gibson came down the left side and found Zac Lynch in the slot where his shot off Skoff found the stick of Matt Cope in front for his first of the season. The Colonials then capped off their dominant performance with a nice feed by Blazek on the point to his partner Tyler Hinds for his second of the season to make it 6-0 with 4:08 left in the third.

Penn State continued their lack of success on the power play in today’s game going 0-for-6, despite getting 15 shots on Levine. They now sit at 5-for-66 (7.5 percent rate) on the power play for the season.

Some positives, if any, to take out of the 6-0 loss was the Bailey-Glen-Gardiner line consistently generated chances and showed energy during their shifts. For those who weren’t in attendance at Consol Energy Center, the contingency of Penn State fans did make their voice heard on a few occasions with a big “We Are” chant being one of the highlights of the second period.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Inaugural Three Rivers Classic Awaits


What: NCAA Men at the Three Rivers Classic College Hockey Tournament

Where: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

When: Friday, December 28 at 4:30 p.m. (Penn State vs. Robert Morris) and 7:30 p.m. (Miami vs. Ohio State); Saturday, December 29 at 4:30 p.m. (consolation game) and 7:30 p.m. (championship game).



Penn State has had it easy in starting NCAA Division I hockey.

Name recognition, huge university, established history of athletic success and people who follow that success, built-in major-conference affiliation... oh, and that nine-figure donation and the brand-new arena that came with it.

Then there's Robert Morris, which started up for the 2004-2005 season.

Back in the Icers days, we had to go with parentheticals when discussing Robert Morris (PA), as unrelated Robert Morris (IL) also has ACHA D1 hockey. Few were likely to notice if you got it backwards. RMU is the sort of school that inspires lines like "how good that Robert Morris fella is if he beat the Nits all by himself" from PSU outlets following the Colonials' 3-2 win at the Ice Pavilion two weeks ago, largely because nobody knows what else to say about them. Maybe some of you know them as a conference rival of the women's program. Or maybe you're only aware of them because their basketball games against Fairleigh Dickinson get a couple seconds of fame during every eighth cycle of the ESPN ticker (although the Colonials did take Villanova to overtime as a 15 seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament).

They did not get a nine-figure donation to start an NCAA program. Instead, they purchased an existing off-campus rink in preparation for the move, now called 84 Lumber Arena. It's a 1,200-seat rink that looks like a lot of 1,200 seat rinks all over the country.

In other words, they've had to build a program the hard way: slowly, and by winning repeatedly until people have the program's identity down. There have been high-profile, respect-earning upsets, like a January 7, 2007 stunning of second-ranked Notre Dame, an October 12, 2007 victory over No. 8 Boston University, a sweep of top-ranked Miami on January 8 and 10, 2010 and wins over Ohio State on October 15, 2010 as well as this year in a win-tie home-and-home with the Buckeyes on December 7th and 8th (file those latter two opponents away for Saturday). There has also been a concerted effort to get on the big stage of Pittsburgh's NHL arena and in front of large numbers of locals whenever possible, most notably through the Pittsburgh College Hockey Showcase - sort of a forerunner to this weekend's event, which included a mess of an Icers-ACHA RMU (PA) exhibition in 2010 - and a game with RIT that drew 6,957 in the build-up to the 2011 Winter Classic.

Beyond the highly-specialized origins of the two universities (Pittsburgh School of Accountancy, meet Farmers' High School), that's sort of where the two newest NCAA DI programs intersect. Both have an interest in developing western Pennsylvania's college hockey presence because in the long run, it benefits both programs.

RMU coach Derek Schooley has done an outstanding job removing his schools anonymity.

Say hello to the Three Rivers Classic. And, hopefully, get to know it pretty well, because the idea is for it to become an annual staple, featuring Penn State and Robert Morris each time around (Boston College and Bowling Green have already been booked as the other half of the next year's iteration).

I've sort of poor-mouthed RMU (7-4-2, 4-3-1 AHA) a little, but make no mistake, they're a quality team with a quality coach (in fact, I openly endorsed Derek Schooley for the PSU job). The Nittany Lions, as mentioned, saw that firsthand two weeks ago, when goaltender Eric Levine made 38 saves in the Colonials' victory. Defenseman Tyler Hinds scored the third-period winner, but would have been one of the game's stars even without that distinction.
"He's been a warrior the last three games against Ohio State and Penn State," Schooley said. "He's won every one of his battles, he's competed, he's jumped up into the offense and he's been tremendous blocking shots."

"Tyler Hinds has taken his game to another level. I can't say enough about how well he's been playing."
Levine, Hinds, and the rest of RMU's defensive corps are third in Atlantic Hockey (21st nationally) in allowing 2.46 goals per game. Levine carries DI's fourth best save percentage, 0.942. Offensively, seniors Zach Hervato (six goals, 12 points) and Adam Brace (five goals, 12 points) pace a balanced effort.

Miami and Ohio State, of course, are the other two teams in the tournament and will face off in Friday's nightcap. Penn State will then take on whichever of the two teams matches the Nittany Lions' result during the tournament's second day.

Even though Miami (11-3-4, 8-3-3 CCHA) is the fifth-ranked team in the country, tied for first in the CCHA and has been to the last seven NCAA tournaments, it's probably safe to say that most Penn Staters want to see Ohio State (7-6-5, 6-3-3 CCHA) on Saturday in what would be PSU's first matchup with a future Big Ten opponent. And actually, there is some good news on that front, provided the Nittany Lions are able to get revenge on RMU.

Austin Czarnik is Miami's top scorer among players presently in the Western Hemisphere.

The RedHawks will be without a pair of standout freshmen - forwards Riley Barber and Sean Kuraly - for the tournament, as both are with Team USA for the IIHF World U20 Championships in Ufa, Russia. Barber, Miami's leading scorer this year with eight goals and 14 assists (he's the only freshman in the country with more points per game than David Glen), is a product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, and was a sixth-round pick of the Washington Capitals in June. Kuraly, selected in the fifth round by the San Jose Sharks in 2011, has scored three times this year.

That's not to say that MU is completely devoid of talent. The RedHawks, former doormats that have become one of the nation's elite programs in the last decade under Enrico Blasi, remain a young - 11 freshmen, six seniors - and very talented team including three NHL draftees (forwards Curtis McKenzie, Blake Coleman and Jimmy Mullin) and Austin Czarnik, who missed out on the draft but is the RedHawks' top remaining scorer and has represented the U.S. internationally on several occasions, including with last year's WJC team. Another forward, Marc Hagel, transferred to Oxford from Princeton, where he played for Guy Gadowsky from 2008-2011 (Hagel's brother Kyle also played at Princeton). If you haven't figured it out, Miami forwards tend to come in waves, not lines, so while the losses of Barber and Kuraly will sting, they are unlikely to cripple.

Blasi is also noted for his goalie rotations, and this season has been no different, with freshmen Ryan McKay and Jay Williams splitting the starts (other than during a stretch where McKay was injured earlier this year). McKay has the better numbers of the two, with a ridiculous 0.58 goals against average and a 0.979 save percentage but Williams, a former goalie partner of 2013 signee Eamon McAdam on the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks, isn't exactly terrible either. In fact, Miami has gone 11 consecutive games without allowing more than two goals.

The Buckeyes, actually, are also down personnel thanks to the World Junior Championships - specifically, head coach Mark Osiecki, an assistant on Phil Housley's Team USA staff. Associate head coach Steve Rohlik will assume bench boss duties.

Need to know how to spell "Brady Hjelle?" Look at the top of the NCAA's goaltending stats.

Head coach or not, OSU is one of the nation's best defensive teams, holding opponents to 1.94 goals per game, the NCAA's sixth-best mark. Senior Brady Hjelle, who transferred from Minnesota-Duluth just before their 2010-2011 national championship season (whoops) backs that effort with a 1.46 goals against average and a 0.951 save percentage, good for third and second in the nation, respectively. If something happens to Hjelle, the backup is star recruit Collin Olson, an NTDP product.

Protecting the goaltenders are a pair of gigantic defensemen, including freshman Craig Dalrymple - 6'5", 212 pounds - who leads the team's blueliners with five points and the team as a whole with a +9 rating. Sophomore Justin DaSilva - 6'6", 225 pounds - is even bigger and leads the Buckeyes with 33 blocked shots. Those who figure out how to deal with their reach and physicality still have to deal with Devils draft pick Curtis Gedig, who is more compact at 6'3", 200 pounds.

A pair of Ottawa Senators draftees, Ryan Dzingel and Max McCormick, lead OSU's offense with six goals each. Dzingel, who recently had an eight-game scoring streak snapped against Miami, is a native of Wheaton, IL. McCormick had no such issue against the RedHawks, scoring in a 3-1 loss to MU two weeks ago. The teams tied 1-1 in the first game of the series played in Columbus.

Beyond the fact that Miami-Ohio State, Penn State-Robert Morris and Robert Morris-Ohio State games have already taken place this season, stout defense and goaltending is the obvious recurring theme. Penn State's success and/or failure in Pittsburgh will likely be determined by the ability of a thin defense group and goalies Matt Skoff (who, remember, once signed a National Letter of Intent with Ohio State) and P.J. Musico to play at that level - as well as the ability of the offense to take what it's given in a way not seen in that game against the Colonials on the 15th.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gross Featured in The Penn Stater

Women's captain Taylor Gross was included in the January/February 2013 edition of The Penn Stater alumni magazine, as the subject of the single-page profile on a Nittany Lions student-athlete that always leads each issue's sports section.

Because (to the best of my knowledge) The Penn Stater's content isn't available online, I thought I'd use my powers to share Gross' page with those who do not get the magazine, as I once did with former Icers captain Marek Polidor. The text of the write-up follows, with a scan of the page at the end.


Taylor Gross

This well-traveled forward leads the Nittany Lions in their varsity debut.

By RYAN JONES '95 COM

Taylor Gross went to high school in Colorado and started her college career at the University of Connecticut, a stay that lasted just a year and a half. She came to Happy Valley last January, drawn by the university's academic reputation and because, she says, "I thought it would be a really cool place to start a hockey program."

She plans to relocated again next fall, but this move will be a shorter one - 50 yards, give or take. A junior forward and captain of Penn State's first Division I women's hockey team, which opened varsity play in October, Gross says she's fully focused on the current season. That means playing in the intimate, yellow-lit rink at the Greenberg Sports Complex, all while construction on the Pegula Ice Arena - Penn State's hockey home starting in 2013 - continues just a slap shot away. "I haven't even thought about the new rink," Gross says. "But I know it's there."

For now, Gross is content to leave the new rink to the construction crews. She and her teammates are too busy building a foundation of their own.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Commit Cycle: December 25 (Women)

Laura Bowman

Forward
Minnetonka (MN) High School
5'7" // Minnetonka, MN
Class of 2013
DOB 11/8/1994




Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/13
vs. Andover
W 3-1
1
1
2
0
12/15
vs. Buffalo
W 5-2
1
2
3
2
12/18
vs. Benilde-St. Margaret's
L 0-3
0
0
0
0
12/20
vs. Anoka
W 4-1
1
1
2
0

Minnetonka fell flat in a showdown with perennial contender BSM, one of the lead dogs in the chase to dethrone the two-time defending state champs... otherwise it was largely business as usual for the Skippers, now 9-1-0, with Bowman and Amy Petersen regularly lighting up scoresheets.



Hannah Ehresmann

Goaltender
Minnetonka (MN) High School
Height unknown // Minnetonka, MN
Class of 2014
DOB unknown




Date
Opponent
ScoreSAGASv%GAA 
12/13
vs. Andover
W 3-1
-
-
-
-
12/15
vs. Buffalo
W 5-2
17
2
0.882
2.00
12/18
vs. Benilde-St. Margaret's
L 0-3
-
-
-
-
12/20
vs. Anoka
W 4-1
23
1
0.957
1.00

Ehresmann continued in her 50-50ish rotation that still sees Sydney Rossman get most of the big games, including the BSM disappointment that dropped Minnetonka out of the top spot in most statewide rankings... for her part, Ehresmann collected a pair of wins over the last two weeks to build her season record to 5-0-0.



Remi Martin

Defender
Colorado Tigers 19U/Foothills Flyers MM AA
5'6" // Littleton, CO
Class of 2014
DOB 7/15/1996




After a 1-4-0 showing at the Two Nations Series in Toronto from December 7-9, the Tigers beat the Colorado Select's 19UAA team 5-1 on December 15th... a second game against the Select as well as one against the Rocky Mountain Lynx were scheduled for the 22nd and 23rd, respectively, but were left unreported... the next major showcase for the Tigers is the Northwood Academy Tournament January 18-20... things are also quiet with Martin's boys team, as the Flyers have been out of action since November 30th.



Sarah Nielsen

Forward
Edina (MN) High School
5'6" // Edina, MN
Class of 2013
DOB 12/2/1994




Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/14
at Roseville
L 1-2
0
0
0
0
12/15
vs. Hopkins
L 0-2
0
0
0
4
12/18
vs. Burnsville
W 5-2
1
2
3
0

Edina was suffering through an uncharacteristic four-game winless skid (and just two wins in eight, if extending it back further) before Nielsen helped stabilize things in a big victory over Burnsville... despite the ups and downs of a 6-4-3 overall record, the Hornets are still respected as a threat in most corners - including Minnesota publication Let's Play Hockey, which tabbed Edina as the eighth best team in Class AA on December 19th.



Daniela Paniccia

Goaltender
Oakville Hornets AA/Appleby College
5'3" // Oakville, ON
Class of 2015
DOB 1997




Date
Opponent
ScoreSAGASv%GAA 
12/13
vs. Guelph Thunder
W 5-1
13
1
0.923
1.00
12/16
vs. North Halton Twisters
W 2-1
-
-
-
-

Paniccia was successful in holding up her end of a rotation with Stephanie Loukes against Guelph, although Loukes responded with a great outing of her own in the next game... the Hornets are 7-2-4 in the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League, good for third in the Central Division... Appleby College is 4-1-0 to sit on top of the CISAA standings and has only allowed nine goals this season.



Amy Petersen

Forward
Minnetonka (MN) High School
5'4" // Minnetonka, MN
Class of 2013
DOB 10/2/1994




Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/13
vs. Andover
W 3-1
2
0
2
0
12/15
vs. Buffalo
W 5-2
0
4
4
0
12/18
vs. Benilde-St. Margaret's
L 0-3
0
0
0
0
12/20
vs. Anoka
W 4-1
0
2
2
0

With eight points this week, Petersen just edged out linemate Bowman's seven... Petersen also leads the overall scoring race between Minnetonka's two big guns, 29 to 23.



Kelly Seward

Defender
Nichols School/Buffalo Bisons 19U
5'9" // Williamsville, NY
Class of 2013
DOB 6/7/1995




Nichols School is 8-3-0 following a trip to the Deerfield Invitational on December 21st and 22nd that saw losses to National Sports Academy (3-1) and Rice (2-0) bookended by wins over Deerfield (8-2) and Wyoming Seminary (6-0)... prior to that showcase, Nichols posted wins against Scanlan Academy on December 14th by a 2-1 score and against Bishop Strachan on December 17th by a 7-4 score... meanwhile the Buffalo Bisons went 3-0-0 during this Commit Cycle period to improve to 21-10-1 overall with two wins against Scanlan Academy on December 15th (6-0 and 3-1) as well as one against the Rochester Edge 17Us on December 16th.



Christi Vetter

Forward
Lakeville North (MN) HS/MN Jr. Whitecaps 19U
5'11" // Lakeville, MN
Class of 2014
DOB 9/7/1995




Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/13
at Eastview
W 6-0
0
3
3
2
12/14
vs. Duluth
W 5-2
0
1
1
0
12/15
vs. Apple Valley
W 4-0
0
0
0
2
12/20
at Bloomington Jefferson
L 2-3
-
-
-
-

Lakeville North had been on track to the tune of four consecutive wins before staggering to a loss without Vetter in the lineup... the Panthers are tied for third place (with Bloomington Jefferson) in a highly-competitive South Suburban League, three points behind first-place Lakeville South... Vetter's five goals and 14 points are both good for second on the team.

Commit Cycle: December 25 (Men)

Chase Berger

Forward
St. Louis AAA Blues (Midget Major 18U)
6'0", 190 pounds
St. Louis, MO
Class of 2015
DOB 11/14/1994



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/21
vs. RM RoughRiders
W 6-0
1
1
2
0
12/22
vs. Colorado Thunderbirds
L 1-2
0
0
0
0
12/22
vs. Colorado Rampage
W 5-0
2
1
3
0
12/23
vs. Russell Stover
W 2-0
0
1
1
0

The Blues hosted four teams last weekend, with Berger adding his typically-prolific offense to the proceedings... according to computer rankings developed by MyHockey, the Blues are the fifth-best team in the Tier 1 Elite League... Berger's Saint Louis University High School team went 2-0 during this Commit Cycle period, with a 3-2 win over DeSmet on the 14th and a 3-0 blanking of Kirkwood on the 20th... in the Kirkwood game, Berger collected two assists on the same shift.



David Goodwin

Center
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)
5'9", 170 pounds
St. Louis, MO
Class of 2013
DOB 2/27/1992



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/14
at Sioux City
W 5-3
0
2
2
2
12/15
vs. Team USA
W 3-2
0
0
0
0
12/21
at Fargo
L 0-3
0
0
0
0
12/22
at Sioux Falls
L 4-7
0
1
1
0

Goodwin and the RoughRiders are attempting to string a few wins together to improve their sixth-place Eastern Conference spot, but had the misfortune of playing the west's top two teams on the road last weekend to halt a three-game winning streak.



A.J. Greer

Left Wing
Kimball Union Academy (Prep)
6'2", 185 pounds
Repentigny, QC
Class of 2015
DOB 12/4/1996



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/14
vs. Deerfield
W 4-0
0
0
0
-
Box Score
12/14
vs. Salisbury
W 3-2
0
0
0
-
Box Score
12/15
vs. Noble & Greenough
L 1-2
0
0
0
-
Box Score
12/16
vs. Westminster
W 4-2
0
0
0
-
Box Score

While Greer was kept off the scoresheet, he did achieve a tremendous amount of team success, as he helped KUA to the championship of the prestigious Flood-Marr Tournament... the Wildcats, stacked with seniors and college commitments, are looking at big things (like the New England prep title) this season, but their small-school schedule doesn't allow much room for error, magnifying the importance of winning Flood-Marr... included in the tourney title was a heavily-scouted clash with prep titans Salisbury.



Kevin Kerr

Defenseman
Team Comcast (Midget Major 18U)
5'11", 162 pounds
Bensalem, PA
Class of 2015
DOB 2/9/1996



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/15
at Washington Little Capitals
W 4-1
0
0
0
0
12/16
at Washington Little Capitals
L 3-4
0
0
0
24

I'm not even going to try to decipher what happened during some late-game antics that saw Kerr and Team Comcast coach Jared Beach hammered with penalty minutes and game misconducts while no penalty minutes were given to Washington (I'll pass along the information if I hear anything)... things were a bit more calm back at Holy Ghost Prep, where Kerr scored twice and added a pair of assists in an 8-4 win over St. Joe's Prep on December 17th, although he was blanked in a 3-1 loss to LaSalle four days later.



Patrick Koudys

Defenseman
Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
6'3", 198 pounds
Smithville, ON
Class of 2013
DOB 11/15/1992



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/13
at Indiana
W 3-2
0
0
0
0
12/14
at Indiana
W 4-3
0
0
0
0
12/15
vs. Fargo
L 2-5
0
0
0
0
12/21
at Team USA
W 4-0
0
1
1
0
12/22
vs. Chicago
W 3-0
0
0
0
0

Koudys was part of a defensive effort that posted back-to-back shutouts last weekend, as the Jacks continue to be one of the better turnaround stories in the league at 18-8-2... Muskegon has only allowed 70 goals this season, tied with Lincoln (which has played two fewer games) as the stingiest defense in the league.



Alec Marsh

Forward
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)
5'10", 175 pounds
Bridgewater, NJ
Class of 2015
DOB 11/28/1995



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/14
at Sioux City
W 5-3
0
0
0
2
12/15
vs. Team USA
W 3-2
0
0
0
0
12/21
at Fargo
L 0-3
0
0
0
0
12/22
at Sioux Falls
L 4-7
-
-
-
-

Marsh saw his most extensive playing time of the season over the last two weeks, getting in on three consecutive games after playing in eight all season before that.



Eamon McAdam

Goaltender
Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
6'2", 185 pounds
Perkasie, PA
Class of 2013
DOB 9/24/1994



Date
Opponent
ScoreSAGASv%GAA 
12/14
vs. Tri-City
W 4-3
36
3
0.917
3.00
12/15
at Tri-City
L 3-6
31
2
0.935
3.02
12/22
vs. Sioux City
W 5-4
35
4
0.886
3.76

After losing the starting goaltending job to Cal Petersen in the previous Commit Cycle period, McAdam may have won it back with a solid relief effort on December 15th after Petersen got shelled, followed by a start in the next game... the ongoing duel between the two will be undoubtedly be compelling to watch over the second half of the season... another storyline has been that the Black Hawks, while a very solid 17-9-0, haven't yet shown to be the superteam many predicted coming into the season.



Bo Pellah

Defenseman
Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL)
5'11", 150 pounds
New Westminster, BC
Class of 2014
DOB 5/25/1995



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/15
vs. Victoria
L 2-3
0
1
1
4

In Alberni Valley's lone game during the Commit Cycle period, Pellah registered an assist, his 18th of the season in 25 games.



Dylan Richard

Forward
Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
6'0", 185 pounds
Sherwood Park, AB
Class of 2013
DOB 2/5/1993



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/14
at Sherwood Park
W 1-0
0
0
0
0
12/15
vs. Canmore
W 6-1
3
1
4
0
12/22
vs. Fort McMurray
L 1-2
0
1
1
0

Richard exploded for a hat trick the day after his December 14th commitment, collecting player-of-the-game honors... an overtime loss to Fort McMurray (which has been something of a bogey team for the Saints over the last couple years) this past Saturday dampened the mood, but the team remains atop the North Division at 24-9-6.



Zach Saar

Right Wing
Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
6'4", 210 pounds
Plainwell, MI
Class of 2013
DOB 6/22/1993



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/14
vs. Youngstown
L 0-5
0
0
0
2
12/15
vs. Youngstown
W 4-3
0
1
1
0
12/21
at Lincoln
L 1-6
0
0
0
0
12/22
vs. Lincoln
W 6-2
0
0
0
0

The Bucs have cooled off some of late, but remain in the Western Conference's final playoff spot at the moment with a 15-13-1 record... Des Moines is 11-5-0 at home but just 4-8-1 on the road.



Eric Scheid

Forward
Lincoln Stars (USHL)
5'9", 163 pounds
Coon Rapids, MN
Class of 2013
DOB 5/5/1992



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/14
vs. Omaha
L 1-2
0
0
2
0
12/15
vs. Sioux Falls
L 3-4
2
1
3
2
12/21
vs. Des Moines
W 6-1
0
0
0
0
12/22
at Des Moines
L 2-6
0
0
0
0

Scheid had an eight-game point streak snapped in the Omaha game, but bounced back with a big effort in defeat... he remains on top of the league with a +24 rating and is in the USHL's top 16 in goals, assists and points.



David Thompson

Defenseman
Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
6'2", 187 pounds
Glen Mills, PA
Class of 2013
DOB 5/19/1992



Date
Opponent
ScoreGAPts.PIM 
12/14
vs. Nanaimo
W 3-0
0
2
2
2
12/15
at Langley
W 6-3
0
2
2
0

Thompson hit the holiday break with an offensive outburst to help the Chiefs climb to 21-8-2, good for first place in the BCHL's Mainland Division... in all, Chilliwack's captain ranks sixth in scoring among league blueliners with 21 points.