Monday, May 27, 2013

Three Stars: May 20-26

Jerry York and his program, which has won three of the last six national titles, may be visiting PIA

3. 2013 NHL Draft Rankings – War Room May Edition (Round 4: 90-120)
(The Hockey Writers)

It's not all that common to find people with the knowledge and guts to rank NHL Entry Draft prospects beyond the first round, so full marks to THW for taking on that task. They have Eamon McAdam listed 113th ahead of the June 30th event, and also quoted a certain Penn State hockey blog in discussing him.

Yeah, okay, they misspelled my last name and put this site's URL down as "," but hey, at least the link works.

McAdam will be in Toronto for the NHL Scouting Combine all this week as he attempts to maximize his draft position.

2. Special look inside PSU's new hockey arena

The latest best look at the Pegula Ice Arena came from WJAC last week.

One quick news item buried in the moving pictures: all 18 men's scholarships are fully endowed, according to Joe Battista. Put that together with the arena being completely paid off, ticket sales proceeding well and Big Ten Network money (even if it isn't $2 million), and I'm pretty confident in my admittedly revised opinion of Penn State hockey's finances.

1. The Hottest Ticket in Town is Going Fast! Get Them While You Can!

I'm not sure why compromises itself as a news gathering and reporting entity to let Battista write what is essentially a weekly advertisement for Penn State hockey, but I'm glad that they do.
The non-conference schedule features a number of traditional college hockey powers that have recently played in the NCAA Frozen Four! While I can’t tell you dates or exact teams, I will whet your appetite and toss you a hint on a featured game that will take place in Pegula Ice Arena this season. Think recent National Championship team from New England that Penn Stater’s will surely pack the arena to see as we “jump in to the deep end of the pool” in just year two of our NCAA College Hockey timeline.
Wow, okay.

Just to get the less surprising part of that out of the way, "a number of traditional college hockey powers that have recently played in the NCAA Frozen Four" could probably be considered more fuel for the fire that is the UMass-Lowell rumor, as the RiverHawks made it to Pittsburgh back in April. Vermont (which made the Frozen Four in 2009), RIT (2010), Union (2012) and Three Rivers Classic participant Boston College (2010 and 2012) have also participated in the season's final weekend within the last five years. Toss in conference opponents Wisconsin (2010), Michigan (2011) and Minnesota (2012), and that's an impressive collection of eight different Frozen Four teams of the 18 different programs qualifying since 2009.

On top of that, we have a home "game" against a "recent national championship team from New England." Recent is subjective, of course, but since 2000, the only winners from New England are Boston College (2001, 2008, 2010, 2012), Boston University (2009) and Yale (2013). Right off the top, we can chop BU from the list, as the Terriers have released a schedule that does not include Penn State. It's probably not Yale either, as the Ivy League schools limit themselves to a 29-game schedule and according to USCHO's 2013-14 Schedule Thread, the Bulldogs have 31 games (two are exemptions) already in for the coming year - although it should be noted that the Bulldogs haven't officially published anything yet.

So... Boston College. The Eagles haven't released their schedule either, but The Boston College Hockey Blog has most of it pieced together. However, there are only 33 games on BCHB's list, one under the non-Ivy limit of 34. So given Battista's parameters and what we know of the other teams fitting them, I have to think that BC is it. Jerry York's program has been the class of college hockey over the last decade, and Penn State could play them twice in year two. Deep end, here we come.

Just to sweep up before leaving, Battista also mentioned that the PIA opener against Army on October 11th against Army will be nationally televised and that season ticket deposits now top 3,400.

PS. The scheduling mentioned in this entry adds up to 13 non-conference games which, when adding in the 20 Big Ten contests, still puts Penn State one under 34. So there may be a surprise yet to come.

Best of the Rest

PSU hockey arena beginning to look like hockey arena
(Broad Street Hockey)

I want to preface this by saying that, issues with Black Shoe Diaries' Bill DiFilippo aside, I'm a huge fan of the SB Nation network. I consider myself an avid reader of five of its blogs and a frequent-ish reader of at least three others, Broad Street Hockey included. Both BSD and BSH have been very good to this blog in the past. I really like Travis Hughes as well, and consider him among the most intelligent and level-headed hockey writers out there today. He's generally a PSU-friendly guy, as demonstrated by the fact that this post exists. All of that said... WTF guy?
Philadelphia will host the 2014 Frozen Four. Chances of Penn State making it are very, very slim with what's expected to be another weak out-of-conference schedule and a very tough in-conference slate.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, here's what we know about the out-of-conference schedule: one game against Army to open the PIA, the game against Vermont in Philly, a Three Rivers Classic including Boston College (although I have to think that PSU will open against Robert Morris again as the powers that be try to cultivate that rivalry, with BC and Bowling Green in the other first-day game), an away series against Air Force, a game at RMU, a home series against Union and one PIA game against RIT. The rumor mill includes three possible home games against Boston College and UMass-Lowell, as noted above.

Is that appreciably different than Wisconsin's non-league schedule? The Badgers will play (all two-game series, unless noted) Northern Michigan, at Boston College (1), at Boston University (1), Lake Superior State, at Miami, Colorado College, Alabama-Huntsville and the biggest joke in college hockey right now, known to some as Alaska-Anchorage.

What about Ohio State? They have (again, two-game series unless noted) Miami (1), at Miami (1), Bowling Green (1), at Bowling Green (1), Robert Morris (1), at Robert Morris (1), Minnesota-Duluth, Niagara, Canisius and Mercyhurst. I'm biased, but I happen to think PSU's slate is significantly better.

Long story short, Penn State scheduled well enough that there's really no rational justification for saying that the Nittany Lions have "another weak out-of-conference schedule."

Oh yeah... the link also includes a couple of pretty cool GIFs of the PIA progress from beginning to now (which were actually the centerpiece of the thing, until an throwaway comment at the end set me off).

URI: No interest in varsity hockey
(Rhode Island Public Radio)

Confirming what I sort of suspected all along but didn't want to say out loud, Rhode Island's reported efforts at varsity hockey are apparently not taking place on an official level.
URI officials have no interest in upgrading the current program from club status to a varsity sport in either men’s or women’s hockey, says URI sports information director Mike Lepray. "We’re not pursuing adding either men’s or women’s hockey to varsity status."
St. Anselm, your move.

St. Anselm hockey eyes Division I
(New Hampshire Union Leader)

If the last article didn't erase all doubt concerning the most likely elevation candidate, this one will, with Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America commissioner Bob DeGregorio even admitting that the Hawks are the clubhouse leaders.

Chambers & O'Brien Pairing Highlights 17th Annual CVC Golf Tournament, May 31

Guy Gadowsky and Josh Brandwene will both play in Penn State's Coaches vs. Cancer golf tournament on Friday. BUT WHO CARES OMG BILL O'BRIEN AND PAT CHAMBERS!!!

Yeah, I'm turning into "bitter hockey guy who resents that football and basketball get more attention," after swearing I wouldn't. If I ever start dropping "pointyball" and "bouncyball" (occasionally "squeakball") with regularity, you'll know that I'm all the way gone.

Stampede Name Head Coach to Lead the 2013-14 Campaign!
(The Junior Hockey News)

Now-former Ice Lions coach Matt Morrow won't be the only guy with Penn State ties coaching in the Tier III Junior A Western States Hockey League in 2013-2014. Gary Gill, who oversaw Penn State Berks' elevation to ACHA Division 1 in 2007-2008 after serving as an assistant in 2006-2007, is the new head coach of the Cheyenne Stampede. Gill departed Berks after just one season in charge, but thanks in part to his efforts the team saw immediate success at the D1 level, qualifying for the ACHA national championships in 2009.

Creek Lewis will look to move to 4-0 in his career against UMBC on December 8th

2013-14 Schedule

Speaking of the Ice Lions, we now know two of their games for the coming season, thanks to MACHA rival Maryland-Balitmore County putting out their schedule. The Retrievers will visit Pegula Ice Arena on Sunday, December 8th, with PSU hitting crab country on Saturday, February 1, 2014. Matchups between the two powers of ACHA Division 2's Southeast Region are always tremendous, so if you want to get out to see the Ice Lions, you could make a worse call than December 8th.

Other things revealed through the UMBC schedule: the MACHA playoffs will take place over the February 14-16, 2014 weekend, the ACHA's Southeast Regionals follow on the 22nd and 23rd, while the ACHA National Tournament (March 21-25, 2014) has been awarded to Marlborough, MA. Furthermore the MACHA, which lost East Carolina and Monmouth from its ranks after last season, appears as if it is dropping its divisional structure and operating as a single and stacked ten-team circuit (PSU, UMBC, Rider, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Rowan, St. Joseph's, Liberty, Delaware, Temple), with each team playing its nine opponents once at home and once on the road.

Brandywine Ice Hockey Honored at All Sports Banquet

PSU Brandywine's 25th annual all-sports banquet, which featured University Park athletic director Dave Joyner as a guest speaker, had some representation from the only commonwealth campus hockey team to qualify for ACHA Division 3 regionals last season: Drew Haber, Andrew Hieber, Francis Fourney and Joe Naselli were each recognized for their DVCHC all-conference selections.


Duluth East (MN) High School product Meirs Moore, a defenseman with the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers, committed to RPI last week after previously expressing interest in Penn State.

RIT's Ali Binnington: good at playing goalie, not an idiot

RIT women's hockey raises $5,939.86 to help "CURE Childhood Cancer"

Women's hockey goaltender Ali Binnington earns 2013 Co-SIDA/Capital One Academic All-Region honor

Congratulations to the Tigers, a CHA rival of the Nittany Lion women, on the nearly $6,000 generated by their Skate for the Cure event in February (the check was only recently presented to the target organization, which is why this is news now) as well as to goaltender Ali Binnington on becoming RIT's first academic all-region selection of their women's Division I era.

NCHC commissioner Scherr says link to European job ‘premature’

Let's close this out by taking a second to laugh at the dustiest conference in the nation, which may end up needing to hire a second commissioner before its inaugural season.

Done? Okay, now back to figuring out whether "CBS Sports Network" is a real channel or something they made up.

No comments:

Post a Comment