3. 150 Miles for a Cure...
Women's assistant Casey McCullion is once again participating in the 150-mile-long Bike MS City to Shore ride to fight multiple sclerosis, which takes place this year on September 28th and 29th. I'll let her do the talking from here:
I've registered for Bike MS because I want to do something for the people who have been diagnosed, including my friend from Holy Cross (and riding buddy) who lives with MS every day. I want to do everything to prevent more people from learning what it means to live with this disease. Just as I did last year, I am dedicating my ride to him and hope that he will be able to join me (even if it's just for a few training rides)! Today, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and with diagnosis occurring most frequently between the ages of 20 and 50, many individuals face a lifetime filled with unpredictability.She's only $205 away from her fundraising goal... just saying. If you listened to me last time and donated, thank you. If not, please consider it if you're able.
Confirming earlier reports, the Big Ten has officially announced its hockey media day:
The site of media day will be Xcel Energy Center which, of course, will also host the inaugural Big Ten tournament from March 20th through 22nd. According to Let's Play Hockey, the event will be held from 9:00 a.m. until noon local time, so 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in the eastern time zone. Interestingly, the NCHC has scheduled its media day elsewhere in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis' Target Center, to be specific) on the same date, in an overlapping window, 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. local. Have fun with that one, actual journalists.
Media day should, in theory, be an interesting glimpse into the type of coverage Penn State can expect from its conference rivals and even its own outlets. However, considering the geographic isolation of the site, the low return on investment for those making the trip from any distance and the nature of PSU hockey coverage to this point, it could wind up being a bunch of Minnesota and Wisconsin writers asking Gadowsky about Pegula Ice Arena. Ain't no such thing as bad publicity, but I'm not expecting to learn anything.
Nittany Lions players involved? Your guess is as good as mine, but one has to think that the letter-bearers (Tommy Olczyk, Nate Jensen and David Glen) are leading candidates, with former Minnesota Golden Gopher and Minnetonka High School product Max Gardiner also receiving strong consideration. Supposedly - I feel like I saw this somewhere, but can't remember where - just one player per team will attend.
Hey, why not?
Best of the Rest
Flames' hockey to don new jerseys for 2013-14 season
Liberty, the Women's Ice Hockey Club's season-opening opponent on September 27th and 28th, is debuting new uniforms this year. They're nothing spectacular, although they are consistent across all five Flames hockey teams (there's your trivia for the week - LU is the only school to have a team in all five ACHA divisions). The only exception to the previous sentence: the D2 women, D2 men and D3 men will wear the wordmark across the chest (as shown above) while the D1 men and D1 women will have the school's new logo front and center:
What's Kenny Brooks been up to lately? Glad you asked, because the Tri-City Storm, his junior team, caught up with him recently for a quick interview.
Waterloo Black Hawks’ Coach On Islanders’ 2013 Picks
(CBS New York)
I haven't been at this New York Islanders thing long, but WFAN's Daniel Friedman is easily my favorite guy covering the team to this point. He was one of the only people offering anything of substance from the team's development camp last month and now, he's scored an interview with P.K. O'Handley, who coached two 2013 Isles draft picks - Eamon McAdam and Taylor Cammarata - with the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks last year.
O'Handley, unfortunately, fell a little flat on his end, giving mostly useless replies. Compare McAdam to an NHL goalie? "He’s a big mobile goalie. I think you could make a comparison to quite a few." How did he stack up in the rotation with Cal Petersen last season? "McAdam was the veteran. It was a unique situation with two draft-eligible goalies. I thought McAdam was good and was rewarded by being drafted." Keep up the good work Mr. Friedman, all you can do is ask the questions.
NTDP Defenseman McAvoy Commits to Boston University
(Western College Hockey Blog)
Long Island native Charlie McAvoy, recently picked for the National Team Development Program U17s, visited Penn State at one point but has opted for Boston University. The 1997-born offensive defenseman will likely join the Terriers in 2015.
UNO hockey trio accused of starting fight with racial slurs
Fun fact: Nebraska-Omaha used to be my favorite NCAA Division I program. So, uh, thanks again Terry.
The essentials of this story (file it all under "allegedly" so I don't have to insert the word in every sentence): On August 3rd, Maverick players Matt White, Alex Simonson and Preston Hodge were involved in a racially-charged altercation outside of an Omaha bar with "a small group of African-Americans" that began with "racial slurs and epithets." Hodge then began pushing a man named Lamar Triplett (who is black, but apparently was not part of the original group and was just walking through the wrong place at the wrong time), and Triplett responded by Derek Boogaarding him. White also threw a punch at Triplett and missed, while Simonson stepped in with the bar parking lot fight equivalent of face washing - shoving other members of Triplett's party.
UNO reacted swiftly, dismissing White and Hodge from the team and revoking their scholarships. Hodge, a freshman defenseman, had yet to suit up for the Mavs, but White is a particularly tough blow to the team as a co-captain and close to a point-per-game player for his career. Senior defenseman Simonson, apparently the least involved of the three, has been suspended pending further investigation. Court appearances for all three and Triplett on their disorderly conduct citations are scheduled for September.
Michigan coach Red Berenson, for the record, is 73 years old. The photo above was taken at UM's alumni game a couple weeks ago.
NCHC to Use Shootout in Regular Season Contests
I'd love to make fun of the fact that the NCHC will be using shootouts, but the Big Ten is using them too, so that's off.
Honestly though, it's not the worst thing ever in my opinion. Shootout games will count as ties for national purposes, most notably, the PairWise Rankings and NCAA Tournament selection, with the extra points awarded to shootout winners only applying towards the conference standings. I suppose that opens the door for someone to win a regular season title over someone else due to being better at shootouts, but how often will that actually happen? The price might be worth having a winner and a loser for every game, as artificial as it may be.
In other, more anticlimactic NCHC news, the new conference has officially been recognized and awarded a tournament autobid by the NCAA.
At World Junior camp, Big Ten had a big representation
Nine of the 31 players surviving to the end of the recent World Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY go to Michigan, Minnesota or Wisconsin. That bodes well for the size of the Big Ten's delegation to Team USA for this season's World Junior Championships.
Details announced about Frozen Frontier hockey event
CHA rival RIT is the latest college program to get in on outdoor hockey, as the Tiger women will play Clarkson at Rochester's Frontier Field (normally home to the Rochester Red Wings of minor league baseball) on December 14th. RIT's men, who also play Penn State in 2013-2014, will cap the doubleheader against Niagara that evening.
An AHL game between the Terry Pegula-owned Rochester Americans and the Lake Erie Monsters on December 13th is both the launch point and the centerpiece of the ten-day Frozen Frontier festival.
Penn State Ranks 19th in Merchandise Royalties
PSU's Collegiate Licensing Company merch ranking is 19th this year. That's down from 12th last year, but all things considered, not too bad. Now if only the idiots out there could stop celebrating the drop because they think it scores points in their crusade against Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees.
|I'll be honest: I'm not ready for this anyway|
Maryland's move to Big Ten at a cost of tens of millions
Can we all agree to stop dropping Maryland as a potential NCAA hockey candidate for a while? They're bleeding, rather profusely. Even accounting for the Big Ten's rather large checks soon to be headed their way, it's going to take them a bit to get to the point where hockey will even be on the table.
Anything's possible with a billionaire in your corner? I suppose, but at the same time, Penn State's athletic department was completely healthy and turning a profit in 2010. If 2013 Maryland fell into $102 million, they would probably want to do something other than build a hockey rink with it. Just saying.
Code of Conduct Violation Grounds KSU for 2013-14
Back in 2005, Georgia school Kennesaw State almost had NCAA Division I hockey. Seriously. However, there's quite a bit of distance between then and now, as the still-ACHA Division 3 Owls have been suspended for the 2013-2014 season due to "misbehavior involving alcohol" at the D3 national tournament last season.
Wisconsin Recruit Dvorak to Sign with London of OHL
(Western College Hockey Blog)
As far as I can tell, it's sort of against the college hockey code to laugh when major junior poaches a recruit from a rival - it's a problem we all face together, and your school could easily be next. Nevertheless... hahahahahaha.
The recruit in question here is ex-future Wisconsin Badger Christian Dvorak. He's a 1996-born, 2014 NHL Draft eligible who played midget major for the Chicago Mission AAA last year. Instead of going to UDubs in 2014 as originally planned, Dvorak will sign with the OHL's London Knights (incidentally, the team that holds Eamon McAdam's CHL rights) and leave the Badgers extremely shorthanded at forward. Which is fine by me, since PSU might have needed Thomas Welsh to defend against him.
Pegula Ice Arena - Interior
Let's close this out with a quick check on the first-ever ice building process at the arena, which began on Friday.
Workers have been on the floor each day since then as well, resulting in the above photo from 11:28 Sunday night. With a couple layers down, the familiar white color will follow early this week, with more layers and markings after that. And then, in a couple days, a playing surface for hockey games. Cool.