|Kenny Brooks and Army's Thane Heller will once again cross sticks on Friday|
After a wild eight days, we're right back where we started from: Army will open the varsity rink at Pegula Ice Arena against the Nittany Lion men on Friday in spite of the ongoing federal government shutdown.
College Hockey News, citing two sources, reported on Tuesday that the stuck-in-limbo game had finally received the green light from West Point. Army followed up CHN's initial report on Wednesday with official confirmation.
This mess of what, fortunately, appears to be a non-story first entered the spotlight a week ago when, citing a Department of Defense directive resulting from the shutdown that began October 1st, the Naval Academy announced the cancellation of sporting events.
From there, chaos followed. Army immediately wiped out a couple of soccer contests, then seemed to reverse course last Thursday by announcing that athletic contests would go on as planned. One day later, College Hockey News' Mike McMahon reported that the declaration of victory was premature, as clearance was only given for games last week, with anything after that receiving review later. Penn State, McMahon later reported, began working on Plan B opponents in case Army couldn't show, with Canisius considered a prime target due to the program's shared connection with Terry Pegula.
Regardless, all's well that ends well, as they say, and this one looks to be on its way.
Next weekend, Penn State is scheduled to travel to Colorado Springs, CO to take on the Air Force Academy. Those games continue to be on the schedule, although whether they'll remain there is still a bit murky. There was a bit of good news on that front as well on Wednesday, as the Falcons confirmed that they will travel to Alaska to participate in a tournament this weekend, thanks to Alaska-Anchorage helping with travel costs.