Monday, December 20, 2010

The Birth of the Icers

While cleaning out my closet, I came across a media packet I stole a long time ago. Okay, maybe I didn't steal it and they just passed them out at a postseason awards banquet. Pick whichever fits what you want to think about me. Anyway, it contained a copy of the following article from the November 17th, 1971 Daily Collegian - the first in the Collegian's long history of Icers coverage, which I've transcribed for you here. Enjoy.


Ice hockey returns to Penn State
Hockey gets warm reception

By Bill Guthlein
Collegian Sports Writer

Sport fans are in for a new treat this season at Penn State. Football will no longer reign as the number one physical sport, and the reason is a faculty member named Larry Hendry.

Hendry, a member of the chemistry department, is the general coach of the newly-formed Penn State Hockey Club. A NCAA hockey official, Hendry was surprised Penn State had no club.

"When I came down here there was nothing to do (hockey-wise). Of course I was discouraged but now I'm very pleased we have gotten something going here," he said.

Members of the team give Hendry a "lions" share of the credit for the club's existence. Robert Bernheim, a colleague of Hendry in the chemistry department, is extremely happy with the new activity. He praises Hendry for the work he has done.

"It's simply a matter of putting in the time and the effort to get the club working. Hendry is a real mover and organizer," he noted.

Jim Graulty a junior from Pittsburgh considers Hendry to be the lifeblood of the club.

"He's just great," Graulty observed. "He went to Ithaca to get the team hockey sticks at cost. He's the kind of guy that can mean a lot."

The other coaches are Dick Merkel (he helps line and goalies), Jim Hodgson (wings and centers), and Frank Dougherty (defense). These coaches will probably play in competition.

Although this is the first hockey organization Penn State has fielded since the 1940's, the club has gained support from both participants and spectators. Even the community has joined in to help the untested team along. The Pittsburgh Penguins gave the team some goalie equipment.

Ecstasy is the general tone of this club. The President of the club, sophomore Roy Scott has stated, "I'm amazed we're here at all. All we seemed to need was a chance to get started, someone giving us a chance to play. We proved we have the support."

Currently the club has 130 members, 30 on the A squad. Hendry finds he needs more ice time than the 10 p.m. - 1 a.m. Monday through Friday schedule the club now has because of the overwhelming membership. Hendry is working on a schedule now.

"We hope to play 10 to 12 games this season. There will be a scrimmage against Bucknell on November 19 between 10-11:15 (p.m.). It's free, so anyone can come," he said.

There is a tentative game against Bucknell for November 30. This is still subject to administration approval.

Hendry is optimistic about a high student interest in the game, "I expect 1500 people at each of the games."

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