Tuesday, July 26, 2011

PSU Wins Battle of Waterloo

The USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks announced on Monday that goaltender Eamon McAdam has committed to play at Penn State, starting in 2013-2014. McAdam becomes the second member of the 2013 recruiting class, joining defenseman and fellow Pennsylvania native Connor Varley.

Eamon McAdam

Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
6'2", 175 pounds
Perkasie, PA
DOB 9/24/1994

USHL player page

Season   Team                  Lge   GP  Rec      GAA   SV%

2009-10  Team Comcast          Mdgt  23  12-10-1  2.47  0.920
2010-11  Austin Bruins         NAHL   9   2- 4-2  3.32  0.904
2010-11  Waterloo Black Hawks  USHL   4   2- 2-0  3.48  0.888

Here's the full text of the release:
Perkasie, Pennsylvania native Eamon McAdam became the first Waterloo Black Hawk player to commit to Penn State’s new varsity hockey program, the Hawks announced Monday.

The Nittany Lions will begin playing NCAA Division I hockey in 2012-2013. McAdam will join the squad as a freshman in 2013-2014.

A goaltender who appeared for the Black Hawks off of the team’s affiliate list last winter, McAdam played in four USHL games. He was 2-2-0 for Waterloo, posting a 3.48 goals-against average and 88.8% save pct. McAdam’s first league win came during a 20-save performance versus the Chicago Steel on January 15th. The 16-year-old also played for the Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey League in 2010-2011. Taking the ice nine times for the Bruins, McAdam was 2-4-2 with a 3.32 GAA and 90.4% save percentage.

“We were fortunate to have Eamon available to us at several key points last season,” said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley. “Having had that experience should prepare him to be a significant contributor to the Black Hawks this season.”

Last winter, 14 Black Hawks players had commitments to Division I universities. McAdam is the ninth player on Waterloo’s 2011-2012 preseason roster to choose a school.
Following a sturdy midget season with Team Comcast (including a pair of shutouts), McAdam was drafted twice in 2010: by the London Knights in the fourth round of the Ontario Hockey League Draft, and by the Black Hawks in the sixth round of the USHL Futures Draft. He decided in favor of Waterloo and retaining amateur status, so the Black Hawks put him on their protected list and sent him to the NAHL's Austin Bruins to begin last year. "Respectable stats on a bad team" might be an accurate way to describe McAdam's nine games in the Texas capital, and he allowed three or fewer goals in his last five games.

When the second half of the season started, McAdam found himself up in the USHL and got into four games. While he was shelled (6 goals in 40 minutes) by Indiana in his debut, he improved with each outing - his last two appearances were wins, including one goal against on 21 shots versus Chicago and a 14-for-14 relief effort against Dubuque.

McAdam is a popular selection for elite-level camps and showcases, including the recent USA Hockey Select 17 Development Camp from July 7-13, where he posted a 2-1-0 record with a 3.20 goals against average and a 0.910 save percentage. Earlier this summer, he was at the Warren Strelow National Team Goaltending Camp (May 12-15) and the Liberty Bell Games (June 10-12). That latter event is attended by numerous scouts and coaches from across professional, college and junior hockey, and assistant coach Matt Lindsey represented Penn State - one can't help but think that a strong performance there ultimately helped lead to McAdam's becoming the newest Nittany Lion.

Until that's official though, he'll return to Waterloo, where he will likely start the 2011-2012 season as the team's No. 2 goalie.


  1. This upcoming Penn State club team is going to kick some serious arse.

  2. Sorry not too exciting for most. Nothing to really be proud of when you unfairly stack the deck. It will not only be embarrassing to win big but will also be twice as embarrassing if the team should lose. ACHA teams should play with ACHA players.

  3. You have a point but what can they do? Even though they are going to play an ACHA schedule, they have to look to the future. 2011-12 is coming up fast and the wins may be few. I think one last grand season topped with the 2011 ACHA champs flag would be great.

  4. FWIW, I try my best to see both sides of it.

    Things are going to be pretty tough as it is in 2012, and it would have been foolish to turn away DI hockey players just out of the principle of "hey, we're still in the ACHA and we have kids who need to play out their eligibility." We have a unique situation where we can pull in guys and have them still play competitive hockey instead of redshirting. That goes for our overrecruiting relative to last year's departures too. A few missteps on that end of things, and all of a sudden we're not a new program with a new facility and forward momentum, just a bad one. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that recruiting based only on the existing team sets us back a decade. We're going to have an NCAA DI team shortly, and we need to fill it with the best players we can find.

    At the same time, my heart goes out to the kids who went in on Penn State hockey before it was the cool thing to do, who liked it enough to pay their own way, and who gave us the thrill of following a good level of hockey with almost none of the recognition. They've busted their butts, been a source of pride to a lot of people...and didn't sign up for any of this. Some of them will undoubtedly be winding up their careers with the D2 team in front of parents and girlfriends, if they even feel like playing anymore. They deserve better than that, and it's nothing less than a cruel situation.

    I'll be honest - I'm really not sure why we elected to play an extra year of ACHA. My GUESS based on a couple things I've heard is that we didn't originally plan on ramping up the roster this quickly. Remember, everyone's treating the Big Ten as the endgame, and originally, we weren't joining until 2014, giving us a full three years to slowly build a team. But that got moved up, and we hired Gadowsky, who had a different idea - and given his history, it would be flat stupid not to trust his building plan. The team we have now would certainly be competitive against an independent schedule of some top ACHAs and DIIIs, some low DIs, the NTDP, etc. In hindsight, I think we should've done that for a year, add in some better DIs in place of some ACHAs/DIIIs in 2012-13, and go full bore in 2013-14. So I really think what we're seeing is the result of changing plans mid-stream.

    Either way, all I can do is trust the people paid to make these decisions, and I do completely trust Battista, Downey, Gadowsky, etc. We have great leadership for this program, and they'll give us a program to take pride in.

  5. Sorry for the long comment...probably should've just written a post! I definitely will at some point, but I want to see exactly how this all shakes down with this year's roster before giving a "full" opinion.

  6. Good point about the kids who didn't sign up for this. I feel for the former coach, as well. PSU is going to have tough go of it for a few years in the Big 10. So I say revel in this now.

    Kyle, do you know if the championship flags will be hoisted in the new arena? I know that Bemidji has seven of their NAIA championship flags (along with their six NCAA flags) up. I think it would be a good idea and a nod to the ACHA.

  7. I don't have any inside knowledge, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the ACHA legacy will be honored at the PIA. The seven (eight by then?) ACHA banners would be the best way to do that IMO...I'd be okay leaving off the conference banners, etc. though.

    One of the Delaware players on Twitter (I forget who, maybe Josh Weiner) said something like "PSU will be undefeated this year...and winless next year." Obviously an exaggeration on both sides, but point taken. I'm going to enjoy rolling everyone this year, because it's going to have to last us for a little bit.

  8. Wow this guy is from my home town and this is the first I've heard of him haha.

  9. Don't have as much problem with the recruited players as much as the transfers. I guess it would be good to know the reason for their transfer to Penn State (did they not agree with their coach or playing time, did they think they were being "used" in a manner not to their liking? I really don't know but other than them using the Icers ACHA year as just a sit-out year bothers me when I see true Penn State loyalty players not getting to suit up as an Icer and lose their spots to those that didn't have the Penn State Tradition in mind a few years ago when we were what we are now-ACHA. Oh Well let's look to the future I guess.

  10. The Bruins are in Austin Minnesota not Austin Texas