Monday, July 25, 2011

Three Stars: July 18-24

3. College Township looks at traffic impact of planned Penn State ice arena
(Centre Daily Times)

You know that fun part of arena planning that involves sketches and imagination? This is the opposite of that. A traffic impact study for the Pegula Ice Arena is underway, and the College Township Planning Commission will discuss it on August 16th, after it's completed. But just as a heads up, there might be new turning lanes in the area of the arena.

2. Lions Add 2013 Defenseman
(Lions 247)

The Whalers fan in me desperately wants to find a way to drop "Varley Valapski" in a post somehow. Guess I just did.

1. @tommyolczyk


TSA agent just mistook me for Danny Briere. #shouldhavegonewithit #compliment #thanks #iwish.
Other than changing things up from the usual "recruiting, recruiting, other" pattern, I wanted to use this occasion to point out how much the new players have elevated Penn State hockey's tweet game. Olczyk, Steve Edgeworth, P.J. Musico and Josh Daley in particular are clutch follows. Thanks, gentlemen. #beauties

Best of the Rest

Lions Add Some Fire Power
(Fight On State)

Did I give FOS a demotion for their apparent unawareness of Jonathan Milley until last week's Lions 247 piece? Nah, I just didn't want to put a picture of him at the top two weeks in a row. Beyond that, newer recruits get tiebreaker advantages.

An early glimpse at incoming freshman commit Zach Hyman
(The Michigan Daily)

This isn't included as a what-might-have-been as much as for its insight into Guy Gadowsky's recruiting methods.
Former Princeton hockey coach Guy Gadowsky told Zach Hyman to go be "The Man."

At the young age of 15, Hyman committed to play for Gadowsky and the Tigers. With already two years of experience in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, that still wasn’t enough for the college stage — Gadowsky wanted Hyman to play one more year in the OJHL.

According to Gadowsky, once Hyman became "The Man" in the OJHL, he’d learn what it felt like to be the best and translate that feeling into being an impact player as a Princeton Tiger during his freshman campaign.
Hyman, of course, did as Gadowsky asked and was heavily criticized for playing beneath his abilities. Then he decommitted from Princeton when Gadowsky left, ending up at Michigan.

As we've figured out by now, Gadowsky likes players who have proven to be "the man," even if it means staying in junior a year past the comfort zone of most. Winning players bring a winning culture with them - and it worked at former doormat Princeton, so why not at new program Penn State?

...then it got a lot less tough. Then it got a little tougher, but not as tough as it was originally.

Northern Michigan to Rejoin WCHA Family

Your conference alignment segment of this week's post begins with another conference that's official and effective for 2013-2014. As of that season, the dub is now up to a membership of Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, NMU and St. Cloud State.

Huskies are left with only questions
(St. Cloud Times)

Kurtz led PSU from 1974-76.
I feel like St. Cloud State is one of the big losers of the conference shifting - a competitive program in a top conference that's now in the hockey equivalent of the MAC. They might end up needing an autobid to make the NCAA tournament after taking an at-large slot six times in the last thirteen years. In the aftermath, a former PSU coach and faculty member (who, by the way, has made recent trips to State College) was not spared from criticism.
SCSU also is paying athletic director Morris Kurtz nearly $130,000 to stay around for a lame-duck year before his June 2012 retirement. What exactly is his role with the hockey program now? Does he even have one?
WCHA commish has no guarantees for MSU Moorhead
(The Dickinson Press)
“It is really tough to make a commitment … and if I could tell Moorhead in three years you’ll be in the WCHA I would, but in these circumstances, I cannot even come close to that,” [WCHA commissioner Bruce] McLeod said. “I cannot make promises, but at the same time I’d love to encourage that the Fargo-Moorhead area is really fine.”
Nothing to see here, I suppose. But it's pretty clear that school and conference need each other right now.

Another view: Thinking of history and the conference realignment
Of course, I realize this is not about storied teams and traditions, but about money. If you don’t think this is the case, then consider this — a three time NCAA Champion [Lake Superior State] is being (kind of) replaced by a school (Penn State) that up to this point has had nothing more than a club team. I cannot be the only one that finds this astounding.
Flexible definitions of "storied" aside, I think people need to wake up to the fact that winning a national championship doesn't grant your program some sort of immunity, or even respect, until the end of days. Northern Michigan realizes that, and is trying to position themselves as well as they're able in the present reality. RPI does too. Evolve or die - it's true in life, and after a period of complacency-inspiring status quo, it's true in college hockey too. LSSU has done very little evolving since losing Jeff Jackson to the newly-formed U.S. National Team Development Program in 1996.

CCHA, Atlantic Schools To Meet, Weigh Options
(College Hockey News)

Speaking of, four Atlantic Hockey programs are using the upheaval to grow.
CCHA officials will meet within the next two weeks with representatives of four Atlantic Hockey schools about a potential change in conferences in 2013-14.

Robert Morris, Niagara, Mercyhurst and Canisius are all actively exploring the possibility of switching from Atlantic Hockey to the CCHA. It is believed that the four would leave as a group, or not at all, though that is not set in stone.
Depending on when Notre Dame decides to move, this could be the one that brings this all to an uneasy detente. AHA would still be viable with eight teams, and the WCHA and CCHA both would have added enough to survive.

Canisius coach Dave Smith may be looking to grow his program through a move to the CCHA - and none other than The Namesake may be helping him by financing another college hockey rink.

Like how I snuck a bonus link in the caption?
Serious discussions have been ongoing about [Terry] Pegula backing (see: major donation) a movement toward a new on-campus events center. It would serve as a home for Canisius and the Buffalo Junior Sabres, a practice rink for the Sabres and be available to youth teams. There's talk it could also become a basketball venue and a place for graduation ceremonies that are now held at UB.
Just as this whole thing might be hurting St. Cloud State, it might be helping the former Icers rival.

Alberts says 'The National' will raise Mav profile
(Omaha World Herald)

I already have an anti-NCHC bias, in part because I really think Big Ten-NCHC in hockey will be a lot like Big Ten-SEC in football in due time. Hopefully minus the part where the Big Ten is pretty vastly inferior to the other side. So to get their side of things in here and make it somewhat palatable, I took an article from my favorite NCHC school, Nebraska-Omaha (and yes, Trev Alberts is the AD there if you didn't know that).

To be honest though, I hate conference chest beating, and I hate it even more when schools and fans identify themselves as a member of a conference seemingly ahead of all else (PSU administration is guilty of this on occasion). In the grand scheme of things, I couldn't care less about the Big Ten. I didn't go to school at "Big Ten," I went to Penn State.

Minnesota Gophers Hockey: Creating A New Tournament Tradition
(SB Nation) let's segue into to talking about another Big Ten team just because they're in the Big Ten! The Gophers and their in-state soon-to-be-former conference rivals are looking to possibly start an in-season tournament at the Xcel Energy Center - like a State of Hockey Beanpot by all accounts. Sounds great to me, it could be huge if given time to grow into the deep hockey culture there.

Timeline: College hockey conferences through the years

In case you're lost.

Versus may be interested in college hockey TV package
(Schenectady Daily Gazette)

While most have heard by now that Versus is looking to get into the college hockey business (in all likelihood via a deal with whichever conference Notre Dame ultimately joins), it's somewhat of a surprise that they may look to take the plunge as soon as this season.
Numerous sources have indicated that Versus is discussing the possibility of televising regular-season college hockey games, beginning in January. What conferences would be involved, or what night the games would be shown (either Friday or Saturday) is unclear right now. Versus, part of the NBC Sports Group, is the cable home of the NHL. A few months ago, the NBC Sports Group signed a 10-year deal to keep the NHL on NBC and Versus.
Skating through the past
(The Temple News)

A look at the history of Temple hockey, which dates back to 1940. Penn State, as we now know, dealt the Owls a pair of losses in their inaugural season. Today, Temple is a fierce rival of PSU's ACHA Division 2 Ice Lions.

Brian Slugocki has been a key figure throughout the reorganization of Arizona hockey. Now, he and his mates finally have a new coach.

Sean Hogan Returns to the ACHA as Head Coach of the University of Arizona

A while back, I wrote about the state of affairs in a former PSU nemesis' program. And despite the accusations from some (possibly people affiliated with former coach Leo Golembiewski) that the coup out west was a case of hockey parents run amok, it's a story with a happy ending. Sean Hogan takes over the newly-rechristened Wildcat program after a year as Jeff Blashill's video coach at Western Michigan. Icers fans may remember him as the guy who led Oakland to the ACHA D2 national title in 2006, then moved the team up to D1 and won another in 2007 - a championship made possible by an upset of Penn State in the final.

Best wishes to Arizona Wildcat hockey as they move forward with a fresh start.

Arvanitis Named Head Coach

Speaking of coaching changes, one of our opponents this season made one as well, promoting Peter Arvanitis from his assistant position. The former Oklahoma City Blazer has been with the Sooners for two non-consecutive seasons, 2005-2006 and last year. For what it's worth, OU has also acknowledged cancellation of the January 5th game with the Icers in Norman, one minor step towards finalizing the game at Citizens Bank Park on the 4th.

I'll close by saying that I like how Oklahoma registered "" before Ohio. Sucks to suck, fake OU.

1 comment:

  1. I like your articles and have been especially interested in the history of the program that you so clearly address.BUT. Yeah!--let's go out this season and beat up on all the ACHA teams with the highly touted D-1 players (recruits and transfers) My neighbor's son is a 2nd year Icer so I've been a convert to the game of hockey and following the team for the last two exciting years, What a shame for all the existing Icer players (especially the Seniors) who have given up as much as 3 years of their college hockey with little notoriety and NO scholarship money. The upperclassmen will have the opportunity to try out next year but good luck with that!! These transferss who have no vested interest in the Penn State Icer tradition other to to use it as an opportunity to complete and fulfill their sit-out year want to play and be heroes against a much less talented ACHA group of teams. The current Icers deserve to continue the Icer tradition by playing in this last year of the ACHA. Granted the future is going to be an exciting adventure for all but discarding current players is not the right thing to do. Beating up on the ACHA this season will bring absolutely no excitement to the games at all.