Monday, January 23, 2012

Three Stars: January 16-22

3. Greeley teen Jeanette Bateman earns hockey scholarship to Penn State
(Greeley Tribune)

I usually save articles about future players for Commit Cycle, but then again, the articles usually aren't also about future biomedical engineers with a 4.3 GPA.

Special thanks to for posting this one.

2. Morrisville, Neumann given postseason bans for financial aid violations

Pegula Ice Arena? Expected. Max Gardiner? Exciting, but recruits happen. The true shock bombshell of the week goes to Neumann, an opponent of both the Icers and Lady Icers this season, for receiving the pimp hand from the NCAA.
Neumann’s violations include awarding the majority of international student scholarships to student-athletes during the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years, according to the NCAA. The Knights were sentenced to two years of probation, a $10,000 fine and a postseason ban.

At Neumann, a school financial aid program called the Canadian International Student Initiative Grant was used almost exclusively by men’s and women’s hockey players. In the four-year span, those grants went to student-athletes in all but one case.
It's highly unlikely that we'll cross paths with NU again, but in the event that we do, here's hoping for some creative chant concerning this situation during the national anthem. Karma's brutal, eh?

1. Joe Paterno passes away
(Lions 247)

I'm not sure he'd appreciate it, but among Paterno's immeasurable contributions to Penn State: this blog. Without him, I can say with near certainty that I would have pursued my education elsewhere. Rest in peace, Coach.

Best of the Rest

On the Fly, Jan. 21: UCF, FGCU Split; 16 in Row for PSU

The Ice Lions kept rolling with a blowout of Delaware Saturday night.
Penn State scored five times in the first period, backed off the gas in the second and accelerated in the third for a 9-3 victory over Delaware and the Ice Lions’ 16th consecutive win.

It also boosted their Mid-Atlantic College Hockey North Division-leading record to 9-0-0-0. Overall, the Ice Lions are 21-2-0-0.

Penn State’s top two scorers, Chris Lewis and Jim Recupero, led the Ice Lions on the scoresheet with a pair of goals each. Recupero, who paced the ACHA DII Selects in scoring in Europe during the semester break, added an assist to give him 99 career points.
PSU is down to just four regular season games left: January 28th vs. Rowan, February 3rd at Pittsburgh, Feburary 4th vs. Monmouth and February 11th vs. St. Joseph's. The Ice Lions have already defeated each of those teams this season, with the 5-1 result over Rowan standing as the closest of those games. Also of note - the ranking that determines autobids to nationals will be out February 11th and PSU presently sits in the No. 2 slot in the Southeast (which, if this was February 11th, would get the Ice Lions through to nationals). Basically, barring a monumental upset, Josh Hand's squad seems headed to Fort Myers, FL on March 16th.

Joe Battista

JoePa and JoeBa have something in common besides the structure of their nicknames. Do you know what it's like to devote your entire adult life to one purpose? Neither do I. That's why this interview (from the first intermission of the West Virginia game Friday, just after the Board of Trustees approved Pegula Ice Arena) is so compelling, despite my not even remembering anything Battista said. I spent the whole of it fixed on his expression. However happy we all are, he has to be roughly all of us put together, then multiplied by 30. And you can tell.

Kurt Collins Maintains Steady Rise as Icers Ready for NCAA

I can't say enough about the job Collins has done this year after I considered him a bubble player to even be on the team. Glad to be wrong, and here's a nice feature worthy of his play.

Is the Big Ten Conference Good for College Hockey?

Haven't had one of these in quite a while.

UND lands Omaha recruit
(Grand Forks Herald)

File Chris Wilkie as one of those who got away after he committed to North Dakota last week.
Wilkie is a skilled forward who leads [the Omaha Lancers U16] with 46 goals, 69 assists and 115 points in 45 games. He also had interest from Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan, Nebraska-Omaha and Penn State.
Shifting Big Ten hockey to neutral site would eliminate WIAA conflict
(Wisconsin State Journal)

Andy Baggot gets a solid whine on about the format of the Big Ten tournament (3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 in best-of-threes at the higher seed's rink, winners meet 1 and 2 at the top seed's venue for the semifinals and final). His solution? Hold it at a venue that's convenient to one of the six teams, St. Paul, MN's Xcel Energy Center. Solid call, bro.

UAH to provide less than 50 percent of budget for revived hockey program

Long story short, Huntsville gets to keep a hockey team, but they'd better start averaging more than 1,466 people per game.


The Pegula Ice Arena renderings? Fun, but largely theoretical. Actual work towards building a hockey arena at the site is taking place, and it's time to turn our attention to that.


  1. I guess that I am just accustomed to neutral site semifinals and finals with how the ECAC Tournament is run (regular seasons 9, 10, 11, 12 travel to 5, 6, 7, 8 and 1, 2, 3, 4 have byes, then the winners play at 1, 2, 3, 4. Then the semis and final are played at a neutral site). I think the hybrid of on-campus and neutral site works well for the higher stakes games when the draw is greater. I do prefer the on-campus, personal environments over the generally sterile and corporate venues of most neutral sites. So, I think the B1G has its heart in the right place but it cannot make business sense out of the two strata of attendance capacities at each venue.

    I don't like Baggot's idea for a one-and-done tournament in St. Paul for two reasons. One-and-done seems unfair, I would be fine were it the finals or semifinals that were three-game series instead of the first round but that adds the challenge of reserving a neutral site for a longer period. So, it is likely most logical to have three-game series first rounds and then a one-and-done final and semifinal. Also, placing the event in St. Paul makes it a de facto home game for Minnesota and likely Wisconsin while disadvantaging Ohio State and Penn State fans with travel. It places a burden on the teams that are farther east. If one looks at a map of B1G hockey programs, the likely locations for a B1G tournament should be the geographic center of B1G Hockey. The geographic center is around Grand Rapids, MI. (See, I think it would make sense for Grand Rapids to host it, it does have Van Andel Arena (~10,000 seats). The venue seems somewhat small for what Michigan and Minnesota can expect in fan travel, and what I hope Penn State will have as far as fan travel. The other options might be Chicago or Detroit. Both obviously have venues that could accommodate the anticipated crowds. I know that I would be willing to drive to Yost, Munn, or Value City (if Pegula did not host the event), but I am very unlikely to make the trip to Mariucci or Kohl on a regular basis to see the B1G Hockey Tournament, even though I am planning to make the trip to Kohl next year.

  2. I agree that on-campus doesn't make sense.

    St Paul would be ok because its such a great venue, but I'd rather see it move around (St Paul, Detroit, Pittsburgh, where the Blue Jackets play, etc) rather than always be there. I've been to the WCHA at St Paul and it's not as much of a home game for Minnesota as you might imagine - North Dakota and Wisconsin fans show up in large numbers - but it would be harder for UM, MSU, PSU, or OSU fans to get there.

    I also like the Chicago idea if the United Center can be had. It's neutral and relatively easy to get to and a great city to visit. Detroit wouldn't be too bad - historic, easy to get to (Delta even flies their direct from State College) but not as neutral and not as tourist-friendly.

    That's crazy news about Neumann. So I guess our loss to them doesn't count. Not that it really does anyway.

  3. I probably should have been more specific: I'm not opposed to a neutral site, just THAT neutral site. As a fan of the easternmost team in this thing, I'd like it to not be in the same city as the westernmost team. It's also pretty easy to play up Xcel's success with college hockey when five WCHA teams are in Minnesota, and it has gigantic, well-traveling fanbases North Dakota and Wisconsin in adjacent states.

    I like the Grand Rapids idea - that's a nice out-of-the-box thought, and it hopefully would avoid the empty-seat visual we get for the CCHAs at Joe Louis Arena every year. Realistically, we're not filling 20,000 seats, in St. Paul or anywhere. I'd be okay with Chicago too, mostly because it's easily one of my favorite cities. Maybe Columbus because it's the closest of realistic sites to me and because it's the only place that might get OSU fans to show up.