Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Three Stars: July 16-22

When I assemble these posts, I really only have a couple of rules:

1. For top three consideration, a link must have a direct connection to Penn State hockey.
2. For first star consideration, a link must contain a picture or video I can use to lead the post. Or, at the very least, there has to be an obvious connection to a picture or video from elsewhere.

In light of those two rules (which admittedly are ignored on rare occasion) and some arbitrary sense of the importance level required to make the top three, I found it impossible to construct an appropriate Three Stars this week. Therefore, I'm taking the unprecedented step of simply listing the links. Before we get going though, allow me to add a third rule:

3. There is a temporary moratorium on NCAA and Big Ten sanction discussion. Yeah, I could probably link about 20,000 blog posts and columns, and tell you they're on point or (more likely) not, but that doesn't do you any good. Honestly, it doesn't do me any good either. My official position on all of that as it pertains to hockey is here, and as far as I know it hasn't changed since yesterday.

Royals goalie coach Darren Hersh has roots with the Hershey Bears
(Stack the Pads)

Darren Hersh, the Icers' goalie coach from 2000 through 2005 and who is now holding down that position with the ECHL's Reading Royals, is interviewed here.

"Here," by the way, is Stack the Pads, a goalie-centric blog that you need to get in your rotation as they bump up their PSU coverage.

Know Your Enemy: Union
(Without a Peer)

Speaking of your personal blogroll, make sure WaP is on it as well. I read it before I even started TYT, and this blog has been influenced by that one in several ways. So yeah, when they hit on a topic of mutual interest - like the Union College Dutchmen of the coming season - they're definitely getting a slot here.

After initial misgivings about the hire over in Spartyland, I've developed a solid mancrush on Tom Anastos.

A look at the 2012 - 2013 Schedule
(The Munn Minute)

Speaking of opponents for this season and blogs I like, and in spite of the fact that most major conference opponents aren't sweating PSU yet, here's a Michigan State blog that's actually kind of excited to see us hit East Lansing in January. TMM ranks that series third in a list of the top ten interest-piquing matchups, behind only their home series with archrival Michigan and the Great Lakes Invitational, which is outdoors at Detroit's Comerica Park this year. No pressure. Because the post includes a picture of the Land Grant Trophy, I'm just going to copy-paste what it says.
The Land Grant Trophy will be on the line in January as Penn State and Michigan State will face-off for the first time ever in a division 1 hockey game. Hey, the football teams aren't scheduled to face each other, so why not put the trophy on the ice (and have someone take a slapshot to it). In all seriousness, it will be great to see the sixth Big 10 school at Munn Icea Arena as we move towards the hockey conference for the 2013-2014 season.
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson, 72, still 'all in' with the Wolverines
(Detroit Free Press)

The Red Baron was in the news last week, largely because he received a well-earned three-year contract extension. Rather than link a story about that though, I linked the one with this:
On Connor Carrick’s decision to sign with the [OHL's] Plymouth Whalers after being committed to Michigan for two years: “I think he talked to Coach Wiseman. I never got a call from him. I just think it’s a huge mistake. The sad thing is, we make a commitment to a kid two years ago and we sit on that scholarship and we honor that commitment and right up until the draft, and then he takes the draft and decides now he’s going to go in a different direction? What kind of integrity is that? That’s just terrible. That’s one of the things that bothers me about college coaching. Some of these families and kids don’t keep their word. I hate to put integrity on the line, but let’s face it. This is a commitment you make and this is your word and what are you doing?”

Gotkin, Sisti Signed To Four-Year Contract Extensions

Berenson wasn't the only PSU conference rival to get an extension, as former Head Coach Candidate Mike Sisti got four more years with the Mercyhurst women. Between Sisti, RIT coach Scott McDonald (who was also recently extended) and Josh Brandwene, there's some pretty decent job security in the CHA these days.

Not a likely rivalry anytime soon...hey, when else was I going to show off my Ice Vols jersey on here?

Nashville-area colleges remain cool to adding hockey as sport
(The Tennessean)

Expense, conference alignment, competition, Title IX, the usual. I remain of the belief that it's going to be quite a while before we see college hockey sweeping the sun belt or the west coast. That's not a knock on the numbers and quality of players those areas now produce, including Penn State pucksters Celine Whitlinger, Micayla Catanzariti, Jenna Welch, Hanna Hoenshell, P.J. Musico, Taylor Holstrom and Kenny Brooks. It's simply an acknowledgement that hockey's regional concentration of programs and unique facility demands (not to mention the idea of adding anything at all in the current climate) are pretty huge obstacles.

Other sports deserve attention, too
(The Daily Collegian)

Before there was...uhhhh...something else to talk about, one popular topic on Penn State message boards was: "Why do we underachieve in football and suck in men's basketball, while dominating in sports nobody cares about?" It was actually the number one criticism of (technically still) athletic director Tim Curley, before there were...uhhhh...other things to criticize him on.

Long story short, now-ish would be a decent time to start caring about those sports "nobody cares about" (men's and women's hockey are two mentioned in the column). But then again, every time is a decent time for that.


  1. I am very excited to see Penn State come into East Lansing, simply because it's the dawn of a new era. A Big 10 era.

    In the back of my mind, I've often wondered what a Big 10 hockey conference would look like, and I think this is an exciting time to be a hockey fan in Big 10 country. I also believe this will help raise the profile of college hockey around the country.

    As far as PSU being good or not, I would expect them to compete hard each night, so it won't be an easy win for anyone who takes them lightly. I don't believe it will take long at all considering the staff that PSU has put together, and the fact that you aren't far from some talent-rich recruiting areas.

    And I wouldn't mind seeing the Land Grant Trophy destroyed. Or as one of my friends puts it: "It's a trophy that looks like a shelf was built on a trophy of a shelf."

  2. I think it was meant as some kind of pomo art piece deconstructing the traditional ideas of "trophy" and "good taste."

    Some kind of between periods destruction of it, for charity of course, would be great. That would definitely make SportsCenter (and SportsCentre).

  3. I have to say, my respect for MSU grows daily. Anastos is a class act (his twitter is a fun one to follow), and this further proves to me that they're a classy program. Solid mancrush. :)

    As far as Michigan goes, are they slightly delusional? I don't know, when you say that if the player is ready to go pro you're happy that they go and then get moody when players decide independently of the coaches? It seems to me that Michigan bred a hockey culture they're not controlling anymore and quite honestly, that's their own fault. Do I think going to be a DI athlete is more respectable than Major Juniors? Hell yes. But I also am not these kids making these decisions.

    Agreed about other sports and I love UAH's jerseys! I don't know, their colors and everything are kind of wonderful.

  4. It's sort of a tough thing for me to digest...if Jacob Trouba goes to Kitchener now, he's a scumbag. If he plays one season for Michigan, then signs with the Jets, he's an "alumnus" (haha) with full privileges and an important part of their program's tradition. I really don't believe that recruits should commit unless they're certain of their plans and intend to keep their word. At the same time, if Trouba were to go to Michigan and flame out, would they hold his scholarship for four years to let him get a degree? Both sides act in their own interests.

    Anastos has replaced Derek Schooley in the NCAA coach Twitter rankings, and largely because of his attitude towards PSU, I have no problem calling his program my second favorite in the Big Ten. I do miss the days when Schooley would banter with North Dakota fans and review movies on the team bus though. Hopefully he picks it back up.

  5. BTW, agree with Reed on the Land Grant trophy. Neither school likes it, and they're not the end-of-season game anymore. I won't even get into whether it's a "real" rivalry, since every Big Ten school has like four trophy games, or at least it seems that way. But yeah, blow it up.

  6. I always want to see MSU beat Michigan. The cow college over the big fancy snobby place. That's a stereotype, yes, but we're rooting for laundry here, people, no need to be consistent.

    I don't have a problem with kids making decisions on their future, but I think college hockey needs to set up certain windows when guys can leave for the pros and maybe have early signing periods and so forth. It's great that hockey isn't stuck with as dumb of a system like basketball or football, but there's a lot of common sense things that could be done to make it easier for coaches to plan their rosters.

  7. I do feel bad for Michigan, it seems like they lose a player every week. Players obviously have the right to do as they choose, but I agree, it should be done within certain restrictions so the programs can better prepare. It's a two-way street, and both sides deserve to be considered.

    PSU's had brushes with it - the Jessi Hilton saga, former offer holder Anthony DiFruscia, and I know that Luke Juha and Thomas Welsh were/are being pressured that way (generally the case with any Canadians with enough ability, especially ones taken in the OHL draft, as they both were), but we haven't lost a commit yet. Someday, we will, and I'll probably react a lot like Berenson. Such is the human condition.

    Hockey is somewhat unusual with only 59 programs and fewer spots than there are people willing and able to play, so programs are able to stash a kid in junior until he's 20 if it helps the depth chart - or bring him in at 18 if they really need him - with very little risk (once in a while, OSU gets burned by a Matt Skoff). So there are certain realities that favor the programs too, as opposed to football where everyone's coming in straight from high school and it's a little harder to fix mistakes of overrecruiting a position or something like that.