Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ice Lions Announce Roster, Schedule

Former Icer and USHLer Brandon Russo isn't done wrestling with Ohio just yet - he'll do so with the Ice Lions against the D2 Bobcats on November 16th and 17th.

Matt Morrow, the new head coach of the ACHA Division 2 Ice Lions, will pilot a 31-man roster through a 28-game regular season schedule, the team has announced.

Here's the roster:

Defensemen (9)     Yr.   Ht.   Wgt.  Hometown
Forrest Dell       So.   5'10" 185   Arvada, CO
Chris Dinsmore     Jr.   6'3"  215   Sinking Spring, PA
Robert Fauth       Fr.   6'0"  185   Carmel, IN
Matt Knudson       Fr.   5'11" 198   Upper Arlington, OH
Max O'Malley       Jr.   5'10" 180   Aston, PA
Tyler Person       Fr.   6'1"  180   Brick, NJ
Brandon Russo      So.   5'7"  175   Fairfield, CT
Tyler Starn        Sr.   6'1"  170   Pittsburgh, PA
Mac Winchester     Sr.   6'2"  205   Newton Square, PA

Forwards (18)      Yr.   Ht.   Wgt.  Hometown
Joseph Bonazelli   Fr.   5'11" 180   South Windsor, CT
Mike Broccolo      Sr.   6'2"  185   Webster, NY
Peter Daley        Jr.   5'7"  155   Hopewell, NJ
Neil Laessig       So.   5'9"  165   Lansdale, PA
Chris Lewis        So.   6'0"  215   Fort Covington, NY
Robert Liberge     Fr.   6'1"  195   Lynn, MA
Fredrik Linge      So.   5'10" 165   Porsgrunn, Norway
Austin Meehan      So.   6'0"  175   Yardley, PA
Chris Putsch       Sr.   6'1"  195   Media, PA
Brian Reed         Fr.   6'1"  195   Chester, NJ
Franky Reluzco     So.   5'9"  180   Fredrick, MD
Ben Snow           So.   5'8"  170   Webster, MA
Joe Spagnola       Fr.   5'11" 182   Mountain Lakes, NJ
Ryan Urban         So.   6'0"  170   Chester Springs, PA
Will Vaeth         Fr.   5'10" 175   Horsham, PA
Matt Venoit        So.   6'0"  195   Virginia Beach, VA
Taylor Vincent     Fr.   5'8"  175   Lafayette, LA
Joe Zitarelli      Sr.   5'11" 185   Center Valley, PA

Goaltenders (4)    Yr.   Ht.   Wgt.  Hometown
Ryan Demuth        Sr.   6'1"  175   Yardley, PA
Martin Gudewicz    Jr.   5'9"  162   Pittsburgh, PA
Kevin Lowthert     Sr.   5'11" 190   Prospect Park, PA
Theodore Steinhart Fr.   5'9"  165   West Orange, NJ

To casual observers, the obvious focal point of the roster will be Dell and Russo, two members of the final ACHA Division 1 Icers team last season. They'll join 2010-2011 Icers Winchester and Zitarelli (who played for the Ice Lions last year), as well as Broccolo (who didn't) to form a significant part of the team's nucleus.

Taking things a little deeper reveals a team that, while suffering some significant losses from last season, still brings back plenty of firepower and adds quality players to complement the returners. The expression "reload, not rebuild," although a cliche, certainly applies here.

Lewis, last year's leading scorer (32 goals, 24 assists) and a second-team All-American, will be back, as will sniper Reluzco (15 goals) and four of the team's best defensemen, including Dinsmore and O'Malley. Demuth, who won seven games in goal a year ago, will get first crack at replacing Tom Badali, who posted a 1.45 goals against average while winning his first 20 decisions of the season. The newcomers include former Jr. Flyers Cleek and Vaeth, as well as Daley and Lowthert, who make the move to University Park after playing for the ACHA D3 team at the Brandywine campus.

Robert Liberge arrives at Penn State from Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, MA.

Penn State will attempt the tall order of topping 2011-2012's achievements - a 31-3-0 record that included a 25-game winning streak, MACHA regular season and playoff championships and an ACHA national championship tournament appearance - against a schedule that includes a nice mix of familiarity and novelty. The usual league opponents like Temple, Delaware and Virginia Tech are all there, but so is a series in the legendary environment (midnight starts, raucous crowds) of the Kentucky Wildcats, a pair of games each against D1 opponents Lebanon Valley College and Penn State-Berks (including November 11th at LVC's home, the venerable Hersheypark Arena), and mid-season tournaments in Washington, DC and Loudonville, NY.

By the way, the fact that two games are shown on November 11th is not an error - PSU is really going to attempt the day-night doubleheader with five hours of bus in between. If you're intrigued by that, and you should be, games are streamed on the team's UStream channel.

September 2012

Fri. 28 vs. Penn State-Berks (ACHA D1), 8:00 p.m.
Sat. 29 vs. Rider, 8:00 p.m.
Sun. 30 at Temple, TBD

October 2012

Fri. 5 vs. Lebanon Valley College (ACHA D1), 8:00 p.m.
Sat. 6 at ACHA Showcase (Washington, DC), TBD
Sun. 7 at ACHA Showcase (Washington, DC), TBD

Sat. 13 at Delaware, 5:15 p.m.

Sat. 20 vs. Virginia Tech, 7:30 p.m.

Sat. 27 vs. St. Joseph's, 1:00 p.m.

November 2012

Fri. 2 at Monmouth, TBD
Sun. 4 at Rider, 2:15 p.m.

Fri. 9 at Siena College Tournament (Loudonville, NY), TBD
Sat. 10 at Siena College Tournament (Loudonville, NY), TBD
Sun. 11 at Siena College Tournament (Loudonville, NY), TBD
Sun. 11 at Lebanon Valley College (ACHA D1), TBD

Fri. 16 vs. Ohio, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. 17 vs. Ohio, 7:30 p.m.

December 2012

Fri. 7 vs. Delaware, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. 8 vs. Temple, 7:30 p.m.

Fri. 14 at Penn State-Berks, 8:00 p.m.
Sat. 15 at Rowan, 8:15 p.m.

January 2013

Fri. 11 at Liberty, TBD
Sat. 12 at Virginia Tech, 7:30 p.m.

Fri. 18 at Kentucky, 11:55 p.m.
Sat. 19 at Kentucky, 11:55 p.m.

Fri. 25 vs. Monmouth, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. 26 vs. Rowan, 7:30 p.m.

February 2013

Sat. 2 at St. Joseph's, 5:30 p.m.
Sun. 3 at Maryland-Baltimore County, TBD

Fri. 15 at MACHA Tournament (Abingdon, MD), TBD
Sat. 16 at MACHA Tournament (Abingdon, MD), TBD
Sun. 17 at MACHA Tournament (Abingdon, MD), TBD

Sat. 23 at ACHA D2 Southeast Regionals (Location TBD), TBD
Sun. 24 at ACHA D2 Southeast Regionals (Location TBD), TBD

March 2013

Fri. 15 at ACHA D2 National Tournament (St. Louis, MO), TBD
Sat. 16 at ACHA D2 National Tournament (St. Louis, MO), TBD
Sun. 17 at ACHA D2 National Tournament (St. Louis, MO), TBD
Mon. 18 at ACHA D2 National Tournament (St. Louis, MO), TBD
Tue. 19 at ACHA D2 National Tournament (St. Louis, MO), TBD

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