Monday, September 24, 2012

Three Stars: September 17-23

Lindsay Reihl (far left) and Jenna Welch (far right) will be the alternate captains this season. Taylor Gross (second from right) was previously named captain in May. The other three players pictured are (left to right) Emily Laurenzi, Paige Jahnke and Shannon Yoxheimer.

3. Penn State ice hockey preview: Goalie PJ Musico
(Stack the Pads)

Derek Meluzio's goalie preview Q-and-As have finally come around to hit a Penn State tender, and it's Mr. Cali Swag, P.J. Musico. While these pieces generally include a photo of the mask the subject will wear in the coming season, that's not the case here, as Musico's hasn't arrived yet. He did give an idea of what to expect, however.
All I know now is that it is a half California theme and half Penn State theme with the signature blue line separating the two. I still, myself, haven’t seen it.
2. Joe Battista: A Quarter of a Century Well Spent

I don't play the must-read card too often with you guys, but I will here. Hey, if you don't care about Joe Battista's reflections on 25 years at Penn State, what are you even doing on this blog?

1. Reihl, Welch Named Women's Hockey Assistant Captains

Back in May, Josh Brandwene named junior forward Taylor Gross captain for 2012-2013. Now, thanks to a team vote last week, we know she'll be assisted by senior defender Lindsay Reihl and junior forward Jenna Welch.

Really, the team could not have done a better job distributing the letters. Former Connecticut Huskies Gross and Welch are two of the three Nittany Lions who have already played NCAA Division I hockey (the other, Nicole Paniccia, is a goalie) and are therefore uniquely qualified to serve as team leaders. Reihl is one of only two "club originals" on the team (along with Kate Christoffersen), is a three-time Lady Icers defensive MVP, and helped Team USA to a fourth-place finish at the 2011 World University Games.

It's worth pointing out that the previous paragraph contains the names of literally every junior and senior on the team, which certainly helped the decision process as well.

Best of the Rest

Men's Hockey to Host Midnight Practice on Night of Oct. 5

In an event similar to one held by many college basketball teams (although not including Penn State), the men's team will hold an open practice with free admission just after midnight on the first day NCAA rules allow full practices. Doors to the rink will open at 11:00 p.m. on October 5th, and the fun includes pizza, giveaways, an address from Guy Gadowsky and a public skate with the players following the conclusion of practice at 1:00 a.m.

The women, incidentally, were allowed to begin practice two weeks earlier, this past Saturday. There was no fan-engagement event involved but the team was certainly pumped for it, as expressed on Twitter by Brandwene and freshman defender Jordin Pardoski. GoPSUSports also chipped in a story about it.

ASU hockey seeks redemption heading into new season
(The State Press)

Arizona State, one of PSU's three ACHA opponents this season, generally does a good job with their media coverage, including this quick look at their coming season. House of Sparky, the Sun Devils' SBNation blog, has a written preview if you prefer that mode.

As mentioned in my post immediately previous to this one, the ACHA is now already in full swing, a full two weeks before NCAA teams are allowed to practice. Just to keep the opponent watch up to date, ASU opened with a 13-0 waxing of D2 Texas A&M on Thursday. Ohio swept John Carroll 9-1 and 5-3, while Oklahoma blasted D3 Arkansas with a pair of 10-2 results.

Mercyhurst Picked CHA Coaches' Top Choice For 2012-13 Season

PSU was voted into last place of the six CHA teams by the league's coaches in one of the most pointless exercises in organized sports: the preseason poll. Not surprisingly, the three programs that have played more than one Division I season before were the top three (Mercyhurst, Robert Morris, Syracuse, in that order), followed by Division III national champ RIT and Lindenwood, which began DI play last year.

Two CHA teams have already played exhibition games against a pair of junior teams, with RIT topping the Oakville Hornets 6-1 on Sunday and Mercyhurst blasting the Stoney Creek Junior Sabres 10-1. So hockey season is indeed here for both the men and women, even if it's only Nittany Lion opponents playing games for the time being.

RIT Hockey teams boast high expectations
(Henrietta Post)

In a nice little burst of synergy, here's an article previewing the RIT men and women simultaneously. The women, as just mentioned, are now a conference rival while the men will oppose the Nittany Lions on October 20th at Rochester's Blue Cross Arena.

In still more RIT-related news from last week, their women's team added Shivaun Siegl as an assistant.

David Joyner to Remain Athletic Director Until 2014
(Onward State)

The sooner Penn State gets a qualified athletic director that wasn't handed the job (supposedly on an "acting" or interim basis) without any sort of search process by Ira Lubert and his cronies on the Board of Trustees, the better off the university will be. Apparently, we're deferring "better off" until at least 2014.

Also, it amuses me how people who cite Joe Paterno's influence over Tim Curley as part of what led to The Scandal don't see history repeating itself.

Meet #19 Jill Holdcroft 

The best women's player to ever come from the State College area highlights this week's set of "meet the women's team" videos. Also: Paige Jahnke, Hannah Hoenshell, Jess Desorcie, Darby Kern and Kate Christoffersen.

News - 2013 CCHA Championship Dates Announced

The CCHA, which I'm sure is not the least bit bitter about being torn asunder in the great conference realignment shuffle we started, decided to troll everyone one last time before disappearing. The league scheduled its last-ever championship game for Sunday, March 24th at 2:05 p.m. - roughly three hours after the NCAA Tournament selection show was originally scheduled to air on whichever ESPN channel wasn't already tied up with bass fishing that morning. The selection show will now go on at 9:00 p.m., likely delaying a scheduled airing of Major League 3 on ESPN Classic.

Justin Bieber

Fun fact: Biebs has a player page on the best site out there for basic hockey player information and stats (it's always my first destination when the Nittany Lion men get a new commit), thanks to the "doubtful" rumor a couple weeks ago that he was offered a contract by the ECHL's Bakersfield Condors. It has more than 29,000 views, compared to 4,355 for NHL draft pick Max Gardiner.

Okay, the NCAA championship trophy looks a little different now...but would
you rather see Bostons College or University or Minnesota-Duluth here?

NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship Trophy

Heads up: If you're going to be anywhere near Johnstown on Saturday, the NCAA championship trophy will be on Napoleon Street outside of the Cambria County War Memorial for viewing and photographs as part of the celebration of the Johnstown Tomahawks' first-ever home game.

Take a photo of yourself wearing Penn State gear with the trophy, and you get to be first star in next week's version of this post. I'm completely serious about that.

Psychologist: Some comparing Lindsay case to Sandusky case

I had to close with this, even though it's waaaaay off topic, because the last couple weeks have been a major turning point for my "Matt Lindsay" Google Alert. Much like Joe Battista (also a sanitation worker who committed suicide in New York a couple months back), or Kenny Brooks (also a comedian/YouTube celebrity), Matt Lindsay is a frequent source of false alarms, thanks mostly to a highly-successful high school football coach in Fort Wayne, IN. The synopsis of the news that caused my email to explode is that Lindsay (the football one) was suddenly fired after "large number of inappropriate video clips, none involving nudity" were found on his computer. Since the video clips included high school students, predictably...
...some people drew a natural comparison to the Penn State case and coach Jerry Sandusky. Of course not all of the details are the same, but certainly the role of coaches with their students.
Of course, there were differences beyond the facts of the two cases...
[Psychology professor Justin] Boyce's best advice is to try to withhold judgment until we have all the facts. He said we should give police enough time to investigate it until we form an opinion.


  1. How Joyner got the job is unfortunate, but under the circumstances, I'm not sure what alternative was there. PSU needed somebody to lead the football coaching search ASAP. There was no time to do a national search for a new person and what qualified candidate would have wanted to walk into that mess? As it is, Joyner may end up looking like a genius for picking O'Brien. So far, he's done extremely well under the circumstances, but we won't know for sure for many years.

    Things have calmed down now, but Erickson will only be here until 2014, an no new AD of would want to take the job without knowing who the president is going to be. Twice in my career, such as it is, I've joined a company only to find out, within a few months of joining, that my boss is going to be somebody different than who I thought it was going to be when I took the job. That sucks.

    As an aside on that. One of the somewhat valid criticisms of the PSU athletic department during this mess was that it has often been too insular. Curley is a State College lifer. A State High grad who went to PSU. His number two was Sherburne who was the same story. Paterno rarely hired from "the outside." Dechellis was a Penn State guy too.

    There was a time, I think, when the only people willing to commit to living in State College for a long time were people already sentimentally attached to it. But that time is past, and beginning with Cael Sanderson, I guess, or maybe a bit before that, there was a massive change in hiring philosophy in the AD. The new idea is to show candidates that PSU has the facilities and the backing to win at just about anything and is willing to pay to get the best coaches here, regardless of whether they went Penn State or not. And lately, PSU has been on a great run of coaching hires across all the sports.

    The irony is it was insiders - Curley and Lubert - who oversaw that change and so far Joyner has continued that. I trust that the next President and AD will continue that approach.

    BTW, basketball does do a midnight madness thing. I don't think it's at midnight any more, but last year, at least, there was a combo men's and women's event at Rec Hall. More like a big pep rally. I couldn't go, but I saw the video and it looked like it was a full house and a lot of fun. Hockey could look at that for ideas.

    I don't understand why hockey practice starts so late. We talkin about practice...

    1. Yeah, basketball does have an event, but as far as I know/remember, it hasn't been at midnight for several years, so I didn't count it. Technicality maybe, but the "midnight" part is sort of the essence of "midnight madness." Otherwise it's just a pep rally.

  2. I thought that the NCAA changed the rule on the midnight business so it's not at midnight anyway. Maybe I'm misremembering that. I can't imagine that a midnight practice is all that productive anyway.