Monday, October 1, 2012

Three Stars: September 24-30

3. 2012-13 Goalie Masks

Women's goalies Celine Whitlinger, Brooke Meyer and Nicole Paniccia will wear some pretty sick masks this coming season.

In case you're wondering, the Marine Corps logo on the back of Meyer's headgear is a shoutout to her brother Zach, who is currently serving overseas.

2. DII Penn State May Be Ripe for First National Championship

The Ice Lions look to be absolutely stacked this season and should be serious ACHA Division 2 national championship contenders. Here's an excellent article breaking that all down.

Prior to the team's starting with a 3-0 weekend this past Friday through Sunday - more on that later - Joe Zitarelli was named the team's captain. He'll be assisted (alternated?) by Mac Winchester and Chris Lewis.

1. @AMG1013

A little background is in order. From last week's Three Stars:
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.
Brittany Rosen and Aaron Griffin took me up - that's Rosen at the top, and I'm truly sorry if you needed me to tell you that.

By the way, she's wearing a Pride of Pegula t-shirt under the jacket (available here - I own one myself). Also be sure to check out Cornell blog Where Angels Fear To Tread, because Griffin and Rosen manage to pull double duty on college hockey allegiances and write their own blog while remaining engaged readers of this one, all while working on postgraduate degrees more difficult than mine. Presumably, they didn't eat cake for dinner Sunday night either. Basically, if they weren't cool, I'd hate them.

Best of the Rest


Here's a quick look at the Ice Pavilion as it will appear this season, following some cosmetic cleanup, including the addition of giant wall decoration telling us that yes, the Pegula Ice Arena opens next fall. Thanks, wasn't sure about that. By the way, the opener will be October 11, 2013 against Army. Pass it on.

My favorite thing about the photo? Those ACHA national championship banners (three are visible right next to the giant blue backer to the visitor's bench, the other four are out-of-frame to the left). The fact that those remain while most of the various conference and minor tournament banners have been removed is an encouraging sign as far as their appearing in the PIA. If the athletic department is willing let NCAA hockey be played under those banners at the Ice Pavilion, why would a different building change things?

Penn State women's ice hockey preview: Goalie Nicole Paniccia
(Stack the Pads)

Among the latest entries in Derek Meluzio's series of central PA goalie previews is this interview with Paniccia, who transferred in from UConn to join former Husky teammates Taylor Gross and Jenna Welch.

Meet #10 Micayla Catanzariti

The women's team's "meet/countdown" videos are winding up - there's a game Saturday (!), after all - but the last week has featured Katie Zinn and Taylor McGee along with the headliner. Why Catanzariti? Because I grew up fifteen minutes from Gilmour Academy, her alma mater. Oh wait, Zinn went there too. Okay, because I follow her mom on Twitter. There you go.

Additionally, the men have gotten in on the introductory video thing, including Kenny Brooks, David Glen, Casey Bailey, Mark Yanis and Jonathan Milley.

Three Rivers Classic Tickets on Sale

The former Pittsburgh College Hockey Invitational, which will be played on December 28th and 29th, now has the equally-bland name "Three Rivers Classic." "Steel City Classic" was already taken, leaving the only other moniker permitted for an event in Pittsburgh as the default choice.

Regardless, the tournament should be better than its name with national power Miami and future Big Ten rival Ohio State involved this year, so getting in on the ground floor of what may become a PSU schedule staple - that's the plan, anyway - wouldn't be a horrible move.

Air Force tabbed top team in Atlantic Hockey by coaches

Penn State is sort of an honorary Atlantic Hockey team this season, as the Nittany Lions play eight of the 12 conference teams a total of 13 times. With that in mind, it's interesting to note that beyond first-place Air Force, the PSU opponents didn't fare that well in the preseason poll:

1. Air Force, 4 (tie). RIT, 6. Holy Cross, 7. Connecticut, 8. Robert Morris, 10. Army, 11. AIC, 12. Sacred Heart.

That actually doesn't bother me in the least. As I've said, we're starting at the bottom - until proven otherwise, Penn State is the worst program in DI. But playing six of the bottom seven teams in AHA, as well as independent Alabama-Huntsville, will provide a quick opportunity to climb the ladder.

Huntsville's Luongo Out as Coach, Replaced by Kleinendorst
(College Hockey News)

Speaking of Huntsville...uhhh yeah, it's perfectly normal to make a coaching change in late September. New boss Kurt Kleinendorst is definitely well qualified for the job, but there seems to be more to this story. We shall see.

Troy Grosenick and Union: Looking kinda scary this year.

Week 1: Men's College Hockey Poll
(USA Hockey)

...and speaking of polls, the first USA Hockey poll of the season is out. Here's how the PSU opponents rated:

5. Union, 9. Miami, 15. Wisconsin, 19. Michigan State, 22. Ohio State, 27. Air Force.

In all, 29 schools received at least one vote, and there are 59 schools in NCAA Division I, so you can more or less stick Penn State in the bottom half with Vermont, which was picked a decisive last in Hockey East's poll. Low-hanging major conference fruit, ladies and gentlemen.

PS. If you're not familiar, polls mean less than crap in college hockey. It's a little like college basketball, where the NCAA selection committee chooses tournament teams on a number of criteria, none of which are the polls. Hockey's process, however, is much more straightforward and objective. We'll get to that at some undetermined future point though.

Mercyhurst beats RIT 6-2 , Lindenwood falls 7-2 to Ohio State and RMU beats Guelph 7-2 (exhibition)
(College Hockey America)

I'm not going to obsessively track PSU opponents' every move all season, doing so for Penn State is hard enough, but in the interest of "hey, this was the first weekend of regular season hockey," here's what our CHA opponents did on Saturday.

I recapped Friday's action in a post that night, in case you missed it.

Details Emerge in North Dakota Drinking Scandal
(Western College Hockey Blog)

This would be hilarious if it wasn't, I suppose. Stay hot, North Dakota.

Incidentally, PSU commit David Goodwin, scheduled to check in next year, was traded for Jordan Schmaltz (one of the players implicated in the story) in the USHL last season. I know Schmaltz is a highly-rated prospect and a first-round NHL draft pick from back in June, but I like our guy in that deal, to be honest. He's less stupid.


  1. I'm glad you post 3 stars on Monday mornings. Honestly, it's what gets me out of bed early on Mondays. I don't want to sound like a butt kisser, but this blog has been the best source of info about PSU hockey since you started it. Please don't stop. And at some point, maybe consider teaming up with others with your passion and take this to another level.

    1. Really, really flattered, thanks! Glad you enjoy the one place left where I lean on the snark button haha.

      As far as the collaboration, it's slowly been moving in that direction, I suppose, where I have a guy doing photography sometimes. I don't have relationships with blogs of *every* opponent out there, but hopefully for a couple of them I can do a post exchange. I might have a guest contributor at some point (he has an open invitation, so it's really up to him). We'll see - to be honest, and I hate to admit it, but I've kind of slacked off on preseason prep!

  2. Forgot to mention in my first first NCAA live hockey game was at Cornell (vs. Clarkson). Since Aaron is pulling double duty as a PSU / Cornell fan, I thought it was worth mentioning it took about 10 minutes to be totally hooked. That building has unbelievable atmosphere and the students are awesome. I can only hope we get close to that someday. I still have the foam #1 hand thing, the ticket stub and puck I got that night. I've been trying to score tickets to another game there ever since, but my hookup is a slacker and has let me down. Anyone else here have a hookup at Cornell? Aaron?

    1. Totally jealous, by the way. My love fest with Cornell, which I'm sure is transparent on here, goes back to the fact that I really, really wanted to go there until about my sophomore year of high school. At that point I became a hardcore PSU football fan, and yes, chose a college based on that (Penn State obviously has much, much more to offer than football, but I'd be lying if I claimed that any of that drew me there). I've been there a couple of times, walked through Lynah once, but never for a game.

    2. That must have been a great start. Clarkson travels well typically and has some of the best fans in the ECAC if not all of college hockey. In the ECAC, Clarkson, Cornell, and RPI are on an entirely different level than the fans of nearly all other members. I am glad that you like Lynah. It is an amazing building with so much history and the fans make it all the better. I think that Penn State will get close in due time. Lynah Rink did suffer from 1958-62 when it was less than half full for all games, but has been going strongly since then. So, I have faith that Penn State will get to that level. Especially if Cornell has a game here and the Lynah Faithful teach the Penn State fans how to cheer, chant, and taunt like they did the Children of Yost at Michigan.

      To address your question, there are three main sources on which I rely now that all my friends who are fellow alumni who held tickets have graduated. The first is the ticket website from Cornell. Traditionally, the athletic office has not offered tickets for sale online because with only 4,300 tickets available, they thought that online sales added to the confusion and already high, but limited, demand. However, Gene Nighman, who is in control of ticket sales, began to loosen internet sales rules last season and will post tickets online typically the morning of the Thursday before the weekend games. However, there are typical exceptions from this practice which always prohibit online sale of tickets to the Harvard game (Cornell's most hated rival). The other option is the online, fan ticket exchange on which fans sell tickets to one another that they will have printed at will call that is situated next to Lynah Rink. I have used this method a few times seamlessly and the only part of the process that is somewhat involved is the need to create and use a PayPal account. Other than that, it is straightforward, safe, and reliable. The third option depends largely on your current location and if you are amenable to seeing a Cornell game at an away venue. I would recommend trying to get tickets to Cornell at Princeton if you are situated where the travel to Princeton would not be too difficult. Hobey Baker Rink at Princeton is a gorgeous facility. It is one of the oldest indoor rinks in the nation. And, because Princeton fans are nearly nonexistent, tickets are available despite the small capacity size. The away game at Princeton has the feel of a Cornell home game because the Lynah Faithful travel well and at least 80% of the fans will be Cornell fans and most of whom will engage in the merciless taunting and chanting that is typical of Lynah. So, the environment would be very similar to what you experienced in Ithaca. Tickets are sold on the Princeton ticket site. That game is scheduled for November 9, 2012 and tickets for it go on sale on October 10, 2012. I have included below links to the three methods upon which I rely that above I discussed.

      Cornell Online Ticket Sales:

      Cornell Fans Ticket Exchange:

      Princeton Online Ticket Sale for Cornell at Princeton:|203340|203341|227724|228626&schedule=list

      I wish that I could be more helpful, but I hope that this helps. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact me via WAFT using