Monday, May 6, 2013

Three Stars: April 29-May 5

Scott Wilson, a 2011 Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick, may lead his River Hawks into the PIA in the fall

3. Ryan Patrick Named Pegula Ice Arena Hockey Director

Former Icer Ryan Patrick is the new Hockey Director for Pegula Ice Arena.
Patrick will oversee and implement all aspects of the community's youth, student and adult hockey programs. He will manage the facility's learn to skate and play hockey programs, the youth amateur hockey program and the student and adult hockey leagues. In addition, Patrick will coordinate and organize youth hockey tournaments and high-level independent travel teams.
Patrick, who graduated in 2003, is the son of long-time NHL executive and Miracle on Ice assistant coach Craig Patrick, the brother of former Icers captain and 1999 graduate C.J. Patrick and the cousin of Curtiss Patrick, class of 2004, another former Icer who enjoyed a five-season career in professional hockey. Carrying that family tree a little bit further, Ryan's great-grandfather was Lester Patrick, who has a major trophy named for him and formerly an NHL division as well. Craig, Lester, grandfather Lynn, and great great uncle Frank (Lester's brother) are all in the Hockey Hall of Fame, while those four in addition to great uncle Muzz Patrick (Lynn's brother) have all won the Stanley Cup in some capacity. That's... uhhh... quite a legacy.

That stuff aside, maybe the most striking element to this, at least for me, is how it drives home the idea that a Pegula Ice Arena story no longer automatically equates to a Penn State hockey story, something that initially crossed my mind when that Sara Evans skating show was announced (and the reason this news didn't get a stand-alone post). Basically, that just means that the building is closer than ever to opening.

2. Penn State Selects XOS Digital for Hockey Technology

Slow news week when the coaches' video system is your second star? Yeah, pretty much. Still, it's important, and sounds pretty damn cool to boot.
XOS Digital designed both the men’s and women’s hockey video rooms as a one-stop video production center. Once complete, the facility’s video rooms will be fully equipped with edit stations and remote control systems for capturing video directly from the camera systems installed throughout the arena. The control system enables staff to capture HD practice and game footage from these cameras directly into XOS Thunder HD editing system for in-depth analysis.

The XOS Thunder HD platform enables the Nittany Lions to access all game preparation, including video analysis, reports, diagrams and other player development applications from a single interface.

With full audiovisual integration, the Nittany Lions are able to utilize new technologies that provide workflow automation between video editing systems, content distribution and coaching tools. The entire coaching staff will now be able to easily acquire, manage, distribute and display content throughout the facility including the varsity locker rooms, conference rooms, recruiting lounge, team lounge and coaches offices.

“How well we perform is a direct correlation to how well we prepare,” said Head Coach [Guy] Gadowsky. “It’s important to have the right resources and technology to ensure our preparation is efficient and effective. Individual player development is also critical to the team’s success, and our student athletes will be able to utilize these systems to propel them toward their goal of playing in the NHL. We are excited to enlist XOS Digital’s expertise for this project.”
1. 2013 / 2014 PSU Hockey Schedule?
(Blue White Illustrated)

It's just a message board rumor right now, but if BWI poster VaNtyLion is to be believed, 2013 Hockey East Champion and Frozen Four participant UMass-Lowell will be visiting the Pegula Ice Arena this coming season - obviously an instant highlight of the schedule.

Assessing credibility... well, the guy does sound like he knows what he's talking about for the most part. At the very least, he pays close attention, as he is aware of the Three Rivers Classic, the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff, RIT and Army. Issues? He has Air Force making a "return trip" to PSU when that series will be in Colorado Springs after the teams played at the Ice Pavilion back in November. Also, he states that Connecticut will be in town after January's series in Storrs, but tweets from Huskies hockey voice Will Moran laying out his team's non-conference schedule (1, 2) don't include PSU. It's entirely possible that UConn will visit PSU in 2014-2015 to reciprocate, though - one thing I've learned in doing this is that leaked information is never perfect. The only people who have every piece to the puzzle are the decision makers, and I'm pretty sure VaNtyLion isn't Billy Downey.

Verdict: Thumbs up, I buy it.

Speaking of scheduling things, Union beat writer Ken Schott "fully expects" the Dutchmen's already-known series at PSU to take place over Thanksgiving weekend. Makes sense I guess, since the 2012-2013 games at Union were also over Thanksgiving weekend.

Best of the Rest

Allie Rothman, Katie Vaughan, Carly Szyszko and Mary Kate Tonetti will lead the WIHC in 2013-14

2013-14 Executive Board Elected

Before parting ways for the summer, the Women's Ice Hockey Club elected its 2013-2014 officers, including Allie Rothman (president), Katie Vaughan (vice president), Carly Szyszko (treasurer) and Mary Kate Tonetti (secretary). Trust me when I say that no organization on campus has a better leadership group.

Wisconsin set for 10 home series during 2013-14 men's hockey campaign

Want to know for sure who Wisconsin is playing? Here you go. No dates of course, as the Big Ten's entire schedule, when ready, will likely be released as one giant ball of... something. In other words, we're probably not going to know the dates of any of PSU's conference games before they're on

PSU looking to extend hockey fan base into area
(Williamsport Sun-Gazette)

This is a poorly written and researched (Penn State didn't play a single home game last year? Really?) article, but leave it to Joe Battista to say something to make me include it.
Aside from the monetary gift provided from the Pegulas, Battista said that they have raised an additional $10 million in private donations.
That's a new number, at least as far as I've seen, one that meets that "additional fundraising" goal set way back when the Pegula donation was first announced. Nice.

Former Penn State assistant athletic director Mark Sherburne hired by Lock Haven University

It's really old news by now (I meant to throw it in last week and forgot), but long-time Penn State athletic department lieutenant Mark Sherburne has been hired as the new athletic director at Lock Haven. Sherburne, of course, spent ten days as PSU's acting AD during the initial fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal in November, 2011, after his former boss, Tim Curley, went on leave while under investigation for his role in the mess. He returned to his previous post as an assistant AD once the Board of Trustees decided that one of their own - Dave Joyner, who controversially moved directly from the board to the AD office - was better for the job, and was abruptly fired a few months later for withholding documents related to Curley.

And yes, that story is still bizarre, even more than one year later.

NCAA bans hashtagged fields, having solved all other problems
(SB Nation)

While my impression is that the vast majority of you are supportive of my covering the ACHA teams at some expense to the NCAA teams (because while it's not a pure zero sum game, it's close to one - any time I spend on the ACHA teams could be spent on the NCAA teams, hypothetically), I do get the sense that at least a few wonder why I bother. Well this, combined with things like that stinkbomb at North Carolina, offers at least a partial explanation, if you needed one. Really, NCAA? Hashtag legislation? Stick to exploiting student-athletes for billions of dollars, you're better at that.

Anyway, guess we won't be getting #OneTeam in Gretzky's Office at the PIA.

Vulcans hockey is back in good standing

Cal U will begin drug testing hockey players
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Cal (PA), after suspending their entire hockey program - including two men's teams and one women's team - over a massive pot bust involving two now-former players a couple weeks ago, has now restored everything back to normal, but with required drug testing for all players. Seems sensible to me.

The Vulcans' top men's team plays at the ACHA Division 3 level and in College Hockey East with Penn State-Altoona and Penn State-Behrend. The women's team, which competes in ACHA Division 2, was Penn State's first-ever opponent back in October and will join a new conference with the WIHC for next season. Both qualified for their respective ACHA national championship tournaments in 2012-2013.

Utah awarded 2015 ACHA National Championships

At the ACHA annual meetings on Saturday in Naples, FL (which, as always, coincided with the American Hockey Coaches Association meetings), Utah was awarded the 2015 ACHA Division 2 national tournament, which will be played in Salt Lake City. Provided the Ice Lions don't win their first-ever national title this coming season, they'll win it there, book it.

The 2014 D2 tournament is likely headed to Ashburn, VA after the Northeast Region failed to produce a bid during its turn in the four-year cycle. That hasn't been officially announced, however, and is probably still subject to change.

The women's D2 tournament (as well as those for men's and women's D1) will be in Newark, DE this coming season.

News from 2013 ACHA Annual Meeting

Penn State is now out of the ACHA D1 game of course, but this can still be filed under "interesting to know:" the top men's division will no longer utilize the controversial coaches poll for rankings and will now rely on computers. Hooray for that.

Also, while the format of the national championships will remain the same, the scheduling will be different. The second round, which involves playing from 16 teams down to eight, will now be spread over two days, and the day off between the quarterfinals and semifinals has been eliminated. The end result is that the tournament (which will run from Thursday-Tuesday instead of Friday-Wednesday) will never have more than four games on any one day. That re-opens the possibility of hosting by facilities with only one sheet of ice, something that hadn't been possible since the tournament expanded from 12 teams to 16 in 2005.

Examining the Big Ten Network and College Hockey
(Western College Hockey Blog)

Possibly the biggest story of the last week was the report that each of the six Big Ten hockey schools will receive an extra $2 million per year from the Big Ten Network, in addition to the rather large annual haul all 12 (soon to be 14) member universities receive.

Undoubtedly, most who follow the Big Ten closely are aware of why BTN has been so profitable since its 2007 launch - its insistence on being carried on basic cable within the conference's footprint and the escalated subscriber rates in those states that make adding schools in large TV markets a smart idea. Still, this is a nice primer for those unfamiliar, and it takes things a step further by looking at the implications of the $2 million windfall (again, it should be said, if true) and even argues that we may be near the ceiling of all of this.

Time to drop college hockey's gentlemen's agreement?
(Bucky's 5th Quarter)

Should college hockey coaches back off of a potential recruit after he verbally commits elsewhere or continue to go full Urban Meyer on him? Here's one well-thought-out and discussion-provoking opinion.

Seriously, thanks again, UConn

Ex-Niagara coach MacKenzie to guide UConn women
(Buffalo News)

Chris MacKenzie will attempt to correct Connecticut's women's program after the ouster of Heather Linstad, as the Huskies have devolved into a dumpster fire over the last few years. One that proved quite beneficial for Penn State, in case you've never seen UConn transfers Nicole Paniccia, Taylor Gross and Jenna Welch play.

MacKenzie coached the women's team at Niagara, his alma mater, from 2009 until 2011. The Purple Eagles, of course, would have been one of the Nittany Lions' conference rivals in College Hockey America had NU not chopped the program in 2012.

USA Hockey takes preemptive strike at scandal

USA Hockey has a shiny new zero-tolerance program for abuse, called SafeSport. And Executive Director Dave Ogrean would like you to know that...
"The catalyst for it is absolutely and admittedly a byproduct of the horror of what took place at Penn State University with the football program and Jerry Sandusky."
Is that right? You sure it wasn't something strikingly similar to that, but slightly closer to home?
On Monday January 24th, 2011 USA Hockey's Executive Director Dave Ogrean received a very disturbing email from the parent of a member describing the extremely deviant sexual behavior of Massachusetts Maple Leafs coach Anthony DeSilva. Instead of following through and contacting local law enforcement authorities, Ogrean and USA Hockey allowed a sexual predator to fall through the cracks.
I realize that Penn State is going to be cited as an example of administrative failure by too many people to count for a very long time (in fact, I recently had to write a case study on the Sandusky reaction in one of my grad school classes, which was obviously rather difficult). I accept that much as the bed made on my behalf by others. What I do not accept is a hypocritical attempt to blame the Penn State bogeyman by someone who, when presented with nearly identical circumstances, apparently did little differently.

Basically, nice try, douchebag.

1 comment:

  1. Well written.
    Also, before Sandusky, there was Graham James.
    Everyone in the US media acted like the Sandusky thing was unprecedented but it really wasn't.