Friday, August 30, 2013

Ice Lions' Russo Transfers to Canisius (Updated)

UPDATE 9/10 1:15 P.M.: Canisius has released its official 2013-2014 roster with Russo, who will wear number 47, included. He will sit out the first eight games of the season due to issues transferring credits from Penn State.

The original post follows.

Multiple sources have confirmed to TYT that star Ice Lions defenseman Brandon Russo has transferred to Canisius College, where he will join the school's NCAA Division I program in December once his release restrictions from Penn State have expired.

The move is sort of a full-circle transition for Russo. The Fairfield, CT native and Salisbury School graduate was a 2009 USHL Draft selection of the Youngstown Phantoms spent the 2010-2011 season in that league. In 14 games with the Phantoms, Russo posted a goal and seven assists to be the team's leading scorer among defensemen, but he was shipped to Indiana in a mid-season trade and finished out that campaign with the Ice. In all, he had 24 points (two goals, 22 assists) in 51 games.

Russo was one of Guy Gadowsky's earliest recruits, committing within a couple weeks of the coach's hiring in May, 2011. And, truth be told, he was easily one of the stars of the class, even with four NCAA transfers (Taylor Holstrom, Nate Jensen, Bryce Johnson and Justin Kirchhevel) and Tommy Olczyk also coming in for the final Icers season. Respected programs like Harvard, Nebraska-Omaha, Yale, Union and, yes, Princeton had all kicked the tires in spite of his 5'8" height. College Hockey Recruit Exchange called him the seventh-best prospect east of the Great Lakes in 2008, a list also including notables like former Harvard captain Danny Biega, Notre Dame's Stephen Johns and Stanley Cup champion Brandon Saad.

As a freshman, he didn't disappoint on the ice. In 20 games, he had a line of six goals and nine assists, including a tally in an ACHA National Tournament win over West Virginia while demonstrating the type of high-tempo offensive upside Gadowsky values on the blueline. Officially, he missed many of the early-season games due to injury, unofficially, there were (unconfirmed) rumors of off-ice issues. Whatever the situation, he fell out of favor with the coaching staff and was not carried over to last season's NCAA roster.

Instead, he spent 2012-2013 with the ACHA Division 2 Ice Lions, becoming a vital cog on a team that returned to the D2 national championship tournament despite losing players like captain Jim Recupero and star goalie Tom Badali from the previous year. Russo was better than a point per game player during the regular season (30 in 27), including three power play goals, as Penn State won the MACHA North regular season title and finished as the Southeast Region's number two team. He was recently named a second-team ACHA D2 All-American, essentially confirming that yep, he's still a pretty good hockey player.

He'll join a Canisius program that broke new ground in 2012-2013, despite a 13-18-5 regular season record. The Golden Griffins swept RIT to close the schedule, then stormed through the Atlantic Hockey playoffs, taking down Bentley, Air Force, Niagara and Mercyhurst to secure the league's automatic NCAA Tournament bid. A loss to top overall seed Quinnipiac in the East Regional (but a very competitive one, as the Griffs held a 3-1 lead in the third period before allowing three unanswered) ended the run, but still, point made. Not only was it the first NCAA appearance for Canisius, but it was the first time Atlantic Hockey sent two teams to the tournament, with Niagara earning an at-large bid. With star goalie Tony Capobianco, leading scorer Kyle Gibbons, and nearly all others back, expectations are undoubtedly running high for coach Dave Smith's squad.

While Russo will never sit on the home bench at Pegula Ice Arena, in an interesting twist, he'll eventually play at another Terry Pegula-funded venue: Buffalo's HARBORcenter, which will host the Griffs upon its completion in time for the 2014-2015 season.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Women's Jersey Countdown: #36 Tess Weaver

Junior - Forward - 5'5" - Windber, PA

As a Lady Icer during her freshman year, Tess Weaver supplied Penn State's transitioning program with an early breakthrough: a goal with 16 seconds remaining in overtime against Sacred Heart to propel PSU to its first-ever win over an NCAA Division I team on January 14, 2012. Weaver finished as the team's leading scorer and offensive MVP of that final ACHA season, including a pair of five-point games (September 30, 2011 vs. Buffalo, January 28, 2012 vs. Liberty) to help the Lady Icers to the ECWHL regular season title. She was then able to move in to a more defensive role on the Nittany Lions last year with equally great success. Two of her three points, a goal and an assist, were registered in a 10-0 rout of NCAA DIII Chatham on January 4th, with the other assist coming in a November 3, 2012 win over SHU. Without a doubt, 2013-14 will see Weaver continue as an indispensable and undervalued part of Josh Brandwene's forward unit.

Career Statistics (2011-12 with ACHA Lady Icers):
Season GP G A Pts. PIM PP SH GW GT
ACHA Career
NCAA Career

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DIII Manhattanville Adds A Hired Hand

Josh Hand, Penn State's volunteer goaltending coach during the 2012-2013 inaugural NCAA season, has left to become the community relations coordinator for Manhattanville College athletics. He'll also assist with the Valiants' NCAA Division III men's and women's hockey programs.

Hand, a former goalie at NCAA Division III Concordia (MN) (2004-2008) and assistant coach/hockey director at ACHA Division 2 Texas A&M (2008-2010), first came to PSU as an assistant coach with the Icers for the 2010-2011 season. He then played a vital, yet underrated, role in Penn State's transition to NCAA status.

PSU struggled through much of that 2010-2011 season and, after two January losses at Ohio, was on the verge of missing the ACHA National Tournament for the first time ever. However, the team righted itself during the second half of the year, including while head coach Scott Balboni was in Turkey as part of Team USA's World University Games coaching staff in late January and early February. Hand led the Icers in Balboni's absence, a stretch involving a pair of wins and a shootout loss in tough series against Delaware and Rhode Island that more or less ensured the Icers' qualification for nationals.

Crucially, he was the team's recruiting coordinator as well and his work in the spring of 2011 helped lay the foundation for where the Nittany Lions stand today. With Balboni's future uncertain - not to mention his own - Hand spearheaded PSU's early 2011-2012 recruiting efforts that landed players like Jacob Friedman and Peter Sweetland, both of whom are still with the NCAA program.

Guy Gadowsky was hired for the Icers' final season in April, 2011 and shortly after brought his assistants at Princeton, Keith Fisher and Matt Lindsay, with him. Hand was able to stay in Hockey Valley by moving into the head coach role for the ACHA D2 Ice Lions, guiding the team to one of its most successful seasons ever: 30-3-0 (including a 25-game winning streak), the MACHA regular season and playoff titles, and an appearance at the D2 national championships in Fort Myers, FL.

During that season, he also worked with the Icers' goalies, something that continued with the Nittany Lions for the 2012-2013 season. Under his tutelage, goalies Matt Skoff and P.J. Musico blossomed, representing one of PSU's strengths last year.

With Manhattanville, which is located in Purchase, NY, Hand joins a pair of hockey programs that have seen a lot of success despite just 14 years of history. From 2005-2008 the Valiant men appeared in four NCAA Tournaments, including a DIII Frozen Four in 2007, and the team has six ECAC West regular season or playoff championships to its credit. Head coach Arlen Marshall is entering his second year following up a 15-10-3 mark in 2012-2013. The women have been even more successful, with eight total NCAA appearances (seven in a row from 2002-2008) including participation in the 2002, 2003 and 2008 national championship games. David Turco is entering his third year in charge of the program with a 33-18-5 record.

Women's Jersey Countdown: #37 Nicole Paniccia

Senior - Goaltender - 5'5" - Oakville, ON

It's impossible to overstate Nicole Paniccia's significance to last season's Nittany Lions. The transfer from Connecticut repeatedly kept the first-year NCAA Division I program competitive in games with lopsided shot counts - in fact, only Lindenwood's Nicole Hensley stopped more rubber across all of DI, while PSU averaged a -18.9 shot differential (-31.9 in CHA play). The team MVP as named by the coaching staff at the conclusion of the campaign, Paniccia's exploits included 59 saves against RIT in a 2-2 tie on October 26, 2012, the first home point and first conference point in the team's varsity history. It was just one of five games for Paniccia requiring 50 or more saves. As one of a small senior class of four (including only three with more than a season of NCAA experience), she will be leaned on heavily as a team leader and to help develop younger goalies Celine Whitlinger and Brooke Meyer.

Career Statistics (2010-12 with Connecticut):
Season GP GS Min. Record GA Saves GAA Sv% SO
NCAA Career

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pardoski Named Alternate Captain

Penn State has announced that sophomore defender Jordin Pardoski will serve as an alternate captain for the 2013-2014 season.

While adding an underclassman to the leadership group might come as a surprise to some, the fact that it's Pardoski is not to anyone who has spent any time around the program. The Michigan native quickly made a name for herself as a freshman with her fiery pregame speeches, her intensity and effort on the ice and her off-ice rapport with her teammates. She was the Nittany Lions' leading scorer on the defense, although she's better known to most as a physical presence on a blueline including mostly puck movers. Her importance to the team will only increase as Penn State looks to take the next step as a program in NCAA year number two.

PSU will utilize three alternates this season, as captain Taylor Gross and alternates Jenna Welch and Lindsay Reihl all will retain their 2012-2013 letters.

Here's the full release from PSU:

Penn State women's ice hockey head coach Josh Brandwene announced Tuesday that sophomore defender Jordin Pardoski (Rochester Hills, Mich.) will be the team's third assistant captain for the 2013-14 season.

"Jordin brings intensity, passion and enthusiasm to the rink every day," Brandwene said. "She is a terrific addition to an outstanding group of team leaders."

Pardoski joins senior captain Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.), senior assistant captain Jenna Welch (Austin, Texas) and graduate student assistant captain Lindsay Reihl (Cheshire, Conn.) as the team's letter leaders.

Last season, Pardoski appeared in every game, leading the defensive corps in goals (3) and points (10), which ranked seventh on the team. The most aggressive player on the team, Pardoski also led the squad in penalty minutes (40). Additionally, Pardoski carried a rating of minus-two, the best amongst Nittany Lion defenders that appeared in more than half the team's games.

Penn State moves into $90 million Pegula Ice Arena on Sept. 9 with full team practices beginning Sept. 23. Following a four-game road trip to start the season, Penn State opens to Pegula Ice Arena on Oct. 18 against Union to start an eight-game home stand. The Nittany Lions return 24 letter winners, 98.6 percent of their scoring and all three goaltenders.

Student Tickets Available September 10th (Updated)

The PIA's student section seats will be spoken for on September 10th

UPDATE 8/30 1:45 P.M.: Penn State has released full details of the ticket sale, confirming the first-come, first-served nature of the event, which will take place on September 10th at 10:00 a.m. in the HUB. It also corrected a couple of inaccuracies in the Onward State report (below). First, with respect to payment:
Season tickets for the 1,000-seat student section are being offered at $96 for 12 of the team's 18 home games in the brand-new, $90 million facility. A valid student ID is required and tickets may be purchased with cash, check, a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) or LionCash.
Note that only 12 of the 18 home games are part of the student package, as the Union, Wisconsin and Ohio State series take place during either Thanksgiving or Spring Break. It appears as if student single-game tickets for those games will be available on the same TBD date as the public single-game sale:
The six home games not included in student season tickets fall during Thanksgiving and Spring Break (Nov. 30, Dec. 1, March 7-8, March 15-16) and will be available once single-game tickets go on sale (date to be determined).
The original post follows.

After the date, time and location of the long-awaited student ticket sale for the inaugural men's season at Pegula Ice Arena leaked out of Sunday night's Be A Part From The Start rally, Penn State confirmed the news on Monday but promised that more details would follow.

Onward State didn't feel like waiting though, and issued the following report.
Students who want to be part of the inaugural hockey season in Happy Valley will get their chance on September 10 [at 10 a.m.]. Student season ticket for the 16 home games will go on sale in the HUB that day for $128, or $10 for individual game tickets.

Penn State’s new $90 million arena is nearing completion and, by all accounts, will help set the standard for collegiate hockey rinks in the country. The student section is located directly behind the opposing team’s goal for two out of three periods at the steepest slope allowed by code. A virtual tour of the seating bowl is available here.

There are over 1000 student tickets available for purchase and seating is based on a first come first serve basis. Tickets for holiday games are also available for purchase later in the season. The additional space will allow more fans to enter the stadium, which was a common problem at the previous Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
First of all: "Steepest allowed by code." Finish your drink!

As mentioned and as is customary in college sports, both at PSU and elsewhere, student ticket packages will only include games played while classes are in session. Fortunately, according to Onward State, 16 of the Nittany Lions' 18 Pegula Ice Arena games fall into that category. Unfortunately, the two that don't will likely be from either the Union series (November 30th and December 1st, the weekend after Thanksgiving) or the regular season-closing Ohio State series (March 14th and 15th, 2014, the weekend on the back side of spring break), four of the most anticipated contests on the schedule. Information on games excluded from the student package, I suppose, is the one remaining loose end.

Regardless, there's little doubt that the seats will sell quickly and, as is the case in other sports, provide Penn State with one of the nation's best home-ice advantages.

Football Great Williams to Assist Altoona Hockey

Former PSU football and NFL wide receiver Derrick Williams, who helped fuel the Nittany Lions' return to national prominence from 2005 through 2008, will take on a surprising role in Penn State hockey this season - strength and conditioning coach for the ACHA Division 3 team at the Altoona campus.

The unlikely match came about when head coach Tom Lantz crossed paths with Williams at a local event where the gridder was working with kids, and the two hit it off. As a result of the fateful meeting, Williams will work with the team in the weight room on Tuesdays and help with conditioning on Wednesdays.
"I feel the players will be able to relate to Derrick, because he has been involved with both collegiate and professional athletics and knows what it takes to be successful," Lantz said.
Williams needs little introduction to fans of Penn State football. As a top-ranked recruit out of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD with offers from powers like Florida, Oklahoma and Texas, his simply committing to PSU in December 2004 signaled a coming renaissance for a storied program that had fallen on hard times. The Nittany Lions had just one winning season in five from 2000-2004, but in Williams' freshman year, the team stormed to a storybook 11-1 season, a Big Ten title and an Orange Bowl win over Florida State. Despite his season-ending injury midway through the campaign, Williams still contributed moments like a game-winning 36-yard touchdown catch at Northwestern to Penn State lore. As a senior, he was integral to the 11-2 Big Ten champs that appeared in the Rose Bowl. Williams finished his collegiate career with 161 catches for 1,743 yards, while adding 117 carries for 594 yards. In all, he found the end zone 22 times, including five times via punt or kick returns.

After his electric college career, the all-purpose ace was selected in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. However, he was released after a pair of seasons in the Motor City, and when brief stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the CFL's Toronto Argonauts fizzled, he decided to leave professional football. Williams relocated to Hollidaysburg, PA - just seven miles from Altoona - in search of a new career, possibly as an analyst for PSU football.

Additionally, on Monday evening, PSUA announced its schedule for the 2013-2014 campaign, as the team attempts to rebound from its disappointing 7-11-1 (3-9-0 College Hockey East) mark last year. Fans will be able to examine Williams' handiwork at eight home games, beginning with a September 28th contest against Indiana (PA) at Galactic Ice Arena in Altoona.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Three Stars: August 19-25

3. Beantown Classic – Scouting the Forwards
(Over The Boards)

Forward A.J. Greer, a Nittany Lions commit scheduled for 2015 entry, participated in the highly-regarded Beantown Classic showcase from August 10th through 14th. And did quite well for himself - OTB rated him the number two forward there and had this to say:
Greer started strong here and never let up. Consistently created chances and used his outrageously long reach to score a number of creative goals including a wrap-around and a full-reach fake that got one of the better goalies here to bite just enough for Greer to bury in the ensuing opening. Surprisingly deceptive and will only get better. Would like to see more snarl from the forward but he did show a mean streak here at times. Youngest player in the pro division but finished second in overall scoring.
Just one guy's opinion? Au contraire, mes amis. USHR tabbed Greer the number two forward in the pro division (1996 birth years and older, in case you're wondering).
AJ Greer, late ’96 F, KUA (#11 Bombers) – 6’4”. The youngest player in the pro division, the Penn State recruit is not even draft-eligible until 2015. A power forward in the making.
We got ourselves a pretty good one here, guys.

2. Preseason Previews: PSU Still Too Many Unknowns
(B1G Ice Hockey)

The Big Ten Hockey Blog predicts that PSU will finish last in the conference, largely due to the unknown quantity of conference play for the young program.

I'm not going to say too much about it here, because I'm still contemplating writing a full post in response (I did fire off a few points in the comments over there if you're interested). However, I think relegating the Nittany Lions to the basement out of hand because the other league teams "have been doing it for decades" is a mistake. Banners don't skate, as the saying goes, and I sincerely cannot identify a single reason to say that Penn State is any worse than Ohio State or Michigan State right now. Given the whole 2-1-0 situation against that pair in 2012-2013 with eight pure ACHA players on the roster, there is reason to see it the other way around.

1. Penn State breaks in new Pegula Ice Arena ice sheet
(Western College Hockey Blog)

For the record and on Thursday, Joe Battista, Guy Gadowsky, Josh Brandwene and their families were the first to go for a skate at Pegula Ice Arena. Evidence of the happenings comes from Battista's Twitter, the men's team's Instagram (twice), and the women's team's Instagram (again, twice).

Most coverage of the ice's initiation focused exclusively on Gadowsky, which is understandable to a degree, as the men's team is the one that draws the eyeballs. But also a mistake, because it meant whiffing on a story like this:

(Belated) happy anniversary guys! The next 21 go pretty fast, from what I hear.

Best of the Rest


It certainly took a while, but the Women's Ice Hockey Club's Mary Kate Tonetti finally has her ACHA Women's Division 2 Off-Ice MVP award after being named its winner back in March.

York City Ice Arena to Host CHE Playoffs

Sticking with the ACHA women, some pretty great hockey will be coming to York on February 22nd and 23rd in the form of the College Hockey East playoffs. The four teams that make up this season's inaugural edition of CHE (PSU, West Chester, California (PA) and Delaware) were half of the field at the 2013 ACHA WD2 National Tournament, including both championship game participants.

Charles Vance McCullough
(Centre Daily Times)

Here's the obituary for Vance McCullough, the long-time head of Penn State's club sports who passed away unexpectedly last Monday at age 69.
Vance was a driving force in creating a club sports department supporting many programs that were organizationally on par with NCAA teams. His legacy includes the Men's and Ladies Icers Hockey teams, as well as the nationally recognized men's and women's rugby teams.
Hey wait, that sounds awfully familiar...
McCullough was a driving force in creating a club sports department supporting many programs that were organizationally on par with NCAA teams, but for the recognition and the existence of scholarships. His legacy included not only the Icers and later the Lady Icers, but continues today through the success of the Ice Lions and Women's Ice Hockey Club, as well as Penn State's nationally-recognized men's and women's rugby teams.
Flattered, Koch Funeral Home guy who wrote the obit.

Top 5 Big Ten Off-Season Stories
(Western College Hockey Blog)

PSU doesn't even register in this rundown of the Big Ten's offseason beyond a mention of the school's first NHL draft picks, with stories like the Illinois rumors and Ohio State's post-Osiecki meltdown collecting the attention. The crazy thing? PSU doesn't really deserve to register in a rundown of the Big Ten's offseason beyond the draft picks and maybe Pegula Ice Arena's completion.

Basically, Penn State's program has finally reached sort of an awkward milestone: it's more or less completely normal.

Other than new program-type stuff, making offseason news is bad roughly 92 percent of the time. So here's to never, ever appearing in one of those types of posts again.


Ohio State has new alternate jerseys (above), and suddenly, I want to go get Taco Bell.

Although they include a few striping modifications, they're essentially a white adaptation of the jerseys the Buckeyes wore for the Frozen Diamond Faceoff, a January 15, 2012 outdoor game against Michigan in Cleveland.

Just made you smarter than your friends on a completely useless topic. You're welcome.

In other OSU news, the team named its leadership group last week, headlined by captain Curtis Gedig.

Pittsburgh-born Saad savors his day with Stanley Cup
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Brandon Saad, the brother of former Nittany Icer George who became the first Pittsburgh born and trained player to win the Stanley Cup in June, got his customary time with sport's most iconic trophy on Thursday.

Penn State Athletics Announces National Anthem Performer Auditions for 2013-14 Year

Karen Newman, Lauren Hart, Jim Cornelison, Jeff Jimerson, Rene Rancourt... anthem singers can become legends to their team's fans in hockey. If you think you're up to it, September 5th is a date you should circle.

Bennett takes his hockey show to the Lone Star State
(Foster's Daily Democrat)

Luke Bennett, a Rochester, NH-native forward who recently signed with Corpus Christi in the NAHL, is interested in Penn State. But not that interested.
Bennett has grown to like the western brand of hockey.

“I like the style,” Bennett said. “It’s a little different. It’s faster with less fights (than East Coast hockey). I’m a skill guy, not a fighter. I’m 165 (pounds). I’m not throwing around too much.”

Bennett plans to use his time in Texas to expand his game and draw D-I college attention. He mentioned schools like Western Michigan, Penn State and UMass-Lowell, but adds that in his heart he wants to stay in the west.
Construction Webcam

Last week, structural steel went up on RIT's Gene Polisseni Center. The 4,500-seat arena, which will replace PIA as NCAA Division I's newest hockey venue, is scheduled to open in time for next season. The Nittany Lion women, of course, will play there each year as part of the CHA schedule.

Despite the lost distinction for Penn State, it actually is quite fun watching someone else's dream building materialize. And if you still have the urge to hate, just remember that Polisseni Center broke ground during RIT's homecoming last October - a weekend that was spoiled (for Tigers faithful) by the PSU men and their big win in Rochester.


A quick bit of setup: Minnesota fans have been very vocally opposed to the Big Ten's "intrusion" into the hockey bubble because they'll miss their big games against Bemidji State and Mankato State Minnesota State-Mankato Minnesota State in the WCHA, or something like that. Furthermore, despite his pair of national titles, four Frozen Fours and seven conference regular season or playoff championships, they aren't exactly thrilled with their coach, Don Lucia, either. Because they're the State of Hockey, as they're more than happy to remind you, and if they don't win everything ever, THINGS WILL EXPLODE.

So with all of that out there and from a Penn State perspective, you can understand why the photo above, of Lucia (left) presenting Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany with a Gophers jersey, could be considered quite entertaining.


A quick, shameless self-link to share some news for the Twitter-free among you:
Confirmed: Rodney Martin will return as PA announcer for the inaugural Pegula Ice Arena season. Fantastic news.
Really could not imagine things any other way.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Nittany Lions Tweak Jerseys for 2013-14 (Updated)

At the 2013 edition of Be A Part From The Start, an annual pep rally for incoming freshmen held in Rec Hall, Guy Gadowsky and the men's hockey team helped get the new students fired up to be Penn Staters.

That, in and of itself, isn't really news - the team frequently participates in spirit events. The news is what they were wearing Sunday night while shooting t-shirts into the crowd, as it appears that a handful of minor jersey modifications are in store for the inaugural season at Pegula Ice Arena.

Via Onward State:

The differences are subtle from last year's threads, but they exist:
  • On the numbers, the font has been altered slightly to one with more serifs, and also enlarged a bit.
  • The so-called "TV numbers" have been moved further down the sleeve from their previous perch on the shoulder.
  • Nike's swoosh has been centered, just above the logo. Before, it resided on the left (as looking at it) chest. Despite that move, the tie-down still appears to be in place - it's protruding pretty visibly from the unidentifiable player to the immediate right of Nate Jensen, the player closest to the camera.
  • And look closely at Jensen's back. Is that a contrasting blue nameplate with white lettering, similar to the style worn most famously by the Philadelphia Flyers?

Yes, it is. Just for comparison, here's Max Gardiner modeling the 2012-2013 whites at the jersey unveiling event last September.

This season's jerseys, of course, will also feature a Big Ten logo on the chest and possibly some sort of patch to commemorate the opening of the long-awaited arena. The former is something that has already been applied to other Penn State athletic teams.

Presumably, the blues will mirror the font and sleeve changes, although there's no word yet on whether those will include names (probably the most frequent criticism of PSU's uniform is that the home whites have names on the back while the away jerseys do not) or whether the women's jerseys have also been altered to match.

Check back for updates should that information - or better pictures - become available.

UPDATE 8/26, 10:10 A.M.: Via Tina Hay, editor of The Penn Stater, here's our best look yet. It appears as if the "B1G" logo has already been affixed.

I left the photo in its original state for obvious reasons, so click it to enlarge.

UPDATE 9/6, 1:40 P.M.: Since the original post, scraps of not-worth-an-update evidence have indicated that the women have received the identical new-ish look seen on the men. On Friday afternoon, that knowledge was both confirmed and enhanced by the women's team's Instagram account, as their blue jerseys have arrived.

Nameplates! Yes! I dare anyone to come up with a way in which these are not perfect.

Women's Jersey Countdown: #40 Shannon Yoxheimer

Sophomore - Forward - 5'7" - Jackson, MI

Lethal sniper Shannon Yoxheimer opens our countdown. The North American Hockey Academy product led the Nittany Lions in goals, assists, points and shots last season while generally skating on a line with Jess Desorcie and Taylor Gross and also being quite effective without the puck. Although her numbers were fantastic, it's a little bit harder to count the number of jaws Yoxheimer caused to drop by picking a corner from a shooting position that should have been a low-percentage attempt. Her exploits were impressive enough to receive plenty of attention outside of Hockey Valley, as Yoxheimer was a College Hockey America All-Rookie Team selection following nods as rookie of the month (November, 2012) and player of the week (October 22, 2012). This season, she'll be counted on to maintain her offensive production - while also continuing to scare defenses with the threat of lasering one home from just about anywhere past center.

Career Statistics:
Season GP G A Pts. PIM PP SH GW GT
NCAA Career

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hockey Valley Homecoming

If tweets from Penn State hockey players arriving on campus for fall semester don't get your blood pumping, you may be an empty, red seat and should probably head over to Columbus. Enjoy.

You may be wondering about Jordin Pardoski at this point - after all, I used her photo at the top. Well, she gets her own category.

Let's get 'er going.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tripp Takes Over Radio Play-by-Play Duties

During an interview of Guy Gadowsky on "Sports Talk with Steve Jones and Brian Tripp" on ESPN Radio 1450 in State College Wednesday afternoon, it was revealed that the show's producer and co-host, Brian Tripp, will be the new radio voice of Penn State men's hockey in 2013-2014.

The news, as tends to happen, spread and was confirmed on Twitter, including by the subject himself.

Tripp represents a sharp departure from the man he is replacing, eleven-year Icers and Nittany Lions vet Steve Penstone. While Penstone took on broadcasting as a second career, was largely self-made, a bit unpolished and primarily concerned with hockey, Tripp is a young jack of all trades who trained for broadcasting from day one - and in fact, was calling games for some of PSU's most-regarded teams (women's volleyball, to name one) as an undergrad. Here's Tripp's bio from ESPN Radio 1450:
Brian joined State College's ESPN Radio 1450 in February 2012, serving as the producer for Sports Talk with Steve Jones. In addition to working on the station's afternoon talk show, his responsibilities include producing daily news and sports updates and hosting sports talk programming on a fill-in basis. Brian also serves as a broadcaster with the Penn State Sports Network and Penn State Athletics. He just completed his third full season as the play-by-play voice of the Penn State women's volleyball team and serves as an analyst for Lady Lion basketball and Penn State baseball broadcasts. He is a native of Nazareth, Pa and a 2011 graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
For those unfamiliar with his style and eager to get a sneak preview, Tripp maintains a personal website including clips of his work on volleyball, basketball, wrestling... and even THON. While a fair criticism would be his inexperience with hockey (or even worse, with some people, his lack of "hockey guy" status), Tripp's resume to this point and his proven versatility seem to indicate that he'll have no problem picking it up.

Oh, and there's this clip of him doing play-by-play of a Casey Bailey goal on February 1st against Ohio from his website:

Tripp will be joined in the booth by analyst Tim King, who debuted alongside Penstone in 2012-2013 and will reprise his role in the coming year. Further details on PSU's radio arrangement, including the stations carrying the games, are still being worked out.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Icing on the Cake

On Tuesday, Pegula Ice Arena's main bowl sprung to life, transforming from a dingy concrete floor into an actual, honest-to-goodness hockey rink - and thanks to the Mortenson Construction PIA webcam, the world was able to follow along.

The ice building process actually began last Friday with the first application of water to surface, and continued through Monday and Tuesday with the completion of the base layers before painting and additional layers sealed things in. What follows is a sequence of snapshots from the webcam tracking the PIA's inaugural installation from beginning to the end of Tuesday.

For some pretty stunning photographs of the finished paint job (without the ice on top), be sure to check out the NCAA women's team's Facebook page as well.

Note: Rather than shrinking and cropping the photos to 500 pixels wide as usual, I've kept them larger due to the "photo essay" nature of this post. To view things in their full glory, simply click on any of them to open a gallery.

August 16th, 12:16 p.m.

August 17th, 7:33 a.m.

August 17th, 3:01 p.m.

August 18th, 9:24 a.m.

August 18th, 10:18 a.m.

August 19th, 12:52 p.m.

August 19th, 8:35 p.m.

August 20th, 7:01 a.m.

August 20th, 7:42 a.m.

August 20th, 9:58 a.m.

August 20th, 10:53 a.m.

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