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By Jack Milewski, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Athletes are creatures of habit. They almost have to be. Anytime you perform the same motion, whether it be shooting a basketball, kicking a soccer ball, or taking a slap shot in hockey, you have to repeat the same thing over and over. Many athletes take this concept and practice it off the court, field, or ice. Pregame rituals are a big part of the sports world and the Nittany Lion women's hockey team is no different when it comes to this.

Hours before the puck drops, all is silent at Pegula Ice Arena. The arena staff is making the last minute preparations to the ice and others are preparing to open the front doors. At this same time, you will also find some of the Nittany Lion players in the stands behind their home bench. For them, this is one of the many pregame rituals that they practice.

"I always tape my stick before a game," said senior captain Shannon Yoxheimer. "Whether I actually need to or not, I still do, just because that's always how I have been doing it."

For some it is as simple as taping their sticks. Be it in the stands or in the locker room, that seems to be a common routine for many players. Yoxheimer says that some people ae very particular and like to tape their own sticks, while others prefer if someone tapes it for them. For other players, like junior defenseman Kelly Seward, her pregame ritual involves a snack.

"Some people like to play soccer or do something active before the game," said Seward. "I just like to grab a couple snacks and relax. I usually have the same thing before every game, they are these little smoothie packets."

Seward also says that she gets dressed right at the 54 minute mark before the game and says he has been doing that for years now. But her dressing 54 minutes before the game is nothing compared to teammate Micayla Catanzariti, who gets dressed very early according to both her teammates and coach.

"Micayla always gets dressed really really early," said Seward. "You can always see her well before the game with her big headphones on just getting in the zone."

While many of the players on the team choose to partake in their own unique pregame rituals, the Penn State women's hockey team also has some routines that include the majority, if not everyone on the team. Before every Friday contest, the team has a pregame meal ritual.

"Well we go to Allen Street Grill every Friday at 2:15," said Seward. "I think that is our team time to get together and get ready. After that I think everyone pretty much goes back, gets a nap in and relaxes."

Another, possibly less unique, but still equally vital part of every game day, is coffee. Both the team and head coach Josh Brandwene voiced that coffee is essentially in providing a little extra boost before games. 

"Coffee is a big part of the routine for me," said Brandwene. "It's all about the timing of caffeine intake. It's different timing for a seven o'clock start than for a two o'clock start. And after the game you have a night of film review, so by the time Saturday rolls around caffeine kind of becomes a best friend."

Yoxheimer had a similar reaction, saying that the majority of the team, to her knowledge, uses coffee as an energy booster on game day.

"I always get a coffee before games," said Yoxheimer. "I think that's kind of standard and the norm for almost everyone on our team."

Whether it being playing soccer in a small group, or re-taping a stick before the game, the Penn State women's hockey team participates in many unique pregame rituals. At times it is the whole team together and at times it is simply something unique that an individual has been doing for years. Either way, for Penn State women's hockey, the pregame routine is just another part of the game. 

Competitiveness and Depth a Recipe for Success for Nittany Lions

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By Jack Milewski, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The mark of a great team isn't necessarily how much star power it has. Sure, having a superstar boosts your chances of winning games just because of talent alone, but the mark of a true team is felt through their eagerness and willingness to battle every time they step out on to the court.

For the Penn State men's volleyball team, this type of competitive nature has already been prescribed by head coach Mark Pavlik as the team's DNA.

"We find a way to win," said Pavlik. "That seems to be this team's trademark right now. They are as competitive as any body and they are going to scratch and claw and do whatever it takes to win matches."

That competitiveness was one of the primary factors in Penn State's straight set victory against IPFW last Saturday. The Nittany Lions seemed to be off their game from the moment the first ball was served, up until the midway point in the second set. However, it was their competitiveness that kept them a float and gave them a chance to figure things out.

"Against Fort Wayne, in that first set, we just didn't have it," said Pavlik. "But the guys kept fighting and we found a way to get out of it and then we started playing better from there."

Redshirt sophomore Jalen Penrose echoes his coach's thoughts on the team's competitiveness being a key for them in every match.

"We just want to work hard at all times," said Penrose. We know if we stay in that mindset, no matter how bad we play we will be a tough team to handle."

Not only was the competiveness of the Nittany Lions on hand during the match on Saturday, but also the team depth was thrust in to the spotlight. Andrew Roberts, normally known as a service specialist, was placed in the outside hitter role and rose to the occasion. Roberts finished with nine kills was one of the sparks that propelled the Nittany Lions to victory.

"Andrew has been asked to go in and serve in multiple national championships," said Pavlik. "He has seen a lot of things and he has the experience just about anywhere on the court to get things done."

The performance from Roberts is typical of the norm on this Penn State team. Team depth is something that Pavlik knows can be used as a strength and also something members of the team realize can be very beneficial on any given night.

"It's nice to have depth because if anyone isn't having a great day, no one else is worried," said Penrose. "No matter who comes out on the floor we know the play level and competitiveness doesn't drop off because some parts change."

Roberts is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Penn State's depth. The Nittany Lions boast a plethora of players on the bench who provided an experienced presence on the court. Aidan Albrecht is another Penn Stater who has, in just a few short years on the team, already gained more experience than many players do at his age.

"Aidan is another guy for us who has really stepped up at times," said Pavlik. "He was asked to step in and play middle last year and he did so pretty well. He wont be thrust into situation and say 'hey I haven't been here before' and I think that really pays off for us."

While Penn State has a lot of young experience on the bench, they also have an even younger, possibly less experienced presence on the court night in and night out. Royce Clemens, who has been starting at libero all season for the Nittany Lions, has been thrown right into the fire since he arrived at Penn State. Five of the freshman's first six games in collegiate volleyball have been against team ranked inside the top 15. Pavlik believes that this experience has been invaluable for Clemens and that it will pay off down the road.

"I think that has been immensely beneficial for him," said Pavlik. "Not only in gaining the experience playing against some of the physical team's that we have played against, but also gaining his personal confidence. Royce just keeps going out there and getting better and better every day."

The length of each season presents each individual athlete with a chance to step up and help his time. For Roberts, it very well may have been Saturday, but for other players that time has yet to come, but Pavlik says that it certainly will for each and every one of his players.

"I don't think I have ever coached a year where it has been the same seven guys out on the court night in and night out," said Pavlik. "At some point in the year, everyone is going to get called upon and that's something that we try and get across to them. That's why we say you have to be ready every day in practice and never think that you won't be coming in the game at some point."

Setter Taylor Hammond also echoed the team's ability to plug in pieces when needed and produce a complete effort. After last Saturday's match, when IPFW targeted Hammond with the majority of their serves, he commented on how well his teammates on the floor filled in for his role when he couldn't.

"We knew that their opposite was going to serve at me," said Hammond. "A lot of the guys like Matt [Callaway] and Chris [Nugent] did a good job providing those second contacts when I could, it speaks to how well balanced we are."

With the Nittany Lions not only able to produce a high quality caliber of volleyball off the bench, but also to be able to count on the players on the court to fill different roles, the team has a multitude of weapons at their disposal. The depth and competitiveness of the team seems to be their calling cards this season and according to Pavlik and his players, that's going to serve them well down the road.

Penn State will take on Saint Francis this Friday on the road. First serve is slated for just after 7 p.m.

Focus Key to Nittany Lions Finding Success at Home

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11644039.jpeg By Mandy Bell, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERISTY PARK, Pa. - After the team's first away meet of the season was canceled this past weekend, the Nittany Lion women's gymnastics team shifts focus to its matchup against the Illinois on Friday in Penn State's third-straight home meet this season. 

"Everyone was so looking forward to getting off campus, going to someone else's arena and competing," head coach Jeff Thompson said.  "The experience in the bus, at the hotel, at the restaurant and in some locker room we've never been before, that's where a team really starts to come together. Then it got canceled and that was a big let down."

Penn State (0-2, 0-1 B1G) was looking to get away from the home crowd and pick up its first win of the season on the road.  The Nittany Lions were hoping to escape some of the added pressure of performing in front of the home crowd in Maryland this past Sunday. 

"When you compete at home, they might feel different than they would on the road.  When you're on the road you don't know anybody.  You go out there, you just let it all hang out and if something happens bad so what? Some other people saw you had a mistake," Thompson said. "But when you're at home, all these people from psychology class are here and this professor, parents and grandparents.  They sometimes try harder."

Because of the cancellation, the Nittany Lions have not competed since their last meet against Nebraska, nearly two weeks ago.  Thompson thought that this week may be a challenge, but he thinks the team is prepared from extra practice for the meet on Friday.

"We are trying to focus on the process of performing the routine and not the result," Thompson said.  "When you try not to fall, generally you're going to fall because you're thinking about the wrong thing. You're thinking about the result."

A gymnast must practice in a meet-like setting in order to escape the comfort of the practice gym. The event that has put the most pressure on the Nittany Lions thus far has been the balance beam.  Thompson wanted to come up with a way to add the same pressure that comes along with a meet when performing on the beam in practice.

Thompson set up an inner-squad scrimmage when the cancellation of the Maryland meet occurred and figured out a way to put some pressure on his gymnastics by telling them that six of seven gymnasts needed to hit their routines in order to have an off-day on Monday. 

"Those kind of teaching moments are hard to create.  Two of the freshmen fell, everyone else hit," Thompson said.  "Everybody looked like they were doing 'meet beam' not 'in-the-gym beam', so it did have an effect and I think it moves them closer to being comfortable for when they compete."

The Nittany Lions have not practiced any differently preparing for their matchup against Illinois than they have for their other meets.  Thompson believes that having the same mindset going into each meet, despite the opponent, is the key to success for a gymnast.

"Having a ritual that they do helps them learn how to get comfortable, so if you change it every week and its always different they might not ever get as comfortable as they would if you kept everything the same," Thompson said. "I mean some people might say I'm crazy for doing that."

Penn State looks to pick up its first win of the season this Friday.  Just like he has all season, Thompson preached to his team all week to focus on only three things entering the meet.

"One thing is we are going to remind them to be where their feet are, number two is to focus on the process of the routine," Thompson said. "And third and final is to go out there and have fun." 

The Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Illinois Fighting Illini at 7 p.m. on Friday in Rec Hall.      


Mike Gilbert, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Usually, it's Penn State's guard play that provides the spark for the Lady Lions.  But forwards Candice Agee and Peyton Whitted worked hard all night despite losing to Maryland 89-53 Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.  Whitted was physical down low, hitting the ten-rebound mark despite fouling out in the third quarter.  Meanwhile, Agee did some work on the offensive side, dropping 8 points and showing that Penn State's bigs can contribute on both ends of the floor.  Whitted has a gameplan for grabbing boards the next time her team hits the floor. 

 "Just get more rebounds, keep being more aggressive and carry that over to the next game," she said.

Coach Coquese Washington was happy with the way Agee and Whitted performed tonight and the fact that they continued to work hard late in the second half. 

"Certainly there are some good things we saw from our post players tonight and we're going to continue to try to work on that and build on that," Washington said following the game.

Having three more than capable bigs in Agee, Whitted and Ashanti Thomas, who pulled down five rebounds in the contest, will help with the already strong guard play from Brianna Banks, Teniya Page and Lindsey Spann.

Freshman guard also Sarah McMurty got in on the fun in the final minutes, hitting the first bucket of her career in Happy Valley, knocking down a three-pointer late in the game.  That brought out a loud cheer from the crowd and the Penn State bench.

"It was great, she works hard and she's a great shooter and I thought she came in and did some good things," said Whitted.

Now sitting at 3-6 in conference, the Blue and White are in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten.  But that could change, starting with a game this Saturday against the Boilermakers of Purdue.  That game will be at home on Saturday at 2 p.m.  Washington was clear at the end of her postgame press conference that her team would be ready.

"We'll be ready for Purdue."

Already looking forward to the next game, if Penn State can find the right balance between the talented guard play along with strong efforts from the post players down low, that could be a dangerous combination for any Big Ten conference foe. 



VIDEO: This Week In Penn State Wrestling - Nico Megaludis (1/27/16)

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 1-ranked Nittany Lion wrestling team (11-0, 6-0 Big Ten) returns to Rec Hall on Sunday for a 2 p.m. bout against No. 10 Michigan (9-1, 4-0 Big Ten).

GoPSUsports.com caught up with senior Nico Megaludis this week to talk about his season to date. Megaludis is 20-1 on the season and ranked No. 4 at 125 pounds.

Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Men's Hoops Adding to MSG History on Saturday

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11642021.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Nearly seven years have passed since a memorable spring evening inside Madison Square Garden for the Nittany Lion basketball team.

Penn State will return to The Garden on Saturday for the first time since knocking off Baylor in the 2009 NIT title game.

Saturday's return will be a treat for Penn State fans when the Nittany Lion men's hockey and hoops teams compete in a day-night doubleheader at MSG against Michigan (Basketball at 12 p.m.; Hockey at 7 p.m.).

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany made the hockey-hoops doubleheader announcement on Dec. 9, 2014, with Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour among the attendees inside MSG.

"Any time the Penn State nation has the opportunity to come to New York is always an exciting time. And the opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden is something I think our student-athletes will really enjoy, as will our community," said Barbour.

With approximately 32,000 Penn State alums in the New York City, Saturday provides a great opportunity for the local fans to Penn State teams in action at "The World's Most Famous Arena". Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and GoPSUsports.com (Click Here).

On the hardwood, the Nittany Lions will be making their 17th appearance in the current Madison Square Garden, which opened in 1968. Penn State is 10-6 all-time at MSG. The Lions have won five-straight games held in Madison Square Garden.

Penn State Men's Basketball at MSG
1971-72 - 12/27/71 - vs. Providence, L 81-65 (ECAC Holiday Classic)
1971-72 - 12/28/71 - vs. Utah, W 80-69 (ECAC Holiday Classic)
1971-72 - 12/29/71 - vs. Syracuse, L 92-77 (ECAC Holiday Classic)
1975-76 - 2/28/76 - vs. Fairfield, W 76-68
1989-90 - 3/26/90 - vs. Vanderbilt, L 75-62 (NIT)
1989-90 - 3/28/90 - vs. New Mexico, W 83-81 (OT) (NIT)
1994-95 - 3/27/95 - vs. Marquette, L 87-79 (NIT)
1994-95 - 3/29/95 - vs. Canisius, W 66-62 (NIT)
1997-98 - 3/24/98 - vs. Georgia, W 66-60 (NIT)
1997-98 - 3/26/98 - vs. Minnesota, L 79-72 (NIT)
1999-00 - 3/28/00 - vs. Notre Dame, L 73-52 (NIT)
1999-00 - 3/30/00 - vs. North Carolina State, W 74-72 (NIT)
2000-01 - 12/26/00 - vs. Princeton, W 65-52 (ECAC Holiday Classic)
2000-01 - 12/27/00 - vs. Hofstra, W 74-71 (ECAC Holiday Classic)
2008-09 - 3/31/09 - vs. Notre Dame, W 67-59 (NIT)
2008-09 - 4/2/09 - vs. Baylor, W 69-63 (NIT)

All-Time MSG Record - 10-6

11642019.jpeg Looking Back at the 2009 NIT Crown
Below is review of Penn State's 69-63 victory over Baylor en route to the program's first NIT championship during the 2008-09 season. Take a look back at a memorable Penn State night in New York City.

Lions Capture Program's First National Tournament Title in MSG

NEW YORK, April 2, 2009 - With a chorus of cheers from 36 bus loads of fans ringing down on them and a who's who of Penn State dignitaries in the stands, members of the Nittany Lion basketball team left the Madison Square Garden floor as no other had before in program history, as national tournament champions.


Playing the gritty, energized, relentless basketball it used all season to record a school-record win total, Penn State (27-11) posted a 69-63 victory over Baylor (24-15) in the National Invitation Tournament Championship game in New York City to complete a story book season of program firsts and claim just the second post-season tournament title in program history and first since the 1991 A-10 tournament crown.


"You don't know what it's going to be like when you go into it," senior Jamelle Cornley said with a wide smile and tear-swollen eyes. "The last time I cut down the nets was the state championship my freshman year of high school. To cut down some more nets in my last game is just an unbelievable feeling."


Cornley, who led Penn State with 18 points and seven rebounds, was named the NIT MVP despite playing the last three games of the tournament with his partially separated left shoulder tightly wrapped. One of four seniors who left the floor for the final time with a win and helped Penn State to log victories in 10 of its last 13 games, Cornley will leave an indelible mark on the Nittany Lion program for his production on the court and his emotional leadership on and off it. The 6-5, 245-pound forward who was told he was undersized by most major programs, ends his career as the Penn State's fourth all-time leading scorer (1,579) and rebounder (756).


Fellow seniors Stanley Pringle (10 points) and Danny Morrissey (nine points) also had big nights. Morrissey canned three big threes and epitomized the all-out effort of the Lions when he suffered a split lip and mild concussion while diving headlong for a loose ball with just over two minutes to play. The Lions third all-time three-point shooter ended his career with 221 treys.


"We have tough kids," said Penn State coach Ed DeChellis who was congratulated on the court by legendary Nittany Lion football coach Joe Paterno and NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris. "We're going to compete. That's been our trademark all year. That play typifies what our team has been like all year."


Sophomore Talor Battle, who was also named to the All-tournament team, added 12 points (all in the second half), seven assists and six boards and ended the year with the Penn State single-season assist record with 189 and the Lions' fifth-best ever single season scoring mark with 635 points. Sophomore David Jackson added 10 points as the Lions shot 54 percent in the second half and out-rebounded the taller Bears 36-29, including 12 offensive boards.

After trailing 29-25 at halftime, the Nittany Lions mounted a 7-1 surge to open the second half on the way to a 32-30. The partisan Penn State crowd roared, and the Nittany Lions never looked back on the way to hoisting a trophy and cutting down the nets in "The World's Most Famous Arena".

Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony


By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As Penn State men's gymnastics carries on their regular season, the Nittany Lions enter their second home match on Saturday, January 30 against Illinois.


The Blue and White defeated Army to kick off its season before earning a first-place finish at the West Point Open.  Although the team suffered a step back against Minnesota, the boys are focused and determined as the season continues.


The 2016 men's gymnastics squad is a mix of veteran and newcomers who all are determined to keep the team focused on the goals set in front of them.


"I think one of the biggest goals for the team this season is to win both NCAA and Big Ten's," stated Dominic DiFulvio. "As a team, we want to win back-to-back Big Ten championships, which has never been done before during my time here at Penn State."


DiFulvio is a junior and leader on the team. The New York native has been on the team since his freshman year in 2014, and since joining the Blue and White he has become an all-around competitor


As one of the veterans, DiFulvio consistently aims to inspire the rest of his teammates to achieve their personal goals to help better the team as a whole.


"One thing I'm looking forward to is competing in as many meets as I can this season," said DiFulvio. "I really enjoy doing all the different type of events at competitions so I'm going to keep working towards this goal to help the team out. Each event demands a certain amount of focus and body training so I want to make sure I can perform them all and be as beneficial to my team as possible," he continued.


With the physical demands of the sport, several of the guys on the team are focusing on getting healthy to compete again.


"A challenge our team is facing right now is getting everyone healthy enough to compete, it's important we all take care of ourselves so we can continue to take on the season together," said DiFulvio. "Although some of our guys are hurt, it does allow some new faces to get in the competition and that'll help build their self-esteem while competing, which can help us in the future."


This season the Lions will only be hosting three meets, forcing the Blue and White to adjust to being on the road most of the regular season.


"Although it can be tough to always be traveling, being on the road is always a fun time with the team," said DiFulvio.  "Whenever the team travels it brings everyone closer and being close with the team makes those trips even more fun. We're all really close so whenever we're on the road like we are majority of this season the bus rides become fun and we're always playing games and talking to one another while traveling."


After hosting Illinois this upcoming Saturday, the Blue and White will be on the road until the team hosts Nebraska on March 11.


Be sure to keep an eye out on the Nittany Lions as the men's gymnastics team conquers the difficulty of being on the road in hopes to make history with back-to-back Big Ten titles. 

By ANNA PITINGOLO, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - At the annual media day to kick off the season, Penn State head coach Coquese Washington said newcomer Teniya Page would be fun to watch this year. Little did she know just how much fun it would be.

As just a true freshman, Page is leading the Lady Lions like a seasoned veteran, leading the team in points per game (16.1) and field goal percentage (.427). But while she may be excelling on the court, it doesn't mean she is exceeding any expectations set out for her, whether it's from herself or Washington.

"I'm pretty hard on the point guards and have high expectations," Washington said. "But I will say she has shown calmness and poise and composure beyond her experience. She plays with a very high basketball IQ...she hasn't had many bad games and I think that's sometimes rare for a freshman in any position but in particular as a point guard so I've been really pleased with how she's playing." 

Page also has expectations from herself that she hasn't met yet, and she is looking to improve her game to try and meet them as the end of the season looms near. 

"I wouldn't say I'm exceeding [my expectations], more like meeting them and just playing how I know I can play," Page said. "So I wouldn't necessarily say that with a whole bunch [of games] to go that I just exceeded all of them but that I just met a lot of them and I'm happy about it, but at the same time, obviously have to keep working."

As Page works to improve her game, Washington has already seen her take huge strides since the beginning of the season. As a point guard, Page has to be a leader on the court, and she will be the first to admit that she isn't usually a very vocal person. But Washington believes she is getting more and more comfortable with that role as the season progresses.

"In every game, she seems to get a little bit more comfortable in the things that I'm asking her to do that aren't really second nature for her, but I like her progress and she's certainly is adapting to the college game very well," Washington said.

Sophomore Lindsey Spann has been splitting point guard duties with Page all year, and has seen firsthand the presence that she brings to the court. Page's ability to stay calm under pressure is especially important as a point guard.

"She's a great player to play with. She seems kind of quiet sometimes but she stays very calm and composed and that's something players need to see from their point guard," Spann said. "It's amazing, she does a lot of things that a lot of freshman in Division I basketball right now can't do. She pays attention, she likes to learn, she wants to do better and be better for herself not only, but for the team." 

Page has shown what she is capable of this season, reaching double-digits points in 15 of 19 games this season. Her high was 31 points against Michigan, making her the first freshman to hit 30 points in a game since Tyra Grant had 33 in 2007.

"I think one of the things that helps her is just her athleticism," Washington said. "She's a very athletic player, and she can be very explosive in getting to the rim. When she turns the speed on, she can get wherever she wants to go on the court. And then you add to her athleticism, she's highly skilled. She's got a fantastic handle, she shoots the ball well, plus her high basketball IQ, all those things come together to make her a really dynamic player."

Page will get a chance to go up against one of the best teams in the country, when No. 5 Maryland comes to Happy Valley on Wednesday. But just like any other game, she'll be calm, cool and collected.

Busy Week Ahead for the Nittany Lions

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By Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coming off a split against Ohio State last weekend, the No. 15 Penn State (16-5-3, 6-2-0 Big Ten) will face off against No. 6 Michigan (14-3-4, 5-1-2 Big Ten) this Thursday in Pegula Ice Arena and again on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

The Nittany Lions are eager to bounce back after their Saturday loss to the Buckeyes and look forward to the challenge of playing such a highly ranked opponent.

For Thursday's game fans are encouraged to wear white, a continuing tradition for when Michigan comes to Hockey Valley.

Head coach Guy Gadowsky is thrilled to know the fans are just as enthusiastic about the matchup as his team is, and is eager to see what kind of atmosphere Pegula has on Thursday. Gadowsky expects nothing but enthusiasm from the ever-passionate fan base.

"We love the fans, we love the Roar Zone and really looking forward to seeing how white our white out is," said Gadowsky.

Although there is understandable hype about the game in New York City on Saturday, Gadowsky noted that Thursday's game is not to be overlooked, as every game provides opportunities for the team to continue a push towards a postseason berth.

Thursday night's game will be the last home game in Pegula Ice Arena until Penn State's matchup against Ohio State Feb. 19 and 20.

Saturday's game at Madison Square Garden in New York City will be the second time Penn State has played a matchup in the Big Apple.

During the 2014-15 season Penn State faced Cornell in the Frozen Apple, a 3-1 loss for the Nittany Lions. Building off their previous experience in New York City, Gadowsky and company are looking forward to their familiar, and hopefully triumphant return to the Big Apple.

"I hope that last year will be a good experience for us," said Gadowsky. "I know Michigan has played there in the past as well so I don't think any team is looking to get an advantage, but the fact that we've been through it once we understand the building, we're used to the bright lights in New York I think is only going to help us."

With the schedule slightly different than normal, Gadowsky has implemented shorter practices this week in hopes of keeping the team fresh for a home game on Thursday and then travel on Friday.

Friday morning the team will have an open skate and practice before leaving for New York City. Saturday will follow a little bit of a different schedule than normal, as a morning skate is not possible due to the double header with Penn State basketball taking on Michigan that afternoon.

Although the morning skate will be missing, Gadowsky is confident his players don't need the little bit of extra preparation time.

"We're going to skate on Friday and then leave for New York after that," said Gadowsky. "Saturday obviously there's no morning skate, personally I think those are way overrated in my mind. They're somewhat good for the goaltenders to get out and look at the angles and look at the puck in the building, but for the team I think they're a little overrated."

Historically, the Nittany Lions are 6-3-0 against the Wolverines; including a thrilling 2-1 double overtime win during the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on March 20, 2014.

The matchup between Penn State and Michigan never disappoints, and this week's contests will likely follow the same pattern. Both teams have forwards in the top 10 scoring rankings of the conference, as well as have had several Big Ten Players of the Week.

Penn State takes on Michigan at 7 p.m. Thursday in Pegula Ice Arena and again at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. 

Men's Hoops Gameday 2015-16 - Penn State at Ohio State (1/25/16)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Welcome to live coverage of the 2015-16 Nittany Lion basketball season. Tonight, Penn State is in Value City Arena where the Lions are set to meet Ohio State.

Live Blog 2015-16 Men's Hoops Gameday - Penn State at Ohio State (1/25/16)