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Goodwin Scores in Lions' Loss to Cornell

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By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Saturday night, 15,027 fans piled into Madison Square Garden. Some donned blue, while others dressed in red.

This crowd, however, was not in attendance to support the usual home team New York Rangers. Instead, it settled in to watch the Penn State men's ice hockey team take on Cornell in the Frozen Apple.

"I thought it was great for Penn State," head coach Guy Gadowsky said of game. "We have 100,000 at Beaver Stadium at 3:30, and then we had thousands at Madison Square Garden at 8:00. I think it's a tribute to Penn State and how well they support our sports teams. It was a great environment, a tremendous arena and a great experience."

Despite a solid performance, Cornell defeated the Lions, 3-1, after an empty-net goal sealed their fate in the final minutes of play.

Penn State (7-4-2) maintained the advantage in shots throughout the game, outshooting Cornell (4-4-1), 38-25. The opportunities were present, but a stellar performance by goalie Mitch Gillam took away the Lions' chance at victory.

"I actually thought we had a pretty good performance," said Gadowsky. "We came out well right from the start, had some good opportunities and were able to sneak one by their goaltender. They are a very tough team to play against. You have to work very hard to create opportunities. I thought we did. I thought we moved the puck very well from our back end. I thought we didn't give much at all.

"We gave up five shots in the first. In the second, I don't think we had our best period, but I thought we played tough. In the third, we probably created our most offensive chances. In the end we turned the puck over high and worked hard to get back, but one of our defenders caught an edge and fell. That was enough for them to take advantage of it, but all in all pretty good performance."

The Lion's lone goal came from sophomore forward David Goodwin at 9:11 in the first period. The goal marked his fifth of the year, and once again highlighted the dominance of his line, which also features senior Taylor Holstrom and junior Casey Bailey.

"Taylor Holstrom had the puck and he skated it into the zone," Goodwin said. "He skated wide, and Casey Bailey and I drove the net. Taylor passed it out front, and really either Casey or I could have put it in, but it just happened to hit my stick. Thankfully I was able to put it in the back of the net."

Holstrom, Bailey and Goodwin all currently lead the Lions in scoring with 18, 16 and 10 points, respectively. This line has been a consistent point of offense for Penn State and continues to rise to the occasion in all situations.

Additionally, Holstrom's assist Saturday brought him to 14 on the year, which ties him for first in the nation in that category.

"Everybody knows how very consistent and successful offensively that line has been," said Gadowsky. "You know other teams are taking notice, and trying to match against them, and they've still been able to chip away every game. I really give them a ton of credit. I really do.

"To score consistently at the DI level is an incredible feat in the best of situations, and right now with us having so many other offensive weapons out, they're easier to key on and have still been able to produce game in and game out."

The success of this line can be attributed to the hard work and effort these forwards put in on a daily basis.

They want to continue helping the team in big ways.

"I think consistency on the individual level has been really important for us," Goodwin explained of his line. "Each of us has been prepared for each game, knowing the importance of each game. That's been big for us, but also the three of us have a lot of synergy. We're definitely jelling right now. The more we play together, the more confident we are and the more we know where each other's going to be on the ice."

Even with the loss, Gadowsky recognizes the effort put in by not only Holstrom, Bailey and Goodwin, but by the entire team. The outcome was certainly not what the team was hoping for, but they played Penn State hockey.

"I thought it was a great experience to compete and play in Madison Square Garden," Gadowsky said. "I think our guys put together a good effort. I can't be disappointed with the effort or the way we played."

A Foundation Built on Loyalty

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seniors_blog.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Loyalty means more to the small group of Penn State seniors on the 2014 team than it would to just about any other class in the program's iconic history.

Alongside its two predecessors in 2012 and 2013, the 2014 senior class will go down as a group of individuals who deserve more recognition than they have gotten credit for.

In July of 2012, this group, more than any other, had a distinct opportunity to leave the challenges following the NCAA sanctions announcement. The players in this group of seniors could have walked out the door and played three full seasons anywhere in America.

Anyone in the class could have left without any repercussions to attend a school that could compete for a conference title, post-season berth or a national championship.

The entire group faced open recruitment by dozens of schools across the country.

No student-athlete signed up for the challenges and scrutiny bestowed upon them starting in November 2011 and magnified the following July, so it would have been easy to leave. And some of their teammates and classmates did just that.

But knowing the road would be a challenge unlike any other student-athletes had ever faced, this small collection of men refused to leave their family behind.

A bond had been forged inside the locker room and in their residences, and this resilient group refused to break it.

The players knew they couldn't play in a bowl game. They knew they couldn't compete for a national championship. They knew the deck was almost insurmountably stacked against them.

They didn't care.

For this group, the sanctions, hurdles and hardships brought the group closer together. The situation reaffirmed their passion for the University they had committed to.

The Penn State community embraced the group of players with open arms, and the group is forever grateful for the support from the thousands of Blue and White faithful worldwide.

But for the past three years, their actions have spoken louder than any words. These seniors played for one another. They played for their families. They played for the players who wore the blue and white before them. They played for Penn State. And they did everything with class.

"You always want to leave a legacy with your peers where they remember you as a group that set an example," guard Miles Dieffenbach said. "We all tried to be a role figure, and it means a lot to leave here knowing we did that."

It's impossible to imagine what it might have been like to walk in the shoes of men like safety Adrian Amos, running back Bill Belton, linebacker Mike Hull, defensive end C.J. Olaniyan or running back Zach Zwinak. Despite the odds of competing in the Big Ten with a roster of limited scholarships, the group's confidence never wavered.

"I think we have been able to be so successful against the odds because Penn State is so special," Hull said. "Everyone understood the importance of upholding the legacy of this University and the football program."

This group's college experience has been unique to any other in the history of Penn State Football, which is why the group deserves the utmost respect from any supporter of the program or intercollegiate athletics. They worked hard for one another in the toughest of circumstances because that is the only thing they knew how to do.

"I just wanted to enjoy it and cherish every moment," Amos said. "This process helped develop me as a person and made me stronger as a man. There were a lot a chances to quit and get angry, but I came here for a reason."

It was clear two years ago that the current seniors weren't playing for accolades or a bowl game. The quest for success was far bigger than wins and losses on the field. The group saw the situation not as a challenge, but as an opportunity to grow together.

"Whether it is in life or in football, this is something that you had to adapt to," Belton said. "We found a way to make things work."

But that doesn't mean the 2014 seniors weren't more deserving of a chance at a post-season game than anyone else in college football. When the NCAA lifted the ban on post-season play on Sept. 8, head coach James Franklin called every member of the team who was on the roster in July of 2012 to the front of the meeting room to stand before the rest of the team.

Franklin and the underclassmen gave the collection of players standing in the front of the room a rousing, standing ovation and pleaded with the young players in the room to play the rest of the 2014 season for the men who had been through never ending adversity, especially the seniors.


"We are so appreciative of all the things you guys have done," Franklin said.

Behind a dominant defense, the Nittany Lions reached a sixth win and bowl eligibility with a 30-13 victory over Temple. And while the seniors never suited up for the right to play in a bowl game, they deserved the moment they shared with one another inside the winning locker room on Nov. 15.

"I think the bowl game is just a great reward because of everything we have gone through," Hull said.

"It's a sense of accomplishment that we stuck together," Amos said. "It's rewarding that we will have this opportunity that we have worked hard for."

Penn State's season will extend beyond the Michigan State. The extra practices and additional game will pay huge dividends for the nation's second-youngest team. But more importantly, this group of seniors will have an opportunity to be together as a family for one more month.

The 2014 senior class is a rare group that embodies loyalty beyond any words.

Prior to the season, nine members of the senior class had already earned their degrees. Amos and Tyrone Smith are on schedule to graduate in December, along with six redshirt juniors, for a total of 11 seniors and 17 players who have earned their degrees prior to Penn State's bowl game.

Despite all the obstacles, the 2014 seniors have been instrumental in the Nittany Lions earning a 30-17 record the past four years, with three winning seasons and an opportunity for a fourth during their careers.

"It's just a great group of people," Amos said. "This is a group that wanted to be a part of building something. I just love this senior class."

"We talk about it all the time as a group about how we stuck together as a family," Olaniyan said.

The seniors may not leave with all the victories and championships they had hoped to win when they committed to Penn State, but the group's battle through adversity gives success a far different meaning than wins and losses. In a situation that few thought would be possible for the program to survive, this group stood tall with dignity, class and an unrivaled work-ethic.

"The legacy we want to leave is that we kept fighting. We stuck together," Amos said. "There is always light at the end of the tunnel. If you keep fighting, you will find that light."

It's a group that let its actions set an example for individuals in all facets of life. It's a group that has earned the respect from everyone who supports the Blue and White. And it's a group summed up best in one statement from Mike Hull.

"I love Penn State so much."

VIDEO: James Franklin Postgame vs. Michigan State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin talks with the media following Saturday's Senior Day game against No. 10 Michigan State.

VIDEO: Postgame Player Interviews - Michigan State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Several Nittany Lions talk with the media following Saturday's Senior Day game against No. 10 Michigan State.

2014 Photo Blog - Penn State vs. Michigan State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's coverage of the 2014 football season. Check back often for an inside look at the Penn State's final regular season game of the season against Michigan State.

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2014 Game Blog - Penn State vs. Michigan State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of the 2014 football season. Tune in for live blog coverage from all 12 games on the schedule. Penn State closes out the season with a matchup against Michigan State inside Beaver Stadium.



Live Blog 2014 Game Blog - Penn State vs. Michigan State
 



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2014-'15 Men's Hoops Blog - Penn State at Bucknell

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of the 2014-'15 men's basketball season. Today, the Nittany Lions are in Lewisburg to face intrastate foe Bucknell.

Live Blog 2014-'15 Men's Hoops Blog - Penn State at Bucknell
 

Lions Head to NYC for the Frozen Apple

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By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the Penn State men's hockey team takes the ice Saturday for its game against Cornell, it will once again cross off another program first, playing at Madison Square Garden, the world's most famous arena.

"We're really excited," said senior captain Patrick Koudys of the opportunity to play in the Frozen Apple. "First off, it's such a huge venue, arguably the biggest venue in the world, but it's going to be probably the biggest venue we've ever played in. To play against a team like Cornell, they're a great team. It's a good hockey program there, so we're just really excited to get to NYC and play some hockey."

Following a disappointing end to their series with Michigan, the Lions spent the week regrouping and getting back to playing their style of hockey.

The team hopes to step into the Frozen Apple looking like the dangerous, skilled squad that took down then-No. 4 UMass Lowell on the road.

"We have a lot of things to improve on, and it's not new things," head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "It's refocusing. We focused on a few team aspects that really allowed us to get better and to play great at UMass Lowell, and those things are very difficult to do. They take a lot of effort and a lot of commitment, and if you just relax your focus a little bit, you can be exploited. For us, it's refocusing our commitment in certain areas of our game."

Commitment and putting forth a high level of effort day in and day out are key for the Lions right now as the team battles a number of injuries.

With so many key individuals out of the lineup, the remainder of the team has had to step up and work toward the continuation of positive results.

"It's hockey," said Gadowsky. "Very seldom do you go into a game 100 percent after the first few weekends of the season. Any time you lose a Dylan Richard, a David Glen and an Eric Scheid, and remember we're down Zach Saar as well, at the forward position it's going to hurt. Right now Connor Varley is out for us on D, so it's part of it. Part of improving as a program and getting better is improving your depth, and we have faith in all the people we have on our roster."

The numerous team injuries have forced the Lions to work on filling voids on the team, giving them more experience and adding a new dimension of depth to their squad.

"It obviously sucks that guys are out and guys are injured, but it does give other guys more opportunities to play in spots that they're maybe not normally playing in or to get more time in those situations," Koudys explained. "It's good and it's bad. It's good that guys get to try new thing and play a little more, but then again we do love those guys who are injured. We want them healthy. Right now I think we're all just focusing on what we need to do as a team, and we're looking forward to this weekend."

With Saturday quickly approaching, Penn State (7-3-2, 1-1-0 B1G) will continue to prepare for the highly defensive Cornell (3-4-1, 3-3-0 ECAC) team. This season, the Big Red have given up an average of 1.6 goals per game, which is significantly lower than the 3.5 goals per game average the Lions have scored.

Cornell is accustomed to playing low-scoring games, which may call for a bit of an adjustment by Penn State.

"That's really an indication of their team and their team systems and how they play the game," Gadowsky said of Cornell. "Our staff is very familiar with Cornell. They're very, very well coached, and they're a very tough team to play against in the sense that they play a tremendous defensive game. If you're waiting around for them to give you opportunities, it's going to be a long night. You really have to make your own opportunities because they don't give you much at all."

The Frozen Apple between Penn State and Cornell is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Saturday in Madison Square Garden.

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2014 Gameday Preview - Lions Host Michigan State on Senior Day

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GAME BLOG - Penn State vs. Michigan State

Game Notes | Gameday Central | Michigan State Scouting Report | Coach Franklin Wednesday

Press Conference Roundup | Coach Shoop Q&A | Player Q&A Video | Community Service

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions (6-5, 2-5) will host No. 10 Michigan State (9-2, 6-1) on Senior Day inside Beaver Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday with television coverage on ABC (ESPN2 outer markets).

10578368.jpegPenn State will pay tribute to a special group of seniors prior to Saturday's game. The program will honor a collection of 17 players who have exhibited unrivaled commitment to Penn State during some of its toughest times. A senior class that has seemingly gone through everything during its time in the Blue and White is deserving of a standing ovation from the Beaver Stadium faithful on Saturday.

The list of players who will be honored includes: Adrian Amos, DeShawn Baker, Brad Bars, Bill Belton, Drew Boyce, Jesse Della Valle, Miles Dieffenbach, Sam Ficken, Mike Hull, Ryan Keiser, Jesse Merise, C.J. Olaniyan, Devin Pryor, T.J. Rhattigan, Tyrone Smith, Deron Thompson and Zach Zwinak.

The Nittany Lions are coming off a tough 16-14 setback at Illinois last week after the Fighting Illini made a game-winning field goal with eight seconds left. The Lions enter the final week of the regular season having held nine of their 11 opponents to fewer than 20 points in regulation this season.

Penn State is the only FBS team in the top five in rushing defense, total defense, pass efficiency defense and scoring defense. The Nittany Lions are No. 1 in the nation against the run (81.7 ypg.), No. 3 in the nation in total defense (267.2 ypg) and No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense (16.2 ppg) and No. 3 in pass efficiency defense (94.78).

Additionally, Penn State is second in third down conversion percentage defense (27.6 percent), is third in the nation in first downs defense (156 total), is 15th in passes intercepted (15) and is No. 17 in passing yards allowed (185.5 ypg).


Penn State is also one of just two teams in the nation to have not allowed a rushing play of 30 or more yards (Syracuse). The Lions also lead the nation with fewest plays of 30 or more yards allowed this season (7).


Saturday's game will pit one of the Big Ten's top defenses against one of the top offenses. Michigan State enters the final week of the season
ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten in total offense (514.5 ypg) and the No. 3 in the Big Ten in total defense (299.0 ypg). Rated as the Big Ten's top passing offense, Michigan State has scored 27 or more points in every game on the schedule this season and is averaging 43.9 points per game.

The Senior Day game is also a Blue Out. Fans are encouraged to wear blue attire to support Prevent Child Abuse PA. Official Blue Out shirts have been available for purchase at the Penn State Bookstore and other downtown outlets since the summer, with proceeds going to Prevent Child Abuse PA.

The Penn State Blue Band will pay tribute to retiring director Dr. Dick Bundy with a halftime performance featuring music that he arranged and the formations he designed during his career, including music and formations used in the 1983 Sugar Bowl and 1986 Orange Bowl.

The Nittany Lions and Spartans will battle for the Land Grant Trophy on Saturday. Penn State and Michigan State were the nation's first two Land Grant institutions, both founded in February of 1855.

Welcome to the Gameday Preview for the week 12 matchup against Michigan State.


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Pregame Reading:
What to Watch For - Penn State
10578370.jpeg1. Seventeen seniors will be honored for their efforts before kickoff, but one name stands out in the group. Simply put, Mike Hull's impact on the 2014 team cannot be measured in statistics. The Pittsburgh native has been incredibly productive and consistent since the season began in Ireland on Nov. 30. Entering the week as the Big Ten's top tackler (11.0 tpg), Hull has a knack for being in a great position to make plays on virtually every single snap. His work ethic on the practice field is second to none, and Hull has made everyone around him elevate their game this fall. Hull has played a season at middle linebacker among the greatest players in Linebacker U history, and he is deserving of a big game in his final outing at Beaver Stadium.

2. No player has felt the effects of Donovan Smith and Miles Dieffenbach being back in the lineup on the offensive line more than junior running back Akeel Lynch. On the heels of a career-high 28 carries and career-best 137 yards at Illinois, Lynch's confidence is at an all-time high. Lynch tallied his second-straight 100-yard performance in Champaign last week, which included a 47-yard touchdown run. Against a Michigan State defense that has been stingy against the ground attack, the Lions will need another strong outing from Lynch and the running back corps this week.

3. Like Hull and so many of the senior members of the team, kicker Sam Ficken has earned the respect of every single member of the football program for his work ethic and production and ability to overcome adversity. Ficken has been consistent every step of the way in 2014. He is 22-of-26 on field goal attempts (all four misses were blocked) in 2014. Ficken is ranked 11th in the nation in field goal percentage (84.6 percent) and third in the nation in field goals per game (2.00). Ranked second in Penn State history with 52 made field goals, the Indiana native will go down as one of Penn State's most productive kickers.

What to Watch For - Michigan State
10578344.jpeg1. Penn State leads the nation in defending the run at 81.7 yards per game. The unit will face a stiff test on Saturday against Michigan State junior Jeremy Langford. The Spartan running back enters the weekend having eclipsed the 100-yard mark in 14 consecutive Big Ten games (Longest streak in FBS conference games since the stat has been kept in 1996). Langford is a big, physical back with great speed. He will be looking to set a school record of nine-straight 100-yard games.

2. In the passing game, Michigan State junior Connor Cook and wide receiver Tony Lippett have been a formidable duo for the Spartan offense. Cook is the Big Ten's passing leader with 2,720 yards (21 touchdowns and 5 interceptions) while completing 59 percent of his passes. Lippett is the Big Ten's only 1,000-yard receiver thus far. He has made 56 receptions and scored a Big Ten-best 10 touchdowns.

3. Defensively, the Spartans field a talented collection of impact players. Safety Kurtis Drummond leads Michigan State with 59 tackles and four interceptions this season. The Spartans have three players with 11.0 tackles for loss, including standout defensive end Shilique Calhoun. Michigan State leads the nation in turnover margin (+1.73) and is No. 3 in turnovers gained this season (31).

The Final Word:
The 2014 senior class has been instrumental in helping Penn State earning a 30-18 on-field record during unprecedented circumstances in the last four years. The senior class has earned three-straight winning seasons and will have a chance for a fourth on Saturday. Nine of the 17 seniors graduated prior to the start of the 2014 season. The group also includes the No. 3 scorer in school history, one of the program's elite tacklers, a 2,000-yard rusher and six of the seven team captains. Additionally, the Nittany Lions are thrilled to pay tribute to safety Ryan Keiser, whose season was cut short with a season-ending injury prior to the Ohio State game. Keiser's maturity and leadership have been paramount to Penn State's success during the last for seasons. The kickoff is set for 3:36 p.m. on Saturday with Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham and Jeanine Edwards calling the ABC broadcast.



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VIDEO: NCAA Women's Soccer Quarterfinal Preview

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com talks with senior forward Emily Hurd leading up to Penn State's NCAA quarterfinal match at Texas A&M on Saturday (8 p.m.).




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