PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The
six-day, 12-stop Penn State Coaches Caravan, which covered 1,471 miles with
events in three states and the District of Columbia, wrapped up with visits in
DuBois (lunch) and Pittsburgh (dinner) on Thursday.
In all, 4,345 fans and alums attended Coaches Caravan events during the past
two weeks. Nittany Lion men's hockey coach Guy Gadowsky joined Bill O'Brien and Mark
Pavlik for the final day of the caravan tour.
Gadowsky, who will enter his second Division I season at the helm of the
men's hockey program gave the fans in DuBois and Pittsburgh a glimpse of what
is ahead at Pegula Ice Arena when it opens in the fall. Take a look through some highlights on the
final day of the Caravan.
Stop XI - DuBois (Penn State DuBois) The Penn State-themed Caravan bus traveled 60 miles to DuBois on Thursday
morning for the closest stop to State College on the 12-stop tour. O'Brien, Gadowsky and Pavlik spoke to a lunch
crowd of 170 on the Penn State DuBois campus.
On the heels of the Big Ten announcing its first men's hockey schedule for the
2013-14 season, Gadowsky shared his thoughts on what will be an exciting second
year of competition at the Division I level for the Nittany Lions.
The leader of Penn State men's hockey told the crowd that the program is eagerly
anticipating a move into its new home - Pegula Ice Arena - in early September
before playing its first game in the state-of-the-art facility on Oct. 11. The Nittany Lions will then play their first
Big Ten competition games on Dec. 6-7 at Wisconsin.
"I think what is coming with the Big Ten is really exciting for college hockey
and Penn State," Gadowsky said.
Gadowsky also showed the fans a short video presentation that gave the room a
virtual representation of what a finished Pegula Ice Arena will look like in
Coach O'Brien followed Gadowsky and the video presentation, and like the entire
room of fans, was excited about what he saw.
"Did that video get you jacked up about Penn State Hockey, or what?" O'Brien
All three head coaches included remarks about the toughness of the fans and
student-athletes hailing from the surrounding areas to DuBois. All of the fans in the room were among the
core supporters of Penn State's athletic teams, something Gadowsky said was
crucial to his team's success.
"The reason why we had the success we had everywhere we would go is because
everywhere we have phenomenal support," said Gadowsky.
O'Brien ended the 11th stop with parting words that echoed what Gadowsky and
Pavlik both said to the room about the importance of the continued support
"If you leave here with one thing, it should be that we really appreciate what
you do for us," O'Brien said.
VIDEO: DuBois Press Conference with Coaches
O'Brien and Gadowsky
Stop XII: Pittsburgh (Sheraton Station Square)
The Caravan bus made the two-hour drive through Western Pennsylvania to the
final stop of the six-day tour at Pittsburgh's Station Square. With more than 27,000 Penn State alums in
Allegheny County, more than any other county in the world, a night in
Pittsburgh was a great way to cap off the 2013 Caravan.
O'Brien, Gadowsky and Pavlik addressed a crowd of nearly 375 attendees inside
the Sheraton Station Square on the banks of the Monongahela River. Pavlik, who hails from 40 miles east of
Pittsburgh in Derry, took the microphone first and shared his passion for
Pittsburgh and what it meant to be a head coach at Penn State.
"I'm just a kid from Derry living the dream," Pavlik said.
Gadowsky spoke about the great anticipation for the upcoming start to Big Ten men's
hockey competition, and he again showed a video of Pegula Ice Arena. Gadowsky told the crowd that Penn State
Hockey will strive to encourage the best hockey players Pittsburgh has to offer
to attend school in Happy Valley.
A natural when it comes to public speaking, Gadowsky drew a large round of
applause when he sat down after the fans saw firsthand what it will be like to
attend a hockey game in Pegula Ice Arena.
"It's going to be a phenomenal place to watch hockey games," said Gadowsky.
The theme of the 2013 Coaches Caravan focused on fan support. At all 12 stops, Coach O'Brien thanked the
fans for their continued support of Penn State.
That was no different on Thursday night as he spoke for more than 20
minutes in Pittsburgh, spending much of the that time thanking the Penn State
loyalists for everything they do for not just Penn State Football, but all of
Penn State Athletics.
His message was well received at every stop on the tour, and the fans certainly
showed their appreciation with standing ovation after standing ovation for the
leader of Penn State Football.
All in all, the Coaches Caravan was again a resounding success with outstanding
crowds at all 12 stops around Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and the District
of Columbia. A big thank you to the more
than 4,000 loyal Penn Staters who attended stops in 2013.
VIDEO: Pittsburgh Press Conference with
Coaches O'Brien and Gadowsky
Miles Covered on Day One - 203 miles Miles Covered on Day Two - 147 miles
Miles Covered on Day Three - 254 miles Miles Covered on Day Four - 188
miles Miles Covered on Day Five - 377
miles Miles Covered on Day Six - 302 miles
Caravan Final Total - 1,471 miles
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
PARK, Pa.-- In the final part of a two part Penn State men's hockey (13-14)
season recap, we delve into the Nittany Lions' defense and goaltending that made
major strides during the squads first season.
defensive corps had its fair share of growing pains throughout the season. On
opening night against American International, four freshmen dressed on the blue
line and freshman goaltender Matt Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) was between the
pipes in an overtime loss. That young unit used each game as a learning experience
and rounded into form, ending the season on the winning side of an overtime
affair at Wisconsin.
coach Guy Gadowsky said that Skoff looked nervous at the start of the season,
but gradually built confidence and night have stolen some wins for his team.
is no surprise about what Skoff attained this season," Gadowsky said. "You
wonder if the wins we got were a little skewed because he was so phenomenal. It
takes great goaltending to have success and fortunately he's a freshman so we
have him for another three years."
finished with a 9-8 record, while posting a 2.48 goals-against average and a
.921 save percentage. He admitted that starting up the new hockey program
brought some jitters and butterflies, but his work-first mentality settled him
just stuck with it throughout the season and just kept working," Skoff said.
"Luckily we were able to get some wins that people didn't think we could get."
admitted that early in the season the defense didn't understand its objectives.
Junior Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn.) was the only defenseman on the Penn State
roster with previous NCAA experience from his freshman season at Mercyhurst.
line was also marred by a injuries throughout the season, but the depth of the
defense proved to be key for the Nittany Lions. Freshmen Mark Yanis (Grosse
Pointe Woods, Mich.), Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont.), Joseph Lordo (St. Louis,
Mo.) and Connor Varley (Lansdale, Pa.) all made immediate impacts on the team.
defenseman brought something different to the table.
Yanis' big frame brought physicality and a snarl to the back end complimented
his booming shot from the point. Juha showed the ability to quarterback a power
play with his vision and puck-moving ability. Lordo's skating and positioning
made him a tough defender to navigate around. Varley's versatility and
durability made him an offensive threat every time he touched the puck, along
with being one of only four Nittany Lions to dress in all 27 games.
chemistry between defensive partners can take some time, which may have led to
the team's early struggles, but Skoff was proud of the way the team bought into
the team's identity and continued to grow throughout the season.
got comfortable," Skoff said. "We just went out and worked hard each game and
stuck to our systems and were able to come together in the end after beginning the
year as an inexperienced team."
two top defensemen could have been a major blow to the team, losing Juha and Yanis
for extended periods of time due to injuries, but prior experience from playing
junior hockey prepared the team for adversity.
it well, especially with injuries," Skoff said. "Playing in the USHL you get a
lot of exposure. I think that helped them and they did wonders with it and it
was cool to see."
the final two months of the season, Gadowsky was often forced to dress only
four or five defensemen. It was the depth added by former club players, seniors
Rich O'Brien (Furlong, Pa.) and Brian Dolan (Havertown, Pa.) and sophomore
Peter Sweetland (Newtown, Pa.) that softened the blow on the back end.
and Dolan came to Penn State for a first-class education and playing club
hockey was an added bonus. They never expected to end their Penn State careers
playing at the Division I level. Gadowsky was especially proud of all the
seniors for buying into their roles and providing leadership for the team.
tryout was two years long and they had it harder than everybody else," Gadowsky
said. "The guys that did graduate with our program really deserve a lot of
credit. They've done a lot of things really well and to see them win in
overtime at Wisconsin to end their careers was just fantastic."
was a regular in the lineup after a rough start to the season, but his poise
and ability to retrieve pucks in the corners led to numerous offensive
wasn't only the defensemen that deserve credit for Penn State's defense. Since
the beginning of the season, Gadowsky wanted his team to build on the foundation
as a good backchecking team and the hardest working team in college hockey.
Whether the team won or lost, a standout characteristic was the forwards
willingness to backcheck. It also attributed to Penn State's successful
penalty-killing unit that operated at 85 percent this season.
were many high points in the inaugural season of Division I hockey. The Nittany
Lions defeated Vermont in front of 19,000 people in Philadelphia, they were 3-2
against future Big Ten opponents and defeated a ranked Wisconsin team on the
road in a 3-2 overtime thriller. Despite those feats, watching a first year
team grow together and exceed many people expectations was the most rewarding
accomplishment for the team.
you look at where we started to where we are now, the first game we lost to AIC
and our last game we beat Wisconsin in Madison, that tells you something,"
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It was an emotional rollercoaster ride for Penn State
men's hockey (13-14-0) in its first season as a Division I program. In the
first installment of this two part series we take a look at the maturation of
the offensive unit on the ice for the Nittany Lions.
There were many highlight goals that came this season on the offensive side of
the ice for Penn State. Freshmen Casey Bailey (Anchorage, Alaska) and David
Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) provided the bulk of the goals for the Nittany
Lions, a trend which began the first weekend of the season.
Bailey scored the first Division I goal for Penn State on Oct. 12 in the season
opening loss to American International. Glen got his season off to a roaring
offensive start the next day in Wilkes-Barre, netting two goals against AIC
including the game-winner in overtime.
A majority of the offense was generated by Glen and Bailey's lines. Bailey
primarily played with sophomore Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.) and junior
Taylor Holstrom (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and combined to score 26 goals for the
Nittany Lions. In the final 11 games of the season playing together, the three
forwards combined for 17 goals and 26 assists.
Glen's line with fellow freshmen Curtis Loik (North Vancouver, B.C.) and Kenny
Brooks (Las Vegas, Nev.) formed to be a 200-foot hockey line. They played a
complete brand of hockey that encompassed all facets of the game.
Glen was the scorer on the line, leading the team with 16 goals. Glen had a
knack for scoring goals in a variety of ways and was a threat from all over the
ice. Brooks was what head coach Guy Gadowsky described as a "hockey player's
hockey player." Brooks did all the little things; winning board battles,
backchecking, killing penalties and being a disruptive force. Loik provided
some secondary scoring and space for Glen to get to scoring areas.
"Both of our lines were hardworking lines," Bailey said. "They controlled the
play with a lot of puck possession. I think with Holstrom and Gardiner, we were
a little more run and gun. A lot of [offense] came from getting pucks deep and
going to the net."
Penn State's offense always seemed to come up big on the big stage. The
Holstrom/Bailey/Gardiner line was assembled on Dec. 29 in a game against future
Big Ten opponent Ohio State. The trio combined for five goals and four assists
and kicked off Holstrom's coming out party.
Holstrom finished the season on a tear, scoring eight goals and dishing out six
assists down the stretch. He scored three game-winning goals on the season, all
against Big Ten opponents, and said those were big games and that the team
played especially well. He was proud of his team's play and was particularly
proud of his game-winning tally against Wisconsin.
"It felt great [scoring those goals],"Holstrom said. "When you're put in those
situations you always want to be that guy and luckily enough I was."
The Penn State power play was remarkably inconsistent all season scoring just
12 goals on 106 opportunities. Despite the power play struggles, Penn State was
10-2 when scoring a power play goal. The power play got an added jolt when
freshman defenseman Mark Yanis (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) returned from a two
month ankle injury.
"When we put that power play unit together it excited the guys," Bailey said.
"Gardiner does a good job of taking away the goalie's eyes and when Yanis was [on
the point] taking shots it was always a plus for our team."
Toward the end of the season, Gadowsky opted to use four forwards on the power
play along with Yanis. Gardiner had a newfound role in front of the net
clearing space and deflecting shots. Glen worked the wings with Bailey,
providing multiple shooting options and making the power play more dangerous.
"You need guys that can score and can take a beating in front of the net,"
Holstrom said. "I think that [the power play] will continue to evolve with a
few more recruiting classes. It gives us a little bit of a boost and helps us
gain some momentum."
The freshmen class accounted for 58.2 percent of Penn State's points. The
immediate impact was unexpected, but needed in the Nittany Lions first season
at the varsity level.
"We didn't know what to expect with a lot of freshmen," Glen said. "We started
building the foundation in the beginning of the year by working hard,
backchecking hard, and going to the net. Everything seemed to come together at
the end in the win [at Wisconsin]."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In their
first season, the Penn State men's hockey program finished the season with five
victories over their last seven games to end the year with a 13-14-0 overall
record. A roster that featured 15 underclassmen - including 10 freshman -
helped bring the program through a transition year with a lot of success.
Below are some notes on the 2012-13 men's
hockey postseason press conference along with videos from freshman forward David Glen, junior
forward Taylor Holstrom and freshman net minder Matthew Skoff.
Laying the Foundation When
you talk to the players and coaches one message is clear; this group was
focused on laying a foundation for the future of Penn State hockey.
It's hard to think that a coach would be able to convince a group of college
aged student-athletes that there is a larger significance to what they are
doing than just piling up statistics and individual awards, but Gadowsky has
done just that.
The first Penn State hockey team to ever take the ice as a Division I team was
selfless. They did it for one and other, did it for the fans and did it because
Penn State needed them to.
The word foundation came out a lot when listening to Gadowsky speak this season
and his players echoed that expression during the postseason press conference.
They understand what their leader is communicating to them and they are focused
on that process, not the results. That focus is what enabled them to close out
the season with five wins in their final seven NCAA contests and overcome
adversity throughout the year.
Gadowsky Wants A
new program always has needs, but a new program with a passionate coach like
Guy Gadowsky has a list of things it wants for its fledgling program. One of
those wants that Gadowsky talked about on Thursday at the postseason press
conference was his desire to recruit kids that are going to create healthy
competition on and off the ice.
The first-year head coach has a roster full of players that competed at a very
high level this season, even while going through the growing pains of being a
new program. All ten of the top point scorers will return next season and the
addition of three forwards will only bolster the Nittany Lions offensive
attack. Freshmen Casey Bailey (27 pts) and David Glen (25 pts) led the team in
points, while sophomore Max Gardiner topped the squad's assists charts with 19.
This year's squad watched as young players established themselves as major
contributors and the upperclassmen continued to lay the foundation for the Blue
and White on and off the ice to push the program to new heights during its
initial season. The current five-person recruiting class looks to bring more
talent to campus and is poised to continue the groundwork in Hockey Valley.
Six Living the Dream
When Brian Dolan, Michael Longo, Dominic Morrone, Rich O'Brien, George Saad and
Eric Steinour arrived on campus they were excited about playing hockey for the Penn
State club program in the American Collegiate Hockey Conference, but none of
them ever dreamed that three years after arriving on campus they would be
suiting up on the Division I stage.
The Senior Six each staked three years for the ACAH squad and endured nearly a
two-year tryout according to Gadowsky. When we talked to them throughout the
year they used phrases like, 'not in my wildest dreams' or 'I never even
thought about it', but lived out a dream in a major way this season.
They exit as the first senior class in PSU history, but mean much more to a
young program than anyone could ever imagine.
Ten Blazing a Trail When
the 2013-14 college hockey season begins it will mark the first time in NCAA
history that a BCS conference will sponsor men's hockey. That conference that
will be making the leap is the Big Ten.
When Penn State announced the addition of hockey as a Division I sport in 2010,
the powers at be in the Big Ten Conference offices began to explore the
opportunity of adding men's hockey to the docket of championship sports sponsored
by the conference. When the season begins next year the Big Ten will now host
championships in 26 sports.
With Penn States addition of hockey, along with programs at Michigan, Michigan
State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin, the Big Ten will begin play for
their first conference season in 2013-14 with a 20-game schedule that features each
institution playing two home and two road contests vs. each of the other five
The inaugural Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament will be held March 20-22,
2014, at Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, Minn. where the conference will
crown their first ever champion.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Greg Campbell
on Twitter @SID_Greg
By Pat White GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.--Penn State men's hockey (13-14) wrapped up its season with
a comeback, 3-2 overtime victory against No. 16 Wisconsin (14-11-7) at the Kohl
Center on Monday night. Wisconsin marked the third Big Ten team the Nittany
Lions defeated after wins against Ohio State and at Michigan State earlier in
was only appropriate that Penn State would conclude its season the same way it
won its first game as a Division I program; with overtime heroics. Penn State
has been a resilient team, and head coach Guy Gadowsky liked the heart his team
showed to battle out of a 0-2 hole.
give [our players] a lot of credit for gritting it out against a very good
team," Gadowsky told GoPSUsports.com following the game." [Wisconsin] is great
when they get a lead and a tough team to get back on."
forward Taylor Holstrom (Yorba Linda, Calif.) continued his hot streak, despite
having his eight game point streak snapped on Sunday in the 5-0 loss to the
Badgers. He rebounded with two goals, including the game-winning overtime tally
on the backhand, on Monday night. Holstrom has amassed eight goals and six
assists in his final 10 games of the season, after only tallying three points
in his first 13 games.
game-winning marker was his third of the season, all of which have come against
future Big Ten opponents.
After being outshot 51-22 on Sunday night, Penn State needed to get more pucks
at the net and create more offense.
"We wanted to get more pucks on net," Gadowsky said. "We did a better job
[Monday] and that's a tough team to generate offense on."
Penn State rebounded on Monday with 36 shots, and did a much better job of
testing Wisconsin goaltender Landon Peterson as all three goals were products
of shooting the puck and crashing the net.
Holstom's first goal was a shot from the right circle that beat Peterson to the
short side. Freshman forward Casey Bailey (Anchorage, Alaska) tied the game at
two on the power play by pushing the puck on net that slipped between
Peterson's legs. The overtime tally was generated by Holstrom throwing the puck
on net and crashing the net to find the puck in a scramble in front.
With Bailey's power play goal, the Nittany Lions improved their record to 10-2
when scoring on the man-advantage. The power play was a struggle for the team
all season, but when it was clicking, it was a major factor in wins.
Freshman goaltender Matt Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) came up huge, tying his
career-high with 42 saves vs. the Badgers in the win. After a slow start to the
season, Skoff arose as the lead man for the Nittany Lions between the pipes.
Wisconsin brought offensive pressure right out of the gate and Skoff was forced
to be sharp early. He tracked the puck well and displayed great lateral
movement, robbing multiple Badgers from the back side.
Like the victory on Jan.26 at Michigan State, the Nittany Lions fell into a 0-2
hole. Skoff found himself facing a 2-on-0 with two Wisconsin forwards and
couldn't keep up with some tick-tack-toe passing and Mark Zengerle beat him
high to give Wisconsin the early lead. With 6:41 left in the second Joseph
LaBate just fired a puck at the net from a weird angle and the puck avoided
Being a freshman goaltender playing in a Big Ten arena against a ranked team
can be very stressful. After letting in the second goal, Gadowsky liked Skoff's
mental toughness to bear down and shut out the Badgers the rest of the game.
"That [second goal] is a tough goal to
give up, in a tough environment and a tough time," Gadowsky said. "Instead of
hanging his head, he re-focused. It was a tremendous job by Skoff."
Gadowsky said before the weekend matchup with Wisconsin that a rivalry would be
on the rise, depending on what happens this weekend. Penn State beat a
Wisconsin team on the road that was 5-3-2 in its last 10 games and coming off
an upset victory against No. 2 Minnesota. The win was a big boost to the Penn
State program, and a proper farewell for the seniors.
"I'm so happy for the seniors because this is such a great way for them to go
out," said Gadowsky. "They've done so much for us. This is their playoffs, this
is their final test and they were tremendous."
Penn State concluded its season with a 13-14 record and was 3-2 against teams
they will face next season in the newly formed Big Ten Conference.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.--After what has been an exciting inaugural season for Penn
State men's hockey, it seems only fitting that the Nittany Lions conclude the
year with their biggest test of the season.
The saying "save the best for last" rings true this weekend, as the Nittany
Lions (12-13) travel to Madison to face off against future Big Ten opponent
Wisconsin (13-10-7) at the Kohl Center.
The Badgers are ranked No. 18 in the United States College Hockey
Organization poll this week. They are in the hunt in the very competitive WCHA
and coming off a victory against second-ranked Minnesota last Sunday.
This season has been about improving every game and this series will be a
measuring stick to see how far Penn State has come as a developing program.
Head coach Guy Gadowsky knows the Badgers are in a hunt for a NCAA
tournament berth and will be treating it as a playoff scenario. He hopes his
team brings the same heart and determination to the game.
"I think it's a great experience for our program," Gadowsky said. "With where
they are nationally right now, we know we're going to get their best game.
These are two big games for them and we know it."
One player who is particularly familiar with Wisconsin is sophomore forward
Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.). Gardiner, who played at Minnesota his freshman
year, has played at the Kohl Center and knows that it is a hostile environment.
He had the opportunity to play against his brother, Jake, who was a former
"There is a lot of excitement," Gardiner said. "It's a hostile environment
and a fun place to play and everyone's been looking forward to this weekend. It
will be fun to get back in that arena and play Wisconsin."
Penn State is looking to establish itself as a competitive program in what
will be an elite Big Ten hockey conference next year. The future Big Ten teams
have a combine 23 National Championships between four teams. Michigan leads the
way with nine and Wisconsin has won four. Wisconsin won its last national crown
in 2006 and made a finals appearance in 2010 in a loss to Boston College.
The journey to becoming one of the elite teams in the NCAA begins with a
test this weekend against the Badgers. Freshman defenseman Joseph Lordo (St.
Louis, Mo.) wants to ignite the rivalry spark with a win.
"It's our last weekend and we want to go out and show them what the future
is going to be like," Lordo said. "It's going to be a rivalry. We're a good
team now and we want to focus on these games, but there is a message we want to
send for the future [of Big Ten play]."
There will be a bit of an adjustment going from the Greenberg Ice Pavilion
to the Kohl Center, which provides one of the biggest ice surfaces in college
Most hockey surfaces are 200 feet by 85 feet in dimension, but Kohl Arena is
200 feet by 97 feet. The extra space caters to speed, good board play and
puck-movement, which may benefit Penn State.
Gadowsky preaches working hard along the wall, something Gardiner agrees will
be a key to success against Wisconsin.
"It shouldn't be too big of an adjustment," Gardiner said. "There's a
little more space to make plays and we'll have to jump on pucks a little
It's no secret that the Nittany Lions have been plagued by injuries this
season, especially on the blue line, but Lordo's return last weekend gave the
team a boost after dressing only four defensemen the past two games. Lordo said
he feels good and is looking forward to skating on the big ice.
"I thought I played well [last weekend] and tried to get my feet moving,"
Lordo said. "I had a good result. You get more ice [with five defensemen] and I
enjoy it to get into the flow of the game."
Gadowsky is hopeful that junior defenseman Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn.)
can make his return against Wisconsin. Jensen would benefit with the larger ice
surface because of his vision and ability to carry the puck up ice. Dressing
six defensemen would take some of the burden off a defensive corps that has
been taxed in the last few games.
Gadowsky gave the team an extra day off in preparation for the two game
series on Sunday and Monday. He wants his team to be refreshed and focused after
a busy weekend of THON, senior night and two games against a good Oklahoma squad.
If and how the extra day off and possible return of Jensen will affect the
team is yet to be determined. One certainty is that this will be an
entertaining series and a possible rivalry heading into Big Ten play next
season. Gadowsky said the intensity of the rivalry all hinges upon this
"We're going to play each other four times from now on," Gadowsky said. "[A
rivalry] really depends on what happens this weekend."
The Nittany Lions will face off against the Badgers at 8 p.m. on Sunday,
Feb. 24 at the Kohl Center before playing their second game on the Big Ten
Network on Monday, Feb. 25 at 8:30 p.m.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Just hours after
defeating Oklahoma in the final game inside Greenberg Ice Pavilion, the Nittany
Lion men's hockey team took the stage at THON 2013 to show off its dance moves
during the annual pep rally.
THON 2013 raised a record $12.34 million in the fight against pediatric
cancer. Congratulations to the more than
700 dancers who stood for 46-straight hours over the weekend and to all those
involved with the fundraising efforts.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Penn State Athletics was heavily involved with the 41st IFC/Panhellenic
Dance Marathon (THON) held at the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend.
More than 700 dancers began standing at 6 p.m. on Friday and did not sit down
or sleep until Sunday at 4 p.m. to raise awareness for the fight against
pediatric cancer in the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.
Since 1977, THON has partnered with The Four Diamonds Fund
at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital with one goal in mind: conquering
childhood cancer. THON went to new heights on Sunday when a record
of more than $12.37 million was raised for 2013. To
date, more than $100 million has been raised by THON.
Several Penn State student-athletes spent 46 hours on their feet in the annual dance
marathon. Representing the Student
Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) were Kristin Carpenter from the women's
volleyball team and Annie Abdo from the field hockey squad. Katlyn Elliott from women's golf and Marika
Racibarskas from women's volleyball represented Penn State Hockey this
Hammershlag and Nicole Symeonides from the Lionetts squad and Paige McManus and
Nicole Camporeale from Penn State cheerleading danced in THON.
Several teams and coaches played an active role in THON events throughout
the weekend, in addition to squads participating in Saturday's annual pep rally
and team dance competition.
We would also like to
wish GoPSUsports.com student writers Matt Allibone and Kelsey Detweiler, along
with Penn State Athletic Communications student assistant Angelis Lau the best
of luck as they dance over the weekend, and the several student assistants
actively involved with THON.
From start to finish, take a look through the updates from the involvement Penn State Athletics had in THON over the weekend on GoPSUsports.com.
4:45 p.m. - VIDEO: Pre-Dancing Interviews with Student-Athletes Just over one hour from beginning the quest of spending 46-straight hours on their feet, we caught up with Marika Racibarskas from women's volleyball and Katlyn Elliott from women's golf for their final thoughts before the start of THON 2013.
5 p.m. - VIDEO: Coach Chambers Addresses Crowd, Donates $14,200 Head coach Patrick Chambers pledged to donate $10 to THON 2013 for every student in attendance at Penn State's clash against Iowa on Thursday night in the Bryce Jordan Center. On Friday evening, just before heading to the airport with the Nittany Lions for their trip to Michigan, Chambers addressed the crowd at THON and presented a check for $14,200. Take a look.
Saturday Coverage: 8 a.m. - VIDEO: Hour 14 Interviews from Penn State Athletics Dancers GoPSUsports.com caught up with women's volleyball student-athletes and 2013 dancers Marika Racibarskas and Kristin Carpenter just before 8 a.m. on Saturday morning for an update on how things were going 14 hours into the 46-hour dance marathon. Additionally, we talked with GoPSUsports.com student writer and broadcaster Kelsey Detweiler, who is also dancing, for an update. In addition to an interview, we asked all three what time they felt like it was. Dancers are normally asked to avoid looking at the clock, and they rarely know what time it is. Take a look at an hour 14 update from three Penn State Athletics representatives dancing in THON for the fight against pediatric cancer.
2 p.m. - VIDEO: Football Hosts THON Make-A-Wish Event Seventy members of the Nittany Lion football team welcomed 28 THON Make-A-Wish children and their families to a special tour of the Lasch Football Building on Saturday afternoon.
The Make-A-Wish event is circled on the calendar for the Nittany Lions every year. The THON families gathered inside the home of Penn State football to take photos, get autographs, tour the facility with the Nittany Lions, eat ice cream from the Penn State Creamery and take a photo in the locker room.
Head coach Bill O'Brien spoke to the group after it received the facility tour and signed autographs with the THON kids. Take a look at the Make-A-Wish event at the Lasch Football Complex on Saturday.
4:10 p.m. - PHOTO - Teams Participate in Athlete Hour Student-athletes from across Penn State Athletics spent time with THON families and children inside the practice gym of the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday afternoon for Athlete Hour.
10:10 p.m. - VIDEO: Pep Rally Dance Competition Highlights One of the THON highlights every year comes on Saturday night when the teams of Penn State Athletics hop on stage and compete in a dancing competition during the annual pep rally. In all, 11 different teams competed in the 2013 version of the dance-off.
With resounding approval from a packed house in the Bryce Jordan Center, the Nittany Lion men's swimming team was named champion of the team dancing competition, largely thanks to its use of a prop pool to create a swimming scene mid-dance. We have highlights of every team dancing on Saturday night at THON. Take a look.
Sunday Coverage: 12:55 p.m. - VIDEO: Coach O'Brien Addresses THON 2013 Head coach Bill O'Brien took the stage at THON on Sunday afternoon, urging the dancers to push through the "fourth quarter" of the 46-hour marathon. O'Brien spoke before a capacity crowd inside the Bryce Jordan Center. Take a look.
4:12 p.m. - VIDEO: THON 2013 Reveal - $12,374,034.46 THON 2013 reached new heights on Sunday afternoon when it was revealed that this year's efforts raised $12,374,034.46 for fight against pediatric cancer. Watch a truly inspiring moment in front of a capacity crowd in the Bryce Jordan Center during the revealing of this year's total. Congratulations to everyone involved in THON 2013.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.--In an emotional game for players, coaches, fans and
alumni, Penn State (12-13) bid farewell to the Greenberg Ice Pavilion with a
3-0 victory against Oklahoma on Saturday (Feb. 16).
From the moment the players took the ice there was a bittersweet vibe
throughout the arena. The fans brought their usual Penn State pride and the
players were ready to take care of business after not having their best effort
in Friday night's 4-1 victory.
"There have been a lot of standards set and a foundation built," Gadowsky said.
"Even the first time I came out and saw the student section and saw the support
we had, it was fantastic."
The Penn State faithful did not disappoint this season, standing and
chanting every game to give the team a motivational boost. Gadowsky reflected
back on one of his favorite memories of the student section.
"[The fans] made it a really fun place to play," Gadowsky said. "I'll never
forget when the PA system went off and the student section started singing the
anthem. Those are the things I'll always remember."
The home rink didn't want to go out without a bang of its own. At the 4:08
mark in the first period, a pane of glass broke in front of the penalty box.
Both teams went to the dressing room while rink attendants fixed the glass. The
ice was cut and both teams played out the remaining time in what was
essentially a 24 minute second period.
For the second straight night, establishing a flow to the game was
difficult. Aside from the glass breaking, the low boards of the rink cause a
lot of pucks to fly out of play and disrupt the flow. Gadowsky is looking
forward to having higher boards at the Pegula Ice Arena next season.
Despite some of the rink's deficiencies in that respect, Gadowsky will still
miss the character of the rink and its service to the State College community.
Greenberg Ice Pavilion was not the only goodbye being said over the
weekend, as the seniors were honored before Saturday's game with their
families. Brian Dolan (Havertown, Pa.) unfortunately did not dress due to
injury, something Gadowsky was upset about, but he was proud of the seniors for
their role in the inaugural season of Division I hockey.
"I'm happy for them and what they've done this year," Gadowsky said. "They
will have a lot of pride in this forever. It was nice how it ended up with a tie
game going in the third with all of them out there."
Gadowsky rehashed that last season was a yearlong tryout for the seniors
and they worked their hardest to earn a spot on the team. Their leadership and
willingness to accept identity roles is what makes them important pieces to the
The first two periods were a battle of the goaltenders. Matt Skoff (McKees
Rocks, Pa.) was strong for Penn State and Colin Fernandes made some key saves
to keep the Sooners in the game.
After taking a 1-0 lead off the stick of Curtis Loik (North Vancouver,
B.C.), the power play took over with two goals to seal the game. Kenny Brooks
(Las Vegas, Nev.) and Michael Longo (Allison Park, Pa.) found the back of the
net on consecutive nights.
It was fitting that Longo finished his career on home ice by scoring
against a club team where his career began. Longo said there was still a
rivalry between the two teams stemming from knocking them out of nationals last
"It's always fun scoring, but it's even more special now that it's coming down
to the last two games," Longo said. "For us club guys, when we come back and
play these [ACHA] games we get more fired up because we've played them before."
Freshman Joseph Lordo (St. Louis, Mo.) made his return to the lineup on
Saturday after sitting out with an injury. After dressing only four defensemen
the past three games, Lordo provided a big boost to the defensive unit. Having another defenseman alleviated the other
defenders who had to play every other shift in the three previous games.
Defenseman Rich O'Brien (Furlong, Pa.) was glad to have Lordo back in the
lineup. After a rough start to Saturday's game, O'Brien was happy with the
result of his last game at home.
"Starting the game with all the seniors out there and we got to finish it
up with that, too," O'Brien said. "The fans were great and a lot of alumni were
in town and a lot of people I know. Overall it was a great time."
The weekend sweep was the proper goodbye to the place and the people that
helped set the brickwork for the future of Penn State hockey. It was an
emotional conclusion to a successful inaugural season of NCAA hockey in Happy
Valley, but the job isn't over yet. The Nittany Lions now turn their focus to a
visit to future Big Ten opponent Wisconsin next weekend.