Recently in Men's Hockey Category

Goodwin Scores in Lions' Loss to Cornell

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
By Julie Bacanskas, 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."

Lions Head to NYC for the Frozen Apple

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


By Julie Bacanskas, 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.

Cornell Graphic.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving from Penn State Athletics

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - 'Tis the season for giving thanks, and the Penn State Athletics would like to take an opportunity to say thank you to the loyal fans on Thanksgiving.

As you sit down with family and friends to eat your traditional meal while the Lions and Cowboys host their annual Thanksgiving day home games, Penn State Athletics would like to thank you, the fans, for the unrivaled support you give every team on campus.  Penn State's teams would not be the same without the greatest fans in college sports.

As a token of their appreciation, several student-athletes from teams on campus would like to say thank you and Happy Thanksgiving for the support you give them throughout the athletic season.

Bailey and the Lions Set to Open Big Ten Play

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

By Julie Bacanskas, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With 10 games under their belt, the Nittany Lions are ready to start the next portion of their season, Big Ten play, against an opponent they have history with, Michigan.

During the teams' last meeting, the Lions defeated Michigan in double overtime and advanced to the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. Not only did the Blue and White take down the Wolverines in that specific game, but they also emerged victoriously in three of the five matchups last season.

This year the two teams are ready to rekindle that competitive edge, starting with this weekend's series.

"We don't need any added sense at all," head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "This is Michigan. This is the most successful program in college hockey history that we get to compete against, and we do it a Yost Arena, which is a tremendous environment. It's a very tough environment, and it's something I think our guys are now starting to look forward to, so we don't need any added incentive to play the University of Michigan, believe me."

Last season's results are something neither team has forgotten after the offseason months. Penn State remembers victory, while Michigan remembers the pain that came along with defeat.

"Anytime that you develop a history with any team, I think that contributes to it," said Gadowsky. "I know that at media day, some of their reporters already told me, 'Michigan has you circled,' stuff like that, so I can't comment from what they're thinking. From our standpoint, we're excited to play all Big Ten teams. I mean they're all monsters in this game, and a big part of why we come to Penn State is to compete against the very best. Certainly this weekend is the epitome of that."

The Lions are coming into these games with momentum on their side. The team is fresh off its split with UMass Lowell, a series in which forward Casey Bailey tallied three goals and one assist.

Bailey currently leads the team with eight goals and is only one shy of tying the nation's leaders in goals scored. Clearly, the junior has entered this season with big expectations, and thus far, he has been fulfilling them.

"I have to give a lot of credit to my linemates," said Bailey. "Taylor Holstrom is playing incredibly, and David Goodwin has been great. I'm just having a lot of fun playing with my linemates. I think as a team, when you create offense, it really opens up space for other guys. You've got to give a lot credit to everyone on the team. I don't think it's anything personally that I'm doing special. I just think the team's playing well. I'm a shooter and when I get those chances, it's nice when the puck goes in."

Bailey's 54 shots on the season are a team high, and his 12 points having him trailing only Holstrom.

"With Casey, I think his physical strength and conditioning is at a much higher level than it's ever been, I think in his life," Gadowsky said of the junior. "He started this season playing to play good hockey, not playing to score goals.

"He loves scoring goals, and that's part of what makes him a good hockey player. He loves scoring goals in games. He loves scoring goals in practice. He loves scoring goals in street hockey. He just loves scoring goals, but I don't think that's what he's concentrating on. I think he's concentrating on playing good hockey."

With multiple forwards, including Bailey, producing game in and game out, the Lions have an added sense of confidence right now.

The team knows what to expect of Michigan, and the trip could not have come at a better point in the season for Penn State.

"We've played them [Michigan]," Gadowsky said. "We know there are certain things they're going to do that are different from UMass Lowell, but the bulk of this is certainly our preparation and how we play. Really for our program, it's always going to be like that. We really try to just get as good as we possibly can at our game."

The Lions and Wolverines will open their series 7:30 p.m. Friday at Yost Ice Arena.

Michigan Graphic.jpg

McAdam Leads Lions to Weekend Split

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


By Julie Bacanskas, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the loss of Friday's game still fresh in their minds, the Nittany Lions took the ice on Saturday for a rematch with No. 4 UMass Lowell determined to make changes and play a stronger brand of hockey.

As time in the third period expired, the Lions successfully accomplished what many believed to be an impossible task for the young program. They dominated against and beat a top-five team on the road, taking down the River Hawks, 4-1, to complete a weekend split.

"I'm really proud of the way they did it because it shows that they certainly can focus and commit to playing a much better hockey game and give more of themselves," said head coach Guy Gadowsky. "I think that's exactly what happened. I think every single guy really worked extremely hard throughout the whole game, and when everybody does that you give yourself a chance."

Following Friday's 5-3 loss, Gadowsky decided to make a few changes in an attempt to give his team some life. One of those decisions was giving sophomore goalie Eamon McAdam the nod for the first time this season.

McAdam's play on Saturday was a defining point of the game, and his 24 saves against the top-scoring team in the NCAA allowed the Lions to stay competitive against the River Hawks.

"First of all, I think Eamon has really made some commitments to himself and how he was going to approach this year," Gadowsky said. "Both in his own work ethic and throughout the start of the year the way he's approached practices and the team has been excellent. We do a lot of evaluations and statistical evaluations at practice as well, and he really has been excellent. He's absolutely deserved to get the chance if we needed him to come in."

"Friday night we weren't playing very well, and we certainly were giving up some huge opportunities. By no means is this a knock on [Matthew] Skoff, but we happened to give up a lot of Grade A opportunities and four of them went in. The timing seemed right to have Eamon go in, and he actually faced a lot of very difficult shots and played extremely well. Starting him on Saturday was really a no-brainer."

While the win was momentous for the Lions, it also marked a special occasion in McAdam's collegiate career. With the performance, he earned his first win as a Nittany Lion.

"It was a pretty big relief and a monkey off the back kind of feeling," said McAdam. "It's always good to get your first win. Last year, I was close a bunch of times, but I couldn't pull together a win. Like I said, it was a big relief. My parents were there, which is cool because I got to enjoy that with them."

Through the first 10 games this season, both McAdam and Skoff have combined for a .924 save percentage and an average of 2.16 goals allowed per game.

Both goalies are playing consistently for Penn State, giving the team its best chance night in and night out.

"I think it's big to have two great goalies," said junior Casey Bailey, who had two goals in Saturday's victory. "Skoff has been playing amazing for us, and we kind of left him out to dry Friday. Coach gave Eamon a chance on Saturday, and it shows a lot. He played really well Saturday and at the end of Friday's game, and I think to have two goalies playing this well is definitely good for the team."

Despite the positive outcome this weekend, Gadowsky is far more satisfied with the way his team played and the effort he saw. In his mind the win itself is not the key to believing in the team and its abilities.

"I think where we're going to gain our confidence is the fact that we played a very good hockey game," Gadowsky said. "Win or lose, I think that because they're such a well-coached team UMass is so consistent in their habits and so difficult to play against that we sort of proved that we can perform at a high level against a very, very difficult team."

The Lions now have a 6-2-2 record on the season, which stands as a testament to their growth as a program. With this historic win under their belts, the remainder of the year looks very bright for Penn State.

"Compared to last year, we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were," McAdam said. "I think as a team, and also you can just look at it on paper, you can see the steps we've taken have really started to turn into results. I think that's sparking a ton of confidence with the whole team. It's only going to make us want to work harder and try even harder for bigger and better things."

Lions Travel to Take on No. 4 UMass Lowell

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
By Julie Bacanskas, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Fresh off a week of rest, the Nittany Lions are ready to face their first big test of the season, taking on a ranked opponent.

The Blue and White will travel to Massachusetts this weekend for a series against No. 4 UMass Lowell. While the games will serve as a challenge, the Lions are prepared and excited to see what will come of playing such a skilled team.

"They are the only team in the NCAA scoring more than four goals per game," said head coach Guy Gadowsky of the River Hawks. "They're ranked fourth in the nation. It is a great test. I didn't know this until it was pointed out, but their two top scorers are defenseman so it's not like you can really key on a line or anything like that. It is going to be an excellent test for us.

"Right now, we're just trying to get back into the grove. A week off can be a good thing in terms of bumps and bruises, but a really bad thing in terms of timing. We're just trying to get a little bit of compete back in us."

The Lions worked to restore their health during the short break. With a number of student-athletes both under the weather and out due to injury, a week off could not have come at a better time for the team.

Many, including forward Curtis Loik, believe the extra rest will be highly beneficial and lead to positive results this weekend.

"It's going to be huge," said Loik of the time off. "You know, a couple guys feeling under the weather and not feeling as hot as they want, it's a good week for us to recover and get back to our habits and work on the little stuff that we didn't do so well against Bentley and Holy Cross. We've had a good week of practice, and we're going to come into UMass prepared and ready to go."

Although in many ways, this series will serve as a benchmark for Penn State, Gadowsky will not be placing any additional weight on the outcome.

His focus remains on the completion of team objectives, which is how he will continue to measure the program's success.

"Our goal is to improve every week, no matter who we're playing," said Gadowsky. "I think a lot of people are looking at it that way. I don't think we are as a coaching staff. We're trying to improve this week as much as we can regardless. I think we recognize that people around the nation are saying, 'They had a great start, but they haven't played a top team.' Well this is a top team, so I think eyes are going to be on it."

During the last meeting between the two programs, UMass Lowell swept the Lions at Pegula Ice Arena, winning the first game, 4-0, and the second game, 3-2.

Despite last year's outcomes, Gadowsky knows the Lions have matured. At this point, there are no parallels to be found between last year's team and this year's.

"I think we're a much better team than when we played them last year, and I think it's probably around similar time," Gadowsky said. "I think we're a much different team now than we were then, so we're not really drawing on to see the comparisons."

Even with the team's growth, Loik and the Lions know they will need to bring their A game to compete with the River Hawks.

"Obviously, just sticking to our objectives and what coach says, like benchmarks of getting pucks low and backchecking," Loik said as he describe the keys to having a successful weekend. "Those are some of the things we have to stick with and not let fall apart. If we fall apart from that or fall behind, that's when we're going to start losing games. We just have to stick to our objectives, and I think we'll be fine."

Traveling to Massachusetts with a four-game winning streak, the Lions hope to use their newfound confidence to their advantage.

They are not intimidated by the River Hawks. Instead, they are more than ready to compete.

"We got some momentum from those four games," said Loik of the winning streak. "We gained a lot of confidence. Every line is producing. All the D are playing well. [Matthew] Skoff is playing unbelievable. I think if we keep that rolling we're going to be one heck of a team to deal with."

UMass Graphic.jpg

Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey Finding their Stride

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


By Julie Bacanskas, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Eight games. Eleven goals. Fifteen assists. Seventy-nine shots.

The line of David Goodwin, Taylor Holstrom and Casey Bailey has been dynamic for the Nittany Lions. The trio, who are all atop the team's scoring leaders, accounts for over 30 percent of Penn State's offense.

The line clearly has synergy.

"All three of them are working extremely hard," said head coach Guy Gadowsky. "I really think that's the difference. All three of them have shown high levels of skill, and they all have a high hockey IQ."

Success is nothing new for Goodwin, Holstrom and Bailey.

Last season, the forwards were ranked second, third and sixth on the team in scoring, respectively. Goodwin led the Lions in assists, while Bailey's nine goals were second to only Eric Scheid's 11 tallies.

Combining all this talent has generated positive results this season.

"I just think it's the chemistry," said Bailey of the early season success. "I think like I talked about earlier, me and Holstrom played together all freshman year. He kind of knows that I'm always looking to shoot. I think Goodwin knows that too, and I think it's the chemistry on our line. He [Holstrom] played with Goodwin last year. Things are clicking right now."

A key factor for not only this line, but also the entire team, has been shots on net.

Penn State is currently outshooting its opponents, 345-236. With 109 extra shots, the Blue and White are bound to have offensive success.

"I just think it's the way we're driving the net," Bailey said. "When we drive through the middle it opens up a lot of area for us to get those shots off. It makes it a lot easier, and I think we have a mentality that everybody's going to do that. 
It's making everybody drive to the net, and I definitely think our team is doing a lot better getting shots to the net this season so far."

These shots are greatly benefiting the Lions, who are also outscoring their opponents, 31-16.

"We're working hard," said Holstrom. "We're getting pucks deep. We're doing little things. We're getting some bounces here and there, but I think it just comes down to getting pucks on net and going to the net."

Holstrom's 11 points have him tied for eighth in the country in scoring, and he is also tied for seventh in assists with eight on the season thus far; however, he credits his personal success to his line.

Right now, their chemistry seems to be unstoppable, and all three are playing some of their best hockey.

"My linemates are playing well," Holstrom said. "They're putting pucks into the net. Our team is working really hard, and the score sheet's working well for me. There are other guys helping me out, and I can't do it alone."

Moving forward, Gadowsky knows this line is one he can count on. All three forwards show dedication to the Penn State program day in and day out.

That dedication is directly related to their success.

"I think if you look to a man right now, I think Taylor Holstrom has been our best backchecker, probably Casey Bailey has been best at getting the puck out and David Goodwin's been working extremely hard," Gadowsky said. "I think for them, their key is work ethic for sure."

Eight games. Eleven goals. Fifteen assists. Seventy-nine shots.

If these numbers are any indication of what is to come for the Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey line, the remainder of this season looks very bright.

Lions Complete Two Comebacks to Sweep Bentley

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
By Julie Bacanskas, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - One weekend. Two comebacks. Two victories.

With minutes left in Friday's game against Bentley, fans at Pegula Ice Arena watched intently as their team tried to bring the score to a tie.

The Lions, who were trailing, 2-1, fired off shot after shot in that third period, desperately trying to avoid their first loss on home ice this season.

In a matter of seconds, the Lions completely turned their fate. Two late goals helped the team edge out the Falcons, 3-2, for the second consecutive night.

"I really give the guys a lot of credit because for the third period, when things weren't going well in the third period they really buckled down," said head coach Guy Gadowsky. "I think our shots were 22-7 in the third, and we looked a lot more like the Penn State hockey team that we expect. That was a really, really big win."

With a little over four minutes remaining, the Lions found themselves on the power play, which proved to be the catalyst for the team.

A power play goal by Taylor Holstrom, followed by a second even-strength tally by Eric Scheid, propelled the team to victory.

"We got a chance on the power play, and we were looking to shoot," explained Holstrom. "Jense [Nate Jensen] faked everyone out and made a play to Rocket [Dylan Richard]. Rocket threw a pass in the middle, and I just shot as hard as I could. I don't know where it went actually, but we were just trying to get shots, and it went in."

Taylor Holstrom, who leads the Lions in points with 11, is also currently tied for third in scoring and first in assists in the nation. His goal changed the dynamic of the game, setting up the perfect storm for the second comeback-win in team history.

Merely 16 seconds after Holstrom's equalizer, Scheid found the puck on his stick and took a chance. He used his Penn State hockey mentality, and threw the puck at the net, hoping for a positive result.

Positive was an understatement.

Scheid's shot hit the crossbar, bounced over the shoulder of Bentley's goaltender and into the back of the net.

"It feels really good to be on the other side of one of these games," said Scheid. "We've been part of a lot of games where we've kind of given up leads in the third, and the third's really haunting us lately. To be able to come back both nights and get a win, it feels pretty good. We're all pretty excited."

The back-to-back third period comebacks highlight an increase in confidence for the Lions, which they have struggled with in past games.

They are also signs of increased mental toughness in the team.

"We've asked the team to identify that we had some mental toughness issues when we were up in the third, and this weekend we had two opportunities going in down in the third," said Gadowsky. "I think they came through with flying colors. This was our largest deficit of the year, and we were able to overcome that and win in pretty dramatic fashion.

"It is a big, big win. I mean I give the guys a lot of credit, mostly for being able to play a good, solid Penn State hockey when it mattered most, and then obviously to win it is impressive as well."

Skoff's Performance

Goaltender Matthew Skoff faced 61 Bentley shots during the series, significantly less than the 103 his teammates fired off, but his performance was yet again key for the Lions. He made kick saves, glove saves and stick saves when needed but remained patient when the action in his end slowed.

The junior's composure led the Blue and White to two Halloween weekend victories, and the team's second sweep at Pegula Ice Arena.

"I thought it was a really, really tough game for him," said head coach Guy Gadowsky of Skoff's Thursday performance. "I really did. Getting 26 shots and letting in two, no one's going to say, 'Boy he stole the show.' But I'll tell you what, that was a tough game to play because he didn't get a ton of work, but he had to face a lot of different looks on the power play and then a lot of really quality chances."

The Falcons' two Thursday goals came on the power play, which is one of their team's biggest strengths.

The story was much the same the following evening as Bentley tallied both their Friday goals on the man-advantage as well.

In multiple instances, Skoff bailed out the Lions with incredible saves, keeping them in the game. His play speaks for itself, as he proves time and time again his importance to this team.

"He's on," said Gadowsky. "These are very important games for us. He deserves it [the starting position] through what he's done this year and last year and how he is as a teammate, his work ethic. He deserves it."    

Men's Hockey Blog - PSU vs. Bentley (10/31)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to's live, interactive coverage of Penn State men's hockey. This evening, the Nittany Lions finish their series against Bentley.

Live Blog Penn State Men's Hockey Blog - vs. Bentley (10/31/14)

Men's Hockey Blog - PSU vs. Bentley (10/30)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to's live, interactive coverage of Penn State men's hockey. This evening, the Nittany Lions take on Bentley.

Live Blog Penn State Men's Hockey Blog - vs. Bentley (10/30/14)