**

Blog

Recently in Men's Hockey Category

Lions Head Into Break with Momentum

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
11557483.jpegBy Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 16 Penn State men's hockey team (11-2-3, 2-0-0-0 Big Ten) ended the first half of its season triumphantly with a 6-3 win over Princeton (4-9-0, 3-5-0 ECAC) Friday night in Pegula Ice Arena.

With the victory, head coach Guy Gadowsky notched his 50th win with the Nittany Lions, since joining the program in 2011.

The undisputed standout player of the game was fifth-year senior forward Tommy Olczyk. Olczyk had his fist multi-point game for the Nittany Lions, on his way to scoring the program's third hat trick.

"It was a pretty special moment," said Olczyk regarding his hat trick. "More importantly, especially after a little let down during the third period, we found a way to win there."

Olczyk credited his hat trick to his team's ability to communicate and work together on the ice. Olczyk's first two goals he deflected into the net off shots from two freshman defensemen, Erik Autio and Vince Pedrie, respectively. His third goal of the night came as an empty net goal with less than a minute remaining in the third period.

Three other Nittany Lions scored in Friday night's win. Senior forwards David Glen and Curtis Loik, along with freshman forward Chase Berger all found the back of the net.

Looking at the bigger picture, Gadowsky is pleased with where his team has ended the first half of the season, but that doesn't mean he wants to slow down.

"I have to congratulate the guys on a great start," said Gadowsky. "...I do think this was a good win because it was a tough set up as I said, having a great weekend in the Big Ten to start and then having them, really a lot of their focus is on exams and academics, so this was a tough game to play and we started out tremendous and ended tremendous."

Gadowsky also wants to continue the early success of the special teams, especially on power play performance. During Friday night's game alone, the Nittany Lions score two goals on the power play and successfully killed three penalties, including a five-minute major.

With finals and a holiday break upon them, the Nittany Lions are looking forward to spending time with family and friends, but are also looking forward to continuing their current momentum.

"...We've had a good start to the year," said senior captain David Glen. "We're happy about it, but we're not going to be complacent either."


Next on the radar for the Nittany Lions is the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh on Dec. 28 and 29. This tournament will be a test for the Nittany Lions as they take on Robert Morris in the first round, and either No. 8 UMass Lowell or Clarkson in the second round.

After the break, as Big Ten play gets into full swing, Penn State will faceoff at home against Minnesota Jan. 8 and 9. During the 2014-15 season the Nittany Lions went 1-3 against the Golden Gophers, and will look to turn the tables come the spring semester.

In regards to their first half of the season performance, Glen is pleased with where the team is at now, but looks forward to continued success.

"I think we know it's just the start and like I said we're happy," said Glen. "It's as good as we could hope for going into [the break] but we're looking forward to a little break over Christmas and spend some time with the family, then get back at it in Pittsburgh." 

Men's Hockey Live Blog - Penn State vs. Princeton (12/11/15)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live coverage from the 2015-16 Nittany Lion men's hockey season. Penn State hosts Princeton in the final home game inside Pegula Ice Arena this semester.

Live Blog Men's Hockey Live Blog - Penn State vs. Princeton (12/11/15)
 

Gadowsky, Lions Set to Face Princeton

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

11553583.jpegBy Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 16 Penn State men's hockey team is poised to take on the Princeton Tigers this Friday night. Head coach Guy Gadowsky finds himself, for the first time in program history, coaching against his former team.

Before taking up residence in Pegula Ice Arena, Gadowsky was the head coach of the Princeton men's hockey team from 2004-11. During his time with the Tigers, Gadowsky coached the Orange and Black to several ECAC hockey tournament appearances as well as an Ivy League Championship title in 2008. Most notably, Gadowsky coached the Tigers to two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009.

Gadowsky had taken the previously struggling program and molded it into a successful name within the hockey realm, leading the Tigers to a 105-109-13 record during his time in New Jersey. The Edmonton native has since then taken his talents to Hockey Valley, which he has happily called home since 2011. 

This weekend's matchup will reunite Gadowsky with some familiar faces, both on the ice and behind the scenes of Princeton's program.

"There's still players that we recruited [on Princeton's team]," said Gadowsky. "There's a lot of really good people involved in the program that we've been in touch with. Obviously we have a ton of great memories, I'm very proud to have been part of what went on at Princeton."

Although he reflects on his time in the Garden State fondly, Gadowsky emphasized that his chief focus for this weekend's game is notching another win with his Nittany Lions.

"I think this is a really important game for us and I don't care who we're playing, that's just the honest truth," said Gadowsky of the matchup. "This is just all about us playing the best game that we can, they happen to be the opponent, but that's not going to play in our minds at all."

Turning towards this weekend's matchup, the Nittany Lions will only take on the Tigers in one contest due to scheduling rules within the Ivy League. As an Ivy League member, Princeton is only allowed 29 regular season matchups on its schedule, with one contest as a stand-alone game against one opponent. 

This stand-alone game against Princeton was purposefully scheduled for Friday due to finals week at Penn State starting on Monday. While Gadowsky is confident in his players' abilities to balance schoolwork and hockey, he wanted to do his best to provide them the best schedule for individual success off the ice.

The players themselves are also looking forward to finishing the first half of the season on a high note and getting another win before the break. After Friday's contest, the Nittany Lions won't see game time again until the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh on Dec. 28 and 29.

"It's not like with two games you're going to leave anything out there," said freshman forward Matt Mendelson. "With one game you have to really bear down and win it because it's not like you can bounce back on Saturday, you have to make sure you take care of business on Friday."

Penn State hosts Princeton on Friday at 7 p.m. in Pegula Ice Arena. 

Red-Hot Nittany Lions Sweep Spartans in Big Ten Opener

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

11545655.jpegBy Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Thanks to tremendous performances from its goaltenders and outstanding effort from the offense, the Penn State men's hockey team (10-2-3, 2-0-0-0 Big Ten) marched past Michigan State (4-8-2, 0-2-0-0 Big Ten) over the weekend at Pegula Ice Arena.

With head coach Guy Gadowsky's plan to continually rotate between junior goaltender Eamon McAdam and senior goaltender Matt Skoff working to the Nittany Lions' advantage, Gadowsky has left the system in place, yielding tremendous results.

Skoff, who started in net Friday night, recorded 31 saves on the way to a 4-2 win for the Nittany Lions. McAdam, taking up residence between the pipes Saturday afternoon, recorded 28 saves in Penn State's 6-1 victory.

"...Matthew Skoff with a huge save in the second period," said Gadowsky of Skoff's Friday night performance. "It's too bad, with a save like that I think he deserved better in the outcome. I feel bad that we couldn't have played better for him in the third."

On Friday night, Penn State got the first goal of the night, just 10 seconds into the second period, thanks to freshman forward Andrew Sturtz. The goal was the fastest to start a period by a Penn State player, overtaking Casey Bailey's 13-second goal to start a period in 2013. 

Sturtz scored a second time Friday night, a backhand-forehand play with 4:52 remaining in the second period. Penn State peppered the net with shots, leaving the second period of play with four goals. Junior forward David Goodwin and freshman defenseman Vince Pedrie also found the back of the net.

"He's got such a big heart and he's so fun to watch," said Gadowsky about Sturtz. "There's just different guys you watch, like Eric Scheid and his speed or David Glen and his grit, and the way that David Goodwin sees the ice, you watch [Sturtz] and you see a big heart skating around. He's so fun to watch and I love watching the guy."

Saturday's performance was another offensive display for the Nittany Lions. Senior forward Eric Scheid scored twice for Penn State in the first period, both goals only coming a minute apart.

"I think it's obviously huge, we knew [the Spartans] were going to come out hard, set the tone early, and to score two goals early like that, that's a huge weight off our back to get the early lead," said Scheid.

Scheid talked about what worked well for him and his line mates, Dylan Richard and David Goodwin.

"I think it's just that we all play pretty similar," said Scheid. "I think that we've been a lot better down the line getting offensive zone time, any time you can get the puck in the O-zone and work it around a little bit it gives you confidence and it leads into other chances coming off the rush and stuff like that."

Communication was on point for the offense Saturday afternoon, as the team looked comfortable taking on Michigan State senior goaltender and 2014-15 Big Ten Player and Goaltender of the Year, Jake Hildebrand. Hildebrand's few mental mistakes over the weekend allowed some shots on net that resulted in goals for the Nittany Lions.

Getting a sweep to start Big Ten play is a huge boost for the Nittany Lions. This weekend's momentum will build the groundwork for the rest of Penn State's conference play this season, which resumes in January. The Nittany Lions host Princeton on Friday. 

Men's Hockey Live Blog - Penn State vs. Michigan State (12/5/15)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live coverage from the 2015-16 Nittany Lion men's hockey season. Penn State hosts Michigan State in Pegula Ice Arena during the second game of the initial Big Ten series of 2015-16.

Live Blog Men's Hockey Live Blog - Penn State vs. Michigan State (12/5/15)
 

Men's Hockey Live Blog - Penn State vs. Michigan State (12/4/15)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live coverage from the 2015-16 Nittany Lion men's hockey season. Penn State hosts Michigan State in Pegula Ice Arena during the first game of the Big Ten season on Friday.

Live Blog Men's Hockey Live Blog - Penn State vs. Michigan State (12/4/15)
 

Nittany Lions Ready for Big Ten Opener

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


By Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coming off a successful string of non-conference games to open its schedule, the No. 19-ranked Penn State men's hockey team (8-2-3) looks to hit the ground running in conference play when the Lions host Michigan State this weekend.

A big piece in Penn State's hot start has been the pair splitting time between the pipes

Senior Matt Skoff and junior Eamon McAdam have been superb of late, holding opponents to zero goals in the last 50 shots and 122:37 of game time. Head coach Guy Gadowsky is confident with the system he has in place behind his two goaltenders.


"...We'll let it play out as it may," said Gadowsky. "As it turns out, if this month is any indication it's working very, very well, so right now if it's not broken we're not going to fix it."

Gadowsky was quick to praise each player for their individual dedication to their craft, noting both players have made the effort to constantly be improving.

Over the course of the 2015-16 season to date, McAdam has tallied six wins and a .929 save percentage. Skoff has recorded two wins and a .900 save percentage.

Gadowsky noted that friendly competition between the goaltenders is what he wants out of them, and that it is useful for not only improving individual skills but also useful for the team. 

"Actually I think it's very important, and I think it's becoming an important part of their success," said Gadowsky. "They have a very healthy respect and admiration for each other for sure and I think that when you have two guys that are pushing each other it's advantageous to both of them and I really like having that situation." 

As for this weekend, the Nittany Lions will host Michigan State this Friday and Saturday, a team known for their success behind senior goaltender and Pennsylvania native, Jake Hildebrand. The Spartans arrive in Hockey Valley 4-7-2 this season.

Since the 2013-14 season, behind Hildebrand, the Spartans are 5-1-2 against the Nittany Lions. Two of those five wins came as shutout wins.

The Nittany Lions are eager to begin their Big Ten matchups, even if this one is a little earlier on the schedule than others. After this weekend, Penn State won't see conference play again until January.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Michigan enters the weekend as the only other Big Ten program currently ranked by the USCHO, at No. 12. With a history of powerhouse programs, the Big Ten has yet to break out successfully this season, to which Gadowsky finds both surprising and expected at the same time.

"If you look at the players that we have coming into the Big Ten, yes, but if you look at the players that have left the Big Ten early, no," said Gadowsky. "It's a little bit of the nature of college hockey right now, that when you get some of these higher profile student-athletes which a lot of the Big Ten schools have been getting, they leave early."

Both Michigan State and Minnesota each have only four wins each so far this season, with Wisconsin and Ohio State raking in three wins apiece. With Penn State leading the conference in wins, Gadowsky hopes that this is a good place to start Big Ten conference play. 

"I think every year is an opportunity and we're going to do the best with what we have," said Gadowsky. "...There's a lot of young teams [in the Big Ten] that have a lot of great players that are going to be a lot different after January than they are before."

When asked about how getting wins this weekend would propel the Nittany Lions into further conference play in January, Gadowsky had a simple answer.

"I think so, it certainly always helps," said Gadowsky. "But you know, because the bulk of the non-conference games are played early, certainly it always helps to start well." 

The No. 19-ranked Penn State hosts Michigan State this Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. Saturday's game will also feature Penn State's annual Teddy Bear Toss. 

Freshman Feature: Hamilton, From Small Town to Big Time

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
11530748.jpeg By Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa, -- Freshman defenseman Derian Hamilton has stood tall during his first few months in a Penn State sweater. Hamilton has played in eight contests and has secured two assists for the Nittany Lions.

Hamilton previously played in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, splitting his time between three teams during the 2012-15 seasons. Notably, Hamilton was captain of the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in 2014-15.

While the rest of the freshman class hails from the United States, Hamilton finds himself the lone Canadian player in the class of 2019.

Hamilton, who is from Port McNeil, British Columbia, comes from a town of fewer than 3,000 people. This tight-knit community was a perfect environment for young Hamilton to thrive in and develop his skills as a defenseman.

"Growing up in a small town was a little interesting," said Hamilton. "There are a lot of small towns where I'm from but the one big thing was getting a lot of free ice time. Ice was not that expensive so we got a ton of time to just go out and have fun and kind of do whatever we wanted on the ice."

With ice time not an issue, time skating was more of a fun activity, rather than an overly serious endeavor.

"I think that helped my skating a lot and it just made playing hockey a lot of fun," said Hamilton.

When asked who he models his style of play after, Hamilton talked about his respect for Kris Russell of the Calgary Flames. Hamilton spoke of Russell's performance during the 2007 Memorial Cup Final when Russell was a member of the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL).

"I really like the way he played," said Hamilton. "He really moved the puck well and I really admired that out of his game even though he's turned into more of a defensive guy now."

Now in State College, a town made up of more than 40,000 undergraduate students, alone, Hamilton has transitioned into being a consistent force on defense for the Nittany Lions.

Hamilton has also successfully transitioned into being a student-athlete.

"The biggest change is definitely the student part, [in Juniors] I worked a little but mostly just played hockey, now it's just a bit busier schedule trying to balance school and hockey," said Hamilton. "I'm getting used to it and it's actually been a lot of fun so far."

The 21-year-old also spoke of how even though he's older than the average freshman, he still faces the same struggles his classmates do and isn't afraid to seek the advice of veteran teammates.

"I've actually learned quite a bit from the older guys," said Hamilton. "The older guys are really helpful with classes, with little things that we may have questions about, like what kind of classes to take. They're really open to questions and they want us all to succeed, so that's helpful."

Hamilton is excited for his time as a student-athlete and looks forward to pursuing a degree in business while also contributing on the ice.  


As the season picks up, and Big Ten play approaches, Hamilton will prepare for tougher games ahead, but that's something he looks forward to.

Penn State faces Michigan State this weekend in Pegula Ice Arena, Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.    

McAdam Records First Career Shutout, Offense Stands Tall

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

11528671.jpegBy Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Behind a powerful performance by the special teams, the Penn State men's hockey team (8-2-3) returned to Hockey Valley victorious, after shutting out Vermont (3-2-9), 4-0, in the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff on Sunday.

"We really believe in what we do as a team, with the structure, so it doesn't matter who we're playing, we want to play the same game and put up the same effort," said junior forward Dylan Richard. 

Richard had two goals in Sunday's contest, his first coming on the power play.

"I think [the power play is] doing a great job at creating chances, shooting the puck and really just creating a little bit of chaos in front of the net," said Richard.

Junior Zach Saar also got on the board for the Nittany Lions on Sunday thanks to a strong shot off the faceoff during another Nittany Lions power play. Both Richard and Saar scored in Penn State's last shutout win, a Feb. 8, 2014 game against Michigan.

Head coach Guy Gadowsky has said previously the power play is an area he wants to focus on improving, and making it a stable factor of Penn State's offense.

The most outstanding performance of Sunday's game, however, came from the young man in net for the Nittany Lions, junior Eamon McAdam. The Perkasie, Pa., native had 30 saves against the Catamounts on his was to his first shut out as a Nittany Lion.

"I think it was a game where we came out hot and were able to control the play in the first period," said McAdam. "[Vermont] had a few chances, but nothing crazy."

Several scrambles in front of Penn State's net could have yielded goals, if McAdam wasn't a dominating presence in the crease.

"The second period we hit kind of a wall so I stepped up and made saves and kind of kept it 1-0 for a while." said McAdam. "Toward the end of the game it turned into a team effort, with guys blocking shots and back checking. I played a really good game but it's all about a great team effort."

Playing in his hometown NHL arena was a highlight of the season so far for McAdam, who had an abundance of family members in attendance for Sunday's game.

"I grew up watching Flyers games pretty much every night. It's making one of my dreams come true [to play in Wells-Fargo Center]," said McAdam.

McAdam had previously started for the Nittany Lions in net the last time the team visited Wells-Fargo Center, during the 2013 Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff.

McAdam said the atmosphere of Wells-Fargo Center provided the perfect backdrop for Penn State's win Sunday afternoon.

"To play in front of 9,000 people, that's a pretty cool experience and it's easy to get pretty pumped up for a game like this," said McAdam. 

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 unwavering 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.

 

GoPSUsports

Instagram