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Signature Win Leaves Lions Wanting More

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By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the horn sounded, Matt Skoff threw his arms in the air and jumped into a pile of ecstatic teammates. It was time to celebrate a marquee win for a young Penn State men's hockey team. A moment the players, coaches and all of Hockey Valley had been waiting for.

Saar-Zach.jpegThe Nittany Lions had defeated Big Ten rival Michigan, 4-0, in front of a sellout crowd of 6,170 Penn State faithful. The shutout came courtesy of Skoff, who stopped all 32 shots he faced, and nine different players recorded points in the programs first Big Ten victory.

"It feels fantastic," said Gadowsky. "Not just the win itself, but because of the work we have had to put in to get to this point. Maybe we got a little inspiration from Coach [Jeff] Tambroni and the men's lacrosse team from their win over Michigan earlier today.

"We talk about timely goaltending, and [Matt] Skoff made some huge saves early that gave us confidence. Great goaltending is more about timely goaltending and I thought that really started us off well. You really have to give credit to the defense, because we had two defenders go down."

The timely saves enabled Skoff to post the third shutout of his young career, but the head coach knows it was a team effort.

"The whole team really did a heck of a job," Gadowsky said. "I am very proud of them."

Beating Michigan marks the team's first win in conference play. It is also their first win since beating Robert Morris in the Three Rivers Classic on Dec. 27. The energy inside Pegula Ice arena was palpable throughout the game and the players fed off the student body's constant encouragement.

The scoring for the Nittany Lions got started early, 6:31 into the game, when Zach Saar registered his fourth goal of the season. He snatched a rebound and beat Michigan netminder Zach Nagelvoort with a quick shot.

Shortly after that, David Glen - back on the ice for just his second game after a bone marrow transplant - won a faceoff to himself, drove the net and shot the puck off of the back of Nagelvoort and into the goal for his third goal of the season.

With a 2-0 lead the Nittany Lion offense was full in sync in front of the home fans. The passes were crisp, the pucks were right on target and the Blue and White never looked content with their production on the ice.

That might have been the biggest highlight for these Nittany Lions and their bench boss. Despite playing with a lead, Penn State never once took their foot off the gas.

A few minutes after Glen's goal, Casey Bailey joined the party and registered his fifth goal of the season. He took a quick wrist shot from the slot and beat Nagelvoort to his glove side.

At that point, Michigan head coach Red Berenson decided to make a goaltender switch and he went to Steve Racine. It was a role reversal from the previous night when Gadowsky chanced goaltenders in the second period.

Racine would enter into a tenacious Nittany Lions attack, as the blue and white clad squad continued to put pressure on the Wolverines. For the fans in attendance and watching at home on ESPNU, it almost felt as if most of the game was spent in the Michigan defensive zone.

Freshman Ricky DeRosa was the last Nittany Lion to score when he deflected a David Thompson slap shot past Racine. It was a fitting ending for a team that needed a win.

Penn State registered 40 shots against Michigan, marking the fourth time this season Penn State took at least 40 shots.

As a reporter was quick to point out afterwards, the last time Penn State recorded a shutout was exactly one year ago, February 8, 2013 against Alabama Huntsville.

Earning their first conference win in front of a sellout crowd is the way this team wants to win. Simply said, that's why most of them are here.

"That's why I came here: To compete against the best teams in the nation, and in the Big Ten," Gadowsky said. 

The Nittany Lions now head back to work with a tally in the win column and doing so was is huge step for the program; the next stop comes this week in practice where they have to stay focused.

"Right now I think I'm still in a little bit of awe because I grew up kind of worshiping the Big Ten teams," Saar said.  "Right now is a good first step for our program. You're stuck between not wanting to be too excited and conducting yourself with an expectation to win more. We're going back to work on Monday, just like we would any other time. We'll soak it in right now, but we have to get back to work, as well."

In a year of "firsts", the most exciting might have happened on Saturday night.

 

--NITTANY LIONS--

GAME BLOG: Men's Hockey hosts Michigan

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the Penn State men's hockey contest against No. 10 Michigan on Friday, Feb. 7 inside Pegula Ice Arena.

VIDEO: Practice Update - February 5  |  GAME NOTES: vs. Michigan

Be sure to interact with today's blog coverage with questions or comments at the bottom of our widget. Post your photos to Instagram or Twitter and use the #PennState or #HockeyValley and your photos may be chosen for use on our in-game coverage.

 

VIDEO: Practice Update - February 5

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's hockey team was on the ice for practice on Tuesday (Jan. 28) prior to starting a four-game homestand on Friday, Feb. 7 vs. Michigan. The Nittany Lions enter the week at 4-17-1 overall after a pair of losses at Ohio State over the weekend.

On Tuesday, we caught up with head coach Guy Gadowsky to talk about the Michigan series, their progress at Ohio State and what a string of home games can do to help the team at this point in the season with the voice of Penn State men's hockey, Brian Tripp.

Head coach Guy Gadowsky


Defenseman Luke Juha


-- NITTANY LIONS--

What To Watch: Penn State at Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's hockey team will hit the road to face Ohio State at Value City Arena on Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1. It will be the second meeting between the two programs, with Penn State winning the first during the 2012-13 season at the Three Rivers Classic.

BLOG: Top Teams Bring Out Penn State's Best  |  GAME NOTES: Game Notes

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Pregame Reading
What To Watch - Penn State

First B1G Victory: Last season, the Nittany Lions took down the Buckeyes, 5-4, in the consolation game at the Three Rivers Classic. That victory was not only a big win for the program, but it marked the Blue and White's first win over a team that was slated to be begin play in the new Big Ten Conference's men's hockey alignment. Penn State also defeated Michigan State and Wisconsin later in the 2012-13 season.

Off the Scheid: After a three-game streak without recording a point, sophomore Eric Scheid has recorded goals in back-to-back games. He tallied a game-tying goal at Michigan State and tied the game with a score in the second period vs. Boston College. The Blaine, Minn., native has recorded at least one point in 12 of the team's 20 games this season, including a pair of multi-point efforts. Six of his team leading 15 points have come on the road in 2013-14.

Goalies Under Fire: Penn State faced the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 offenses in the NCAA this season already and on Friday when the puck drops inside Value City Arena, the Nittany Lions will see the No. 5 offense in college hockey. Boston College leads the NCAA at 4.48 goals per game, Minnesota scores 3.83 and Union adds 3.54 goals a contest. Ohio State is tied with four teams, including PSU opponent Wisconsin, at 3.50 goals per game.

BONUS: Glen Misses Games: Sophomore David Glen will this weekend's games after completing a bone morrow donation treatment. Glen began the peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation process on Friday, Jan. 24, at Geisinger-Bloomsburg (Pa.) Hospital and finished the process on Tuesday, Jan. 28. To read more about the process and his decision
click here.


What To Watch - Ohio State

Bazinga, Dzingle: Junior Ryan Dzingel is among the top point scorers in the NCAA this season. The forward enters tonight's contest averaging 1.36 points per game in 22 contests. He has tallied 14 goals, with five of those coming on the power play, and has handed out 16 assists. He currently ranks among the top 25 players in the country in points (16th) and goals scored (18th) and is one assist shy of cracking the rankings in assists.

Hosting the Lions: In a matter of four days, Ohio State will be hosting four competitions against Penn State in Columbus. The Nittany Lions men's basketball team claimed a 71-70 overtime win on Wednesday night, while the two hockey programs face off on Friday and Saturday. The women's gymnastics squad will also compete in Columbus on Saturday afternoon.

Home Sweet Home: Ohio State is 10-3-1 in Columbus this season, averaging 4.0 goals a game in Value City Arena, while allowing 2.4 an outing. The Buckeyes are 3-0-1 in its last four games, scoring 19 goals duing that span, and have just one loss in its last 10 games in their home venue under first year head coach Steve Rohlik.

 

--NITTANY LIONS--

VIDEO: Practice Update - January 28

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's hockey team was on the ice for practice on Tuesday (Jan. 28) prior to hitting the road for a weekend road trip to Ohio State. The Nittany Lions enter the week at 4-15-1 overall a narrow defeat at the hands of No. 2 Boston College and head into their meeting with the Buckeyes (12-9-1, 2-5-1-0) looking for their first Big Ten victory.

On Tuesday, we caught up with head coach Guy Gadowsky to talk about the Ohio State series, the progress shown vs. No. 2 Boston College and he feels his team has performed on the road this season with the voice of Penn State men's hockey, Brian Tripp.

Head coach Guy Gadowsky


-- NITTANY LIONS--

Top Teams Bring Out Penn State's Best

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By Michael Renahan, GoPSusports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Ten of the last 13 times the Nittany Lions have hit the ice, they have squared off against a top-20 ranked team.

Gadowsky-Guy (2).jpegThey challenged then-No 15 Union, No. 17 UMass Lowell, No. 17 Wisconsin, No.2 Boston College and top-ranked Minnesota. What might be considered the most challenging 13 game stretch in Division I hockey -- playing No. 1 and No. 2 over a three week span - has given the Nittany Lions the opportunity to rise to the challenge of playing elite teams.

A challenge they have met time after time.

Head coach Guy Gadowsky and his team understand that although they might not be consistently winning games against these top teams, the experience they are getting is invaluable.

"The most important thing about [playing ranked opponents] is the experience you get against the very best and that's very beneficial to this young program," said Gadowsky. "We're looking at this as becoming the best team we can at the end of the year and certainly by facing Boston College, Union, UMass Lowell and all of our Big Ten opponents, it really is a great opportunity for us to get better against the very best and I think we are."

The bench boss also knows that it is about learning from mistakes and taking away positives from each test.


"The information we're getting back [from film study] is that we aren't at a point yet where we can be beating these teams, but we know we can play with them," Gadowsky said. "And that's a good step to have. Now it's just a matter of getting better so we can close out a game against one of those teams."

The reason Penn State fared well against top teams is due to their success getting offensive opportunities. In Saturday night's game against Boston College, the Nittany Lions outshot the Eagles, 35-30, and generated 10 odd-man rushes.

We have also seen the play of goalkeepers Matt Skoff and Eamon McAdam take a dramatic step forward, keeping the Nittany Lions in the game when the offense hits a lull. McAdam has faced the No. 1 & No. 2 ranked team in the NCAA in three of his last four starts and the freshman goalkeeper has kept his team in the game and provided excellent outings against the elite competition.

Penn State now has to find a way to take advantage of those opportunities and match the tenacity of their young goalkeeper.

"You just have to keep grinding away," captain Tommy Olcyzk said. "Sometimes it [losing close games] definitely gets a little frustrating, but even when you're scoring a bunch of goals you can't get too high and when you're not scoring any goals you can't get too low. It's just a matter of time before they come.

"I think that's how it's going to be for us. When they come the floodgates are going to open and once we find a way to win a couple games, moving forward we're going to have a lot of confidence. Right now, we have to stay positive through all of it."


As a team, according to Olcyzk, Penn State really values these opportunities and understands the importance of getting this experience.

"It definitely makes us better," Olczyk said. "We've showed signs of being able to skate with these ranked opponents. We've been able to control parts of the game and moving forward we're going to have to win games when we do that. Unfortunately, we have not been able to put a full 60 minutes together yet."

Through it all, the Nittany Lions have yet again proven they are not a team to take lightly. They continue to battle through a very tough schedule, and have yet to waver. These elite teams have brought out the best in Penn State, and the Nittany Lions have brought out the best in their opponents.


If these games are any indication of what is to come for Penn State, then the future is very bright for this young program.

 

--NITTANY LIONS--

A Biscuit of Confidence Following Loss

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By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The biscuit was in the oven, but it was taken out too soon. The biscuit never had a chance to finish rising.

Olczyk-Tommy (3).jpegFor the seventh time this season, Penn State (4-15-1, 0-6) was on the losing end of a game separated by just a single goal. This time around the Nittany Lions lost, 3-2, to No. 2 Boston College (18-4-3, 11-1-1) in front of a sellout crowd of 6,214 cheering fans inside Pegula Ice Arena.

Even though the Blue and White were unable to skate off the ice with a win Saturday night, a clear sense of confidence could be detected following the loss to a team Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky described as "the best offensive team in the nation."

Penn State looked impressive, atoning for its six-goal defeat back on Dec. 28 in the Three Rivers Classic championship game, to outshoot the Eagles, 35-30.

"Penn State has made remarkable improvements since we saw them during the [Three Rivers Classic]," said Boston College head coach Jerry York. "They seemed more cohesive as a team, they were strong and they were physical. I was very impressed with them. They are this close to winning a lot of games. They've got something pretty special going on here."

Something special indeed as the Nittany Lions managed to hold the high-octane Boston College offense, which is averaging 4.5 goals per game, to just three goals. That effort is thanks in large part to netminder Eamon McAdam and the Penn State defensemen.

"We were very good in the defensive zone today, and we were great at clearing out the front [of the net]. Because of that I was able to see a lot of the shots from the point and that was really helpful." said McAdam, who made a number of sprawling saves to keep the score close.

The teams that Gadowsky's squad has lost to by one goal all play a high-caliber brand of hockey. Such a list that includes UMass Lowell, Union, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan State, and now, Boston College. These results have provided Penn State with a wealth of confidence moving forward.

"You do get confidence when you play honest and you play well and you do have a good performance," said Gadowsky. "You can do it against a Boston College if you can limit them to the number of even strength shots we did and limit their goal production. We can take a lot of positives and confidence from that."

Team captain Tommy Olczyk echoed the words of his coach and noted that the numerous one-goal losses, especially the one to Boston College, instill confidence into himself and his teammates after each subsequent contest.

"We've been able to play with some of the best teams in the country," said Olczyk. "The last time we played Boston College, we only did it for 10 out of 60 minutes. Tonight we did it for a lot longer. We proved that we can play with the most skilled team in the country. So confidence is a key."

Penn State played with energy Saturday night that transparently originated from its previous tight one-goal losses to some of the most talented teams in the nation.

To be able to play with that chip on the shoulder and improve from a six-goal loss down to a one-goal setback in less than a month displays a growth that only a team moving in the right direction can exhibit.

Scoring twice on Thatcher Demko, one of the top goalies in the nation, on an even strength goal from Eric Scheid and a short-handed goal from Taylor Holstrom, manifests the positive direction this young program is headed towards.

"We are very much in our infancy," said Gadowsky. "For us to have this kind of performance against a great team is huge for the coaching staff. We feel great about the direction we are going in."

As Olczyk put it, "It just comes down to being a smart hockey player. Knowing how much time is left in the game."

Rather, in the case of the biscuit, it just comes down to knowing how much time it takes to let the biscuit rise to the top and learning what it takes to stay there.

 

--NITTANY LIONS--

GAME BLOG: Men's Hockey vs. Boston College

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the Penn State men's hockey contest against No. 2 Boston College on Saturday, Jan. 25 inside Pegula Ice Arena. 

Be sure to interact with today's blog coverage with questions or comments at the bottom of our widget. Post your photos to Instagram or Twitter and use the #PennState or #HockeyValley and your photos may be chosen for use on our in-game coverage. 

BLOG: What to Watch - Boston College  |  BLOG: Glen's Match Means Second Chance for Someone Else


 

What To Watch: Penn State hosts Boston College

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's hockey team will return home to face off with No. 2 Boston College at Pegula Ice Arena. It will be the second meeting this season for the two programs, with the first coming at the Three Rivers Classic in December.

BLOG: Glen's Match Means Second Chance for Someone Else  |  GAME NOTES: Boston College

The Nittany Lions (4-14-1) dropped the first ever meeting between the two programs earlier this season against Boston College (17-4-3). The two programs tangled on Dec. 28 with the Eagles winning, 8-2, over the Nittany Lions in the championship game of the Three Rivers Classic.

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Pregame Reading
What To Watch - Penn State

Filling The Seats: During the inaugural season in Pegula Ice Arena the Nittany Lion faithful has been showing up in droves. With 5,782 seats in the state-of-the-art arena, Penn State is averaging 5,998 fans per game inside the Cathedral on Curtin.

Penn State has played to a sellout crowd in eight of nine home games and more than 6,000 fans have filed into the arena on five different occasions, including a school record 6,370 fans in the season opener against Army.

Playing The Top Tier: Not only is Penn State playing in the new men's hockey alignment of the Big Ten Conference, which features some of the most historic names in college hockey, but the Lions have played ranked opponents in 10 of their 20 games counting tonight's contest with No. 2 Boston College. Currently, Penn State's has losses against teams that are currently ranked No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 8 and No. 9 in the USCHO Poll. Their strength of schedule is 14th among the 59 programs.

Glen Misses Games: Sophomore David Glen will miss the next two weeks after beginning a bone morrow donation treatment. Glen began the peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation process on Friday, Jan. 24, at Geisinger-Bloomsburg (Pa.) Hospital. It is not known who will receive the donation. To read more about the process and his decision click here.


What To Watch - Boston College

Unbeaten in the New Year: Boston College hasn't been defeated in 2014, winning five of six contests, and are unbeaten over the last two months. The Eagles are riding a 10-game unbeaten streak, which includes nine wins and a tie vs. Brown on Jan. 11. Their last loss came in a 5-4 setback to Holy Cross.

Stats Tell It All: When you look at two important stats - scoring and scoring defense - the numbers tell the whole story. The Eagles lead the NCAA with 4.54 goals per game. In scoring defense, Boston College sits 12th, allowing only 2.33 goals against average. They are one of only four teams to rank among the top 12 teams in both categories; joining Minnesota, Union and Quinnipiac.

Legend on the Bench: Boston College head coach Jerry York has 952 victories in 1,626 games as a college head coach. His 950th win came on Friday, Jan. 17 in a 6-4 win over archrival Boston University. In all, York's record sits at 952-573-101 (.616), with York's 952 career victories siting as the gold standard in college hockey.

 

--NITTANY LIONS--

BLOG: Glen's Match Means Second Chance for Someone Else

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RELEASE: David Glen to Undergo Bone Marrow Donation Procedure


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In our daily lives we all try to find little ways to help the people we know. But what if you had the chance to save the life of a complete stranger? Men's hockey assistant captain David Glen was presented that opportunity and the 21 year-old sophomore jumped at it.


Glen-David (3).jpeg"Last year, Drew Roper's mom was looking for a bone marrow match, so our whole team went and got swabbed," said Glen. "Unfortunately none of us were a match, but they keep you in their database. I got a call last spring telling me that I might be a match for someone else."

The 2012-13 season had ended and Glen was among a pool of people who gave blood to find out which one would be the best match for the recipient.  It wasn't until this fall, however, that Glen actually found out he was the best match for an unknown recipient to donate by the Be The Match registry.

When he found out he was a match, the fall semester was already underway.  Glen was focused on school work and hockey, serving as one of the coordinators for captain's practices, which are an important part of college hockey since organized team practices with coaches can start just one week prior to the start of the season.

With everything going on around him, Glen immediately knew he had been presented with an opportunity to give someone a second chance, so he immediately began his research.

"Right off the bat, I started looking into the process," said Glen. "I did some research and Be The Match provided a lot of information and resources, as well. I touched base with our athletic trainer and team physician and they did some research for me, as well. I feel like I was very thorough with my research before I got into it."

As thorough as Glen was, this was a decision that would need to be run by a couple of important parties.

A native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta - which is nearly 2,300 miles away from the University Park campus - Glen made a phone call to his father.

John Glen, David's father, admits that he was a little hesitant at first, but once David had done his research and made his decision he was on board.

"I was kind of naive about the whole process at first," said John. "I thought it would be in his best interest to do some research, ask the appropriate people the appropriate questions and get educated on the process. He did that...I told him that no matter how many games he misses it is trivial in comparison to the gift he is giving in return."

The next person who David would need to inform was his head coach, Guy Gadowsky; so he set up a meeting.

When asked about the meeting, both parties admitted there were nerves involved, but Glen laid out his opportunity for Gadowsky and the bench boss couldn't have been more impressed with the mettle of his young forward.

"He asked to talk with me and I had no idea what it was about," said Gadowsky. "He came in and told me that he was a [bone marrow] match for someone and, if he went through with it [donating], he would be missing a few games...He didn't think twice about it and neither did I. We are very proud of the way he has handled the situation."

Glen-David (2).jpegGadowsky talked about how respectful Glen was when inquiring the coaching staff about being a donor and Gadowsky said no one - not even Glen - had any reservations about it.

His head coach had that look in his eye when asked about his initial thoughts. You know the look, that of a proud father, and Glen felt the same way when leaving the meeting.

"I was a little nervous [going into the meeting]," said Glen. "I didn't know how long I was going to be out, but he [Gadowsky] was 100 percent behind me. He was actually pretty excited about it. That meeting could not have gone better."

He now had a lot of things to take care of before he could let anyone else in on the situation. He needed to get a physical and had a plethora of paperwork to complete. He also eventually needed the time table for the procedure.

"At first it was pretty broad, but the process got more serious in December, when I found out I was the match and that it would take place in the middle of the season."

A middle of the season donation meant missing games, so now he needed to inform his teammates. He let word of mouth spread the news around the locker room, starting by telling his roommates and pretty soon the whole team knew and stood firmly behind their leader.

"We have a really tight-knit group and this is a very unique opportunity, so to have their support is great. They all understand that hockey is just a game and this is something much bigger than that."

Sophomore Kenny Brooks is one of Glen's roommates and echoed those comments.

"There was never a question in anyone's mind that he would go through with this once he found out he was a match," said Brooks. "Everyone understands why he is missing games and we are completely supportive of what he is doing."

Glen said many times that this was something he didn't 'want to make a big deal about.' For him, this is solely about giving someone a second chance and that's exactly the type of person he is according to his head coach.

"This is who David Glen is," said Gadowsky. "Anyone who knows David is not surprised by any of this. I don't think he really had to think about it all that much...He's a good hockey player, but it doesn't define him. This is who David Glen is deep down."

The donation process will begin on Friday, Jan. 24 when he travels to Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital to begin the five-day process.

"I have taken my physical exams and this week I start a series of injections," said Glen.

The process is called a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation and begins with a series of shots for five days leading up to the donation. The injections contain a drug called filgrastim, which increases the number of blood-forming cells - or blood stem cells - in the bloodstream. He will take the first injection at the hospital, followed by three injections from Penn State ATC Justin Rogers, under the direction of the team physician.

Glen-David (4).jpegOn Tuesday, Jan. 28, Glen will travel back to Bloomsburg for the PBSC procedure, which is referred to as apheresis. The doctors will draw blood through a needle in one arm, pass the blood through a machine that will collect only the blood-forming cells and the remaining blood is returned to his body via a needle in the other arm.

A 7-10 day timetable is typical for recovery in most PBSC donors and mild bone pain can results due to the excessive stem cell crowding within the bone marrow, but this is something that Glen is prepared for.

He still has barely any information regarding the person whom he will be helping, which is standard protocol, but in life, like in sports, you never know when you are going to get a second chance.

"I am excited about this," said Glen. "They only give you basic information because of confidentiality concerns, but that doesn't matter."

All he knows is that it is a 50-something year-old female, but that is enough for Glen. He wasn't going to pass up his chance to give someone else a second chance at a healthy life.

"You never know when you are going to get the opportunity to help some like this and you never know if it is going to happen again," Glen said. "This is a rare opportunity that I am grateful and fortunate to have been chosen for."

 

--NITTANY LIONS--