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Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It was the moment Terry Pegula,
Joe Battista and Hockey Valley have been waiting for. It was the moment that
couldn't come fast enough; the moment the players on the Penn State men's hockey
team had been waiting for their whole lives.
Over the last week, the Nittany Lions weren't sure who
they were going to play. It didn't matter. All that mattered was they were
going to have a chance to start a new era in Penn State hockey. An opportunity
to embark on a journey 35 years in the making: Division I hockey at a state-of
the-art facility in a hockey rich state.
Before the game, Pegula, Battista, and team captain Tommy
Olcyzk dedicated the ice, taking water from Mount Nittany, the Lion Shrine and
Greenberg Pavilion to christen their new home.
The ice was dedicated, the skates were sharpened, and all
that was left was to finally drop the first puck.
Students and fans started to line up hours before the game
in hopes of getting a good seat and, once inside, the new arena dazzled its
guests and a pregame video had them on their feet with applause.
The video's message was simple: We're a family.
At 8:14 p.m., Penn State finally opened the 2013-14 season
and went on to beat Army, 4-1.
The Nittany Lions looked dominant throughout the game.
They moved the puck well offensively, set a physical tone defensively and
Matthew Skoff stood tall between the pipes to earn the victory.
Nate Jenson tallied the first goal for the Nittany Lions.
He took a feed from Taylor Holstrom early in the first period and beat Army goalie
Rob Tadazak to the high corner, glove side. Just as Jensen scored, the crowd of
6,370 exploded and Zombie Nation blared through the speakers.
An early third period two-on-one goal from Curtis Loik and
a breakaway goal from David Goodwin would spark the same reaction.
Eric Scheid got a last second empty net goal to seal the
first win in their inaugural game in the Cathedral on Curtin.
Hockey Valley could not have any been prouder of its
team, and they made that very clear.
"The student section was the first star of the night," Gadowsky said. "I
thought the atmosphere was tremendous. Walking out on the bench was a pretty
"It's so motivating to play in front of the students. It's
great to look at and you feel it. What it does for you is special and after
Loik scored and jumped in the glass, it's just so motivating."
"The student section was incredible," said David Goodwin.
"We heard coach Gadowsky say there's really nothing to compare it to and it's
Under the bright lights, the Nittany Lions never once
looked fazed or frazzled. Instead, they looked prepared and confident, in large
part thanks to some pregame words from Terry Pegula.
"He had a few messages. He spoke about how he achieved
what he did and his love for Penn State. I got out of it his love for a good work
ethic," Gadowsky said of Pegula.
"Watching the student section was a huge highlight
tonight and the players with the student section at the end of the game was a
huge highlight, but something I'll never forget is Mr. Pegula addressing the guys."
Olcyzk spoke to Pegula on behalf of the team. He thanked Pegula, telling him he
was responsible for almost everyone in this room being able to come to Penn
"He pretty much just told him thank you and that we're
going to do our best every night to impress him," Nate Jensen said of Olcyzk. "We
are going to play our hardest and not take anything for granted. We're just do
our best every time we're on the ice."
Matthew Skoff almost had the shutout, allowing the lone
Army goal with just over four minutes remaining.
Opening night came and went in what felt like a blink of
an eye. For the team it was a well-earned win. For the students it was the
beginning of a special bond. The night came and went, and Penn State proved it
was ready for the challenges of this upcoming season.
"It's phenomenal. It doesn't remind me of anything,"
Gadowksy said. "This is a whole new different deal. [The crowd] was
Penn State is back on the ice next weekend when they
travel to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force. The game is set to begin at 9:05
Sights and Sounds: Pegula Ice Arena Opening Night | BLOG: Hockey Valley Roars in Pegula Opener
PARK, Pa. - Under the bright new lights of Pegula Ice Arena, in front of a boisterous
standing room only crowd of 6,370 fans and a national television audience on
the Big Ten Network, the Nittany Lions showed everyone that Penn State hockey has
a bright future.
A week of angst about whether or not the game would be played due to outside influences,
led up to an emotional night that included a pregame speech from Terry Pegula -
the namesake of the arena - and a capacity crowd of hockey-hungry fans. So, it
was easy to see why the Penn State players came out with a lot of energy and
"What a tremendous night," said head coach Guy Gadowsky. "It was a tremendous
night for the Pegula family, Joe Battista and so many other people who dreamed
of this [Division I hockey at Penn State]. To come away with a victory was so
great, but the star of the show was definitely the student section."
The student section was in full-throat starting 90 minutes prior to the drop of
the puck and when the Nittany Lions took the ice for pregame warm ups, the
intensity in the building reached its height.
"We were all pretty jacked up," said freshman David Goodwin. "I don't think I
really calmed down until late in the first half or it might have been during
the [first] intermission."
One player that didn't come out with any nerves - or at least not as many as
some - was senior Nate Jensen, who scored the first goal in Pegula Ice Arena
history. Jensen's score broke the tension and calmed the nerves for some of his
teammates, but he admitted he didn't really know who was credited with lighting
"I didn't really know who scored," said Jensen. "Talyor [Holstrom] went to the
ice with a celebration, so I wasn't sure who got it. It was a team effort on
the goal and it is an honor to [score the first goal]. I'd say it was just a
big goal for Penn State hockey."
The second puck that found the back of the net, however, may have been the biggest
one for Penn State.
With Jonathan Milley in the penalty box after a roughing penalty, Curtis Loik broke
free at center ice and finished a shorthanded effort to the low glove side of
Army goaltender Rob Tadazak.
A Black Knight turnover created the two-on-one with Loik and Goodwin and the
sophomore finished for his first goal of the season. It was the third
shorthanded opportunity that Loik created, with the first two attempts sailing
wide of the net, but he gave his team a huge lift and a two-goal lead.
"[The second goal] certainly made us feel a lot better," said Gadowksy. "After
you kill so many penalties you start to believe that you should have the
momentum. That second one was huge for [out momentum]. I think it calmed us
down a little and I think if there was a turning point for us it was that."
Goodwin created the opportunity for the second score by forcing a turnover near
center ice and was credited with the assist on the goal, but the rookie wasn't
With eight minutes left in the game, Goodwin got a breakaway after another
Black Knights misstep at mid-ice. He raced straight down the middle of the ice and
buried a shot to the low stick-side of Tadazak to move the Penn State lead to
"It was pretty crazy," said Goodwin. "The only thing I remember is Dylan
[Richard] behind me telling me to shoot. I knew we had a two-one-zero, but
later found out it was a three-on-zero. He was telling me to shoot, so I did.
It was pretty sweet."
The Nittany Lions took a shutout into the final five minutes, but after killing
off the first 10 penalties of the game, the 33 penalty minutes took their toll.
The shutout second five-on-three opportunity produced the score for Army.
Good puck movement set up the goal for the Black Knights, as Willie Faust sent
the puck from the bottom of the right faceoff circle across the crease and onto
the stick of Mac Lalor, who beat Matthew Skoff to the stick side.
"There was traffic in front of the net and someone knocked my stick," said
Skoff. "I thought it might have been [an Army player], but it turned out to be
[Patrick] Koudys, who was trying to clear sticks from in front of me...but our
guys really worked hard in front of me tonight."
The hard work was all over the ice for the Lions.
Penn State outshot Amry, 35-26, and blocked 18 shots in front of Skoff. The
sophomore goaltender made 25 saves and Eric Scheid added an empty netter to
account for the final margin of 4-1.
Afterwards the Nittany Lions players were all smiles when they talked about
playing inside of Pegula Ice Arena.
"When there's a packed barn like that and the fans are yelling, you get nervous
for those kind of games," said Jensen, "but it was fun."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Take an inside look at opening night inside
Pegula Ice Arena.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - The moment Hockey Valley has been waiting for is finally here.
In two days, the Penn State Nittany Lions open their season against a strong,
yet familiar opponent in the Army Black Knights and the anticipation for both fans
and players is at an all-time high.
Friday night's sold-out season opener marks the beginning to Penn State's
second season as a Division I team and the first game in its new home, Pegula
This will be the second straight year the two teams have faced off, with the
first meeting going to Penn State, 5-0. The Nittany Lions, however, aren't
overlooking this Army team based on last year's win.
"Last year was last year," said sophomore defensemen Mark Yanis. "We came out
strong last year, as a whole, but this is a brand new season; a brand new team.
We can't take anyone lightly this year. We have to come ready for every team we
Penn State will look to get off to a fast start against the Black Knights, which
was something they did not do a lot last season.
Of the 74 goals Penn State scored last season, only 17 came in the first
period. They know in order to be successful they will have to get going fast
and put pressure on Army right away.
"It's actually really important ...We want to start fast and jump on them early,"
Yanis said. "We don't really have a scouting report on them, but that doesn't
matter. We have to approach every opponent the same way. We can't take anyone lightly."
The Nittany Lions have been hitting the ice with extra intensity this week in
preparation for their season opener and, although captains practices have been
running for the last several weeks, head coach Guy Gadowsky and his staff just
began working with the team on Oct. 5, a mere eight days before the official start
of the season.
"The last four or five days we've had some tough practices," Yanis said.
The team has been focusing on their fundamentals and preparing for the opener.
In 2012, Penn State finished with a 13-14-0 overall record and they return several
key players that all played pivotal roles in the first-year program's success.
Last season, the Nittany Lions were led by Casey Bailey's 27 points, with the
sophomore forward registering a career-high three points against Army on Oct.
26. He tallied one goal and assisted on two others.
Also back for the Nittany Lions are forwards David Glen and Max Gardiner. Both
showcased their talents last season finishing second and third in scoring,
"It's huge [to have those guys back]," Yanis said. "At the back-end I think
we'll be strong and have a great year overall."
Defensively the Nittany Lions have developed toughness and strength during the
offseason. They have the depth they have been looking for at the blue line and
feel ready to take on a new Army offense.
Penn State will welcome back veteran defenders in Yanis and Luke Juha, who both
missed time last season due to injury. They also added David Thompson and Mike
Williamson to the roster and both should cause problems for opposing offenses
"Last year, with Luke (Juha) and myself being out for extended time made it
hard on our teammates," said Yanis. "For us [the defense] to be back at full strength
is huge. The newcomers we brought in have a lot of skill. They'll help us out
quite a bit."
Also back for the Nittany Lions is junior defender and alternate captain Nate
Jensen. Jensen was the team's top defender in 2012, but also missed five games
due to injury. He led the defense in
shots taken and will be seeing a lot of minutes for the Nittany Lions.
Gadowsky hasn't named a starting goalie yet, but he feels all three could step
in and play at a high level.
Sophomore Matthew Skoff led the Nittany Lions last season with nine wins but split
time with junior PJ Musico. Added into the mix this season is freshman Eamon McAdam,
who was a third round draft choice of the New York Islanders and has practiced well
in his short time with the program.
Penn State knows it's up for a challenge against a tough Army team, but they
feel ready to take on anyone at this point. Yanis and the team are excited to
finally take the ice.
"We're looking forward to Friday and getting our season going," said Yanis.
The puck is set to drop at 8 p.m. in front of a sold-out Pegula Ice Arena. The
game will also air live on the Big Ten Network.
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Everywhere Guy Gadowsky has gone to coach he has set a
foundation, built a winning mentality and established a bright future for the respective
It's becoming the coaching trademark of the Edmonton
Whether it was at Alaska or Princeton, Gadowsky has
taken programs from the bottom of the college hockey world to the top. He took
over a struggling Nanook team in 1999 and in just two seasons had them
surpassing 20 wins and ranked No. 11 the nation.
He then moved to Princeton and guided the Tigers to
two straight NCAA tournament appearances, including a program-record 22 win
season in 2008-09.
In just his second season at the helm of the Penn State hockey program, Gadowsky
is still building a foundation to establish a winning tradition for Penn State at
the Division I level. A challenge he embraces to the fullest.
"We're building a foundation right now. You're not just going to jump into the
Big Ten and beat these great schools," Gadowsky said. "We're very honored for
the challenge of competing against these programs and the most important thing
is building a foundation to ensure success in the future."
The Nittany Lions used their first Division I season to begin building the
program into a contender. The team went 13-14-0, won several marquee games against
Big Ten schools and started to understand what playing at the highest level of
college hockey is all about.
Throughout the season, the growth and the improvement of the team became more
noticeable with each drop of the puck with different players starting to fill
Tommy Olczyk emerged as the team's leader. David Glen and Casey Bailey proved
they can score goals against the nation's best. Defensively, Nate Jensen set
the tone for a physical backline and Matthew Skoff stood tall between the
That was the beginning of the foundation. Now, Gadowsky says, it's time to
improve as a team and a coaching staff.
"I think you always have to improve," Gadowsky said. "Every year
as a coaching staff, I think we're getting better and better and really
evaluating not only what we do on the ice but what we do as a program. I think
that's a really important part. So, if we're not improving, we're not really
doing our job."
One of the keys for this year's team to be successful and compete at a high
level, but the Lion's bench boss says they need to stay healthy, too. The
Nittany Lions lost several key players last season to injury that he can't wait
to get back on the ice this year.
"It's extremely important to have that depth," Gadowsky said. "You look at the
teams were going to be playing and you certainly can't get away with playing
one or two lines or, as we forced to do last year, play with just four
defensemen. That's a certain recipe for disaster.
"We feel a lot better about our depth and our health coming in. Going into [the
season] because of the health and our depth, we feel optimistic."
Throughout the first few months of the season, the team's captains, Olcyzk,
Glen and Jensen, have been running practices. The coaching staff couldn't officially
skate with the team until the Oct. 5 midnight practice, so the captains have
been calling the shots.
Olcyzk, a junior forward, knows what has to be done to get ready for the season
and to establish the foundation for Penn State hockey that his head coach keeps
mentioning. It's one of the main reasons
he is captain, according to Gadowsky.
"From day one, on his recruiting visit, he had such a complete understanding of
what had to happen for this program to be successful," Gadowsky said of his
captain. "He spoke of building a
foundation that he would be proud of later. He has a really, really good
understanding of what has to happen. His actions, not only does he speak it,
but all of his actions have been congruent with that philosophy from day one.
"You look at his work ethic off the ice, not
only on it. You look at his commitment to academics. He just really understands
every aspect of what we have to do in this program to build a foundation to
really compete against these programs in the Big Ten."
Penn State will also welcome several key incoming players that will help
establish the kind of foundation Gadowsky wants. Whether it is Dylan Richard or
Eamon McAdam, the incoming cast of players will help drive competition and
improve the team as a whole.
"We're very excited about all the freshman and first year players that are
coming in," Gadowsky said. "We feel that they all have a very good chance to
contribute greatly and play a huge role."
The foundation for the Penn State hockey
program is still being established.
They have a rich history as a club team and look to carry that over into the
Big Ten Conference and Division I hockey, as a whole.
roster is filled with leadership and talent, something the players are well
aware. It's something they have embraced and know the challenge they have
Penn State is scheduled to open the 2013-14 season on Oct. 11
against Army at 8 p.m.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Approximately 1,000 fans filed into Pegula Ice Arena the night of Friday, Oct. 4 to witness the Penn State men's hockey team at the $90 million facility for the first time. The Nittany Lions will open the 2013-14 season this Friday (Oct. 11) when they host Army at 8 p.m.
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State men's hockey team is entering a new era in their program. They
have a new arena and have added some new players; but for the players returning
to Hockey Valley this season, the objective remains the same.
The Nittany Lions look
to have one of the most experienced rosters in the Big Ten in 2013-14. They are
returning several key players, including their top five scorers and top eight
defensemen, who all now have one season of Division I hockey under their belt.
Head coach Guy Gadowsky
and his team spent the last two years preparing for this moment in time. The
players that have been part of the team have been working hard to build Penn
State into a contending program.
"We talked a lot about
building a foundation and that's certainly something our players understand,"
Gadowsky told reporters during media day.
Casey Bailey, David Glen
and Max Gardiner are among the offensive players to watch this season and have
all been crucial to laying the Penn State foundation.
Each of these forwards is
coming off solid inaugural seasons. They competed against some of the best
players in the country and showcased their talents against a number of storied
programs during the programs foray into Division I.
Bailey, a sophomore,
displayed offensive balance last season when he led the Nittany Lions in
points. He showed an ability to beat the goalie, scoring 14 times, but also showed
his playmaking skills by assisting on 13 goals.
He was the most
productive forward for the Lions had and coach Gadowsky expects him to return
to the ice this season with that same tenacity and grit.
Glen enters his
sophomore campaign after being elected assistant captain by his teammates in
the offseason. Along with captain Tommy Olczyk and fellow assistant captain Nate
Jensen, Glen has helped organize practices until coach Gadowsky and his staff
officially takes over Oct. 5.
"Obviously it's a big
honor for me [being elected assistant captain]," said Glen. "I wasn't really
sure what my role on the team would be coming into last year, so I just tried
to contribute any way I could. Like I said earlier, it's just an honor and I'm
extremely blessed to be able to be one of the many team leaders this year."
Glen was the team's
leading scorer last season with 16 goals on a team high 117 shots. He returns
to the Nittany Lions with high expectations for this season. The forward was the
first Nittany Lion to register a hat-trick and he boasts one of the best shots
on the team. The sophomore was also a team-best
plus-9 at the end of the season.
Neither Bailey nor Glen
we're not listed on the Big Ten's Preseason Players to watch list, but they
don't mind. Along with Gardiner, they are focused on winning games, not just
putting up stats.
Gardiner, a redshirt
junior, finished third on the team in points last season. When the Deephaven,
Minn., native registered a point, the Nittany Lions were 10-4-0, a solid
record. He is also well aware of the grind that can come from an intense
schedule like the one the Nittany Lions are preparing for.
"We have to bring the
same attitude each and every night," Gardiner said. "There's going to be nights
when you're not at your best, but that's what our teammates are for. We have to
support each other and back each other up."
Penn State also welcomes
back one of the conference's best defensive units, anchored by sophomore
goalkeeper Matthew Skoff.
Skoff, a native of McKees
Rocks, Pa., had a standout freshman campaign in 2012. He played in 18 games
registering nine wins and two shutouts. He finished the year with a 2.48 goals
against average and .921 save percentage.
Skoff will also have the
support of two other stellar goalkeepers. PJ Musico, a junior, saw action in
ten games last season. He had .899 save percentage and registered one shutout. Freshman
Eamon McAdam will join the mix between the pipes this season, as well.
In front of trio of
goalies is expected to be one of the most physical groups of defenders in the
Big Ten. Nate Jensen and Connor Varley are both coming off standout 2012
seasons, while Patrick Koudys had a nice season with Rensselaer of the ECAC.
Penn State will also welcome back both Luke Jaha and Mark Yanis from injuries
to improve defensive depth.
"They (the defensemen) obviously
make my job a lot easier by doing the little things," Skoff said. "We are
bringing in more guys and the more depth we have at defense, the more they can
With all of the players
returning for Gadowsky's team, the Nittany Lions will have no shortage of
veteran leadership. Those that have been in the program for several seasons now
are well aware of the goals and expectations for this program.
The message from Casey Bailey to the incoming players might capture that
"I think they know that once
you put that Nittany Lion crest on your chest, you have to go out there and
give 110 (percent)," said Bailey. "This is a hard working program; I think all of
our programs at Penn State are that way. I think it takes a lot of pride to
come out here and represent Penn State, and a lot of guys are looking forward
to having that honor."
Penn State finished the
2012 season very strong, winning eight of their last nine games.
Gadowsky thinks that gave his team a serious confidence boost and allowed the
returning players on the team to help establish themselves as a legitimate
contender in the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions made
it clear they are ready to compete this season and expect a lot of out of their
returning players. They will have their work cut out with them, but they appear
ready for the challenges.
think we all have very high expectations of where we're we want to be,"
Gadowsky said with a smile.
PARK, Pa. - The Pegula Ice Arena Media Room was overflowing with members of the
press in anticipation of men's hockey media day on Monday (Sept. 30). Head
coach Guy Gadowsky answered questions for nearly 30 minutes and six players
graced the stage to give their thoughts on everything from their new home ice
to the Big Ten Conference to expectations for the coming season.
Nittany Lions are scheduled to open their second Division I season on Friday, Oct.
11 when they host Army inside Pegula Ice Arena. The team returns 18
letterwinners and welcomes nine newcomers into the fold as the 2013-14 squad
looks to build upon the 13-14-0 record from the Lions inaugural season.
Lions Getting Stronger,
Nittany Lions played with just four defenders At times last season and that really
limited the pace in which Head coach Guy Gadowsky's group was able to play.
On Monday, Gadowsky said that the depth on his 2013-14 roster is night and day
from a season ago when he saw two of his top defenders miss chunks of the season.
The frontline was strong and will return over 90 percent of their roster from a
season ago, while the backline adds a pair of freshman and transfer
student-athlete Patrick Koudys.
The Nittany Lions have been working all summer in the weight room to gain size
that they know will come into play when they begin a tough 2013-14 schedule on
Oct. 11 vs. Army at Pegula Ice Arena.
"I think size is something that coach likes to build his team around," said Gardiner.
"We did a lot of work in the weight room this offseason to get ready for this
year...We have a lot of guys who like to get in the corners and work to towards
digging out pucks and setting up scoring opportunities. Our work in the weight
room will help us in those situations."
Big Ten Hockey
Penn State did have success against their Big Ten brethren last season, before
the official formation of the conference, and will look to continue proving themselves
against some of the most storied programs in college hockey during 2013-14
The coaching staff and players are looking forward to the challenge and they
believe that is something college hockey fans around the nation are excited
about. Gadowsky talked about the tradition of the six teams that begin the
first season of Big Ten play in November and how the excitement continues to
"This is extremely exciting for the Big Ten and extremely exciting for college
hockey," said Gadowsky. "The exposure that this brings to college hockey is
huge and I think it can educate a lot of people about college hockey through
the Big Ten Network. I think that when you see the Big Ten rivalries, the excitement
and intensity is going to be phenomenal."
The Lions have already had a taste of Big Ten hockey, compiling a 3-2 record
against the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Penn State
toppled Ohio State in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh and split a pair
of games at Michigan State and at Wisconsin, ending their 2012-13 campaign with
a 3-2 overtime decision over the Badgers.
"To do as well as we did against the Big Ten opponents last year shows how much
work our coaching staff and (our players) had put in," said Matt Skoff. "We
have a lot of experience against some of those teams, so we know it's not going
to easy, but we are not going to be overwhelmed by playing in the Big Ten."
Expectations Are High
When you get a taste of anything that pleases the senses, you always want more.
That is the case with the Nittany Lions and head coach Guy Gadowsky who said
that winning marquee games in 2012-13 was something that he would like to
continue to do this season.
"When you start winning you want to keep winning," said Gadowsky. "It's kind of
The Hockey Valley faithful would like for that craving to continue and so would
the players. All six of the players that attended media day echoed their coach's
thoughts, adding that their wins in 2012-13 were not something they are resting
on. They spoke on how this team will work just as hard as last season's squad
to continue and build a foundation of hardworking, grind-it-out hockey that started
in their inaugural season on the ice.
"Once you put that Nittany Lion crest on your chest you have to be ready to
work hard," said Casey Bailey. "A lot of the programs on this campus are hard-working
and we're no different. I think the new players that came in this season know
that we have to work hard to get the things accomplished that we want to
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Greg Campbell on
Transcripts: Head Coach Guy Gadowsky | Holstrom // Jensen // Skoff | Bailey // Gardiner // Glen
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the season just 11 days away, head men's hockey coach Guy Gadowsky and members of the Nittany Lion hockey team met with the media at Pegula Ice Arena Monday, Sept. 30.
Along with Gadowsky, forwards Casey Bailey, Max Gardiner, David Glen and Taylor Holstrom, defenseman Nate Jensen and goaltender Matthew Skoff spoke to more than 40 reporters in the new, $90 million facility.
Penn State will open the 2013-14 season Friday, Oct. 11, when the team welcomes Army to Pegula Ice Arena.
Head Coach Guy Gadowsky Press Conference:
Taylor Holstrom // Matthew Skoff // Nate Jensen:
Max Gardiner // David Glen // Casey Bailey: