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GAME BLOG: Men's Hockey hosts Michigan State

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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 Michigan State on Friday, Feb. 14 inside Pegula Ice Arena. 

BLOG: What to Watch  |  BLOG: Brooks Showcases Versatility 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.


 

GAME BLOG: Men's Hockey hosts Michigan State

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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 Michigan State on Friday, Feb. 14 inside Pegula Ice Arena. 

BLOG: What to Watch  BLOG: Brooks Showcases Versatility 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.


 

What To Watch: Penn State hosts Michigan State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's hockey team will look to win their second straight Big Ten contest when they welcome Michigan State to Pegula Ice Arena this weekend.. It will be the second straight weekend series for the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley.

BLOG: Brooks Showcases Versatility vs. Michigan

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Pregame Reading
What To Watch - Penn State

First B1G Victory: Penn State will look to follow up their first Big Ten victory by making it a Big Ten winning streak. The Nittany Lions upended No. 10 Michigan last Saturday on ESPNU when Matt Skoff shutout the Wolverines and four different players scored goals. The Nittany Lions were swept by Michigan State earlier this season in East Lansing, but will look to use the Pegula Ice Arena advantage vs. the Spartans this weekend.

Penn State's B1G Star: Sophomore goaltender Matt Skoff made 32 saves in his shutout of No. 10 Michigan last weekend. The net minder was named the Big Ten's Second Star of the Week. It was the third career shutout for Skoff, who also shut out Alabama Huntsville and Fredonia State in 2012-13. It marked the first time in Penn State history that a player was named to the conference's weekly honor roll.

Bailey on a Streak: Casey Bailey recorded a goal in each of his last three games entering the weekend and is tied for second on the team with five goals in 2013-14. After leading the team in points last season with 27, Bailey was off to a slow start, but the sophomore has picked up his point production over the past three games and now has seven on the year.

What To Watch - Michigan State

Top Tenders: When Michigan State's Jake Hilderbrand takes his spot between the pipes for Michigan State it will make the seventh time this season that a top-20 goaltender will make a start vs. Penn State. Hilderbrand ranks 18th nationally with a 2.21 goals against average and owns the sixth best save percentage in the country at .933. He has a 7-11-6 record and has started 24 of the Spartans 27 games this season.

Hungry Like Wolfe: Michigan State's Greg Wolfe wears the captain's "C" on his chest and showed why he does last weekend against Ohio State, netting three goals and one assist against the Buckeyes. He had a hand in all four MSU goals vs. OSU, as the Green and White grabbed a pair of 2-2 ties in East Lansing. Wolfe has a career-high 11 goals and leads the team with 21 points.

Road Woes: Michigan State will be looking for its first true road win of the season this weekend vs. Penn State. The Spartans are 0-7-2 in true road games in 2013-14 and are 1-1-1 in neutral site games this season. It will be the first trip to Pegula Ice Arena for MSU, who grabbed wins of 3-0 and 3-2 over the Nittany Lions in January.

 

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Brooks Showcases Versatility vs. Michigan

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By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK Pa. - It's never been a challenge to spot Kenny Brooks on the ice. He's normally the high-flying forward ready to crash into the boards to win a 50-50 puck.

Brooks-Kenny (2).jpegAnd while Hockey Valley knows him as a forward, there is more to Kenny Brooks' game than ripping shots, had checks and setting a tone physically.

During Saturday night's 4-0 win against No. 10 Michigan, the Nittany Lions suffered two injuries on the blue line as both Nate Jensen and Luke Juha had to leave the game.

This wasn't something new for head coach Guy Gadowsky and his staff. Last year, they played almost half the season with just four guys in the defensive rotation due to injuries.


Gadowsky, however, didn't want to just use four guys on this night. He decided to move a forward back to the blue line to help solidify his defense. The guy that came to mind as a potential defenseman for the bench boss was Brooks.

Brooks had some defensive experience from his time in the USHL when he played for the Tri-City Storm. However, he still had to make the mental adjustment to defense in the middle of an intense game against the talented Wolverines.

"At first I was pretty nervous," Brooks admitted. "It's kind of tough make that adjustment in the middle of the game without practicing certain things. I was pretty nervous at first, but then I calmed down and just played."

Brooks calmed down quickly and began to settle into his role as a defender. He was still able to play aggressively and pursue pucks in the corners while setting the same physical tone he is used to.

His fellow Nittany Lions noticed his play and were impressed with their teammate.

"I know it's something that was in his past," said forward Casey Bailey. "I played against him and I knew him the year before in the USHL and he had to make the same transition there. I think its something coach always knew he had if he needed it. I think Kenny was always prepared for that moment if it did happen. He's very solid back there."

Even from the blue line Brooks was still able to register an assist and rip four shots against the Michigan defense. The Las Vegas, Nev., native actually is second on the team with 73 shots, trailing only Casey Bailey who has 89.

Brooks' style of play caught the eye of his head coach, too.

"He played better than I even thought," Gadowsky said.  "Just watching his shifts on D today, I was a forward so I like watching forwards and saying, 'hey that was a good play' or 'I could have done that.' There is no way I could have done what Kenny brooks did ever.

"To have a forward move back and play so well, both moving the puck in unfamiliar situations and play so well defensively was amazing.  I don't know how he does it. I know he did play some in junior, but he's really good."

After the game Saturday Gadowsky was quick to praise the play of Brooks calling his performance "fantastic" among other compliments.

For Brooks, however, this is just another day at the office. His role within the team is constantly changing and the forward has to always adjust to something new.

Becoming a defender mid-game is just another role Kenny Brooks can check off on his hockey resume.

"Like I said, I have done it in games before so many times, so I've had some experience at it," Brooks said. "I was able to switch over by the third period and get things going a bit."

As of right now, Brooks has two goals and four assists for six points. Those six points rank No. 11 on the team. He has already matched his goal production from last season and is just one game away from tying his career-high in games played.

The Nittany Lions return to the ice this weekend when they take on another Big Ten Rival in Michigan State. You can bet Kenny Brooks will be on the ice for the blue and white, but who knows in what capacity. 

Brooks, as his coach says, is certainly an "amusing" guy.

 

--NITTANY LIONS--

VIDEO: Practice Update - Feb. 11

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's hockey team was on the ice for practice on Tuesday (Feb. 11) after claiming the first Big Ten victory over Michigan on Saturday inside Pegula Ice Arena. The Nittany Lions enter the week at 5-18-1 overall after splitting their weekend series with the No. 10 Wolverines.

On Tuesday, we caught up with head coach Guy Gadowsky and freshman Ricky DeRosa to talk about the victory over Michigan, how the team skated at practice and what to expect this weekend in their second meeting of the year against Michigan State with the voice of Penn State men's hockey, Brian Tripp.

Head coach Guy Gadowsky


Forward Ricky DeRosa

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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


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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


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