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Seniors Make Statement in Final Home Game

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By Maria Canales, student staff writer 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 11 Penn State men's hockey (21-9-2, 10-7-1 Big Ten) regained its footing following a tough Friday loss to No. 16 Wisconsin (19-12-1, 12-6-0 Big Ten), defeating the Badgers 6-0 on Saturday's senior night. 

"Two things, one, love the seniors," head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "And I love this community too. It was such a big game for us and to come out and, obviously the students aren't here, but just to see it packed by the community was just awesome."

Prior to the game, the five senior members of the team were recognized for their endless commitment to the program during the last four years. David Goodwin, Ricky DeRosa, David Thompson, Dylan Richard, and Zach Saar were all honored, along with student assistant coach Mike Williamson. Additionally, video manager Will Bensur, and equipment managers Collin Kearns and Kevin Seifert were recognized as well. 

Nearing the end of regulation with the Nittany Lions on the power play and up 5-0, it was sophomore forward Alec Marsh who suggested to Gadowsky that he should put all the seniors on the ice for an "all-senior power play" as Gadowsky put it.

Gadowsky followed through and encouraged the class of 2017 to take one final skate on Pegula Ice Arena's surface in front of the home crowd. With just seniors on the ice, Saar registered the final goal of the night, with just nine seconds to play.

"To see not only Zach score but to see all the seniors on the ice at the same time and get that last one, believe me, playing in Pegula means a lot to them," Gadowsky said. "So for them to be able to get that goal at the end in such a big game was pretty cool." 

From the moment the puck dropped, the Nittany Lions came out strong offensively, with freshman defenseman Kris Myllari notching the first goal of the night to set the tone for the rest of the game. 

Followed by a quick goal from senior captain David Goodwin, Penn State made its offensive presence known early. Those two goals were the only two in the first period for either team, but they helped the Nittany Lions pace themselves to victory, ending the night with a 6-0 win.

Four of the six goals scored by the Nittany Lions were scored by a member of the senior class, including two goals from Goodwin. Thompson and Saar each added a goal of their own on senior night.

Goodwin was reflective on his time spent in Pegula as he answered questions during the postgame press conference.

"It was a really special night," Goodwin said. "I can't really believe it's over here at Pegula, but I think we went out on as high of a positive note as we could've."

Men's Hockey Live Blog vs. Wisconsin (3/4/17)

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 11 Penn State men's ice hockey is set to officially wrap up its regular season home slate, closing out its weekend series against Wisconsin on senior night at Pegula Ice Arena. The Nittany Lions and the Badgers square off Saturday, March 4 with puck drop set for 8 p.m. Follow along for exclusive content and in-game updates. 

Live Blog Men's Hockey Live Blog vs. Wisconsin (3/4/17)

Men's Hockey Live Blog vs. Wisconsin (3/3/17)

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 11 Penn State men's ice hockey is set to close out its regular season home slate, welcoming Wisconsin to Pegula Ice Arena for a two-game weekend series. The Nittany Lions and the Badgers begin Friday, March 3 with a 7 p.m. puck drop. Follow along for exclusive content and in-game updates. 

Live Blog Men's Hockey Live Blog vs. Wisconsin (3/3/17)

Seniors Motivated for Final Home Series

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By Maria Canales, student staff writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's hockey's senior class has seen it all. From the first game in Pegula Ice Arena to the first time the program received a No. 1 poll ranking there been some pretty big moments across the years, but they're not done yet.

With two final home games left in the regular season, the class of 2017 believes there is still more greatness to come.

Before puck drop Saturday, five graduating Nittany Lions will be honored. Forwards David Goodwin, Dylan Richard, Zach Saar and Ricky DeRosa, along with defenseman David Thompson make up the quintet that will be recognized for their commitment to a program that was just beginning and the progress they've made since arriving on campus.

When deciding to commit to Penn State, the group took a chance on a program that was just getting starting. The senior classes' freshman year was the first year in Pegula Ice Arena, and no one knew what to expect of the next four years.                                                                                                      

"Obviously you're taking a risk when you do that," Thompson said. "At the same time we knew what this place, the institution and university had to offer us not just athletically, but academically." 

As a senior, Thompson wants to best represent the senior classes that came before him, honoring the personalities of the student-athletes who helped kick start the program. Former Nittany Lions like captains Patrick Koudys and David Glen, along with the charismatic locker room presence of goalie PJ Musico are just a few of the legacies that Thompson has tried to embody his senior year. 

"I look at the professionalism that those guys exuded every day on and off the ice," Thompson said. "The character that they had, the big personalities, and just being around these guys every single day is just an absolute pleasure. They put a smile on your face and they make the days when it's not going your way a little easier."

Head coach Guy Gadowsky has praised these seniors for their commitment to the foundation of Penn State hockey both on and off the ice. Especially proud of their involvement in the local community and on the international scale, when it comes to giving back Gadowsky is pleased with how the Nittany Lions have bridged the gap between the team and its fans over the years. 

DeRosa started a reading rewards program for elementary school students, which the rest of the team volunteers with, from seniors on down. Goodwin has volunteered his time each summer since freshman year, serving communities abroad in countries like Cuba and Mexico.

"It's become a part of the culture of this program which we're very proud of," Gadowsky said of his team's desire to give back. "That is something the coaching staff set out to do." 

As for this weekend, the Nittany Lions and coaches are working one game at a time and just thinking and about Friday's matchup against Wisconsin, rather than the emotions that come with playing their final home games. 

"As I'm preparing for Saturday's game I'm sure there will be a big part of me that will realize, man this is my last time I play here at Pegula," Goodwin said. "But I'm sure I speak for [Thompson] as well, it'll be very tough to leave this place but it will be a lot easier to leave this place if we're going to the NCAA Tournament, so that really is our focus." 

Looking forward to the challenging series against the Badgers, Goodwin is optimistic about the Nittany Lions' abilities to earn two wins in the series. 

"Our biggest concern here is Friday night, not Saturday night and the accolades we'll be receiving," Thompson said. "It's all about the team right now and we know what position we're in and have the opportunity to do something special. We're keeping that in mind and all our focus is on Friday night."

Penn State Weekly Check In

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State hockey is back at home following a series sweep on the road at Michigan State. Looking ahead, the Nittany Lions return home to Pegula Ice Arena for a senior night weekend, welcoming Wisconsin to close out the regular season home slate.


Catch up with Nittany Lion head coach Guy Gadowsky and join Nate Sucese and David Thompson for updates on what's happening this week in Penn State hockey. 

Guy Gadowsky

Nate Sucese & David Thompson

MHKY Seniors Behind the Scenes

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By Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior day for the Penn State men's hockey program is next week, but before beginning to take a look back at their contributions, there are a few Nittany Lions who also play a part in making the program run smoothly. 

From Player to Coach and Beyond
Mike Williamson gave up playing hockey at Penn State in January of 2016 due to injuries, but he didn't leave the program all together. Williamson has spent the final year of his undergraduate career as a student assistant coach for the Nittany Lions, helping design goalie practices and giving special attention to skill development for younger members of the team.

"Pretty much any extra time or optional skate the guys would want to do, they could just ask," Williamson. "I'm able to help them."


During games, Williamson tracks statistics to make sure the team is performing to its full abilities on the ice.

After graduating in May, Williamson is looking to attend dental school, but fully intends to continue his involvement with hockey if he can. He is excited for the next step in his career and credits Penn State hockey with helping him build the foundation to be successful at the next level.

"It has meant everything to me," Williamson said of being a part of the Penn State hockey program. "I'm really thankful to have been a part of starting from the ground up." 

What he'll miss most though, is the relationships he has formed every year with each of the four teams he has been a part of, especially the Nittany Lions who are members of the current senior class with whom he started his college career with.

"Every year I've been here the teammates have been exceptional," Williamson said. "I've got strong relationships with everyone who has been here. That'd definitely something I'll remember the most."

Video Manager Gains Support System
Since his freshman year, video manager Will Bensur has been a vital behind

the scenes member for the Nittany Lions. Bensur, who was recruited to play for the club hockey team, was offered an opportunity to interview for the position his freshman year by former director of operations Bill Downey. Despite having to give up playing hockey, Bensur has never regretted his decision to make the transition. 

Bensur started out by simply making sure all the video equipment was ready for practices and games, but since then has taken on added responsibility. Now, he prescouts opponents, breaks down game film, and acts as another set of eyes for head coach Guy Gadowsky and director of operations Alex Dawes. 

"You can see how we've all really matured as a hockey program and as students," Bensur said. "You can tell that the guys who are here, you can feel something special about the teams so far that helped build this program."

Bensur has become close with the coaches, players, and staff over the years and has developed friendships outside of Pegula Ice Arena because of his connection with the program. Last weekend Bensur also danced in THON, and had his hockey peers there to cheer him on.

"It was awesome," Bensur said. "Gadowsky came Saturday afternoon, which was a huge confidence booster. Seeing some familiar faces was nice. Sometime after the second game I remember seeing some of them again."

Bensur said freshman Nikita Pavlychev, senior Ricky DeRosa and junior Erik Autio made it onto the floor after their game Saturday to surprise him.

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"I was so delusional at that point that when I saw Ricky I had to do a double take," Bensur said. "I didn't quite recognize him at first but to sum it all up, any time you see someone who is that close to you, it really keeps you going. The support that I got from the program was really tremendous all weekend long."

Bensur said after graduation, what he'll miss most is simply the energy surrounding the program. 

"We're something new and it's something different than everything else I've done at Penn State," Bensur said. "I've watched this place become a hockey school over the last few years and you can tell the culture around this team is continuing to grow."

Equipment Managers Create Memories
Roommates Kevin Seifert and Collin Kearns both interviewed to be equipment managers for the hockey program at the end of their freshman year, but knew only one spot was available. Since both were interested in the position, they bargained with head equipment manager Adam Sheehan, convincing him to hire both of them.

As equipment managers, Seifert and Kearns arrive on gameday for morning skate. Usually one of them takes the morning shift to assist with any away team needs and help with any last minute projects. For games, the two help set up the locker room, make equipment adjustments, provide in-game assistance and close down shop at the end of the night.

It's a lot of work, but Seifert and Kearns agree that it has been worth it to have an up close and personal view of the Penn State hockey program.

Both Seifert and Kearns have jobs lined up after graduation, but neither career path is related to their experience as equipment managers. Kearns said that if the opportunity arises to get back into the hockey business, he'd be open to the opportunity. 

"I think being a part of something new and watching it grow and being around so many different personalities are experiences I can with me to a different job," Seifert added.

Some of their favorite memories with the program have come on the road. The opportunity to travel alongside the team is something both will miss about their time at Penn State.

"You get to know the team better, you get to know the staff better," Seifert said. "A lot of my favorite memories were made on the road." 

Seifert said his favorite road game was when the team has played at the Wells Fargo Center. Over the years, having grown up a Philadelphia Flyers fan, being in their arena and locker room has made a lasting impression.

"I got to go to Madison Square Garden last year which was really awesome," Kearns said. "It's such a famous arena. It all adds to having those experiences you can talk about and share with people years down the road."

Penn State Weekly Check In

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coming off a challenging weekend at home in Pegula Ice Arena, Penn State men's hockey is looking to get back on track before hitting the road for a weekend series in East Lansing, Michigan against the Spartans.

Looking to recharge and reset from a 6-3 loss on Friday, Penn State nearly cut off a late Minnesota rally to upset the fifth-ranked Golden Gophers to earn the upset in overtime Saturday. Falling 4-3 in overtime, the Nittany Lions will now get back to work, focusing on closing out the regular season strong despite the result of the weekend series.

"When you get negative results, that's when things take," Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said. "That's really when you get to learn. If you have positive results and you talk about, well this is what we can change, it doesn't really take as much." 

For Gadowsky and Nittany Lion senior Ricky DeRosa, takeaways from the weekend will all provide an opportunity for continued focus and growth following the learning opportunity.

Check in with Gadowsky and DeRosa as they recap the weekend at home while looking ahead to the upcoming Michigan State series.



Men's Hockey Live Blog vs. Minnesota (2/18/17)

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's hockey returns to action, in another top 10 matchup at home in Pegula Ice Arena. The ninth-ranked Nittany Lions are set to close out the weekend series against  the fifth-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. Follow along for in-game updates and exclusive content. 
Live Blog Men's Hockey Live Blog - vs. Minnesota (2/18/17)

Nittany Lions Eager to Recharge

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By Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's hockey head coach Guy Gadowsky is hopeful after Friday night's 6-3 loss to No. 5 Minnesota (19-8-2, 10-3-0 Big Ten). The No. 9 Nittany Lions (18-7-2, 7-5-1 Big Ten) were unable to skate away with a win, but are eager to get back in the action tomorrow night in game two of the series. 

"After the game we just told them to get ready for tomorrow," Gadowsky said. "We'll digest some of it by watching the tape, but for them the outcome of this game doesn't change the opportunity for tomorrow."

Despite keeping up with the Gophers' relentless offensive effort through the first two periods, Minnesota pulled away, and scored three goals in the final 20 minutes of play.

Freshman forward Nate Sucese, who last week was named the Big Ten's Second Star of the Week, netted the second goal of the night for the Nittany Lions. Last week's Big Ten First Star of the Week, freshman forward Denis Smirnov, had the assist, along with freshman forward Liam Folkes.

Sucese credited Smirnov's quick thinking with helping to set up the play. Smirnov maneuvered the puck behind him to Sucese, who was yelling for the pass.

"That's the kind of player he is," Sucese said. "He heard my voice and he can tell where you are on the ice at all times." 

Smirnov had an assist on each of the three goals the Lions scored Friday night. Sophomore forward Andrew Sturtz and freshman defenseman Kris Myllari scored the two other goals for the Nittany Lions.

Myllari said he felt the Nittany Lions' defense played well, but had a few costly breakdowns. The Kanata, Ontario native is keen to make some adjustments and get back on track tomorrow night against the Gophers.

"We're going to readjust and come back and we're just going to work hard," Myllari said. "Hopefully we'll have a better outcome tomorrow."

The Nittany Lions are ready to recharge for tomorrow's rematch and are willing to adjust in order to fix the mistakes that cost them some opportunities on Friday night. 

"I think for the most part all four lines played pretty well," Sucese said. "We got unfortunate bounces and we've got to clean up some things obviously, but I think for the most part we put in a good effort." 

Penn State is back on the ice tonight, closing out the series against the Golden Gophers at 8 p.m. in Pegula Ice Arena. 

Men's Hockey Live Blog vs. Minnesota (2/17/17)

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's hockey returns home from the road for a top 10 matchup at home in Pegula Ice Arena. The ninth-ranked Nittany Lions are set to welcome the fifth-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers in a weekend series beginning Friday Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Follow along for in-game updates and exclusive content. 
Live Blog Men's Hockey Live Blog - vs. Minnesota (2/17/17)


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