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Jan. 3, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Fresh off its 5-4 victory against Ohio State, the Penn State men's hockey team will open the calendar year with a two-game series at Connecticut Jan. 4-5. Opening faceoff for both matchups is set at 7:05 p.m.
Both Penn State and UConn will enter the weekend following 1-1-0 weekends in holiday tournaments. The Nittany Lions (8-9-0) dropped a 6-0 contest to Robert Morris in the opening game of the Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center Dec. 28 before rebounding the next night with their victory against the Buckeyes.
The Huskies (5-8-2), who hosted the UConn Hockey Classic, knocked off AIC, 7-2, before falling to Minnesota State, 3-1, in the championship game.
Both games this weekend will be available on the Penn State Sports Network (WRSC 103.1 FM locally) and through the All-Access channel at GoPSUsports.com. In-game updates will also be available through the team's Twitter account (@PennStateMHKY).
Both Penn State and UConn will be heading to new conferences in the upcoming years. The Nittany Lions will join the Big Ten for the start of the 2013-14 season, while the Huskies will make the move to Hockey East in 2014-15.
The Huskies are tied with Robert Morris and RIT for eighth in the Atlantic Hockey standings with a 4-6-1 conference mark. Since a two-game sweep against Air Force Nov. 23-24, UConn has gone 1-3-1 in its last five games. Last weekend, Connecticut, which is 4-3-2 at home this season, hosted the UConn Hockey Classic and fell in the championship game to Minnesota State, 3-1, after defeating AIC in the opening round.
Penn State and UConn have played six common opponents in 2012-13.
A TRIP ALONG THE ATLANTIC
During the course of the season, Penn State will play eight Atlantic Hockey opponents, the most from any conference. The Nittany Lions, who started 5-2-0 against the league, are currently 5-6-0 against AHA foes. Penn State's Atlantic Hockey schedule consists of AIC (Oct. 12-13), RIT (Oct. 20), Army (Oct. 26), Sacred Heart (Oct. 27), Air Force (Nov. 9-10), Holy Cross (Dec. 7-8), Robert Morris (Dec. 15, 28) and UConn (Jan. 4-5).
POWER-PLAY GOAL FOR THE WIN
Penn State, which went 1-for-2 with the man advantage against Ohio State Dec. 29, holds a 6-0-0 record when it scores a power-play goal.
Penn State has given its opposition at least two power-play opportunities in each game this season. After surrendering five in 19 chances to open the season, the Penn State penalty kill has gone 55-for-63 (.873) during the last 11 games.
LEAVING THEIR MARKS
Freshmen David Glen (8g, 8a) and Casey Bailey (8g, 7a), both of whom rank in the top 10 in the NCAA for scoring among rookies, continue to lead the Penn State offense. The Nittany Lions are 7-3-0 when Glen records at least one point and 6-2-0 when Bailey reaches the scoresheet. Sophomore Max Gardiner leads the team, which is 5-1-0 when he collects at least one helper, with 10 assists.
BAILEY'S BIG NIGHT
Freshman Casey Bailey recorded a career-high four points (2g, 2a) in Penn State's 5-4 victory against Ohio State Dec. 29. The Anchorage, Alaska, native had a hand in the Nittany Lions' last four goals and was named to the Three Rivers Classic All-Tournament Team for his efforts.
Penn State was greeted by the largest crowds to ever watch Nittany Lion hockey at the Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center. Against Robert Morris Dec. 28, 11,663 fans watched Penn State battle the Colonials while 10,797 fans made their way to CONSOL for the Ohio State matchup Dec. 29.
THREE RIVERS CLASSIC RECAP
Penn State fell to Robert Morris, 6-0, in the opening game of the Three Rivers Classic before defeating Ohio State, 5-4, Dec. 29. Freshman Casey Bailey recorded a career-high four points (2g, 2a) and classmate Luke Juha registered a career-best two assists. Junior forward Taylor Holstrom matched a career high with two goals and sophomore Max Gardiner equaled his personal best with three assists. Matthew Skoff made 36 saves against the Buckeyes.
Following their weekend series against the Huskies, the Nittany Lions will return home for a pair of matchups against the U.S. National Under-18 Team Jan. 11-12.