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Feb. 13, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Fresh off their first Big Ten victory last weekend, the Nittany Lion men's hockey team (5-18-1, 1-9-0-0 Big Ten) will welcome conference foe Michigan State (8-13-6, 2-5-5-3 Big Ten) to Pegula Ice Arena for the first time when the teams face off in a two-game series Feb. 14-15.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Friday's game will air live on BTN, BTN2go.com, GoPSUsports.com and the Penn State Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. For Saturday, puck drop is set for 3:30 p.m. on ESPNews, WatchESPN, GoPSUsports.com and WRSC 103.1.
Fans should be aware of a number of overlapping events in the Pegula Ice Arena/Bryce Jordan Center/Holuba Hall area on Saturday. Parking will be at a premium so leave extra time to find a place to park for your events. Fans for the men's hockey game Saturday are encouraged to park at the East Parking Deck located on Bigler Road.
LIMITED BAG POLICY
Penn State has implemented a limited bag policy at all home athletic events this season. One clear plastic one-gallon plastic bag per person will be permitted for medical needs, child care needs and general items as needed. Items that can fit in a pocket should remain in patrons' pockets (i.e. keys, cell phone, wallet, glasses, camera, sunscreen, lip balm, make-up). General items of this nature, including those that don't fit in patrons' pocket, can also be placed in a clear plastic one-gallon plastic bag.
SHARE THE LOVE FOOD DRIVE
The State College Food Bank is sponsoring its "Share the Love Food Drive" at both games this weekend. Fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the games.
SUPPORT PENN STATE HOCKEY ALL DAY SATURDAY
Fans are encouraged to stay after the men's game Saturday and attend the women's hockey game against Mercyhurst at 8 p.m. Fans who stay will be directed to the Pegula Ice Arena club level in between games and will receive a free public skating voucher. A raffle will also be drawn for a Penn State women's hockey game-worn jersey.
BACK THROUGH THE BIG TEN
With half of its Big Ten games in the rear view mirror, the Nittany Lions will begin the second portion of their league schedule against the Spartans. Following this weekend's series, Penn State will visit Michigan (Feb. 21-22) and Minnesota (Feb. 28, March 1) before closing the regular season at home versus Wisconsin (March 7-8) and Ohio State (March 14-15).
NITTANY LIONS GARNER HISTORIC VICTORY
Backed by a 32-save performance by sophomore goaltender Matthew Skoff, Penn State won its first Big Ten game with a 4-0 victory against then-No. 10 Michigan Saturday, Feb. 8. The Nittany Lions scored three first-period goals, courtesy of Zach Saar, David Glen and Casey Bailey, and added a Ricky DeRosa marker in the third stanza as they became just the second team this season to shut out Michigan.
Penn State out shot Michigan, 40-32, bettering its opponent in the category for the seventh time in the last eight games.
SKOFF STANDS TALL
Sophomore goaltender Matthew Skoff earned Big Ten Second Star of the Week honors after his shutout performance against Michigan Feb. 8. The McKees Rocks, Pa., native became the first Nittany Lion honoree this season.
Including his shutout against Michigan Feb. 8, all three of Matthew Skoff's career shutouts have come in 4-0 victories. Skoff has led Penn State to shutout wins against Fredonia State (Dec. 11, 2012), Alabama Huntsville (Feb. 8, 2013) and Michigan (Feb. 8, 2014). The netminder's last two whitewashes came exactly one year apart.
BAILEY FINDS GROOVE
Sophomore forward Casey Bailey has scored in three straight games for the first time this season and the first time since a three-game span from Jan. 5-19, 2013.
GLEN BACK IN THE LINEUP
Sophomore David Glen, who returned to the lineup Feb. 7 after missing three games, scored in Penn State's 4-0 win vs. Michigan. The forward missed the games after undergoing a bone marrow donation procedure.
FILLING THE SCORESHEET
Several Nittany Lions posted strong weekends against the Wolverines. Ricky DeRosa (1g, 2a) and Eric Scheid (1g, 2a) posted three-point weekends, while Casey Bailey (2g), Taylor Holstrom (2a) and Zach Saar (2g) all posted two points in as many games.
Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff and Michigan State netminders Jake Hildebrand and Will Yanakeff all played for the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers during parts of the 2009-10 season. Skoff and Hildebrand, both Pittsburgh-area natives, also played for Sioux City during the 2010-11 campaign and competed for the Pittsburgh Hornets youth hockey organization.
ALL-TIME VS. MICHIGAN STATE
Penn State is 1-3-0 all-time against the Spartans dating back to the 2012-13 season. The Nittany Lions are 0-2-0 against Michigan State in 2013-14, falling to the Spartans by 3-0 and 3-2 scores on Jan. 17-18, respectively. Forwards Taylor Holstrom and Eric Scheid scored in the one-goal setback on Jan. 18.
LIONS CONTINUE HOMESTAND
This weekend will mark the Nittany Lions' third and fourth straight games at Pegula Ice Arena as the team is in the midst of their longest homestand since Nov. 8-Dec. 1, 2013 (five games).
SKATING THE GAUNTLET
Penn State is facing some of the best teams in the nation during its second NCAA season. Based on the current USCHO.com rankings, the Nittany Lions have faced the Nos. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 10 ranked teams in the nation. Penn State has played nine home games against a ranked opponent.
Following its weekend series against Michigan State, Penn State will travel to Michigan and Yost Ice Arena for the first time Feb. 21-22.