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March 6, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's hockey team (6-22-2, 2-13-1-0 Big Ten) will welcome fifth-ranked Wisconsin (19-9-2, 10-5-1-0 Big Ten) to Pegula Ice Arena for the first time when the Badgers visit Hockey Valley for a two-game series March 7-8. Opening faceoff for both games is set at 7 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Video streams of both games will be available on Video.BTN.com. The radio broadcasts will air on WRSC 103.1 FM and GoPSUsports.com.
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.
MILITARY APPRECIATION SET FOR SATURDAY
The Nittany Lions are teaming up with the Keystone Wounded Warriors for Military Appreciation Night Saturday, March 8. Specialty game-worn jerseys will be auctioned at the game, with the silent auction running along the North Concourse until the start of the third period. Fans will also be able to bid on game-worn jerseys at GoPSUsports.com until March 24 at noon. Proceeds will benefit the Keystone Wounded Warriors.
CLOSING OUT THE INAUGURAL SEASON AT PEGULA
Nittany Lion fans have packed Pegula Ice Arena during the facility's inaugural season, filling the 5,782-seat arena with an average of 6,049 fans per game.
Penn State has played to a sellout crowd in 13 of 14 home games, with the Dec. 1 matchup against Union the lone exception. More than 6,000 fans have filed into the arena on 10 occasions. The Nittany Lions are one of five NCAA Division I programs to play at more than 100 percent capacity at their home events.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE BADGERS
Penn State dropped both of its games to then-No. 17 Wisconsin in its first Big Ten series, falling 7-1 Dec. 6 before dropping a 4-3 game Dec. 7.
In the finale, freshmen Ricky DeRosa (1g, 1a) and Zach Saar (1g, 1a) notched their first multi-point games. The Nittany Lions, who took a 1-0 following Eric Scheid's marker, twice erased one-goal deficits before allowing the game-winning goal with 8:08 left in the third.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
The Badgers, who are 17-2-1 at home this season, have only won two games (2-7-1) away from the Kohl Center. Wisconsin's two road wins came against Miami (3-2) Nov. 16, 2013 and Ohio State (4-2) Feb. 15, 2014. The Badgers average 3.8 goals per game, while only allowing 1.8 goals per game, at home. On the road, the numbers stand at 2.0 and 3.7, respectively.
WORTH THE WAIT
Junior goaltender PJ Musico started for the first time in 370 days when he earned the call for Penn State's game against Minnesota March 1. The Orange, Calif., native, whose last start before Saturday was against the Badgers Feb. 24, 2013, turned aside 35 shots as Penn State fell to the Gophers, 2-1. The goaltender previously made four appearances for the Nittany Lions - all in relief - in 2013-14 prior to the start.
LOIK ON THE ATTACK
Sophomore Curtis Loik recorded his third point (2g, 1a) of the season against Minnesota March 1 when he netted the team's lone goal in the Nittany Lions' 2-1 setback.
SKATING THE GAUNTLET
Penn State's series against the Badgers will mark the team's 17th and 18th games against a ranked opponent. Based on the current USCHO.com rankings, the Nittany Lions have played the Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 12 and 15 ranked teams. Wisconsin will be the third top-five foe (Boston College, Minnesota) at the time of the game to visit Pegula Ice Arena this season.
BROOKS SHOWS VERSATILITY
Normally a forward and due to injuries on the back end, Kenny Brooks was seen on the blue line for most of a six-game stretch Feb. 8-28. The Las Vegas, Nev., native returned to his natural forward position against Minnesota March 1 when he joined Curtis Loik and David Glen on the goal-producing line.
Penn State underclassmen have accounted for nearly 77 percent of the team's offense.
PLAYING THEM TIGHT
The Nittany Lions have played in 13 one-goal games (4-9-0) in 2013-14, tying for seventh in the country. Clarkson leads the nation with 20 one-goal games.
The Nittany Lions have scored five shorthanded goals - the most by a Big Ten team - in 2013-14.
Forward Eric Scheid is tied for seventh in the conference in goals (11) and fifth in power-play goals (4).
SACRIFICING THE BODY
Junior defenseman Patrick Koudys is third in the Big Ten with 66 blocked shots.
Penn State will close out the regular season next weekend when it hosts Ohio State March 14-15. Opening faceoff Friday, March 14 is set for 7 p.m., while game time Saturday is at 3 p.m.