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Penn State | Mercyhurst
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
ERIE, Pa. - The Penn State University men's ice hockey team hits the road for the first time during the 2016-17 campaign as they travel to the Erie Insurance Arena to battle in-state foe Mercyhurst as part of the Snowtown Throwdown with a single contest Friday evening at 7 p.m.
This marks the first-ever meeting between the two teams since Penn State made the leap to the Division I ranks before the 2012-13 season.
- Mercyhurst is the first of two first-time opponents on the 2016-17 schedule for the Nittany Lions. They will host Arizona State on November 18-19 in their other first-time meeting.
Tickets for this game will be on sale at the door. They can also be purchased online or by calling the Erie Insurance Arena Box Office at (814) 452-4857. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens 65 and older. Children under 3 are free. Doors open at 6 p.m.
This marks the opening contest of the regular season for Mercyhurst after dropping a 6-2 decision to Guelph in an exhibition contest on October 1.
- Mercyhurst compiled at 17-15-4 record in 2015-16 to finish fourth in Atlantic Hockey and secure home ice for the AHC playoffs.
- However, the Lakers were swept in two games by RIT, 2-1 and 4-1 to conclude their campaign.
- Led by a pair of freshman last year, Derek Barach and Lester Lancaster paced the team in scoring with 32 points and 29 points, respectively. The duo also combined for an identical eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points in conference play which tied for the league lead by freshman while Lancaster paced all Atlantic Hockey defensemen in scoring.
- Mercyhurst ranked fourth in Atlantic Hockey in scoring during the 2015-16 season collecting 3.07 goals per contest.
- Along with Lancaster and Barach, the Lakers return their top-6 scorers from last year's roster, including their leading goal scorer Jonathan Charbonneau who potted 16 last season.
- In a tie with Army West Point, Mercyhurst was picked to finish fourth in the Preseason Atlantic Hockey Coaches' Poll
- Junior Jack Riley will don the `C' this year for the Lakers while senior Kyle Dutra and sophomore Barach will serve as alternates.
- After a one-year hiatus, the Snowtown Throwdown returns to the Erie Insurance Arena this coming Friday evening.
- Mercyhurst is 0-1-1 after falling to Ohio State 6-3 before earning a tie the following day, 2-2, during the inaugural event on January 2-3, 2015.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY
- Mercyhurst is primarily a Division II institution which competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, however, they support both Division I men's (Atlantic Hockey) and women's (College Hockey America) ice hockey as part of their 24 NCAA sponsored sports.
EARLY SEASON SUCCESS
Penn State improved to 3-1-1 in season openers with their 4-2 victory over No. 16 St. Lawrence last Thursday night.
- The win moves the Lions unbeaten in their last four season openers (3-0-1) and 2-0-1 all-time in season openers played at Pegula Ice Arena.
- Penn State defeated Canisius 6-1 last season at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y.
ANDY IS JUST DANDY
- Don't worry about a sophomore slump for the talented right-winger as Andrew Sturtz scored in each game last week, including tallying the game-winner with a short-handed effort in Thursday night's victory.
- Sturtz finished the weekend with a pair of goals and one assist for three points to pace the team. His three points ties him with nine others for second in the Big Ten after the opening weekend.
- The sophomore's second-period tally on Friday marked the 20th goal of his young career and 30th point in just 39 games.
- Sturtz now has eight career multi-point games.
- After leading the NCAA in shots on goal per game last season (41.55), the Lions continued their ferocious pace of shooting the puck and currently stand third in the nation after two games (42.5) only behind RIT (47.5) and Notre Dame (44).
RECAPPING ST. LAWRENCE
Penn State opened the season last weekend playing a pair of contests at home against No. 16 St. Lawrence.
- Thursday's night's victory marked the first for the Nittany Lions over a ranked opponent since defeating #15 Minnesota, 4-3, in overtime on February 21, 2015.
- Eight of the ten freshman saw action during the opening series with 5-of-7 skaters recording points. Denis Smirnov and Brandon Biro led the way each collecting a pair of assists while Blake Gober and Nate Sucese each notched their first goals in their collegiate debuts. Liam Folkes also added an assist for his lone point of the opening weekend.
- Peyton Jones earned his first collegiate victory on Thursday night after stopping 28 pucks between the pipes for Penn State.
- Sturtz earned First Star accolades on Thursday for scoring the game-winning tally, he also garnered Third Star accolades on Friday
NITTANY LIONS FEATURED ON NCAA ICE HOCKEY TOP PLAYS
- Penn State pulled in the #1 play on the first edition of the NCAA Ice Hockey Top-5 Plays of the Week this past week as a beautiful no look, between the legs pass from Andrew Sturtz to Vince Pedrie resulted in a power-play goal to secure the top spot.
- Though the power-play took a while to get rolling (0-for-5 on Thursday) they converted twice in the series finale and currently stand 17th in the nation at 15.4 percent (2-for-13).
- On the other side, however, Penn State is tied for tops in the country in Penalty Kill percentage as they went a perfect 6-for-6 against St. Lawrence.
THOMPSON SET FOR 100TH GAME
- Assuming he is in the lineup on Friday night, senior David Thompson will appear in his 100th career game donning the Blue and White.
- He will become the 10th player in the Division I era to log at least 100 career games played. Tommy Olczyk `16 holds the record with 132.