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Nov. 21, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Guy Gadowsky of the Penn State men's hockey team has announced that 10 players will join the Nittany Lions for the 2012-13 season after signing a National Letter of Intent during the November early signing period. The 2012-13 campaign will mark Penn State's first season at the varsity level since 1945-46.
The 10 signees include forwards Casey Bailey (Anchorage, Alaska), Kenny Brooks (Las Vegas, Nev.), David Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.), Reed Linaker (Edmonton, Alta.), Curtis Loik (North Vancouver, B.C.) and Jonathan Milley (Ottawa, Ont.); defensemen Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont.), Connor Varley (Lansdale) and Mark Yanis (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.); and goaltender Matthew Skoff (McKees Rocks).
"This is the first-ever Division I class for Penn State Hockey, and these players will be great building blocks to add to the foundation that is being formed right now," said Gadowsky. "The entire class brings a commitment to academics, as well as size, character, hockey intelligence with puck-moving ability and experience in the top junior leagues in North America."
Five additions - Bailey, Brooks, Skoff, Varley, Yanis - hail from the United States Hockey League (USHL), while Glen, Juha, Linaker, Loik and Milley play Canadian Junior "A" hockey in either the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) or British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
Penn State will play the 2012-13 season as an independent before joining the newly-created Big Ten Hockey Conference, along with traditional powers Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin, beginning in the 2013-14 season. Future Big Ten members have captured 23-of-64 NCAA national championships.
In addition, the Nittany Lions will open Pegula Ice Arena for the 2013-14 season. The future home of Penn State Hockey, Pegula Ice Arena will be an approximate 200,000-square foot, 6,000-seat state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility located right on campus.
Casey Bailey (F 6'3" 195 Anchorage, Alaska Omaha Lancers (USHL))
First-year member of the Omaha Lancers of the USHL ... Through 16 games in 2011-12, leads team in goals (8) and ranks second in points (14) ... Named the CCM USHL Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 15 after recording six goals and an assist in three games ... Played two seasons (2009-11) with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL and collected 82 points (41g, 41a) in 111 regular-season games ... Was teammates with Connor Varley during 2010-11 season.
Gadowsky on Bailey: "Casey has found offensive success in both the USHL and BCHL. He has tremendous on-ice work ethic and we expect him to continue that here at Penn State."
Kenny Brooks (F 6'2" 195 Las Vegas, Nev. Tri-City Storm (USHL))
Currently in his third season with the USHL's Tri-City Storm ... Through 15 games in 2011-12, leads team in assists (9) and ranks second in points (12) ... Totaled 16 goals and 28 assists during his first two seasons ... Was teammates with Nate Jensen during the 2009-10 campaign.
Gadowsky on Brooks: "Kenny works extremely hard and will help establish our foundation for the future. His attention to detail will help set high standards for our program."
David Glen (F 6'0" 175 Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL))
Member of the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL for parts of four seasons ... Through 27 games in 2011-12, ranks third on team in goals (11), assists (14) and points (25) ... Named team captain prior to season ... Totaled 38 goals and 40 assists in 96 regular-season games during first three seasons ... Helped lead Spruce Grove to the 2010 and 2011 AJHL titles ... Served as assistant captain during 2010-11 season.
Gadowsky on Glen: "David is a leader both on and off the ice and is a proven winner. A team captain and an integral part of two straight AJHL championship teams, he will help us win games."
Luke Juha (D 5'11" 185 Mississauga, Ont. Vernon Vipers (BCHL))
First-year member of the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL ... Has registered two assists in 10 of the team's 21 games during 2011-12 ... Helped lead Team Canada West to the 2011 World Junior "A" Challenge title ... In 2010, helped lead Canada East to a second-place finish at the 2010 World Junior "A" Challenge ... Member of the Burlington Cougars of the Ontario Junior Hockey League for two seasons (2009-11) ... Collected 79 points (15g, 64a) in 73 regular-season games ... Named a first-team all-star.
Gadowsky on Juha: "Luke is a defenseman who can control the play at all times. He has excellent vision and should be able to contribute in all situations."
Reed Linaker (F 5'9" 165 Edmonton, Alta. St. Albert Steel (AJHL))
Member of the St. Albert Steel of the AJHL for parts of five seasons ... In 18 of team's 28 games in 2011-12, ranks tied for third on team in goals (6) and is fourth in assists (12) and points (18) ... Collected 82 goals and 91 assists in 141 regular-season games from 2007-2011 ... Named to the 2008-09 AJHL All-Rookie Team ... Member of the AJHL North All-Star Team and All-League First Team during the 2010-11 season ... Appeared with Team Canada West at the 2010 World Junior "A" Challenge.
Gadowsky on Linaker: "Reed is a great playmaker and has the uncanny ability to see the ice and make plays that others do not see."
Curtis Loik (F 6'1" 205 North Vancouver, B.C. Penticton Vees (BCHL))
Second-year member of the Penticton Vees of the BCHL ... Has appeared in 11 of team's 23 games in 2011-12 and has totaled 12 points (6g, 6a) ... Recorded 26 points (10g, 16a) during 2010-11 ... Helped lead Team Canada West to the 2011 World Junior "A" Challenge title.
Gadowsky on Loik: "Curtis is a power forward who can really protect the puck down low. He is well known for his conditioning and two-way game."
Jonathan Milley (F 6'4" 220 Ottawa, Ont. Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL))
Playing in his second season with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the CCHL ... Has totaled two points (1g, 1a) in two of the team's 27 games in 2011-12 ... In 2010-11, ranked second on the team in goals (29), fourth in points (58) and eighth in assists (29) ... Helped lead Pembroke to the 2011 CCHL and Fred Page Cup titles.
Gadowsky on Milley: "Jonathan is a big power forward who has a knack for scoring big goals in big games."
Matthew Skoff (G 6'0" 186 McKees Rocks, Pa. Sioux City Musketeers (USHL))
Currently in his third season with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL ... Has compiled a 3-6-0 record with a 3.11 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 10 games in 2011-12 ... In 93 regular-season games during 2009-11, registered a 44-33-14 record with eight shutouts ... Helped lead the U.S. Under-17 Select Team to a second-place finish at the 2007 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.
Gadowsky on Skoff: "Matt competes and battles for pucks. He comes to Penn State with a lot of experience after having won more games than any other goaltender in the USHL in the past two seasons."
Connor Varley (D 5'11" 200 Lansdale, Pa. Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL))
First-year member of the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers ... Has collected two goals and two assists in 11 games ... Member of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL in 2010-11 ... Registered 29 points (9g, 20a) in 60 regular-season games ... Named the team's best defenseman ... Was teammates with Casey Bailey during 2010-11 season.
Gadowsky on Varley: "Connor is a defenseman who is a very good skater and can contribute in all situations on the ice. Off the ice, he is very committed to his nutrition and conditioning."
Mark Yanis (D 6'3" 206 Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL))
Currently in his second season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL ... Has totaled two goals and an assist during 12 games in 2011-12 ... During the 2010-11 campaign, collected five points (1g, 4a).
Gadowsky on Yanis: "Mark has good size and great presence on the ice. He plays big and hard, and has a physical element to his game. He will be a very valuable defensive commodity for our program."