To watch in each of Penn State’s 2022-23 Men’s Hockey non-conference games | Penn State Sports News
In a rocky 2021-22 season for Penn State, many of the year’s highlights have come out of the Big Ten’s game.
Against non-conference teams, Guy Gadowsky’s team went 9-1-0, including an upset against No. 6 North Dakota.
Compared to a tough conference slate that saw the Blues and Whites go just 6-17-1, those non-conference streaks served as a respite for the cold and unrelenting Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions started strong last year before stumbling on the conference schedule, and they’ll be looking for a similar start this season.
With Penn State’s non-conference 10-game slate announced, here’s what fans can expect heading into the season.
October 7-8: Canisius
Gadowksy enters his 11th season in Hockey Valley with a two-game home streak against Canisius.
The teams met at Pegula Ice Arena last year, with the Golden Griffins handing Penn State its only non-conference loss of the year, 4-1.
The Nittany Lions returned the favor the next day, beating Canisius in a comfortable 5-2 win.
Senior goaltender Jacob Barczewski will be back in the net for the Griffs this season, fresh from an All-AHA first-team selection last season.
The goaltender is looking to hold the fort against a Penn State team that returns a lot of firepower. Senior forward Connor MacEachern, who scored two goals in last year’s win, is once again aiming to lead the attack.
This will be the first series of the year for both teams, so it could depend on which team is able to find their spot first.
October 13-14: Mercyhurst
The following week, the blues and whites will face Mercyhurst for a two-game home-and-away series.
The Lakers only went 16-19-4 in 2021, but they still had a solid run in the AHA tournament — ultimately falling to a close semifinal against eventual champion AIC.
Penn State will travel to Erie, Pennsylvania for its first away game of the season. The match will also mark his first meeting with Mercyhurst on the road.
After the transfer of several players, Mercyhurst will have plenty of new faces on the ice.
Most notably, the team will be without last year’s starting goalie, Kyle McClellan, who has been traded to Wisconsin.
Oct. 20-21: St. Thomas
St. Thomas is the unit’s next guest at Pegula Ice Arena.
Playing only their second season of Division I men’s hockey, coach Rico Blasi and company struggled to go 3-32-1 last season, a testament to the talent gap between the schools. in Transition and Division I Established Programs.
Gadowsky’s team made the trip to Minnesota last season, earning two one-sided wins over the Tommies, 5-1 and 4-1.
Sophomore Tyler Paquette was the star of the show in last season’s matchups, tallying three goals in total.
The Tommies should wear a chip on their shoulder because neither team wants to be blown at home. A win over Penn State would be huge for the program in its early days.
November 22-23: Alaska Fairbanks
The Blue and White returns to non-conference action just before Thanksgiving, welcoming a rare foe to Hockey Valley.
Alaska Fairbanks ranks among the toughest opponents the Nittany Lions will see outside of the Big Ten.
The Last Frontier locals went 14-18-2 last season while playing some of the best schools in the country.
The Nanooks faced Clarkson, Cornell, Denver, Omaha, Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth, all of whom were ranked at the time of their encounters.
More impressive is the core of players coach Erik Largen is getting to develop, including the return of forward Brady Risk, who as a rookie led the team in points with 24 last season.
The blue-and-whites are 1-2 all-time against Alaska Fairbanks, with the teams having split their previous two games in 2019.
December 30-31: RIT
Although a conference opponent for Penn State’s women’s team, the men’s team will face RIT for only the third and fourth time.
The blue-and-white travel to Rochester, New York, for the first game, before hosting the Tigers on New Year’s Eve.
Longtime coach Wayne Wilson hopes to bring his team back to the NCAA Tournament this season for the fourth time in his nearly 24-year tenure.
When this series rolls around, both teams will have gotten into shape – which should make for an exciting pair of matches.
If Gadowsky can see even more development from sophomores Danny Dzhaniyev and Ben Schoen as the season progresses, Penn State could be tough.
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