It’s almost time to drop the puck in Hockey Valley, and with Penn State’s recent preseason ranking, there’s reason for optimism.
After being ranked No. 6 in the preseason polls the last two seasons, the Big Ten Coaches Poll slotted Penn State at No. 4 for the upcoming season. This ranking marks the highest preseason honor in Penn State hockey history, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Penn State, entering its fourth Division I season, was selected behind Michigan, Minnesota and Michigan State, but ranked higher than Ohio State and Wisconsin in the preseason poll. After showing immense potential last season, the Penn State looks to build on its recent success and continue its ascent to national prominence.
Forwards Eric Scheid and David Goodwin were listed as players to watch, and rightfully so — the high-flying scorers are coming off huge individual seasons. Scheid is coming off a career year in 2014-15, in which he netted 14 goals and 15 assists in 31 appearances. The speedy lefty had three game-winning goals, a short-handed goal, and a power-play tally to boot, all while earning Academic All-Big Ten honors. Unfortunately, Scheid will be sidelined for six weeks with a lower-body injury, meaning Goodwin will be relied upon heavily in his absence.
Goodwin is the Big Ten’s leading returning point scorer, and after recording 15 goals and 19 assists in 2014-15, the national spotlight is sure to be fixated on him. Penn State’s drastic improvement from year to year helped head coach Guy Gadowsky capture Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. With an overall 10-win increase along with a seven-win bump in conference victories, Gadowsky cemented his status as one of the best coaches in the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions begin the season on Oct. 4 vs. Windsor inside the friendly confines of Pegula Ice Arena. Tickets for the contest are available on Ticketmaster.com, but students can also purchase two tickets apiece via their AccountManager.
There’s something special brewing in Hockey Valley, and it’s time to hop onboard.