Three Icers Compete at World University Games
Head coach Scott Balboni, forward Tim O’Brien and forward Eric Steinour all represented the Penn State Icers at the 2011 World University Games. Balboni served as an assistant coach, while O’Brien scored three times for the United States in the tournament.
The United States was placed in Group C along with Kazakhstan, Slovakia and Spain. The team lost its first game against Kazakhstan 5-0. In game two, USA beat Slovakia, and in game three, they beat Spain 5-1. Neither of the Icers scored in group play, but Steinour did earn some penalty minutes.
With a 2-1 record, the United States advanced to the quarterfinals to face Belarus. O’Brien netted his first goal of the tournament in the second period to tie the score at three. However, Belarus went on to score three times in the third period to win the game.
After losing to Belarus, the United States then went into the classification stages to earn their final placement. Against Japan, O’Brien scored his second goal of the tournament. USA went on to win the game 5-3 to advance to the fifth-place game against Slovakia. Against Slovakia, O’Brien scored again for his third of the tournament, but the United States fell 4-3 to finish the tournament in sixth place. The sixth-place finish is the best-ever result for the United States since the team began to use ACHA players.
The three Icers will now return home to join Penn State as the team gears up for the final weekend of the regular season. The Icers will hope that valuable experience gained on the international level will translate to success back home as Penn State aims for the playoffs.