Penn State Hockey To Talk With Johnson, Grabs Commitments
Mark March 2, 2011 down as the day a hockey power took its first steps to greatness.
Much anticipation has surrounded Penn State hockey ever since Marcellus Shale baron Terrence Pegula donated $88 million towards starting Division I men’s and women’s teams back in September. Arena plans came out last month and the search for a coach and players to fill that arena has now come to fruition.
First off, Penn State has been given permission to begin speaking with Mark Johnson about becoming the first men’s coach at the university. Johnson was a long-time NHL forward and is the current Wisconsin women’s hockey coach, but he may be best known for scoring twice in the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” game when the United States beat the Soviet Union 4-3 (which along with Rocky defeating Ivan Drago ended the Cold War).
He also led the U.S. women’s national team to the silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Johnson has built a powerhouse at Wisconsin, winning three national championships and being the nation’s runner-up once while compiling a 228-54-25 record in eight full years at the helm. In his ninth season this year, he has the Lady Badgers poised for another title as the ladies are in the WCHA playoffs with a 32-2-2 record.
This has been the top guy on everyone’s list ever since September and getting him would help to make the Nittany Lions a legitimate power even before they stepped out onto the ice.
In addition to the potential landmark coaching move, Ben Jones over at Victory Bell Rings is reporting that Penn State also has picked up its first two commitments for the Division I team. Goalie Tim Carr and center Jake Friedman will bring their talents to Happy Valley to play for the club team, the Icers, next year and will still have all their eligibility once the Lions start NCAA play.