By The Numbers: Penn State Hockey At The Season’s Two-Thirds Mark
Who expected this record from this team?
Through 24 of 36 games, Penn State hockey sits at a very respectable 13-7-4. The team’s winning percentage in the Big Ten ranks it second, and in the national picture, Penn State is on the cusp of national recognition with the most votes of any unranked team in the latest USCHO Division I Men’s Poll. Nonconference play is officially over for the Nittany Lions as they ended up 8-5-3 against non-Big Ten foes. All that’s left until the postseason are weekend series against Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and two against Minnesota.
To figure out how last year’s 8-26-2 team transformed into this competitive squad, let’s take a look at this year’s team by the numbers*.
13-7-4: Wins, losses, and ties.
84: Goals for, including 3.5 per game, good for eighth-best (out of 59 teams) in the country.
68: Goals against, including 2.83 per game, T-37th in the country.
21.28: The percentage of power-plays (20-of-94) that Penn State has converted to goals, the 13th-highest conversion rate.
81.5: The percentage of power-plays (66-of-81) that Penn State has killed off, 37th in the country.
97: Penalties taken for a total of 235 PIMs, the 11th-fewest in the country.
3, 30, and 38: Casey Bailey, David Goodwin, Eric Scheid ranked respectively in national goal-scoring.
18: Where Taylor Holstrom ranks in assists, most of which are netted by the three guys above.
8-5-3: Wins, losses, and ties.
56: Goals for, at a clip of 3.5 per game.
44: Goals against, at a clip of 2.75 per game.
12: Starts for goalie Matt Skoff, who finished with a 5-4-2 record in non-conference play.
3: Starts for Eamon McAdam, who finished 1-1-0.
1: Starts for P.J. Musico, and also the number of wins he had in that one start.
-10/11/14: 7-1 W vs. UConn
-10/26/14: 7-1 W vs. Holy Cross
-11/15/14: 4-1 W vs. No. 4 UMass-Lowell
-1/31/15: 4-2 W vs. No. 14 Vermont
With the solid winning percentage, Penn State has been flirting with having a number next to its name all season. Only for one week did it have a ranking, rounding out the polls at No. 20 before dropping two games. Still, riding a 5-3-2 record in its last ten games and a 2-1 record against ranked opponents, Penn State will be looking to improve upon its national standing, make the NCAA Tournament, and then make some more noise from there.
Big Ten Play
5-2-1: Wins, losses, and ties.
28: Goals for, at 3.5 per game.
24: Goals against, at 3.0 per game.
3: Starts for Matt Skoff, who has gone 2-0-0 in conference play.
5: Starts for Eamon McAdam, who has gone 3-1-1 in conference play.
6: The ranking at which Casey Bailey and David Goodwin are tied in Big Ten points, with the duo squared at 12.
2: Where Bailey’s seven goals in Big Ten play rank within the conference.
4: The number of players who have scored shorthanded goals in Big Ten play throughout the conference. Penn State’s Tommy Olczyk is one of them.
-11/22/14: 8-1 L vs. Michigan
-1/9/15: 5-4 OTL vs. Ohio State
-1/17/15: 5-2 W vs. Michigan State
Penn State has a lot on its plate in the next six weeks. Each weekend will see a series against a fellow Big Ten team, starting this Friday and Saturday with Wisconsin. After this month-and-a-half final stretch is over, the very next weekend is the Big Ten Tournament. Every team makes the tournament, which is a blessing and a curse. Bottom-seeded Penn State upset No. 3 Michigan in the first round last season, but anything can happen to any team, especially with the expectations of a higher seed for the Nittany Lions this year.