Vets In Net: Men’s Hockey Returns Experience At Goalie
With just under two weeks until the Penn State men’s hockey team takes the ice against Windsor in its exhibition opener at Pegula on Oct. 4, we continue our preseason preview of what to expect from Head Coach Guy Gadowsky’s squad. Today, we analyze the goalies.
Last season’s Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award winner, P.J. Musico, has graduated, meaning the Nittany Lions will be tasked with replacing his 13 appearances and nine starts from the 2014-’15 campaign. Fortunately, Penn State returns plenty of experience between the pipes.
Matthew Skoff | Senior | No. 31
Skoff, a McKees Rocks, Pa. native, is the most battle-tested netminder on the roster, logging 1,609 saves over the past three years. Skoff will almost certainly be the team’s primary option in net, but you need a stable of goalies to succeed in hockey, so he’ll also be asked to coach up his teammates when he’s not on the ice. An Academic All-Big Ten selection the past two seasons, Skoff has attended NHL Developmental Camps the last three summers, most recently training with his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins.
Eamon McAdam | Junior | No. 34
McAdam was selected in the third round (70th overall pick) of the 2013 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders. Like Skoff, McAdam has been a regular on the Developmental Camp circuit, playing the past three with the Islanders. McAdam, who hails from Perkasie, Pa., has posted 625 saves during his first two seasons with the Nittany Lions and will surely be Skoff’s primary backup off the bench.
Chris Funkey | Freshman | No. 33
Funkey comes to Penn State after logging three years as the starter for the United States Premier Hockey League’s New Jersey Hitmen, leading his team to a championship last season. Funkey provides a change of pace, as he’s a smaller frame goaltender than Skoff and McAdam at 5-foot-10. Funkey calls Orland Park, Ill. home and will push for playing time in the third spot of the rotation.
What To Watch For
Gadowsky will certainly have a variety of options at his disposal in net this season. Skoff is unquestionably the leader of the bunch, but McAdam logged plenty of playing time in his first two seasons on campus. Both figure to rotate starts frequently to stay fresh, while Funkey will likely be given the opportunity to prove what he’s got at some point given Gadowsky’s penchant for the goalie carousel.
The Nittany Lions will host Windsor for a home exhibition in front of a sold-out Roar Zone, a huge part of what made Pegula Ice Arena tops in the NCAA last season in attendance, on Sunday, Oct. 4 at noon.