PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Know Your Enemy: Penn State Hockey vs. Mercyhurst

Penn State men’s hockey (1-1-0) opened up its season with a series draw against St. Lawrence and the NCAA play of the week. The Nittany Lions don’t have to travel too far for their first away game this Friday — they’re facing off against Mercyhurst (0-0-0) in Erie, PA. We don’t have concrete expectations for Penn State after just two games (or ever), but we have an idea of how it will stack up against the Lakers. Yes, Mercyhurst is the Lakers, and the Nittany Lions have matched up with the in-state team as many times as they’ve dunked on Shaquille O’Neal — never.

With a nonexistent history between the teams, could this be the start of a little keystone rivalry — or maybe an ally? Penn State and Mercyhurst don’t have too much in common besides geography, losing to Michigan, and winning against American International. Apparently the Lakers are hosting a “Snowtown Throwdown” for the game. I’m not sure what that means in the slightest, but I’m seeing tweets urging Mercyhurst fans to “wear green and show up early,” so things might get interesting.

Gadowsky’s Thoughts

“After Friday night, we certainly have a lot of our own issues to deal with, but they’re a team that has lost very little [players] and their top two scorers last year were freshmen. They’re basically the same team with whoever they added. They’re well-seasoned on both ends,” coach Guy Gadowsky said.

The General

Mercyhurst hasn’t played an official game yet this season but fell to Guelph (out of Ontario) 6-2 in an international exhibition. The biggest takeaway there is somehow it only managed one goal off of 14 (!) powerplay opportunities. Exhibition games can get really weird though, so let’s take a look at Mercyhurst’s 2015-16 showing.

Last season, the Lakers went 17-15-4 overall and 15-9-4 in in the AHA. They beat out then-No. 20 Colgate once and won two (of six) games to RIT, a team blinking on the national radar this year, but nothing else jumps out as too discouraging. St. Lawrence and its performance in the ECAC was more alarming ahead of last week’s series. Mercyhurst ranked fourth in Atlantic Hockey’s preseason media poll, behind RIT, Air Force, and Holy Cross, and it got one vote for first place.

Like Gadowsky said, the Lakers have an advantage in age. They only graduated three seniors, and luckily for them, two freshmen led the team in scoring.

Zeroing In

Lakers icemen Derek Barach and Lester Lancaster were named to the AHA preseason all-star team — and for good reason. Barach, a sophomore forward, lead his team as a freshman. He racked up 32 points off of 10 goals and 22 assists for a .89 points-per-game showing in 2015-16. Lancaster, a sophomore defenseman, is a huge weapon for the Lakers. He was the AHA’s rookie of the year last season, leading his conference’s defensemen in goals (nine) and points (29). With Mercyhurst’s leading scorers returning, Penn State could run into some trouble on defense.

Between the pipes last season, Brandon Wildung posted a .913 save percentage through 20 games played. He played the first 40 minutes of last week’s exhibition, but freshman Collin DeAugustine relieved him after he let up five goals. DeAugustine spent last season as the Youngstown Phantom’s netminder, where he had a 3.2 goals against average and a .892 save percentage at the end of the season. Before you get too excited that neither of these folks seem to have Kyle Hayton (last game’s brick wall for the Saints)’s goaltending prowess, say it with me: Goalies are much more complex than statistics. Goalies are much more complex than statistics. Goalies are much more complex than statistics.

Last Meeting

Never happened! Firsts are fun.


Last week, we made a pact. I generally hate predictions, so I told you I’ll only make them if no one makes fun of me. I’m extra cocky this week since my prediction for the Penn State-St. Lawrence series was correct (and thus, no one made fun of me). This one’s a little easier since it’s just a one-gamer — I say Penn State wins. I’d love to hear your predictions so tweet me those lukewarm takes, folks. I thrive off of them.

About the Author

Sara Civian

Sara Civian is one of Onward State's three ridiculously good looking managing editors, a hockey writer at heart, and an Oxford comma Stan. She's a senior majoring in journalism, minoring in history, and living at Bill Pickle's Tap Room. Her favorite pastimes are telling people she's from Boston, watching the Bruins, and meticulously dissecting the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. She's seen Third Eye Blind live 14 times. If you really hate yourself, you can follow her at @SaraCivian or email her at [email protected]


More by Sara

Penn State Hockey Defenseman Vince Pedrie Signs With New York Rangers

Penn State hockey sophomore defenseman Vince Pedrie will forgo his last two years of college eligibility to sign with the New York Rangers. Pedrie announced his decision via Instagram (what a time to be alive, right?) Monday night.

[Column] Penn State Hockey Became Elite This Season And It’s Just The Beginning

Penn State Ruined College Hockey And It Could Hardly Care


North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend