PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

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.

Prediction

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]

Comments

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

Athletics

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Erica Dambach’s Nittany Lions return a solid combination of experience and young talent. They’re ranked No. 4 to start the season.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

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.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend