PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Penn State Hockey’s Focusing On Defense, Not Crying Wolf Ahead Of Minnesota Series

When a team spends two straight months winning, sometimes you forget what it’s like to lose. No.6 Penn State dropped two in-a-row for the first time this season, but sitting in Pegula’s media room on Monday, it felt more like seven.

Andrew Sturtz came through with a necessary reminder for some: This is supposed to be enjoyable.

“You gotta have fun with it. I mean, if you told us we’d be where we are right now in August then I’d be pretty happy,” he said. “You know what? We’ll get back on track this week…We’ll go to Minnesota and have some fun.”

Coach Guy Gadowsky essentially shared this sentiment, pointing out that no team was expected to go 31-3 and it’s not like Princeton demolished Penn State — the Tigers won with less than two minutes to play, with a puck three Nittany Lions thought went out of play. Penn State did blow a two-goal lead, but this isn’t some season-defining turning point.

Gadowsky acknowledged the recent defensive slump, though. Penn State’s allowed 11 goals through its last two games– the most it has allowed consecutively all season.

“Defensively, we absolutely have to get better and that’s on me. It’s because we’ve been focusing on the other side of the puck a bit. The goals against [recently] is about the lack of attention to detail.”

The slate ahead is full of Big Ten opponents, and this weekend’s road game against No. 7 Minnesota is arguably the most important series of the season thus far. Hold its own, and Penn State is as good as it seemed on that win-streak. Fall apart, and Penn State loses Big Ten reign to a school that never really believed in it to begin with.

This head-to-head feels like old college hockey vs. new college hockey duking it out to prove a point — is Penn State here to stay? Gadowsky sees it as a chance to rise up, not a hassle.

“We’re going to Minnesota to play the Gophers…it doesn’t get much better a challenge than that. You can look at it either way — the bigger the difficulty the bigger the opportunity. Things are going against us right now, and we have to figure out a way to come out of it.”

Aside from defense, a few key players haven’t been putting up the numbers they were before the Ohio State series. Denis Smirnov once led the nation in points. He hasn’t tallied one in the last three games. Of course, this happens in the ebb and flow of a season, but this has clearly taken a toll on top of sloppy defense.

“I had a talk with Denny [Smirnov…you have to love Gadowsky’s nicknames. Jimmy Pucks is my favorite.] and some others. Dylan Richard is in a funk also,” Gadowsky said. “We asked their opinion on what’s going on and if it’s fixable we correct it, but often it’s just a matter of sports. Sometimes you have a great effort that doesn’t always materialize. You can’t get too down, because that’s when you get into trouble. You just have to keep going…usually it works.”

I wouldn’t exactly classify a two-game losing streak as a slump. Bulldozing through this week with a focus on defense and fun should patch things up for the Nittany Lions.

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