PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Know Your Enemy: No. 17 Penn State Men’s Hockey vs. Mercyhurst

After last weekend’s split against Big Ten rival Michigan, No. 17 Penn State men’s hockey finishes off a six-game homestand this weekend with two games against Mercyhurst, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

The General

Mercyhurst is off to an inconsistent start to the season. The team’s record sits at 2-2-2, with the two victories coming against Ferris State and Bentley.

The Lakers conceded just one goal between both victories, but conceded 12 in their other four games combined. The defense hasn’t been airtight, but it’s shown flashes of shutdown potential, especially in those two victories.

As far as goal scoring is concerned, junior forward Taylor Best leads all forwards with five points in six games. Defenseman Les Lancaster is operating at a point-per-game clip so far this season with six points in six games. Derek Barach and Jack Riley are tied for the team lead in points with five each; the junior and redshirt senior each have two goals and three assists so far for the Lakers.

The goal scoring hasn’t been limited to the team’s top players through sixth games, however. Eight players have scored at least three points so far this year for Mercyhurst.

On the back end, Lancaster and Jeremy Wu have platooned as the Lakers’ top defensive pairing. Though Wu has not matched his partner’s scoring numbers so far this season (one assist in six games played), the duo will play as the team’s top pairing this weekend when Mercyhurst comes to Pegula Ice Arena.

Senior Brandon Wildung has started all six games in goal for the Lakers this season. His record currently sits at 2-2-2, his goals-against average sits at a solid 2.13, and his .933 save percentage is among the best in the Atlantic Hockey conference.

Wildung is coming off of a shutout against conference rivals Bentley last weekend, so barring extenuating circumstances, expect to see him start both games this weekend.

Zeroing In

Mercyhurst could cause plenty of problems for Penn State’s defense, which has been inconsistent at best in the early stages of this season.

With eight players scoring at least three points through the Lakers’ six games, it’s clear that Mercyhurst has a host of talent up front, so the Nittany Lion defense can’t focus all of its attention on one line this weekend.

While the Lakers sit at No. 6 in the Atlantic Hockey conference, Penn State can’t take them lightly if it wants to avoid another upset at the hands of a seemingly weaker opponent.

Last Meeting

Since becoming a Division I program in 2012, Penn State has only played against Mercyhurst once, a 7-0 away victory last season in a game of firsts for that season’s freshman class.

Nikita Pavlychev, Nate Sucese, and Denis Smirnov each scored their first NCAA goals in the rout, and Peyton Jones recorded his first career shutout and victory for the Nittany Lions. Chase Berger, Trevor Hamilton, and Andrew Sturtz also scored in the victory

Prediction

It’s impossible for me not to predict a Penn State sweep this weekend. Based on the team’s history against Mercyhurst and the fact that this team must be sick of splitting series (all four of the Nittany Lions’ series have been splits), Guy Gadowsky will have his team fired up and ready to sweep the Lakers.

About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

Mikey is a sophomore journalism major and staff writer for Onward State from Bedminster, NJ. He loves to watch sports, but hockey has always been his favorite. Mikey is the first Penn Stater in his family and is an expert on the New Jersey Devils, chicken parm, and country music. If you're dying to see more hockey content on your timeline, you can follow Mikey on Twitter @mikey_mandarino. You can also send any questions, comments, and/or hate mail via email to [email protected]

Comments

State College Links
More by Mikey

James Franklin To Appear On College GameDay Before NFL Draft

It seems Saquon Barkley isn’t the only Penn Stater in Texas today: Coach James Franklin will appear ESPN’s College GameDay before the NFL Draft.

Saquon Barkley Releases Video With Gatorade, Players’ Tribune Ahead Of NFL Draft

Don’t Get Scammed By The Fake ‘Bursar’ In Your Inbox

Athletics

Penn State Baseball Routes Lafayette 8-1 In Allentown

The Nittany Lions’ offense exploded for eight runs in a much needed victory over Lafayette.

Report: Penn State Investigating Swimming Coaches After Allegations Of Bullying

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To No. 1 Stony Brook 21-13

Tony Carr Signs With Octagon Basketball Agency

Penn State Baseball, Lion’s Pantry Join Forces To Help Fight Food Insecurity

Student Life

Country Rock Band Old Dominion To Visit BJC October 26

Death. Taxes. The Bryce Jordan Center booking country acts.

UPUA Finishes Spring Semester Strong

The Weird, Wacky, And Wonderful World Of Penn State Craigslist

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Saquon Barkley’s College Career As Told By Five Games

Five games in particular give a clear glimpse of what Saquon Barkley meant to Penn State football.

To Our Favorite NFL Teams: Please Draft Saquon Barkley

Our staffers enjoyed rooting for Saquon Barkley so much that they can’t imagine not doing so in the NFL.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Never Count Yourself Out: Trevor Hayes’ Senior Column

This is the end of a wild journey with too many ups and downs to count.

Send this to a friend