Brandon Biro Rising From Unsung Hero To SportsCenter Star For Penn State Hockey
Penn State men’s hockey wing Brandon Biro found himself in an unfamiliar place after his team’s game against Minnesota on Friday: on the highlight reel.
Biro earned the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays after he scored the first goal in Penn State’s 4-2 victory on Friday. He took an outlet pass from Paul DeNaples, cut toward the net, and unleashed a bullet of a wrist shot over the goaltender’s shoulder while being tripped up by a Golden Gopher.
“The best thing we saw in sports” on Friday night was a rare flashy play from the junior. He doesn’t always grab headlines or stand out during games, but Biro has always been of the Nittany Lions’ most consistent offensive producers.
In an expanded role this season, Biro is tied for third among Penn State’s forwards with 22 points in 20 games. He’s on pace to shatter his previous career high of 31 points, set last season. Given Biro’s stalwart presence on the ice, this uptick in production was bound to happen.
“I think he’s a pretty consistent guy. He gives a real honest, consistent effort every game,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “Although Brandon does have the talent to be on SportsCenter, I think his best attributes are his work ethic, grit, and tenacity.”
Biro’s importance is not lost on anyone around Penn State hockey. His teammates believe in him and value him so much they voted him one of the Nittany Lions’ alternate captains as a junior, a position previously filled by highly respected players like Chase Berger and James Robinson. Biro is in select company with Berger and Robinson, who both went on to wear the captain’s “C” after serving as alternate captains, so don’t be surprised if he takes a larger role next season.
“He’s a great leader,” fellow alternate captain Kevin Kerr said. “Ever since day one, I think he always showed that leadership quality. He leads by example, he’s a great team guy, and the guys love to be around him.”
Although Biro’s team knows how special he is, that might be lost on those unfamiliar with the program. After all, he’s living in the shadows of the team’s star trio of Alex Limoges, Evan Barratt, and Liam Folkes, as well as now-World Junior champion Aarne Talvitie.
With the exception of his SportsCenter Top 10 debut, Biro hasn’t gotten much attention for his standout play. That might change after this season, especially if he can cross the 40-point plateau for the first time in his NCAA career.
“I can’t say he’s underrated because around here, we really know how valuable this guy is, and his team sure does,” Gadowsky said. “I’m not sure the rest of the country knows how valuable he is, because he is well beyond what the points are.”
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