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Nate Sucese Becomes Penn State Hockey’s All-Time Leading Point Scorer With Consistency, Unrelenting Work Ethic

Penn State hockey crowned a new all-time leader in points during its 6-2 victory over Robert Morris on Saturday, and the team’s new scoring king couldn’t have deserved it more.

Senior Nate Sucese passed David Goodwin’s mark of 128 points with three assists in the big win in Pittsburgh. Sucese, a left-shot center who hails from Fairport, New York, was only credited with one assist when the clock hit triple-zeroes at PPG Paints Arena, but a pair of scoring changes made after the contest ended gave him the program mark.

This is the second program record Sucese has broken this season. His tip-in goal against Minnesota on November 16 gave him the Nittany Lions’ all-time goal-scoring record, passing Andrew Sturtz’s mark of 54.

An after-the-fact scoring change is probably the least climatic way to break any sort of record, so it’s almost fitting that Sucese reached the all-time mark this way. The center hasn’t spent much of his collegiate career in the limelight — especially with star teammates like Goodwin, Sturtz, and Evan Barratt grabbing the headlines.

While those players have been showered with praise from fans and the media, Sucese has put in the necessary work — and then some — to become one of the greatest forwards to ever play for Guy Gadowsky’s program.

“He can make those very skilled, top-10 plays, but also, he’s one of the hardest workers — if not the hardest worker,” junior wing Alex Limoges said. “He’s a guy we can count on to win battles in the corner and those big-time faceoffs — and do everything we need to win.”

Limoges also used the word “consistency” to describe how the program’s new all-time leader in points sets the tone for some of his younger teammates. Sucese has consistently worked to get to this position, but his relentless work ethic isn’t the only part of his game that’s been steady throughout his three-and-a-half seasons in Hockey Valley.

The former Dubuque Fighting Saint’s “worst” statistical season of his college career was his sophomore year. He scored 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 36 appearances — an output that’s sandwiched between his stellar 36- and 37- point totals from his freshman and junior seasons, respectively.

Right now, Sucese leads the Nittany Lions with 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in 22 games played. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, he’ll pass the 30-point mark yet again — and he’s got a very good chance to hit 40 for the first time as a Nittany Lion. In head coach Guy Gadowsky’s opinion, this consistent high level of production is Sucese’s most impressive accomplishment.

“It’s his overall attitude about he approaches every game,” Gadowsky said. “He’ll do whatever it takes to produce in whatever game there is, and I really admire that. He is really mentally tough in just producing in whatever situation. You look at his 129 [points] in three-and-a-half [seasons]. It’s an amazing accomplishment. It really is.”

Elsewhere, the always-thoughtful Sucese gave credit to former teammates Andrew Sturtz — his mentor as a freshman — and Ricky DeRosa for the success he’s had in college. Now that those records are out of the way, Sucese’s focus is firmly towards winning the Big Ten’s regular season championship and earning a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

“I don’t think there are many individual goals left,” he said. “Our main focus is getting that first spot in the [Big Ten] playoffs. Having that bye in the first round is huge, and the rest could be huge for us. Coming in first and getting a regular season title would be a big stepping stone for this program.”

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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