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Guy Gadowsky Staying Committed To Learning From Last Season’s Shortcomings

Many of us have learned a lot since the coronavirus pandemic has started, and Penn State men’s hockey head coach Guy Gadowsky is no exception.

Now that Penn State’s roller-coaster season has come to an end, Gadowsky is determined to use what he learned last season and has his eyes set on next year.

The Nittany Lions did not have an ideal start to the season this year after an 0-5-0 start. It seemed as if there was no chemistry among the team while losing their first five contests by a combined score of 10-23. A lot of these early struggles could be attributed to the lack of team bonding.

The team had a tough time integrating the new players into the program this year due to COVID-19-related protocols. The team was split into separate locker rooms and wasn’t able to gather often due to social distancing restrictions. Despite efforts made by the team to bond together, Penn State still didn’t have the continuity required to be successful on the ice. Gadowsky is looking forward to changing that this year.

“After you sit and look at it, I could have been a lot more innovative,” Gadowsky said last week. “I could have things out to achieve what we had to coach the right way, and I didn’t. Alex [Dawes] is a pretty smart guy, and he said that the one thing that would be the biggest negative is if we don’t learn from this. I think there was a long team where I would put things in the pandemic bucket and was pouting. I have learned a lot, and we’ll continue to evaluate and learn more.”

Despite being critical of the way he handled the difficult situation himself, Gadowsky was very pleased with how his players handled it. He later said one of the most important things he learned was that team continuity and culture are “massive.”

“Coaching isn’t just about Xs and Os and systems and concepts. It’s about the team,” Gadowsky said. “I was pouting, and now I’m done pouting. Now, we’re learning.”

Gadowsky also said he’s now taking what he has learned and applying it to what could potentially happen this offseason.

“I’m very much looking forward to getting more team continuity in every fashion,” Gadowsky said. “Number one, in a cultural way, and number two, in terms of gaining a deeper understanding of our identity and concept as a team. Those are the goals. Whether it’s all status quo by the time we go back, I don’t know. If not, we’re going to be very motivated to make sure that we do the best job we can.”

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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