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Penn State Men’s Hockey’s Kevin Wall Emerging As Leader On The Ice

While the start to the Big Ten schedule has been challenging for Penn State men’s hockey, there are still several bright spots.

One of those bright spots is none other than junior forward Kevin Wall, who’s always been a contributing member of this hockey team since he started with Penn State. However, he’s recently emerged as one of the leaders and more productive players for the Nittany Lions with 16 points in 15 games.

Wall is the team’s leader in goals scored and overall points. He is tied with freshman forward Ryan Kirwan for third on the roster with six assists. With 10 goals on the season, Wall is currently tied for eighth-best across the nation.

Wall scored a goal in the Nittany Lions’ one win in conference play so far, but he’s contributing mostly positive things to the game as the team has gone through a tough offensive stretch in recent weeks.

Besides scoring, Wall has led by example for his squad. One of the weaknesses for the team recently has been the number of times they take costly penalties. Penn State has 75 penalties on the season and averages five penalties per game, resulting in over 12 minutes per game.

However, Wall has only taken two penalties this season for a total of fifteen minutes in the box. Both of these penalties came in the season opener.

“By far it’s the best he’s played,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “It’s often that when you play really well in all areas of your game that points and goals come, and that’s what’s happening.”

Wall has even become a fan favorite this season. Following his six goals scored on home ice, Penn State fans have sung along to Oasis’s “Wonderwall” to celebrate.

Perhaps his best performance came through a hat trick against Niagara earlier this season. So far, it’s the only three-goal game for the Nittany Lions this year.

As he reflected on his hot start, Wall chalked some of his success discipline on the ice.

“I think the habits are just, you know, playing tennis at hockey — not turning pucks over at blue lines,” Wall said. “Making sure you’re playing all the systems right because the systems are meant to create offense and create chances. So, when you buy into that, everything’s going to kind of fall into place for you.”

Drafted in 2019 by the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, Wall was the No. 181 overall pick. Wall is currently a prospect for their organization and hopes to one day go pro.

A lot of hard work is paying off for Wall, and it’s not going unnoticed by his team.

“The shift that’s happened with Kevin is that he was a guy that was so patient, and he had a great attitude through having to work hard to get into the lineup. He’s earned every minute of ice time he got here, and I love it when guys do that. The lesson seems to stick a little bit tighter,” Gadowsky said. “He’s becoming a really complete hockey player.”

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About the Author

Gabriel Herman

Gabriel Herman is a journalism major at Penn State from Minneapolis, MN. He writes about several sports-related topics. If you want to discuss great moments in Minnesota sports history, you can reach him at [email protected]

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