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News & Notes From Penn State Men’s Hockey’s 2022 Media Day

Penn State men’s hockey held its annual preseason media day Tuesday ahead of its puck drop, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on October 7 against Canisius.

The event began with head coach Guy Gadowsky taking questions for almost a half hour. After that, the likes of Paul DeNaples, Connor McMenamin, Ryan Kirwan, Liam Souliere, and six more players took questions from reporters to discuss topics ranging from last season to the team’s culture.

Here’s a recap of what was discussed during the Nittany Lions’ media day.

Moving On From Last Season

Last season didn’t go as planned for the Nittany Lions with a 17-20-1 record that saw them finish fifth in the Big Ten. However, Penn State played much better in the second half of the season, defeating Ohio State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and barely being eliminated by Minnesota afterward.

Gadowsky said he hopes Penn State will pick up where it left off and continue playing good hockey in 2022.

Several key players from last season have already departed the team. Oskar Autio transferred to Vermont in April, while Clayton Phillips and Adam Pilewicz both graduated. Knowing notable spots were opening up on his roster, Gadowsky’s work from last year continued through the offseason.

“That’s been something that we’ve been trying to build off of all season,” Gadowsky said. “Not starting now, starting at the end of the year.”

Culture Is A Top Priority

Gadowsky continued to emphasize team culture during his press conference. He cited the team’s prioritization of culture being a reason for the success of the season’s second half.

“It started with making culture our number one priority and drastically improving that,” Gadowsky said. “I think we’ve come a long way.”

However, Gadowsky noted there is still a ways to go in building the culture — especially with the aforementioned departure of veteran players.

“We had a lot of work to do,” Gadowsky said. “It was absolutely our number one priority.”

Incoming Players Excited To Play At Penn State

Gadowsky and Co. were far from quiet this offseason, bringing plenty of new faces into Happy Valley. Penn State landed two senior forwards in Ashton Calder and Ture Linden from the transfer portal. Meanwhile, Alex Servagno and Jarod Crespo headline a class of five freshmen.

Gadowsky expressed excitement about his new freshman class. He mentioned the players’ intelligence and skill as the reasons for his staff’s high expectations.

“They bring a number of things. There is physicality for sure, without question, but I think there’s a lot more,” Gadowsky said. “I think all three of them are very intelligent, and they all move pucks well. They all skate well. We’re excited about every one of them.”

Meanwhile, Calder spoke about his excitement to play in Happy Valley after facing Penn State last season. The Michigan native transferred to Penn State from North Dakota, where he totaled 11 goals and 21 points last season.

“[Penn State] was a high offensive, high tempo type team,” Calder said. “I’m happy that I get to be a part of it.”

Liam Souliere Ready For New Challenges

For the first time in his career, junior goaltender Liam Souliere is expected to be Penn State’s starter at the season’s start. The Canadian saw increased playing time last season and impressed with 409 saves and a .905 save percentage, including a 40-save performance during a 4-1 win against Wisconsin.

Souliere has a chip on his shoulder and is ready to assert himself as a productive college starter.

“A lot of times people say, ‘prove them wrong,'” Souliere said. “I’m here to prove the people that believed in me right.”

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a sophomore majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which isn't fun these days. If you want to keep in touch with Nolan, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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