Penn State Men’s Hockey’s Ture Linden, Ryan Kirwan, & Kevin Wall Shine In Opening Series

Penn State men’s hockey hit the ground running in its opening series, sweeping Canisius with a 5-2 win Friday night and a 7-5 win Saturday night.

The Nittany Lions recently began a new campaign with Big Ten championship and NCAA Tournament aspirations in sight. Along with that come many different storylines as a brand-new season gets underway. Penn State’s newcomers trying to make an immediate impact was one of them, and they did just that in the team’s opening series. One of them sticks out in particular: Ture Linden.

Linden transferred to Penn State from RPI back in April. There, he led the team with 39 points (19 goals and 20 assists) in 44 games during the 2021-22 season. Over the weekend, he scored a goal and had four assists in his Penn State series debut.

Not only was that an overall great play, but it was a terrific shot.

“He [took faceoffs] very well,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said in his press conference Monday. “And then you saw his still where he set up plays. His goal was fantastic…It’s only one weekend, and we’ve got a long way to go. But from the coaching staff standpoint, we’re thrilled with [Linden and Ashton Calder].”

Along with the five points, which is currently tied for the team lead with Kevin Wall and Ryan Kirwan, Linden also possesses a plus/minus of +6 and a 63% faceoff win rate, something the Nittany Lions aimed to improve on in the offseason.

Speaking of Kirwan and Wall, the trio all played on the same line over the weekend. Kirwan, who finished third on the team in goals (13) and points (26) last season, came into the year with high expectations, and he is off to a great start with three goals and two assists. He earned some recognition, too, as the DeWitt, New York, native was named the Big Ten’s Third Star of the Week on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Kevin Wall had a great weekend with two goals and three assists. The senior right winger even made SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays with what turned out to be the game-winning goal Saturday night in which he poke-checked the puck away and deked past two Canisius defenders for the score.

What was most striking from the weekend series is how the trio clicked on the ice with Linden at center, Kirwan at left wing, and Wall at right wing. Look at the line work the boards together to create this goal for Kirwan.

In fact, two of Kirwan’s three goals this season have been assisted by Linden. The duo has combined for seven points. Gadowsky actually credited Kirwan’s Tuesday recognition to how that line of Kirwan, Linden, and Wall meshed together so well.

“Obviously, it was well-deserved, but I think that was definitely a factor of how well that line played together,” Gadowsky said. “They showed synergy pretty much from day one, and it was nice to see them continue that from training camp into the game.”

The trio and the rest of the Nittany Lions will next hit the ice at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 13, when Penn State kicks off a home-and-home series with Mercyhurst. Thursday night’s game can be streamed on BTN+.

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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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