Gratton Brothers Fostering Sibling Bond On & Off The Ice For Penn State Men’s Hockey

Penn State men’s hockey is off to a hot start this season with a 4-0 record. The Nittany Lions just moved up two spots from No. 20 to No. 18 in the latest poll after another series sweep, this time against Mercyhurst.

Many of head coach Guy Gadowsky’s players have contributed to the undefeated start, with 12 having scored at least one goal and 15 tallying at least one assist. However, Tyler and Dylan Gratton have made a vast impact with six combined points so far.

Tyler Gratton, a senior forward and co-captain, has scored once in each series. His lone assist came against Mercyhurst during Thursday’s home 6-3 victory.

Gratton’s younger brother, Dylan, is a true freshman and defenseman. Dylan scored his first collegiate goal against Mercyhurst, which was a special moment for the brothers.

“It was pretty cool to be able to experience that with him,” Tyler said.

Tyler said his younger brother didn’t realize he was on the ice for the goal, which made the moment more special for both of them.

Dylan’s goal put the Nittany Lions up 4-2 in the second period. He also had his first assist in the game, too.

The brothers have earned praise from Gadowsky, who said it’s “cool watching [the Grattons].”

Gadowsky also acknowledged the sibling rivalry and how they compete against each other during practices.

“Tyler is a tough kid,” Gadowsky said. “He plays hard, he practices hard, but he hits way harder on Dylan than anybody else. I like the way the brothers are, and it brings a little more competitiveness I think to everybody.”

Tyler echoed Gadowsky’s thoughts, as he intentionally makes things more competitive with Dylan.

“Because he is my brother, I try to give him extra shots out there and try to make it more competitive between the two of us,” Tyler said. “You want to beat your brother in any game that you’re playing. You always want to be better than him.”

The Gratton’s are still “very close” off the ice, and they frequently enjoy spending time together. Tyler was adamant that the two have grown closer over the years.

“We’ve come really close together. We love hanging out with each other,” Tyler said.

Dylan is part of a freshman class that also features fellow defenseman Carter Schade and goaltender Noah Grannan. Dylan most recently played for the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. However, it was a goal he scored during his time with the U-16 North Jersey Avalanche that gives a glimpse into what he’ll bring to Penn State moving forward.

Clearly, Dylan has plenty of raw talent that Penn State hockey fans can get excited for over the next few seasons.

Dylan will likely anchor Penn State’s defensive pairings for seasons to come, especially when Paul DeNaples graduates at the end of the season. Dylan also started in Penn State’s first game against Mercyhurst.

Meanwhile, Tyler has one more season of eligibility due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on college hockey. He set a career-high in points last season with 12.

In the meantime, though, the Gratton brothers will next take on St. Thomas at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, at Pegula Ice Arena.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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