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Penn State Men’s Hockey Ready To Roll After Brief Thanksgiving Hiatus

Although Penn State men’s hockey is having a successful season, it clearly needed a break heading into Thanksgiving.

After defeating Michigan State 4-3 in overtime in the first game of the series, the Nittany Lion suffered a 7-3 blowout loss the following game, marking its third and worst loss of the season.

Penn State took care of business in its next series against Alaska Fairbanks, but it was not easy. The Nittany Lions defeated the Nanooks 3-2 on Tuesday, three days following its Sparty fiasco. They followed suit on Thanksgiving Eve with a 2-1 win, but the team did not look like itself. Penn State struggled to beat a sub-.500 team on home ice in both games, appearing sluggish.

Penn State is now approaching the end of a nine-day stretch without any games, as a home series against No. 17 Ohio State awaits the Nittany Lions on Friday.

Head coach Guy Gadowsky was adamant that his team struggled to play well before its break.

“We were running on fumes,” Gadowsky said. “We did not play well.”

Although Penn State is having a good season, this is not surprising. Playing four games in six days is a tall order, regardless of who the opponent is. The need for a break was evident.

The gap in play served as a good chance for players to spend time regrouping physically and mentally. When the time came to return to the ice, the mood had improved, goaltender Liam Souliere expressed.

“You can already tell the mood is super up. Everyone’s ready to go and really play our game and show what we can do,” Souliere said. “I think we’re doing a lot of good things.”

Forward Christian Sarlo, who has been red-hot lately, echoed Souliere’s sentiments.

“This little break definitely helped,” Sarlo said.

Now, four more games await Penn State before an even longer break that will span 20 days.

First, the Nittany Lions have a series against No. 17 Ohio State on Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, at Pegula Ice Arena. Then, Penn State will travel to South Bend, Indiana, for a series against No. 20 Notre Dame on Friday, December 9, and Saturday, December 10.

Both opponents are not to be taken lightly, as is any team in the Big Ten. Now that Penn State’s had the chance to rest up, it has all the necessary stamina and energy to tackle the remaining schedule before the next break.

“We’ve got two weeks and two really good opponents,” Sarlo said. “So just want to make sure we stay focused and take care of our business.”

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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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