News & Notes From Penn State Men’s Hockey’s 2023 Media Day
After several months without any action, Penn State men’s hockey’s 2023-24 season will finally begin with a trip to LIU on Saturday, October 7.
Head coach Guy Gadowsky met with the media for the team’s annual Media Day Tuesday, along with a handful of Nittany Lions.
Here’s a recap of what was discussed during Penn State’s media day.
Penn State Hopeful Of Reaching Frozen Four
Penn State came agonizingly close to reaching its first-ever Frozen Four last season but came up short and lost 2-1 against Michigan in overtime in the NCAA Regional Final. Despite significant turnover heading into the 2023-24 season, Gadowsky is confident in his team.
“This is going to be a great year. We’re either going to put it all together and have another precedent-setting season, or we’re going to prepare to have a precedent-setting season,” he said. “Either way, it’s going to be good.”
Gadowsky also emphasized the importance of maintaining a good team culture. He’s been quick to highlight strong culture as a reason behind success, and it’s something he, the coaching staff, and many players have built over the last two to three years in Hockey Valley.
Christian Berger Embracing New Role
After the team took a vote on Saturday, Christian Berger was named the team’s 10th captain in program history. He succeeds Paul DeNaples, who captained Penn State for the previous two seasons, and Christian Sarlo and Xander Lamppa will serve as the team’s alternate captains this season.
Berger, a senior defenseman from St. Louis, Missouri, expressed his excitement to serve as Penn State’s captain. His brother, Chase, was the program’s sixth-ever captain in the 2018-19 season.
“It’s a huge honor,” Berger said. “I have 100% learned from Paul [DeNaples]. My brother was the captain here and obviously, I talk to him all the time.”
Additionally, Berger stressed that he doesn’t believe he needs to do anything different, and his teammates consistently praised his leadership skills.
“He’s here for the right reasons,” Gadowsky said of Berger being named captain.
Aiden Fink Arrives In Hockey Valley
Highly touted recruit Aiden Fink is gearing up to begin his first season donning a Penn State sweater. The freshman from Calgary, Alberta, previously played for the Brooks Bandits of the American Junior Hockey League.
He thrived in Alberta and registered 41 goals, 56 assists, and 97 points in the 2022-23 regular season and was also selected by the Nashville Predators in this year’s NHL Draft.
Fink said there was nothing he didn’t like about the Penn State program, which was part of why he ultimately chose to come here.
“It’s the culture. There’s not one thing I didn’t like about Penn State. Talking to coaches, getting recruited by them, and talking to players on the team and all that,” Fink said. “Just an unbelievable atmosphere… I can tell just from talking to them. So, that’s kind of what drew me.”
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The thousands of teddy bears will be donated to Four Diamonds children.
The Lady Lions were last ranked in 2014.
“Andy will be here more just taking in everything and getting a feel for how we operate.”