Penn State Men’s Hockey Goalkeeper Noah Grannan Prepped For Homecoming Against Wisconsin
Penn State men’s hockey’s start to Big Ten conference play has been rocky. The Nittany Lions are 2-3-3 in conference play and tied for fifth place in the Big Ten.
Last weekend, the Nittany Lions lost momentum created by a strong start and dropped the first game of their weekend series to Minnesota 4-1. On Saturday, the team rebounded and split the series with a 6-3 victory.
Next weekend, Penn State heads to Madison, Wisconsin, to take on the No. 6-ranked Badgers inside the Kohl Center. Despite facing a talented Wisconsin team with one of the strongest defenses in the Big Ten, head coach Guy Gadowsky said this week will be business as usual.
“We haven’t changed,” Gadowsky said. “It’s a matter of us playing our game for 60 minutes. It’s cliche, even though it isn’t a cliche, it’s the absolute truth. It sounds simple, but it’s not. It’s hard.”
Despite preparation remaining the same, goaltender Noah Grannan says he’s had the Wisconsin series circled on the calendar for a long time.
Grannan hails from Germantown, Wisconsin, about an hour outside of Madison. The sophomore was committed to Wisconsin before flipping to Penn State but is excited for a return home.
Gadowsky has begun to rotate goaltenders as Grannan and senior Liam Souliere have split every series since Souliere was pulled from the matchup against AIC in late October. Gadowsky said the team hasn’t finalized who will play this weekend, but if the pattern holds, Grannan should get a chance to play inside the arena he grew up watching hockey in.
“I’ve probably attended more Wisconsin Badger games than I have Penn State games, so these are gonna be big ones,” Grannan said. “I’ve got a lot of friends, family, people I went to high school with that go to the University of Wisconsin going as students that probably don’t even know I’ll be there. Getting to play in front of a lot of those people, it’s gonna be really cool.”
Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State is home to one of the best atmospheres in college hockey. The Roar Zone’s presence is an enormous asset to the Penn State hockey team and is often praised by Gadowsky for helping build momentum through the atmosphere created on gameday. Penn State will be without the extra help this week, but Grannan plans to use his family and hometown atmosphere as his own motivation.
The goalkeepers have been on a consistent rotation for the past few weeks with Grannan starting on Friday and Souliere taking net-minding duties on Saturday. However, the roles were reversed this weekend, and Souliere started on Friday while Grannan played on Saturday.
Gadowsky says the pair aren’t on a set rotation and the week of practices before the games shows who’s better suited to play on any given day. That fact doesn’t bother Grannan though, and he says he’ll still be excited even if he doesn’t get a chance to play this weekend.
“It’s the same it’s been all year,” Grannan said. “If I get to play, win my game. If I don’t, cheer on my teammates. Simple as that.”
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