FanPost

Icers Recap: A Wake-Up Weekend

Following their thorough trouncing of Rutgers, the Icers headed to Virginia to finish the Fall semester with a pair of road games against the 8th-ranked Liberty Flames. The Flames presented an interesting challenge for the Icers. They come before the winter break for the Icers, and the Flames are a step-up in competition (as compared to the Scarlet Knights). As well, the Flames have found some success against the Icers in years past and could pull off a surprise win should the Icers come out flat in either game.

Friday, December 9th, at Liberty University:

Team 1st 2nd 3rd Final
#1 PENN STATE 2
1
0
3
#8 Liberty 1
1
2
4
PSU Goals: Kirchhevel, O'Brien, P. Daley

The Icers would use the weekend to continue to let some players heal, so Madrazo and Holstrom would be scratched for the weekend. Tim Carr would get the start in net, following up his shutout last Saturday. The Icers would fail to score on an early powerplay chance, but Kirchhevel would take a great set-up from Rich O'Brien and Tommy Olczyk and score a shorthanded goal to give the Icers an early 1-0 lead. A few minutes later, O'Brien would get a goal of his own, blasting home a goal from the blue line. Liberty would respond on a 2-on-1 rush, cutting the Icers lead to 2-1. Paul Daley would re-extend the lead to 2 goals early in the 2nd period on a nice tip past the Liberty goalie. Late in the 2nd, another defensive lapse would lead to another odd-man rush for the Flames, and they'd capitalize to cut the lead to 3-2. The Icers would fail to convert on a number of power play opportunities to end the 2nd period an the start of the 3rd, and the Flames would tie the game at 3-3 halfway through the 3rd period. The Flames would take the lead on a power play goal a couple minutes later, breaking the Icers' streak of 27 straight penalties killed. From there, the Icers just couldn't get anything going, bring to a close their worst performance of the year with a 4-3 loss to the Flames.

Saturday, December 10th, at Liberty University:

Team 1st 2nd 3rd Final
#1 PENN STATE 2
2
0 4
#8 Liberty
2
0
0
2
PSU Goals: Saad, Jensen, Olczyk, P. Daley

Hoping to end a successful semester on a fitting positive note, the Icers looked to take the Saturday game against the Flames. In the normal goalie rotation, PJ Musico would get the start in net. Hoping to set the tone early, George Saad would give the Icers an early 1-0 lead, thanks to some strong forechecking from Eric Steinour. Liberty would tie the game a few minutes later, but Nate Jensen would get the lead back, just 14 seconds after Liberty's goal. Liberty would get a late powerplay goal to tie the game at 2-2 after one period of play. The Icers would finally start taking control of the game in the second period. Five minutes into the 2nd, Kirchhevel would set up Tommy Olczyk for an easy goal, giving the Icers the 3-2 lead. That would remain the score until Chris Cerutti found an open Paul Daley in front of the net, who put home an easy goal, giving the Icers the 2-goal lead. The Icers would carry that lead into the third period, and although no more goals would be scored, the Icers showed improvement in a number of deficient areas from the weekend. An energized power play almost extended the lead on a number of occasions, while the defensive turnovers and breakdowns were minimized and neutralized without allowing Liberty to take advantage. The 4-2 win gave the Icers a weekend split with Liberty, providing some positive momentum heading into 2012.

Season Record and ACHA Ranking: 14-2-0, ranked #1 in the ACHA

News, Notes, Observations: The Friday night game was easily the worst game the Icers have played this season, and that leaked into Saturday a bit. The biggest issue continues to be the turnovers in the "gray zone." These are usually lazy turnovers near the blue lines that allow the opponent to start an offensive rush while the Icers are moving in the opposite direction. Even if the opposing team doesn't capitalize (and teams like Delaware and Liberty did), the momentum shifts and the Icers are left scrambling. That was the difference between Friday's loss and the solid 2nd and 3rd periods of the Saturday game. Also, kudos to Collins, Saad, and the rotating third player on that line (usually Steinour, sometimes Cerutti or Morrone). That line continues to play consistently well in all areas of the game.

Two other areas that need some support are the power play and goaltending. Goaltending just needs some consistency at this point. Madrazo opened the year as seemingly the #1 goalie, and has only missed the past two weekends due to injury. (It sounds like he's ready to go, and the coaches merely gave him the weekend off to ensure a complete recovery.) PJ Musico has made a strong case to get some more starts, while Tim Carr is still trying to catch up. All three are talented, but I think they just need consistent starts - the continual rotation isn't helping their ability to get into a groove. As for the power play, it has been solid for most of the season, but the 0% success ratio this weekend makes me lean towards developing set power play units. Also, a healthy Taylor Holstrom and Bryce Johnson (who went out during Friday's game and did not play Saturday) can have a major impact on the power play, and the team as a whole.

The Icers can now officially look forward to an outdoor game against NCAA D3 Neumann University on Wednesday, January 4th. While this is even more of an exhibition game that most match-ups with D3 teams, it will still be a great experience for the teams and fans alike. For those interested in going, more information can be found here. Following the trip to Philadelphia, the Icers head to Oklahoma for a pair of games that weekend. First up is a Friday game against #18 Central Oklahoma, followed by a trip to Norman on Saturday for a rare match-up against the #6 Oklahoma Sooners.

You created a Fanpost! Any content from a premium site that requires a subscription will be deleted once we catch wind of it. If you simply want to share a link, quote, or video, please consider using Fanshots instead. Thanks.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Black Shoe Diaries

You must be a member of Black Shoe Diaries to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black Shoe Diaries. You should read them.

Join Black Shoe Diaries

You must be a member of Black Shoe Diaries to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black Shoe Diaries. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker