PSU Hockey Preview: vs.RIT, vs. Vermont

Penn State vs. Vermont -

Penn State skates twice this weekend, vs. RIT, and vs. Vermont in Philadelphia

Last Weekend Recap

Penn State dropped both contests against Air Force in Colorado Springs. They played poorly in the first match, dropping a 5-2 game. Eamon McAdam got the start in goal, and stopped 27 of 32 shots. Trailing 2-1 after the first period, the Lions skated better in the 2nd, but found themselves in a 4-1 hole, and couldn't dig themselves out in the 3rd period. They took 7 penalties, and surrendered one PPG, while finishing 1 for 3 on the man-advantage themselves.

The next night, the Lions played much better, with more intensity, particularly throughout the 2nd period. Scoreless in the 2nd period, and on the man-advantage, Penn State turned the puck over in the offensive zone off of a diving steal from Air Force. The puck traveled the length of the ice, and Air Force beat Penn State to the puck. A quick centering pass to trailing Falcon F George Michalke, and the one-timer got by G Matt Skoff. The shorthanded goal took the air out of the Lions, and they fell again, 3-1.

This Weekend Preview

The Lions are back home at Pegula Friday night at 7pmET, against RIT. Then they'll bus it to the Flyers' Wells Fargo Arena to take on Vermont in the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff.

vs. RIT

Time: Friday, 10/25, 7pmET, at The Peg

Video: N/A

Last Season: Penn State 3, RIT 2 (at Rochester)

Atlantic Hockey's RIT Tigers (0-3-1) are off to a rough start this year, after garnering some votes in pre-season polls. The Tigers are led on offensive by co-captain forwards Matt Garbowsky, a junior, and Ben Lynch, a senior. Both are smaller, faster skaters, and Penn State's bigger blueliners Juha, Yanis, and Koudys will need to stay sharp.

Junior Jordan Ruby is the Tigers' goalie, and he and the defense haven't held up their end of the bargain to this point in the season. Excluding a friendly with Queens University (who doesn't offer scholarships; and which they lost, 1-2), RIT has yet to allow fewer than 3 goals this season. They're being outshot 135-113 after only 4 contests, and Ruby's save percentage is more cubic zirconia than diamond - 86%. The Tigers are also wining just 43% of their faceoffs. One thing that is working well, though, is the Tigers' power play; 5 of their 9 goals on the season have come with the man-advantage.

vs. Vermont

Time: Saturday, 10/26, 5pmET, at Philly's Wells Fargo Center

Video: Comcast Sports Network

Last Season: Penn State 4, Vermont 2 (at Philly)

Last season on January 19th, Penn State and Vermont (Hockey East) hooked up at Wells Fargo, and the contest raised the collective college hockey world's heads and eyebrows. The two squads sold out the barn with over 19,000 fans, mostly wearing blue and white, and first-year D1 Penn State took out the Catamounts, 4-2. Skeptics of Penn State hockey had to admit to being wrong about two things: 1) Penn State would take years to build a fan base; and 2) Penn State would take years before they could skate at the D1 level. The game was so awesome that both sides agreed to do it again.

This season, the Catamounts (it's a mountain lion, too) bring 10 freshman to Wells Fargo. Don't be fooled by their 0-1-1 record, though. These Catamounts have been skating well. They traveled to North Dakota last weekend, and gave the #7 Sioux all they could handle. Vermont jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first game, before falling 5-3. In the second game, Vermont fell behind 2-0 in the first period, before rallying to tie the top-10 squad, 2-2. North Dakota is known for its speed on the ice, and the young Catamounts dealt with it very well. Penn State could have its hands full on Saturday.

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