If you follow the men's ice hockey team, you've come to appreciate assistant captain David Glen (SO, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta) as the chippy little dude who, more than likely, irritates the hell out of the opposition. He's in your face; he's running into the goalie 'by accident'; he pokes a stick in your side or between your skates; you get the idea. Dave's a giant pain in the ass, and, not coincidentally, he's leading the team in penalty minutes for a second straight season.
He's also quite a good dude off the ice. In November 2012, Dave participated in the "Be The Match" drive, a national bone marrow donation program, held on campus in support of LAX player Drew Roper's mom. And now, Dave's a match. He's leaving his skates in his locker immediately, and will undergo a 5-day, non-surgical procedure to donate blood forming cells, and, hopefully, save a life. Consequently, he'll miss this Saturday's tilt with Boston College, and next weekend's pair at Ohio State for the procedure and recovery. He's ecstatic about the trade. Congrats, Dave, and thank you, for being an outstanding representative of Penn State - on, and off the ice.
Penn State dropped both games at Michigan State. Friday night the Lions more or less skated evenly with Sparty, but somehow wound up on the wrong end of a 3-0 shutout. The next night was more of the same. Penn State finally buried a couple of pucks, but fell on a late Sparty goal, 3-2.
The Lions are now 1 - 11 in their last 12 games. Nine of those 11 losses have come against Top 10 ranked teams (Sparty being the exception). It's been a brutal stretch.
What is clear, though, is that these young Lions continue to improve, and fight. Despite the murderous schedule and the string of losses, Coach Gadowsky has his squad playing better - by leaps and bounds - than they had early in the season. The only thing missing at this juncture - besides more experience - is a little more improvement on the offensive end. Goals have been hard to come by this season. Even when they've created great chances, they've been turned away more often than not. It didn't help playing Goldy's Wilcox and Sparty's Hildebrand, of course. But they just have to keep dumping, chasing, and grinding.
Next Up - Boston College
Where: at Pegula Ice Arena
When: Saturday, 7pmET
Video: nope. PSU All-Access. Good luck seeing the puck. I've tried, and it ain't easy.
Last Meeting: 12/28/13, an 8-2 shellacking from the BC Iggles, in the final of the Three Rivers Classic. Penn State jumped out on top 1-0 behind a Casey Bailey goal, and skated well through the first period, though they trailed 2-1 at the first intermission. Then BC's offensive boulder rolled down the mountain.
BC can really light the lamp. They've trounced quite a few teams this year, including some excellent hockey programs: Rensselaer 7-2, Wisconsin 9-2, BU 5-1, Army 11-0, Bowling Green 5-0; and in their last two games, they beat Maine 7-2 at home, and Merrimack 4-1 on the road. They're unbeaten in their last 10 games, and are ranked #2, behind only Minnesota.
Penn State will be without starting defenseman Mark Yanis, who is, in a manner of speaking, our own personal Happy Gilmore out there (he's a little better skater than Gilmore, but mostly has the same attitude). Yanis cross-checked Sparty into the boards from behind last Saturday, earning a 5 minute major and a 10 minute misconduct. The Big Ten bumped it up to a full game on Monday.