*****DISCLAIMER***** There are Kanye West and Arcade Fire references within this article.
After a successful opening weekend at home against the UConn Huskies, coach Guy Gadowsky’s Nittany Lions is readying themselves for a bit of a road trip.
On Tuesday, Penn State will head to Fairbanks, Alaska in preparation for this year’s Brice Alaska Goal Rush, in which they’ll take on Alaska Anchorage as well as Alaska in a weekend series with two late starts (9:07 p.m. and 11:07 p.m. eastern respectively)
The Lions will be facing an undermanned Alaska Anchorage team, as their captain, forward Brett Cameron has been suspended for their game against Penn State for a major penalty from last weekend.
I’m coming home, again. Do you think about me now and then?
After a slow start a year ago, forward Casey Bailey had to have been happy to get onto the scoreboard in Penn State’s 7-1 massacre of UConn on Saturday, scoring the ‘cherry-on-top’ goal in the game’s third period on an explosive slap-shot from the point, wide open in front of the net.
This week, Bailey gets to go home.
A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Bailey is looking forward to taking a trip back to his northern homeland.
"I think it’s just having the opportunity to have all the close family, friends, and relatives coming out to watch me play at such a high level," Bailey said. "That’s the most exciting part for me."
Two more Lions you may have heard of have connections to Alaska as well. Forward Eric Scheid spent his freshman season with Alaska Anchorage, Penn State’s opponent on Friday, while Gadowsky spent five years as the head coach of Alaska Anchorage, their opponent on Saturday.
Gadowsky is looking forward to returning to Fairbanks.
"It’s a fun experience because the people there have been so great. The community there is awesome," he said.
The fourth-year coach even sees a bit of his current team in his former team.
"I think it’s similar to what we have in Penn State," the coach said. "The community has really rallied around the team, and we have a lot of friends there."
While not at the level of any of the five other Big Ten conference members, or even either of their opponents this weekend, Penn State saw yet another first on Monday afternoon.
For the first time, Penn State’s program received six votes in the weekly USCHO poll.
Scheid thought the feat was a big deal.
"I don’t know how many votes we had, or who was doing it, but at least someone thinks we showed some promise this weekend," the exciting forward said. "Hopefully we get two more wins and get some more votes next week."
Gadowsky, who didn’t even know about the votes until being told by the media, doesn’t think much of it, but did think the feat was "cool."
"I don’t see how they really matter right now," he said, before quantifying-- "It’s nice to see."
It was only six votes, but that still stands for something. Between the blowout victory on Saturday, and receiving votes for the first time on Monday, the Nittany Lions continue to be a program headed in the correct direction.