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Hockey Preview: American International College

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The Lions hope to continue the winning ways at home with a pair of winnable games this weekend.

Matt Skoff stares down the opposition
Matt Skoff stares down the opposition
247sports

Who: AIC Yellow Jackets (0-3-0)
When: Fri 7 p.m. / Sat 3 p.m
Where: Pegula Ice Arena
TV: None
Stream: Free Audio and Video
Live Stats: Gopsusports.com


The Lions (2-1-0) are coming off a very satisfying series split last weekend with Notre Dame. The showing last week was enough for PSU to hold onto the 27th ranking in the early-season USCHO.com poll. Eight different Lions have scored a goal in the first three games. The team looks like it will be able to replace the scoring production lost from last season by employing a more balanced attack.

Goalie Eamon McAdam has a solid 2 goals against average with a .934 save percentage to go along with two wins. Matt Skoff had a very challenging first start, giving up seven goals and collecting the loss. It will be interesting to see if Skoff gets a start on Saturday or if McAdam has been handed the starting job for now. While no team should be taken lightly, the pair of games this weekend versus AIC is also a tune-up for the following weekend when the Lions will host #17 St. Lawrence.

Scouting AIC

AIC finished the season a year ago ranked near the bottom of the NCAA rankings. The Yellow Jackets won only four games all season, two versus Army and two versus Niagara. There isn't much reason at this point to believe that AIC will fare much better this season. To this point it has a record of 0-3-0 and has lost each game by four or more points. In fairness two of the games were played in Alaska, and as PSU found out last season, the travel makes it very difficult to defeat the Alaskan teams.

Austin Orszulak, a junior forward and alternate captain, leads the team with three goals and one assist. He is the returning leader in points scored with a very respectable 22 goals and 13 assists a season ago. Orszulak is the lone player on the team from Massachusetts and is from Springfield, home of AIC.

Alex Murray will likely get the nod in net as he started 26 of AIC's 40 games last season and was in the net for three of the four wins. Murray has a goals against average of six with a save percentage of .838 on the season.

One measurable stat that will be in favor of AIC is the overall size of the team. With Zach Saar still ailing there are no players on the Penn State team that weigh over 210 pounds. AIC will skate five players weighing over 210 pounds.

The Yellow Jackets are coached by Gary Wright who is now in his 31st season at the helm. He has a record of 302-551-66. The 551 losses is the record for most losses at the same school. Wright authored a children's hockey book titled Pass The Biscuit in 1991.

Notes

  • Last weekend Penn State skated with five players from Pennsylvania on the same shift for the first time in program history.
  • Penn State has already played Canisius out of the Atlantic Hockey league and will play a pair with Niagara next month and a single game with Robert Morris over Christmas break.
  • Alec Marsh was named the Big Ten's second star for his effort last weekend.
  • PJ Musico recently gave thanks and appreciation to the people he met while in State College.