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Preview: Penn State Hosts Sacred Heart

The Nittany Lions look to have a strong series before embarking on a long road-trip to Alaska.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Sacred Heart University Pioneers
When: Fri 7 p.m / Sat 4 p.m.
Where: Pegula Ice Arena, State College, Pa.
TV: None
Stream: Free Audio and Video
Live Stats:

The Lions (4-2-2) will take on Sacred Heart (5-3-1) this weekend at home. The series will be the last time Penn State will play at home until Dec. 4 when Michigan State comes to town.

The team will travel to Alaska for a pair of games with Alaska-Anchorage next weekend. The following weekend it will face Vermont for a single game in Philadelphia. The Nittany Lions are currently ranked #28 in the poll.

Getting To Know SHU

Sacred Heart is a solid squad. The Pioneers have played Canisius and AIC with a 3-1 record and Penn State has a 3-0 record with the teams this year. SHU has a 0-2 record when facing Penn State dating back three years.

Junior forwards Evan Jasper and Justin Danforth lead SHU with seven points each and a combined 10 points during the last four games. Coltyn Hanson has chipped in with four goals thus far.

Freshman Brett Magnus is the only goalie to play this season for the Pioneers, holding a 1.77 goals against average and save percentage of .929. That's good for the 13th best save percentage among freshmen nationally.

The Pioneers play a controlled tempo, looking to take fewer shots on net (29 per game) than PSU's nation-leading 44.1 shots per game pace. The team has had very little success in scoring power play goals (4-29) but has the sixth-best rate at stopping opponents from scoring while on the power play, owning a .917 penalty kill (33-36.) Dating back to last season it has killed 67 of the last 71 power plays. That's a pretty amazing stat, one that indicates the effort is team strategy and not circumstantial.

Lion Recruits Sign Letters of Intent

Penn State added the most talented class of players in program history in 2015 but the group coming in next season will likely be even better. Goalie Peyton Jones, center Liam Folkes, defenseman Trevor Hamilton, center Nathan Sucese, forward Sean Kohler, defenseman Kris Myllari will join a pair of highly-touted Russian players, Nikita Pavlychev and Denis Smirnov.

Here's a shot of the 6'7" Pavlychev signing his LOI earlier today.

Here's a highlight reel save by Peyton Jones while he was in net for the Lincoln Stars. That's some fancy stick work.

The program is in a similar situation as both the basketball and football teams with a bevy of talent in the pipeline. This year the young and talented players are gaining valuable experience, but in a couple of years when the 2015 recruiting class and the 2016 players are upperclassmen, there should be enough talent to compete with any team in the country.


  • The team will wear white on Friday and gray on Saturday so if you are going to the game be sure to color-coordinate your attire.
  • Check out this great article featuring freshman Chase Berger over at Berger has started fast for the team.
  • After averaging 5.6 goals per game for the first five games, Penn State has scored only five goals in the past three games. The team hopes to get back to its scoring ways at home.
  • The Lions trail only three teams in the nation for the title of the least penalized team.