The Penn State Men's Hockey team (11-2-3) is off to the best start in division one program history. Part of the reason for the success in the early going is due to the exceptional goal-tending by senior Matt Skoff and New York Islander's draft pick, junior Eamon McAdam.
Each goalie has started eight games and lost only once. McAdam (7-1) has an incredible goals against average of 2.01 with a save percentage of .933. Skoff (4-1-3) has an equally impressive goals against average of 2.63 when you consider his one loss was to Notre Dame in a game where he allowed seven goals. Skoff's save percentage is a respectable .904.
At the conclusion of the season Skoff will run out of eligibility. McAdam may very well leave with a year of eligibility remaining as he is in his third season since being drafted by the New York Islanders. The Islanders will have to make a decision on whether to sign McAdam to a professional contract or allow him to re-enter the draft. This puts the goalie situation for the Lions in 2016, very much up in the air.
Twenty-one year old freshman Chris Funkey is the only goalie that is likely to return to the team next season. Funkey has seen time in one game, making three saves in thirteen minutes of play. He is viewed as a solid backup option for future years, with the possibility of competing for the starting job.
That's what makes the arrival of Peyton Jones in the fall of 2016 so important to the team. Jones will be expected to compete for the starting spot immediately and may even join the Lions as an NHL draft pick. The standout net-minder who currently plays for the USHL's Lincoln Stars was recently named to the Top Prospect roster. The 40-player roster will play a game on January 12th. The game is a showcase of the best USHL talent that has not yet been drafted by the NHL. Jones is one of three goalies named to the roster and has a goals against average of 2.29 this year with a save percentage of .923.
Congratulations Peyton! This is an incredible honor and a tribute to the talent that coach Guy Gadowsky has been able to draw to Penn State.