It's no secret that Penn State Hockey is having a wildly successful season (all things considered). Despite a weekend sweep at the hands of Ohio State, the Nittany Lions currently sit in fourth place in the Big Ten. Their final two series of the season are against Minnesota and Michigan (one-two in the B1G right now), but because of that fact, they also control their own destiny for tournament seeding.
They had an extremely impressive showing early in the year in Alaska. They won a game against #14 UMass-Lowell earlier this season (they were #4 at the time). They defeated #15 Minnesota last weekend. They've been ranked as high as #19 at times this year. They have one of the best front lines in cawlidge hawkey with Casey Bailey, Taylor Holstrom and David Goodwin (and we're still wishing Holstrom a quick recovery from his injury). Bailey is also one of the most prolific scorers in the entire country and all but has a finalist spot for college hockey's Heisman trophy, the Hobey Baker, locked up. They have a strong resume.
When you watch them on TV, it's clear that they have strong fan support. The student section is always loud, eye witnesses always comment on the energy in the building and they play an entertaining style of hockey. Even on THON weekend, when the entire campus and town was drawn to the arena parallel to Pegula, they still managed to fill the stands.
Yet, they aren't spoken about much. We have our recaps and previews and occasional feature articles, but not much aside from that. If we were ranked #19 in football or basketball, the entirety of Penn State internet would be hanging on every second of every game that was being played. The hockey fan base is growing quickly, no doubt. It still finds itself as a mere sapling when compared to the giant evergreen that is Penn State football, and even the old and broken oak tree that is Penn State basketball, whose branches fall on cars and sheds leaves year-round, though.
Penn State hockey has two extremely exciting series set to close out the season, in which you know Guy Gadowsky will have them ready for. My question to you today is simple though. Do you care? What sort of stake do you hold in Penn State hockey? What do they have to do to get you to pay more attention? If you already pay attention, what do you like about them?