In less than a week, Penn State will begin its defense of the program’s first Big Ten Tournament title. And for the first time in program history, the Nittany Lions will open the season with a number next to its name.
Guy Gadowsky’s squad came in at No. 10 in the USCHO Preseason Poll. The Lions were ranked No. 8 in the final USCHO Poll last season and reached a new program height with a No. 1 ranking after a hot start to the season.
That season concluded with the team’s first Big Ten Tournament title and first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where the Lions thumped Union 10-3 before losing to eventual National Champion Denver in the Midwest regional finals.
Four other Big Ten teams join the Lions in the top 20, including three in the top 10.
Following an exhibition game against the University of Ottawa and an opening weekend in New York with games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence, the Lions will open conference play on the road against No. 3 Minnesota.