Penn State (11-5-1) is coming off a satisfying series split with No. 6 Notre Dame. The first half of the season saw the Lions win 8 of the first 9 games, and also weather a four-game streak without a win. The single game with Princeton on Saturday will be the final non-conference test of the regular season.
A twenty-day break between the game this weekend and the next game, at Minnesota on January 4, will give the team time to regroup and prepare for the second half conference slate. More than half of the games following the break will be televised, which will make it easier for fans to follow the team through the stretch run.
The Lions are ranked No. 10 in the PairWise Rankings heading into the final full weekend on the college hockey schedule before January. The game will not impact that position much regardless of the outcome, but a win would put a stamp on a surprisingly successful first half for Guy Gadowsky’s squad.
Princeton (3-8-1) has not gotten off to the start it would have imagined. The Tigers are coming off a sweep at the hands of No. 9 Arizona State, the first half story in all of college hockey. The Sun Devils, the newest team to join Division 1 competition, have an overtime win versus the Lions to add to their resume.
Competing in the ECAC, Princeton will have plenty of chances to improve their start to the season during conference play. A win this weekend for Penn State could prove to be a valuable asset later in the year.
The game will be played at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.