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Penn State Hockey Series Preview: Lindenwood

It will be a battle of the Lions at Pegula Friday and Saturday

Penn State Athletics

The Penn State men’s hockey team is set to take on the Lindenwood Lions for the first time on Friday and Saturday. The Nittany Lions enter this weekend ranked No. 19 in both the USCHO poll and the Pairwise ranking following a road split against Michigan.

Opponent Preview

Lindenwood enters Pegula Ice Arena with a record of 3-7-2 on the season and a current Pairwise ranking of 55 (out of 64 D1 teams). Team defense has been a struggle for the Lions all season, allowing 42 shots per game, the 2nd-worst mark in D1. Penn State is 1st in D1 in shots per game (40.2), providing one of the biggest mismatches of this series.

The Lions are led in points by freshman Jake Southgate (5 goals, 5 assists). Southgate and junior Kyle Jeffers are tied for the team lead in goals, with five a piece. Goaltender Trent Burnham (.904% save pct, 4.01 GAA) is the likely starter in net for Lindenwood. The Lions have only had three seniors play in at least one game this season, although their average player age (22.6) is slightly older than PSU’s (22.2).

Rick Zombo is in his second season as head coach at Lindenwood, posting a record of 10-29-3.

Prediction

Penn State has been wildly inconsistent this season, but coming off its first win at Michigan since 2019, the team should play with more confidence against a weaker opponent. The Nittany Lions should win both games, but one of the wins will be close.

Penn State 5-1, 3-2