Men’s hockey adds Gardiner, Lordo to 2012-13 roster

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Forward Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.), a 2010 National Hockey League draft choice, and defenseman Joseph Lordo (St. Louis, Mo.) have been added to the 2012-13 roster for the Penn State men’s hockey team, head coach Guy Gadowsky announced Thursday (April 25).

The Nittany Lions will compete at the NCAA Division I level for the first time in 2012-13. Gardiner and Lordo will join the 10 National Letter of Intent signees (announced November 2011), four NCAA Division I transfers (September 2011) and 11 additions announced in early April on Penn State’s first varsity team since 1946-47. Penn State previously sponsored varsity hockey from 1940-47.

"We’re excited to have Max and Joe join Penn State’s first NCAA Division I roster," said Gadowsky. "Along with the rest of the team, they will help set a foundation for the program both on and off the ice as we prepare for the 2012-13 season."

The St. Louis Blues’ third-round selection (74th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Gardiner competed for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League in 2011-12. The Deephaven, Minn., native collected 26 points (12g, 14a) in 50 regular-season games and added four points (1g, 3a) in five playoff games. Prior to his time with Dubuque, Gardiner spent the 2010-11 season at the University of Minnesota, where he recorded three points (1g, 2a) in 17 games.

The forward was also a three-year letter-winner at Minnetonka High School, where he served as a two-time captain and led his team to the 2010 state championship game. As a senior, Gardiner also earned first-team all-state honors and was a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Award.

"Max comes to Penn State with a lot of college and junior hockey experience, and we expect him to be an impact player for us," added Gadowsky. "He has great size, moves very well for a big man and should be able to play in all situations."

In 2011-12, Lordo concluded his second season a member of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. The St. Louis, Mo., native, who served as team captain, led his team’s defensemen with 21 points (3g, 18a) in 58 games. The blueliner skated in 117 career regular-season games for Sioux Falls and collected 31 points (6g, 25a). In 2010-11, he added four points (3g, 1a) in 10 playoff games.

In 2009-10, Lordo collected nine assists in 38 regular-season games and appeared in 12 postseason contests with the North American Hockey League’s St. Louis Bandits.

"Joe is a fierce competitor who thrived as Sioux Falls’ captain. He is extremely difficult to play against but also offensively talented as he led his team’s defenseman in scoring," said Gadowsky. "Joe is very experienced and should be able to play significant minutes for us."

The Nittany Lions will compete as an independent for the 2012-13 campaign before joining the Big Ten Hockey Conference, along with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin, beginning in the 2013-14 season.

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