Olczyk named men’s hockey captain for first NCAA Division I season
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sophomore forward Tommy Olczyk (Long Grove, Ill.) has been named captain of Penn State’s first NCAA Division I men’s hockey team, head coach Guy Gadowsky announced Tuesday (Oct. 2). Junior defenseman Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn.) and senior forward George Saad (Wexford, Pa.) have been tabbed assistant captains.
The trio, who was selected through a team vote, will lead the Nittany Lions during their first NCAA Division I season in 2012-13. Penn State will open competition at home against American International College Oct. 12.
"Tommy, George and Nate are three outstanding student-athletes who were selected by their teammates for their strong work ethic and commitment to the program," said Gadowsky. "They are fantastic representatives of Penn State Hockey, and the staff is extremely excited to have them lead the team during our first NCAA season."
A Long Grove, Ill., native, Olczyk played for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League for four seasons (2007-11) before playing with Penn State’s club team during the 2011-12 campaign. With Sioux City in 2010-11, he garnered the league’s Curt Hammer Award, presented to a player who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice by demonstrating outstanding performance skills, pride and determination.
One of five skaters with NCAA Division I experience, Jensen joined Penn State after playing the 2010-11 season at Mercyhurst. The blueliner appeared in 36 games with the Lakers and ranked second among the team’s defensemen with 16 points (2g, 14a). The Shorewood, Minn., native spent the 2011-12 season as a member of Penn State’s club program.
Saad, who joins Jensen as an assistant captain, was a three-year member of the University’s club team and collected 66 points (34g, 32a) in 80 career games. The Wexford, Pa., native played with the Youngstown Phantoms of the North American Hockey League prior to his arrival at Penn State.
The squad will hit the ice for its first official practice the night of Penn State’s annual Homecoming Parade Friday, Oct. 5. Doors open at 11 p.m. at Greenberg Ice Pavilion, and fans will have the opportunity to win prizes before seeing the Nittany Lions for the first time at midnight. After practice, fans are welcome to join the team on the ice for a free public skate.
Single-game tickets for the 2012-13 season are available and can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office weekdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fans interested in joining the ticket waiting list for Pegula Ice Arena can call 1-800-NITTANY during normal business hours.