Men’s hockey to face Ohio for two-game series
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State men’s hockey team will face off against former American Collegiate Hockey Association rival Ohio for a two-game exhibition series beginning Friday, Feb. 1 at the GIANT Center in Hershey, Pa.
Opening faceoff for the Friday night’s contest is set at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling the GIANT Center Box Office, which is open weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at 717-534-3911. The teams will then return to Happy Valley Saturday, Feb. 2 for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.
The Nittany Lions (10-13-0) will enter the series following a weekend split against future Big Ten rival Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena. After falling in the first game by a 5-3 margin, Penn State erased a 2-0 Spartan lead in a 3-2 victory. Freshman Casey Bailey (Anchorage, Alaska) led the Lions with three points (1g, 2a), while junior Taylor Holstrom (Yorba Linda, Calif.) netted the game-winner with 4:01 left in regulation.
Bailey, who paces the team in points (23) and is tied for first in goals (12), has produced a team-high seven-game point-scoring streak (6g, 6a). Holstrom, who centers both Bailey and sophomore Max Gardiner (Deephaven, Minn.), has collected six goals and three assists in the past six games.
Arguably Penn State’s greatest rival when the teams squared off in the ACHA, the fifth-ranked Ohio Bobcats (22-5-3) are led by 12th-year head coach Dan Morris. In a series that dated back to the 1981-82 season, Penn State and Ohio faced off 84 times, with Penn State holding a 48-31-5 record in the all-time series.
Fans can listen to both games on the Penn State Sports Network and through the All-Access channel at GoPSUsports.com. Live stats will also be available for both games, while fans can follow in-game updates through the team’s Twitter account (@PennStateMHKY).
SUCCESS IN FIRST B1G ROAD TRIP
The Nittany Lions travelled to Big Ten country for the first time, splitting their weekend series with Michigan State. After falling to the Spartans, 5-3, Jan. 25, the Nittany Lions erased a 2-0 deficit in a 3-2 victory in their first nationally-televised game (BTN) Jan. 26.
Defenseman Mark Yanis put Penn State on the board with a second-period power-play goal before Casey Bailey tied the game at 3:13 of the third period. Junior Taylor Holstrom tallied the game-winner with 4:01 left in the game, while freshman Matthew Skoff made 31 saves.
BUCKING THE TREND
Penn State’s 3-2 comeback victory against the Spartans marked the team’s first win this season when trailing after the first period.
BIG TEN SUCCESS
Penn State is 2-1-0 against future Big Ten opponents in 2012-13. The Nittany Lions defeated Ohio State in the Three Rivers Classic Dec. 29 and split their two-game series against Michigan State Jan. 25-26. Penn State will wrap up its season with a two-game set against Wisconsin Feb. 24-25.
PROFESSIONAL ROAD TOUR
Penn State, which is 4-1-0 in professional arenas this season, will play in its fifth NHL or AHL venue Friday night.
POWER PLAY FOR THE WIN
Penn State, which went 1-for-4 on the man advantage against Michigan State Jan. 26, holds a 7-2-0 record when it scores a power-play goal.
LAST YEAR VS. THE BOBCATS
While competing as a club program during the 2011-12 season, Penn State held a 4-0-0 against Ohio, outscoring the Bobcats by an 18-6 margin.
As ACHA opponents, the teams faced off in the national championship game five times with Penn State prevailing twice (1998, 2003) and Ohio winning in 1988, 1995 and 2004.
Following this weekend, Penn State will host fellow NCAA Division I independent Alabama Huntsville for a two-game series Feb. 8-9.