Gadowsky’s Nittany Lions Welcome No. 16 St. Lawrence To Hockey Valley
After completing a series sweep against the AIC Yellow Jackets last weekend, the Nittany Lions improved their overall record to 4-1 and have their eyes set on an unfamiliar foe. For the first time in program history, the Lions will play host to the No. 16 team in the country, St. Lawrence.
Coming into the weekend, the Saints are rocking a 4-2 overall record after splitting a series against Miami University of Ohio. It was St. Lawrence who would drop the first game of that series 1-0 on a goal that came from a Miami power play in the second period. However, the Saints would crack through Miami’s defense and tack on five goals to clinch a 5-3 win in the weekend finale.
Leading the march for the Saints is senior Christian Horn, who has recorded three goals and one assist so far this season. Horn was a standout in the USHL last season for the Tri-City Storm and Sioux Falls Stampede, putting up 23 goals and 24 assists in 50 games. His explosive speed down the wing gives his team a distinct advantage and if Penn State has a difficult time stopping Horn, it could be a long weekend for the Lions.
Between the pipes for St. Lawrence stands a sophomore goaltender that is still in search of his first shutout win, Kyle Hayton. So far this season, Hayton has stopped 149 shots on goal and recorded a 1.99 goals against average. Despite the two losses on the season to Merrimack College and Miami of Ohio, Hayton has been relatively solid in net. It is going to take a strong effort from the Lions to rattle this sophomore and put goals on the board early in each game.
For the Nittany Lions, it was an offensive frenzy this past weekend against AIC. The Lions were able to generate 13 goals and pepper over 100 shots on net. It is evident that Guy Gadowsky wants to have a repeat performance from last weekend and continue his “shoot first, think second” mentality. It’ll take a strong offensive weekend from the Lions, in order to break through the wall that is Kyle Hayton and keep the wins rolling for Penn State.
Last season, for the first time in program history, the Nittany Lions were able to achieve a top-25 rank in the USCHO. Their position was only held temporarily before falling back beneath the threshold; however, it still speaks volumes about a blossoming program. With already 35 votes to get a ranking this season and a chance to take two games from No. 16 St. Lawrence, the Nittany Lions could potentially grasp a top-25 position if all goes well this weekend.
Puck drop for this Thursday and Friday night’s action is set for 7 p.m. You can tune into the live play-by-play of this weekend’s action right here on Comradio, beginning with the Comradio Men’s Hockey Pregame show at 6:30 p.m.
Ryan Ruff is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.