No. 1 Ranking Just the Beginning for Nittany Lions

In the early days of Pegula Ice Arena, the Penn State men’s ice hockey team held an open midnight practice in their home rink.

The event drew a good-sized crowd, and head coach Guy Gadowsky skated toward the student section, where the fans had gathered. Gadowsky thanked everyone for coming out, and then the team went through some drills as folks snapped photos and nibbled on the first offering of hockey inside the state-of-the-art arena.

Sure, it was just a glimpse, but standing inside the building that night, I remember that I couldn't shake this feeling:

Penn State hockey was on the verge of something special. Really special.

Now, here we are in 2017, five years after Penn State elevated to Division I, and the Nittany Lions earned their first No. 1 ranking in program history last week.

The fans have continued to turn out — the arena routinely sells out and fans line the concourse in standing room-only style — and Penn State gives the community plenty of reasons to constantly come out in droves.

Penn State picked up a point in conference play against No. 11 Ohio State over the weekend. The teams tied 3-3 in regulation on Friday, when the Buckeyes picked up an extra point by winning the shootout 2-1 in the seventh round. Ohio State then captured a 6-3 victory Saturday with three goals in the final period.

Pegula Ice Arena is always loud, and is a tremendous atmosphere for hockey. Gadowsky said as much after the series opener, as he has before on multiple occasions. But even against those normally high expectations, the rink looked sparkling on Friday night, with the Roar Zone and arena dressed in white. 

“It never gets old,” said junior forward James Robinson, who scored the Lions’ first goal. Freshman forward Nate Sucese said he got chills from experiencing his first White Out at Pegula, sounding like the atmosphere met his expectations.

Speaking of expectations, the Nittany Lions continue to surpass them, on a yearly or weekly basis.

To say it another way, what the Penn State men’s ice hockey team has done is the NASA equivalent of deciding to build a spaceship and fly to Mars five years later.

Gadowsky and the Nittany Lions have done that. They’ve landed.

After the Penn State football team claimed the Big Ten’s East Division by dismantling Michigan State in late-November at Beaver Stadium, head coach James Franklin addressed the crowd, telling everyone that this is only the beginning.

The words were inspiring and motivating, and directly connected to the program’s promising future.

The same is also true for Penn State hockey.

We hope you come along for the ride. And if the past few seasons at Pegula Ice Arena are any indication, we know you will.

 

Photo: Mark Selders | Penn State

 

Trending Content

It's almost time for the 52nd annual Festival of the Arts. From July 12-15, downtown State College will transform back into the festival that features some of our favorite...

Since 1931, The Nittany Lion Inn has defined Penn State luxury. It pairs nostalgia with world‑class amenities and dining to create a...

The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State has finalized its 2018–19 performance schedule, and it’s packed with acclaimed Broadway hits, performances from dance troupes with a message,...

Summer is meant to be spent outside. So, after a long day at work, why not meet up with friends for a drink or gather the family for a meal under the sun? Luckily, Happy Valley boasts a vast...

Summer is just around the corner, so make sure to work plenty of outside time into your plans! Here are a few of our favorite spots for fun in the sun in Happy Valley’s beautiful great outdoors....

Taking that well-deserved vacation you’ve been waiting for all summer (or even all year), should be fun. With so many exciting things to do in State College this summer, the last thing you should...

Back to Top