Penn State hockey team awaits its fate

UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State suffered a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame this past Saturday, falling 3-2 to the No. 1 seed in the last 30.9 seconds of the game. Jack Jenkins scored the final point off a rebound, putting the Fighting Irish ahead to face the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes in South Bend, Ind. for the Championship title. The two will battle in single elimination at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 17 on the Big Ten Network. 

In the meantime, the Nittany Lions await their fate. As of Sunday, they have a 99.9% chance of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament but will have to wait until the men’s ice hockey NCAA Tournament selection show announces the seeds Sunday, March 18 at 12 p.m. on ESPNU. 

The Nittany Lions currently stand at No. 12 in the pairwise rankings, which most accurately predicts the NCAA Tournament field. Sixteen teams make the NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey tournament with six automatic bids for conference champions and the remaining spots are filled using the pairwise. 

Should Penn State make the NCAA Tournament, as the host school for the site, they are guaranteed to play in the Midwest Regional in Allentown on March 24-25. Tickets will cost $68.50. Men’s hockey season ticket holders can request tickets now through Wednesday, March 14 at 5 p.m. by logging into www.GoPSUsports.com/accountmanager .

The default and recommended payment method is “deferred payment” method which will ensure the credit card on file will not be charged until it is confirmed Penn State will be participating in the NCAA Tournament following the selection show on Sunday March 18. Tickets will only be sold as an all-session package. Tickets will be valid for both regional semi-final games as well as the regional final game, regardless if Penn State is a participant. Fans will be notified by email as to the status of their ticket request on Thursday, March 15. All fans will be required to pick up their tickets at Will Call and present a photo ID at the PPL Center in Allentown. No refunds or exchanges will be permitted.

Penn State students looking to attend the NCAA Tournament in Allentown should fill out this form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeIGhlVoXg9opX014iVv_VsZSiE2ojDgu6aDA1TEi-L684VSg/viewform)  by March 14 to purchase student tickets through The Roar Zone. Tickets will only be sold as an all-session package, and will cost $26. Tickets will be valid for both regional semi-final games as well as the regional final game, regardless if Penn State is a participant. All students will be required to pick up their ticket at Will Call and present their valid Penn State student ID at the PPL Center in Allentown.

Tuesday afternoon, senior Trevor Hamilton was announced Big Ten Defensive player of the 2017-2018 year. He is the first Penn State player to earn a major conference award and is second major conference award Penn State has received after Guy Gadowsky was named Big Ten Coach of the Year following the 2014-15 season. Hamilton has 55 points on 12 goals and 43 assists in 76 career games as a Nittany Lion. His point and assist totals rank third all-time among Penn State defensemen while his goals place him fourth. He also leads the entire nation for the second-consecutive season in blocked shots with 104. Hamilton’s 29 points this season are just one shy of former Nittany Lion Vince Pedrie’s single-season program record for points by a defenseman of 30, set last season .

Hamilton was also named a First-Team All-Big Ten selection while junior Andrew Sturtz was given honorable mention recognition. Hamilton is the third Penn State player to earn All-Big Ten First-Team honors following Casey Bailey (2014-15) and Pedrie (2016-17). While Senior Erik Autio was named the team’s sportsmanship award honoree. 

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