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Penn State Hockey Impressive in Division I Play

The Penn State men's ice hockey team is off to an impressive start with an early season upset against RIT. This marks the team's first season as an NCAA Division I competitor.

hockeyGuy Gadowsky, former professional ice hockey player and coach of the Princeton Tigers, will be leading the team as head coach. With Gadowsky’s guidance last year, the men’s ice hockey was ranked first in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Gadowsky will be working with assistant coaches Keith Fisher and Matt Lindsay, who both served with him on the team at Princeton.

The athletes this season include 16 holdovers and some brand new recruits. Tommy Olczyk, who was formerly a member of the Sioux City Musketeers, will be a top leader of this season, serving as team captain. His father, Eddie, was recently inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Nate Jensen, a former player for Mercyhurst of Atlantic Hockey will be the Nittany Lion’s assistant captain.

 The team's first season practice began in the wee hours of October 6—just a week before their first game in— accordance with the NCAA official start practice regulations. The team named the event the “Midnight Ice Breaker,” and welcomed hundreds of fans at midnight to watch the practice and to cheer on the new team. Free tee shirts and pizza were given to the fans, followed by a free public skate.

The Blue Band will be making appearances at all of the games this season, playing some of the famous Penn State songs. In case you can't make it out to see them in person, this season’s hockey games will be broadcasted on both The Penn State Sports Network and’s All-Access channel.

The Pegula Ice Arena will be the newest addition to ice hockey at Penn State, but won’t be completed until September of the 2013-2014 season. It will be located on the corner of Curtin Road and University Drive. The arena will seat up to 6,000 fans at the main rink, with a 1,000-seat student section. It is being constructed with a large donation from Terry Pegula and other supporters. Just in time for the Penn State Men’s Ice Hockey Team to join the Big Ten, the facilities will enable Happy Valley to host both National Hockey League and American Hockey League games. A second rink will be in the arena for the community, hopefully spiking a hockey interest in the area’s youth.

The home games this season will be held at Greenberg Ice Pavilion, on the corner of Hastings and McKean Road. Single-game tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for youth (12 and under). Student tickets are available in 5-game-packages for $20. Tickets are available for fans on Ticketmaster, by calling 1-800-NITTANY, or by visiting the Athletic Ticket office at the Bryce Jordan Center. 

Image courtesy of Penn State men's hockey Facebook page.

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