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Thread: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

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    2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    With the 2017-18 season over, a quick recap is probably the place to start. I don't know how quick I can make this, because 2017-18 was a season of big (and welcome) changes at Penn State. Okay, I'll put down my coffee.

    Jeff Kampersal taking over the program was a move for Penn State that was long overdue, for reasons on and off the ice. On the ice, the women's hockey program had gone as far as it was going to go under the previous staff. Off the ice, there were issues that made sure the program was going nowhere. Jeff Kampersal, Allison Coomey, and Celeste Brown are a breath of fresh air for Penn State, and a big step in the right direction.

    The 2017-18 Penn State women's hockey team looked like a completely different animal. They played a much more aggressive game at both ends of the ice, they finally made teams fight their way through the neutral zone, they started crashing opposing goalies to work for rebounds, and weren't embarrassingly outshot on a regular basis. They are consistently the least penalized team in the aggressive and sometimes-chippy CHA, and they maintained that discipline this past season as well. The list goes on, but they looked like a new team with new energy (and a lot of it). It was also a season of overtimes and ties again and again, which might not sound good to many, but those would have been losses in any other year.

    Was it perfect? Of course not, but it was vastly better hockey, and the program is where it should've been years ago. In a season where 3/4 of the team had to unlearn the garbage from previous "coaching", they were a blast to watch. Now, with a season of Kampersal and his staff in the books, they can dig in and work on what they've been taught, with no distractions. It's their system now, their style of hockey now, and they've had a season to play it, and Kampersal doesn't have to coach and uncoach at the same time anymore.

    Players are energized, fans are energized, and 2018-19 can't come soon enough.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Schools are looking for money ($10 video streams, etc) from a women's hockey fan base that they haven't built yet. How do they build a fan base? Well, a good start would be to stream women's hockey games online - all games - and do it for free. And do a real broadcast of it, with announcers who have actually seen a hockey game and can "talk hockey", and camera people who know how to shoot a hockey video. You can't go after a fan's money until you make them a fan.

    I used this example before: you're in a grocery store and you spot that employee working the sample tray. You head over to try whatever it is they want to sell you, and the employee says even the sample will cost you $10. Say what? Samples sold = 0. Sales for the day = 0. No new fans. The same goes for a hockey program that's trying to generate a fan base. Charging $10 to watch a game online isn't going to get new fans, and won't even draw many already-established fans. Do free streaming well enough and maybe you'll generate some new fans, and get them to the arena (and the ticket booth, and concession stands).

    During the free broadcasts, between periods, is a great time to promote the women's hockey program, too, and market to those potential new fans. Get creative, get viewers excited for more, make them want to be there. Pitch it as a great place to bring the kiddies on the weekend, have some family fun, bring your youth hockey team or your scout troop or whatever, all that good stuff. Look at video streaming as a promotional tool instead of expecting it to be a money maker.

    End of early morning rambling.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by ZedLeppelin View Post
    Schools are looking for money ($10 video streams, etc) from a women's hockey fan base that they haven't built yet. How do they build a fan base? Well, a good start would be to stream women's hockey games online - all games - and do it for free. And do a real broadcast of it, with announcers who have actually seen a hockey game and can "talk hockey", and camera people who know how to shoot a hockey video. You can't go after a fan's money until you make them a fan.

    I used this example before: you're in a grocery store and you spot that employee working the sample tray. You head over to try whatever it is they want to sell you, and the employee says even the sample will cost you $10. Say what? Samples sold = 0. Sales for the day = 0. No new fans. The same goes for a hockey program that's trying to generate a fan base. Charging $10 to watch a game online isn't going to get new fans, and won't even draw many already-established fans. Do free streaming well enough and maybe you'll generate some new fans, and get them to the arena (and the ticket booth, and concession stands).

    During the free broadcasts, between periods, is a great time to promote the women's hockey program, too, and market to those potential new fans. Get creative, get viewers excited for more, make them want to be there. Pitch it as a great place to bring the kiddies on the weekend, have some family fun, bring your youth hockey team or your scout troop or whatever, all that good stuff. Look at video streaming as a promotional tool instead of expecting it to be a money maker.

    End of early morning rambling.
    With maybe the exception of the CHA tourney in Buffalo (which still wasn't the best), all CHA video streaming was terrible for the 2017-18 season. Absolutely terrible quality for what they charged. So besides family members, close friends etc, who would purchase something like this? Absolutely no one.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by slapshot willy View Post
    With maybe the exception of the CHA tourney in Buffalo (which still wasn't the best), all CHA video streaming was terrible for the 2017-18 season. Absolutely terrible quality for what they charged. So besides family members, close friends etc, who would purchase something like this? Absolutely no one.
    Exactly, and they can't complain about not making money when they give the least amount of effort in trying to win new fans. I've got other complaints about the CHA, too, like how amateur their website is in lots of ways...ugh. I look at how Vermont does with streaming women's hockey games, and how good the announcer is, and I wonder why all schools can't or won't do the same.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    With the 2017-18 season over, Penn State loses a goalie, 2 defenders, and a forward to graduation. There are 2 known incoming freshmen - 1 forward and 1 defender.

    No problem as far as goalies go. Penn State will have junior Daniela Paniccia, sophomore Chantal Burke, and redshirt freshman Cam Leonard. Paniccia has proven herself in net, and Burke got limited time this season but didn't allow a goal. Leonard is a four-time attendee at the USA Hockey National Player Developmental Camp (2013-16), she attended the USA Hockey Goalie Development Camp in 2015 and 2016, and was named to the 2016-17 New England All-Star First Team in NEPSAC Division I.

    Defense is a problem. For 2018-19, Penn State is left with 3 returning defenders and 1 incoming freshman defender (Isabel Heminger, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U19). That's 1 line without defenders in a 3 line set up. Head coach Jeff Kampersal presumably still has 2 scholarships available from this year's 4 graduating seniors, and any scholarships that had been used for the 2 players who quit before the 2017-18 season started, so he has options when he goes out recruiting.

    Forwards are plentiful. Penn State has 11 returning forwards, and 1 incoming freshman forward (Anna Promersberger, Shattuck St. Mary's). That's 11 of 12 forwards who have played at least 1 season under Kampersal and have learned the systems he brought to Penn State.

    It won't be quite as young a team as it was this past season. Not counting any new recruits that may be added this summer, Penn State will have 2 freshmen (and 1 redshirt freshman), 7 sophomores, 8 juniors, and 2 seniors. Only the 2 freshmen and redshirt freshman Cam Leonard will be getting their first taste of D-1 hockey. All in all, it looks good for 2018-19, as long as Kampersal can build up the shortages on defense.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Sizing up Penn State's CHA opponents for 2018-19...

    Penn State had more trouble with Syracuse and Lindenwood than it did with Robert Morris and Mercyhurst, for some reason. Against Penn State this season, Syracuse won 3 of 4, and Lindenwood won 2 of 4. Robert Morris and Mercyhurst each won 1 of 4 against Penn State and had 3 OT ties apiece.

    Robert Morris loses top scorer Brittany Howard to graduation, although scoring behind her was fairly well spread out, but Penn State shut her down this season and the rest of Robert Morris managed only one win in four games against Penn State. Their other very big loss to graduation is goalie Elijah Milne-Price.

    Mercyhurst's biggest loss to graduation is Brooke Hartwick, who finished #3 in points, but their offense is spread out pretty evenly after her. They return the Finnish duo and a host of other scorers, and Kennedy Blair and Sarah McDonnell in net. Overall, I think Mercyhurst has the best balance heading into the 2018-19 season.

    Syracuse's biggest losses to graduation are top scorer Alysha Burriss, #4 scorer Stephanie Grossi, and starting goalie Abbey Miller. They have other good returning scorers near the top, so I think their biggest loss will be their starting goalie. Like Mercyhurst, they seem to be pretty well-balanced. They're always a headache for Penn State, for whatever reason.

    RIT loses only one forward and one defender to graduation, and neither of them scored a point this season, so RIT looks to be about the same for 2018-19. This season, they won 4 games total, and only 1 conference game (shame on you, Lindenwood). I don't know what to say about RIT - 2017-18 was a dismal season for them, to say the least, and it looks like more of the same for 2018-19 if some big changes don't happen.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    According to my sources you picked up another F for next season that is likely to make an impact.

    Minnesota Miss Hockey candidate Lolita Fidler from Edina, MN. I believe she was committed to Harvard.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by used2lurk View Post
    According to my sources you picked up another F for next season that is likely to make an impact.

    Minnesota Miss Hockey candidate Lolita Fidler from Edina, MN. I believe she was committed to Harvard.
    I hope your sources are right. I found Fidler on EliteProspects.com, and her numbers look really good - 41 points (in 23 games) as a sophomore, 46 points (in 25 games) as a junior, and 56 points (in 25 games) as a senior and Minnesota AA state champion this season. In her four years at Edina, she finished with 168 points. She also played soccer and lacrosse for Edina.

    For contrast, I looked up Natalie Heising's high school numbers, and Fidler is way ahead of Heising's scoring, so she could be a really interesting offensive addition for Penn State.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by ZedLeppelin View Post
    For contrast, I looked up Natalie Heising's high school numbers, and Fidler is way ahead of Heising's scoring, so she could be a really interesting offensive addition for Penn State.
    Fidler did play on stronger HS teams, so she had more help than Heising did for producing numbers. Heising was a two-time gold medalist at U-18 worlds, so that suggests that she can't be judged by her HS points alone.
    "... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    Fidler did play on stronger HS teams, so she had more help than Heising did for producing numbers. Heising was a two-time gold medalist at U-18 worlds, so that suggests that she can't be judged by her HS points alone.
    That's what stood out on Fidler's bio page - not having been selected for something like USA U18 teams, especially with numbers like she has. Fidler finished at Edina first in all-time assists, second in all-time points, and third in all-time goals. It sounds contradictory, but I suppose it's harder to get noticed by a national team when you're on a strong high school team with more than one strong player. In any case, Fidler will be a great fit for Penn State.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by ZedLeppelin View Post
    In any case, Fidler will be a great fit for Penn State.
    Yes, Penn State has had success with players from strong Minnesota HS teams in the past (e.g. Bowman, Peterson).
    "... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Found online another player Rene Gangarosa 2018 D.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddington View Post
    Found online another player Rene Gangarosa 2018 D.
    That's good news for a short defensive group at Penn State. Have you seen her play?

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    Yes she is fast, has great vision and a big shot. Recruited by at least ten schools. Google her lots of info on her and accolades.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by ZedLeppelin View Post
    Sizing up Penn State's CHA opponents for 2018-19...

    Penn State had more trouble with Syracuse and Lindenwood than it did with Robert Morris and Mercyhurst, for some reason. Against Penn State this season, Syracuse won 3 of 4, and Lindenwood won 2 of 4. Robert Morris and Mercyhurst each won 1 of 4 against Penn State and had 3 OT ties apiece.
    This is an interesting statistic. Not sure why it worked out this way, but it does make for interesting league play when you can't pick the winners each week.

    My thoughts on the CHA next year:

    1- Penn State should continue to get better, in Kampersal's second year. I believe Sisti vs Kampersal have an almost even record if you look at Hurst Princeton over the years, so at some point that equivalency might return. I remember when Kampersal signed at Penn State there were posters (not you) who said Penn State should dominate the CHA going forward. Whatever resources Penn State might have, it's not that easy and we'll see how season two goes.

    2- Mercyhurst is probably positioned the best going into next year. They've got enough scoring, not as much as you'd like but enough and they may have more next year. On defense I really like Blasen and if Kennedy Blair can continue to get better or even hold on to what she's gained in year 1 that is huge. She improved so much from her first game to her last game in year 1 as expected. No team in the CHA has dominantly won the regular season and won the CHA tourney since 2013 when Hurst did it. In 2016 Hurst won league and tourney, and in 2017 RMU won league and tourney, but league win was very close in both years like maybe by 2 points. In 2018 of course RMU won the league and Hurst won the tourney. I think Hurst is as loaded as they've been in a while. Knowing nothing about recruits of any team, I think Hurst is positioned the best for next year and there may even be a real gap between 1 and 2. In the championship game Mercyhurst was clearly the better team, even if the USCHO poll didn't recognize it until after the Clarkson game.

    3- RMU - It's the Gebhard show next year. We'll see what happens. The last time RMU played a season without Howard they finished fourth in the CHA. RMU is well coached and competes hard, and appears to be supported by their school and community. No reason to think they won't reload but I am still picking Mercyhurst.

    4- Syracuse - I want to say Penn State will move ahead of them next year, but they have that Canada U18 goalie D'Astous Moreau. She could be a game changer. At the very least it may be hard to get goals against Syracuse next year. Recall she took Mercyhurst to OT in the CHA semi. Syracuse is like an NHL team that never makes the playoffs but is never in the draft lottery either, imo. If you look at the league points over the years, they've been so close, and they've never had a terrible CHA year. So who knows.

    5- Lindenwood. Don't think they have enough to be a top three team in the league. Do they have the resources to ever change that? No idea. Would need great recruiting, but they did recruit and develop Nicole Hensley. Goalie DeBruyn will be a senior. She is a capable goalie but maybe gets fatigued with all the shots she faces. You can count on Lindenwood to steal points from someone who needs them. If Hensley is back as a coach, that will be a huge asset to the program in all facets.

    6- RIT. This is the only program in the CHA that concerns me from a fan of hockey perspective. Right now this program is not competitive and likely to finish sixth. I believe the team comes out and plays hard, but ultimately they get overwhelmed by what their opponents bring. Cornine is especially noticeable for her effort.
    Last edited by Lindsay; 03-25-2018 at 06:38 AM.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    I think you're right about Mercyhurst being positioned best for 2018-19. They weren't as reliant on one player as Robert Morris was on Brittany Howard, even though Robert Morris got scoring from others, too, like Jaycee Gebhard. But she had twice as many assists as she had goals, and I'm too lazy to look up whether or not she was on a line with Howard, but that would say a lot. I think there's also an intangible involved when you have a Brittany Howard on the team. Robert Morris also loses their starting goalie, and I think that's going to hurt them as much as losing Howard. Mercyhurst gets three more seasons with the very talented Kennedy Blair in net, along with good balanced scoring, and I think that gives them the definite edge.

    Syracuse is hard to figure out. They're always a good team, but never quite finish off the season on top. They are always a pain in the pads for Penn State, though.

    RIT...what's the fix for them? It's hard to believe they won back-to-back CHA championships just a few years ago. They've gone steadily downhill since then. I would think Scott McDonald is looking for work before long.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by ZedLeppelin View Post
    Robert Morris also loses their starting goalie, and I think that's going to hurt them as much as losing Howard.
    RMU graduates three senior D. I don't remember Carey, so maybe she didn't get as many shifts, but Murphy and Fraser have been stalwarts for years. We don't talk about defensemen as much, but once they are gone, a team tends to miss them. The Colonials will have to rely on seniors Lague and Welsh a lot, particularly early, and Curlett looks well on her way to being a star by the time her career is done.
    "... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    RMU graduates three senior D. I don't remember Carey, so maybe she didn't get as many shifts, but Murphy and Fraser have been stalwarts for years. We don't talk about defensemen as much, but once they are gone, a team tends to miss them. The Colonials will have to rely on seniors Lague and Welsh a lot, particularly early, and Curlett looks well on her way to being a star by the time her career is done.
    I know a team's defense doesn't get the press that scoring leaders get, and you're right - the good ones are sorely missed when they graduate. I don't remember any Robert Morris player names other than the usual, and those are players who are graduating. It's going to take a lot for them to repeat the success of this season, and I still think Mercyhurst is sitting in the best shape for 2018-19. Well, except for Penn State quietly sneaking up and grabbing the CHA championship next season, I mean.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Hockey season is over, and it's April - why am I waking up to fresh snow in central PA? I want a video review of the calendar flip.

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    Re: 2018-19 Penn State Nittany Lions

    Watching the men's semifinal Frozen Four between UMD and Ohio State - count me in with anyone else who thinks all these media timeouts are killing the game.

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