Finally, finally finally - the off-season is over and Penn State plays its exhibition game against Durham West Junior Lightning of the PWHL this Saturday, September 21, at 2:00. Since there weren't any extraordinary losses to graduation after last season, it looks to be pretty much the same Penn State team, with four incoming freshmen added to the mix - including one who is coming in from the same Durham West team.
Being much the same Penn State team as last season, all that remains to be seen is how these four freshmen fit into the scheme of things. Not to sound like a broken record, but the biggest loss to graduation was defenseman Kelsey Crow. Penn State fills that defensive spot with incoming freshman Mallory Uihlein from Edina, MN, who shows up with a pretty good-looking bio (https://gopsusports.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=9667). The other three freshmen are forwards.
Being a native of Duluth, I love seeing Minnesota players coming to Penn State, but I always wonder how long it will take them to adjust their game, as Minnesota hockey is fast and flashy and CHA hockey is physical and grinding. Sophomore Loli Fidler (another Edina grad, and the 2018 Minnesota High School Female Athlete of the Year) had a slow first half of the season as a freshman last year, but ended up being a solid physical player, and I think it had something to do with going from the hockey she was used to in Minnesota to the hockey she got in the CHA.
I hope all three goalies get a turn in net for Penn State on Saturday. Obviously, senior Jenna Brenneman will be the starter this season, but I hope junior Chantal Burke gets some time this season, too. I wonder if Brenneman worked on her uppercut over the summer, or learned how to lead with a jab
https://gopsusports.com/news/2019/9/...ason-poll.aspx It's getting to be an "every preseason" opinion that Penn State ends in fourth place, so I don't know how much weight to put behind that.
As you said, Penn State did well out of conference last season, but struggled with CHA teams, and also only won 5 of 15 home games. They were very solid defensively, but it wasn't matched with enough offensive output, obviously, and they really need that to improve. The talent is there, so it's up to Jeff Kampersal and his staff to make it work. I'm anxious to see the three freshmen forwards on Saturday and how they fit into the mix.
No one follows Penn State like you! I think Penn State will be in the top two this year at the end of the regular season in the CHA. I'm not as confident in the playoffs of a top two finish. I'm looking at the schedule and I see a path to 20 wins. If it is a losing record this year, I will be surprised.
Last edited by Reddington; 09-17-2019 at 09:43 PM.
The sample size is small enough that we can spin it a number of different ways, but it does seem like once Mercyhurst regressed to the CHA pack, the league has lacked that one heavyweight to go toe to toe with the best of the other leagues and come out on top. Beyond that, the league as a whole can compete with the other leagues.
"... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling
Agree with Armís last sentence there. While Hurst regressed a bit, the league has also gotten better and theyíve met in the middle. I think itís fair the CHA doesnít have a top ten ranked team right now. People who speak as though the CHA teams are the worst 6 teams in NCAA hockey could not be more wrong, however.
I would love to see a CHA team fight itís way back in to a top ten ranking. In my mind the non conference games are just as important as the conference games. Drives me a bit nuts to see some of the out of conference games that get squandered here and there by various teams in CHA. Credit to Penn State for doing well out of conference last year. Can hear the footsteps coming and I hope (of course) that Mercyhurst has an answer, but that Penn State keeps doing well out of conference.
Slightly different topic - but itís great to be back in college hockey season again! Hope the CHA announces their streaming options soon.
Amen to that! I hate the off-season, hate the summer (I blame my Duluth blood for that), and live for winter and women's hockey to start again!Slightly different topic - but it’s great to be back in college hockey season again!
Videos from Penn State women's hockey media day, and they're longer than 30 seconds.
23 minutes with Jeff Kampersal: https://gopsusports.com/watch/?Archive=4982&type=Live
And 17 minutes with seniors Brooke Madsen and Katie McMillan: https://gopsusports.com/watch/?Archive=4979&type=Live
Last edited by ZedLeppelin; 09-19-2019 at 02:12 PM.
That Friday game could be a bit of a trap coming off 2 road games @ Lindenwood with it being the first home game and the banner going up, there will be a certain level of mental distraction there. Plus being only games 3 and 4, lots of chemistry not developed yet with the top 2 D, the 3 top centers/2 Olympic level players graduated. Lots of unknowns for UW.
Wisconsin Hockey: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 WE WANT MORE!
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Originally Posted by Wisko McBadgerton:
"Baggot says Hughes and Rockwood are centering the top two lines...
Timothy A --> Great hockey mind... Or Greatest hockey mind?!?"
As far as Penn State, in my opinion other than Wisconsin and Minnesota, Penn State could step on the ice and have a chance. That does not mean they are powerful it just means they are dangerous. Penn State would need a confluence of events like Colgate had against Wisconsin two years ago where Colgate stole the win. Brenneman would have to stand on her head.
In Jeff Kampersal's media day comments, he said it's been a defensive focus for him since he got here, but with that being solid his focus is on a real offensive press this season. That sounds really good to a Penn State fan. The offensive talent is there, beyond the obvious talent of Natalie Heising, and there are defenders who have an offensive touch as well (Jessica Adolfsson, Izzy Heminger, Rene Gangarosa). The defenders won't show up at the top of any points chart, but they make things happen. It would be a mistake for an opposing team to focus solely on Natalie Heising.
Without trying to sound like hype, it really does look good for this team this season. My biggest hope is that they can start taking over their CHA games and really tearing things up in the conference.
Is it tomorrow yet and time to head to Pegula?
Here are some takeaways from Penn State's media day:
Is the scrimmage being broadcasted? Those links were helpful.
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