Thanksgiving has come and passed,
We have all stuffed our fat asses
Let’s not forget
To make and plans and set
A couple of days aside to watch local hockey.
Lame poetry and Scott Steiner aside, we got a pretty good line up of local hockey stuff today. Be sure to give some love to the official websites of all the teams below (RMUcolonials.com, GoPSUSports.com, HurstAthletics.com, JohnstownTomahawks.com and PittsburghPenguinsElite.com)
PSU Men’s gets the microscope today, on this edition of Local Rink City.
PSU MEN’S HOCKEY
Conference Record: 9-1-0 Overall Record: 11-1-1
Last Game: 8-0 Win over Arizona State, Saturday Nov. 19.
Next Game: vs Michigan, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1st
What’s their deal?
Penn State Hockey is a bit of a sneaky subject. Penn State has had hockey for a long, long time, like before World War 2 long time. But they haven’t had Division 1 hockey until really 2013-2014 (they were independent of a division during the 2012-2013 inaugural season) and haven’t truly made a splash until this year. But jeez-us did they make a splash. As of this writing they are now ranked 8th in the nation and already have had an alumni debut, Casey Bailey, and register his first point. (Granted he managed to crack the 2015-2016 Maple Leafs, which wasn’t exactly hard to do.)
Anyway, Penn State is a legit. If you remember the write-up last week, they were at number 12 nationally. You don’t just get to move up four slots in the NCAA on name recognition alone. Check out the highlights. They have stupid amounts of talent in the offensive zone and solid D and goal-tending. They have a new, gorgeous new arena named after Terry and Kim Pegula up in Happy Valley, a legit squad and plenty of fans. So yeah, business is boomin’ up in the Valley.
Are they good?
You tell me.
Who to watch:
Denis Smirnov. Holy shit this kid can play. As a freshman, he has been lighting up the Big Ten. Hailing from Moscow (and sharing his surname with crappy booze) Smirnov netted a 4 goals and an assist to lock up the First Star of the Big Ten this previous week. Of those 4 goals, 3 were in the Lion’s game against the Sun Devils on the 18th. Scoring goals in Div 1 is tough. You know what’s even tougher? A friggin’ hat trick in Div 1. Beyond this past weekend, Smirnov leads all skaters with 22 points in 13 games. As a freshman. Yeah, the kid’s good.
The Prize Fighter, Kevin Owens
May not seem like they’ve been around all that long, but they’ve paid their dues and have some serious talent.
Next week, we’re gonna take a look at the Lakers of Mercyhurst from the frozen tundra known as Erie.
SCORE BOARD FROM AROUND THE BURGH:
RMU WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM:
The #10 RMU Women are currently in Vermont (I totally said Vermont in the last article, don’t look) at the Windjammer Tournament, which totally was a video game, today and tomorrow. First game tonight is at 7:00 p.m. against Clarkson. Other than that not too much on that front.
RMU MEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM:
RMU looks to continue its success from whooping Sacred Heart last week with a game tomorrow night against Dartmouth at 7:05 p.m. Keep an eye out for RMU games from here until the Three Rivers Classic (which will get a big whole thing about why you should absolutely go and seriously you really need to go to it.)
There is a bit of more serious news I’ll be writing about down below but we’ll get through the rest of these write-ups before we get into it.
PSU WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM:
Things didn’t exactly go great for the Lady Lions. St. Lawrence beat Penn State 3-0 and 2-0 over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd. Despite the score of the 2-0 loss on the 22nd, HC Josh Brandwene said “I am really please with how we grew from yesterday to today . . . that was toe-to-toe playoff style hockey.” (Stick taps to the PSU site for the quote). Which is great to watch, but doesn’t help when you’re trying to do a write-up, Josh. Goaltender Hannah Ehresmann had a strong game making 33 saves in the game, 18 of which came in the second period. Next game will be a Hell in a Cell throw down with RMU on Dec. 3rd and 4th.
MERCYHURST MEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM:
Boy the Lakers are having a tough time this year. Bentley and Mercyhurst split wins last weekend with both games being 2-1. Kyle Dutra netted two goals across the two games, with a powerplay goal in the 1-2 loss on the 19th. Then the Lakers came home for a quick bout with the RIT Tigers in a pre-thanksgiving game, which yielded a heart breaking loss. With about a minute and thirty seconds left in a tie game, RIT’s Erik Brown put the nail in the Laker’s coffin with a game-winning goal. Oooof. The Lakers look to bounce back tonight at 7:05 in Buffalo against Canisius.
MERCYHURST WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM:
Well, the Lady Lakers had a bit of an interesting week. First they beat the crap out of Weyland Yutani University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 4-1 and 7-1 respectively. Brook Hartwick added five points to her resume over the weekend with 4 assists and a goal. Nicole Guagliardo scored twice in the thrashing of the Engineers (laaaaaame). But the hockey gods are cruel and just when things seem to be good, it can change in an instant. Colgate University stormed into Erie, taking both games from Mercyhurst 2-4 and 1-5. The Lady Lakers will have a bit of a reprieve with a week off. Then they’ll be off down to Missouri to take on Lindenwood Dec. 2nd and 3rd.
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
- Johnstown Tomahawks will look to salvage a win out of a three game series tonight against Wilkes-Barre Scranton. (Last two games: 2-3 loss and 3-0 loss)
- Vegas Golden Knights is a terrible name
- PIHL Standings look like this so far:
- Varsity AAA: Seneca Valley jumps into a tie eith Peters Township at the top with North Allegheny and Central Catholic following.
- Varsity AA West has had a bit of a mix-up. Hampton overtakes Plum for first as Greater Latrobe continues to sit pretty in third.
- Meanwhile in the East, Moon holds strong onto their lead in the division with Quaker Valley and Mt. Lebanon tied for second. North Hills maintains at third.
- In Varsity A East, Franklin Regional, Kiski Area and Indiana are still fighting for dominance as they are all tied for first.
- Finally Varsity A, Chartiers Valley comes up big atop the division with 10 pts, followed by Baldwin in second and Thomas Jefferson in third.
Ok, now onto the true big stuff. We here at the Pensblog want to send our sincerest well wishes to Nick Chiavetta as it was revealed over the past week he has been diagnosed with some form of cancer. This is, unfortunately, not the first time a Colonial has had to make this journey as Chris Kushnerick fought through the disease a few years ago. Nick, if you happen to stumble upon this blog, good luck and godspeed. We’re all rooting for you and know you’re gonna beat this.
In short and as always: Go Pens, Go Pittsburgh.