Series Preview: Men’s Hockey vs. Minnesota

Audio/Story posted February 21, 2020 in CommRadio, Sports by Tom Johnston

Host Jeremy Ganes and analysts Jordan Mansberger, Jordan Hession and Jacob Cheris discuss Penn State's pivotal series against Minnesota.

Penn State will take the ice for one last time at Pegula Ice Arena in the regular season when the Nittany Lions take on Big Ten opponent Minnesota this weekend. Currently, Penn State has a record of 19-10-3 overall and a conference record of 11-8-3. The Golden Gophers, meanwhile, are 14-11-5 overall and 9-6-5-4 in Big Ten play.

The Nittany Lions are 10-5-2 at Pegula Ice Arena this season, but for as much as that record speaks, they’ve had some tough times defeating Big Ten competition. Recently, Penn State struggled in a home series against Notre Dame, losing both games to the Irish. However, the Nittany Lions did pick up some much-needed momentum last weekend on the road at Wisconsin, splitting the series with the Badgers by losing 4-3 on Friday night then coming back on Saturday to win 3-2.

Although struggles have characterized the Nittany Lions’ play recently, there are a couple positives to this weekend’s matchup against Minnesota. For one, Penn State owns a head-to-head sweep of the Gophers on the season, as the Nittany Lions traveled to Minneapolis in November and came out with two victories. The final score for each game was 8-2 and 6-3, respectively.

As for Minnesota, the Golden Gophers are coming off a road trip to Notre Dame in which they tied Game 1 3-3 (Minnesota won the shootout) and won the second game 2-1. The Gophers are 6-4-3 away from Mariucci Arena.

This weekend’s series is vital for both teams. In the latest USCHO rankings, Penn State came in ranked at No. 11, while Minnesota made an appearance at No. 18. On top of this, the Nittany Lions and Golden Gophers are currently tied atop the Big Ten standings with 36 points each.

Saturday night will also be Penn State’s senior night, at which the program will honor the graduating seniors who played for the Nittany Lions this year. Among the seniors that will be honored are goalie Peyton Jones, forwards Liam Folkes, Nate Sucese, Nikita Pavlychev, Brandon Biro and Blake Gober, and defensemen James Gobetz and Kris Myllari. All of these players will be honored for their time with the Nittany Lions on Saturday night.

The weekend series will be televised on Big Ten network. Puck drop for Game 1 will be at 8:30 p.m., and puck drop for Game 2 will be at 6:30 p.m.

With Big Ten title hopes on the line, this series will be intense. But based on momentum and pure talent, Penn State should come out as the weekend’s victor. The Nittany Lions sweep Minnesota to reclaim sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, giving the seniors a cheery final sendoff in the process.

Prediction: Penn State sweeps 2-0

Game 1: Penn State 6, Minnesota 3

Game 2: Penn State 6, Minnesota 2


Tom Johnston is a fifth-year senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

Tom Johnston's photo

Tom Johnston

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Tom Johnston is currently a fifth-year senior from Pittsburgh, PA. Currently, Tom host Talk Time with Tom on PSU’s Comm Radio. Furthermore, Tom also does play-by-play, and contributes articles for the web-based radio station. Additionally, Tom is a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism and a member of PSN-TV’s Penn State Sports Night. Tom has the aspiration of becoming a play-by-play broadcaster in college or professional sports or a sports anchor back in Pittsburgh.

Jeremy Ganes's photo

Jeremy Ganes

Senior / Journalism

Jeremy Ganes is an aspiring sports broadcaster and journalist at Penn State. He writes articles, produces broadcasts, and announces games for the CommRadio sports department. He also co-hosts an NFL-focused talk show called 4th & Long that airs live on CommRadio, alongside DJ Bauer. In addition to CommRadio content, Jeremy also assists in production and serves as an on-air personality to the PSNtv show Penn State Sports Night, where he covers sports such as baseball and football. He is also a reporter and producer for the Centre County Report. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jordan Hession's photo

Jordan Hession

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Jordan Hession is a junior from Annapolis, Maryland majoring in broadcast journalism. Jordan is the co-host of CommRadio’s longest running live radio show The Sin Bin with Kyle Cannillo. In the summer of 2020, Jordan interned at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio as a sports programmer. When Jordan is not discussing sports, he is writing various articles for collegiate and professional sports leagues and teams. Jordan has a love for all sports but has a genuine passion to spread ice hockey and baseball globally. Away from broadcast journalism, Jordan enjoys lifting weights and cooking. Jordan’s role models in the broadcast journalism industry include Doc Emrick, Gary Thorne and Mike Lange. In the future, Jordan sees himself working as a producer or host in sports talk radio and potentially television. To contact Jordan, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jacob Cheris's photo

Jacob Cheris

Fourth-Year / Broadcast Journalism

Jacob Cheris is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports writer. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. Jacob also covers Penn State Men’s hockey as the lead editorial writer for Penn State Rivals, giving in depth analysis on the team, and feature stories on specific players.  Jacob is also the host of CommRadio’s hockey talk show “The Sin Bin”. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.

Jordan Mansberger's photo

Jordan Mansberger

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Jordan Mansberger is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in marketing and sports studies.