Lions set to take on Vermont in Philadelphia
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Saturday, the Nittany Lions men’s ice hockey team will play the Vermont Catamounts in the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff. It will be the final non-conference game of the season for each side.
The Catamounts are ranked 15th in the nation in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll and are fifth in the Hockey East conference. Although Penn State is unranked, they are second in the Big Ten with a 5-2-1 record.
Vermont plays in the elite Hockey East conference along side four other ranked teams. The Catamounts are 15-8-2 this season, but in the month of January they are just 1-4-1. Last weekend, Vermont was swept by Boston University, losing the final game in overtime 2-1.
“I think the first time we were there we had over 19,000 people and it was a great win for our program,” said Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky. “The Penn Staters in Philadelphia have just been fantastic and this is going to be a good game.”
Gadowsky and his Nittany Lions come into the weekend 12-7-4, and they received the second most votes of any team to not make the top 20 rankings this week. Casey Bailey’s Big Ten leading 17 goals have contributed to Penn State having the eighth most goals scored in the country (80). However, the high-powered offense of Penn State is likely to see the best goalie they have faced all season.
Sophomore Catamount goalie, Mike Santaguida, has the second best save percentage (.945) and goals against average (1.51) in the NCAA. Santaguida has appeared in six of the past seven games for the Catamounts. He is sure to get the start this weekend while junior goalie, Brody Hoffman, is suspended indefinitely for a “violation of team values and expectations.”
Coming off a productive weekend against Northern Michigan, Eric Scheid and Dylan Richard will look to add to Penn State’s offensive success. The pair of second line wingers have found great chemistry recently and combined for ten points in the weekend series.
Offensively for the Catamounts, Chicago Blackhawks third round pick Mike Paliotta is fourth among all NCAA defensemen in points with 23. The leading goal scorer for Vermont is Mario Puskarich with 10 goals.
Start time is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers. ComRadio’s coverage of the game starts at 12:30 with the Pregame Show.
Trey Cochran is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.