An NHL strike helped make Guy Gadowsky a better coach

Video posted December 10, 2012 in Sports by Mike Stehlin


When your colleagues have coach of the year accolades, multiple national championships, hall of fame credentials, and even gold medals, it takes a lot to get your team noticed. Such is the challenge for Penn State Men’s Ice Hockey Coach Guy Gadowsky.

With such a successful athletic program at Penn State, a coach may feel the need from the fan base to succeed quickly and do whatever it takes to win. Through all the apparent pressure, Gadowsky acts with grace, class and with a dedication to building the program the right way.
In just his second year at Penn State Gadowsky is leading the Nittany Lions in their first season at the Division 1 level.

Despite a 7-7 record on the season, which does not include a two game split with Arizona State’s club team, Gadowsky has the fan base excited for the future. Just about every game at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion this season has seen a standing room only crowd.

With Gadowsky at the helm it is easy to see why Penn State’s faithful are exuberant. Prior to coaching at Penn State, Gadowsky revived struggling programs at Alaska and Princeton, which included multiple NCAA Tournament berths while at Princeton.

Through all of his success Gadowsky’s humble beginnings are not wasted on him. He speaks fondly with reporters of his times growing up and playing hockey in Canada. Remembering the great players he watched and also the great coaches that he learned from watching and talking with. Gadowsky takes that knowledge and applies it in his own coaching.

Ever the charismatic and engaging figure, Gadowsky is relatively subdued on the bench. In their most recent game, the aforementioned loss to Arizona State, Gadowsky was calm the entire game. He does not panic when his team is down or scream when they are playing poorly.

That attitude rubs off on his players. Rather than skating them until they couldn’t stand in the first practice after the game, Gadowsky gave his players two days off to recover. After the game Gadowsky said that the easiest thing for a coach to do would be to tell the team to look out because Monday's practice would be tough, but he thought that was wrong for his team at this stage in the season. 

The Nittany Lions traveled to Holy Cross the following weekend and were able to take a 4-2 lead in the first game of the series before falling 5-4 in overtime to a now 9-4-2 Holy Cross squad.

For a university with a successful athletic history, including four Division 1 team championships since 2010, competing on the national level is expected, no, demanded. For now Gadowsky has a 7-7 squad that he is building to contend for national titles in the future. With a move to the Big Ten conference and a 6,000 seat arena next season, that future better come quickly.

Hockey Valley Palace

In addition to the housing the Nittany Lions hockey teams, the Pegula Ice Arena will offer a great service to the community. The facility will feature an auxiliary rink that will offer public skating sessions, youth hockey league, professional ice shows and more. The arena will become a hockey hub for the central Pennsylvania region.