Penn State Hockey Releases Phase II Schedule

Story posted December 18, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Kyle Cannillo

Games, glorious games. Penn State hockey released “Phase II” of its hockey schedule Friday. Hockey Valley will host six of its remaining nine series spanning Jan. 3 through March 6.

Before the World Junior Championships/holiday stoppage, Penn State was heating up, winning three straight, including sweeping Arizona State.

With massive roster turnover, it’s no surprise that Phase I was a slow start for the Nittany Lions. In fact, Penn State likely played the best three teams in its conference: No. 1 Minnesota, No. 6 Michigan and No. 14 Wisconsin.

With the World Junior Championships set to start Christmas Day, most of Team USA actually comes from those three teams.

A quick glance at Phase II shows that Penn State has a real opportunity to stay hot and rattle off some Big Ten wins. Penn State will play Michigan State and Ohio State in its first six games of Phase II. Both MSU and OSU have lost key forward talent and have had a difficult time generating similar production.

There is no doubt that the Big Ten is one of the most talented conferences in all of college hockey. All seven Big Ten teams (eight if you include Arizona State) are either ranked or receiving votes.

Despite the slow start, Penn State’s postseason hopes aren’t in danger yet. But the Nittany Lions will likely need a winning record in Phase II to be considered for the NCAA Tournament.

Whether Penn State uses a pair of Connors to win it in overtime, or puts up nine in regulation, the bottom line is this: Every win gets the Nittany Lions closer to a postseason berth.

Penn State will drop the puck again in East Lansing on Jan. 3. There are no details on which games will be televised.

Minnesota will pay its yearly visit to Pegula on Feb. 26-27. The Golden Gophers haven’t won in Hockey Valley since Feb. 18, 2017, marking eight consecutive home wins for the Nittany Lions against their rivals from Minneapolis.

 

Kyle Cannillo is a broadcast journalism major at Penn State University. To contact him, please email kcannillo1@gmail.com.