Penn State vs. Alaska Anchorage Preview

Audio/Story posted November 19, 2015 in CommRadio, Sports by Sports Staff


ComRadio's own John Petrolias, Dan Correa and Bria Donnelly break down this weekend's series between the Nittany Lions and Alaska Anchorage Sea Wolves.  


Nittany Lions (6-2-2) find themselves making the journey across the continent to do battle with the Alaska Anchorage Sea Wolves (6-3-1) at Sullivan Arena. The Nittany Lions currently hold second place in the Big Ten standings, behind Michigan.

The big takeaway from the weekend came from the performance of the Nittany Lion’s special teams. Of the eight tallies from Penn State on Friday night, four of them came via the power play, which had previously been struggling. On top of that, Kenny Brooks and Chase Berger scored shorthanded goals for Penn State in the two games. The power play is proving to be a big weapon for the Nittany Lions, as 14 of their season total 44 goals have come via the man advantage (31 percent).

A big opportunity to make waves in non-conference play awaits the Nittany Lions as the gear up for Alaska Anchorage.  The Nittany Lions will look to continue to pepper opposing goaltenders in the shots department in Alaska. Senior Curtis Loik and breakout freshman Chase Berger will lead the offensive cavalry against Alaska Anchorage goaltender Olivier Mantha, who carries a .914 save percentage and a 2.40 GAA into the weekend.

Look for the Nittany Lions to capitalize on Alaska Anchorage’s lack of experience on the ice. Despite being led by senior top scorer Blake Tatchell, the Sea Wolves are mainly comprised of underclassmen, with eight freshmen appearing in games this season. Tatchell leads the team with 13 points in 10 games, and sophomore Tad Kozun spearheads their power play unit with four man-advantage tallies on the season.

Under head coach Matt Thomas, the Sea Wolves average 3.20 goals a game while only giving up 2.50 on average. While the Nittany Lions have had no trouble putting shots on goal this season, the Sea Wolves come into the weekend with a -18 shot differential for the weekend. 

The Nittany Lions will have more opportunities to do damage with the man advantage against the Sea Wolves, who only operate at a penalty kill rate of 76 percent. On the flipside, their power play rate sits at a moderate 21 percent. 

Both Friday and Saturday’s games will be late starts, with the puck dropping at 11 p.m. ET in Anchorage.

Marty Kassalen is a sophomore majoring in public relations. To contact him, email