Player Spotlight: Adam Pilewicz

Audio/Story posted October 31, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Andrew Destin

Sophomore Adam Pilewicz’s journey to Happy Valley is dissimilar to many of the current players on the Penn State Hockey roster: he is the son of two Penn State alumni. In addition, Pilewicz has two siblings who attend or attended Penn State, including a brother, Jake, who recently concluded his playing career in baseball. Nonetheless, while this lineage likely helped to make Pilewicz's decision to attend Penn State an easy one, Pilewicz was aware going in how competitive it would be to play division one hockey at such a program as that of the Nittany Lions.

“I think some of the guys saw what I went through last year, transitioning, not playing much, but I had a great group of guys,” Pilewicz said, noting how important it has been to stay positive through the early part of his Penn State journey.

While family was a huge factor in Pilewicz's decision to attend Penn State, the team has provided the type of family-like presence that can be huge in an individual’s development as a player. Pilewicz, a Sewickley, PA native, saw limited playing in his freshman year, and while his playing time can be sporadic at times, he did get his first career goal in a lopsided win against the Niagara Purple Eagles in a lopsided 8-2 victory.

“It can weigh on you, not playing a lot, only getting in two games, in those games sparsely, but never for one second did I not feel part of this team, that I shouldn’t be here...just trying to get better every day and getting to the point where I can contribute on a daily basis,” Pilewicz said.

As an extra skater on this team, Pilewicz has been a key defensive presence on head coach Guy Gadowsky’s roster, spelling other defensemen when needed, or even providing a reassuring presence that in the event of an injury, Gadowsky can turn to such a qualified and competent player.

Not to mention Pilewicz is one of the younger players on this roster not only in terms of age but also in class as a true sophomore. Speaking of playing under Gadowsky, Pilewicz is similar to most players in being an advocate for an offense that stresses a high volume of shots rather than focusing on the high-percentage shot.

“They recruit guys to play their game. It can help anybody, anyone who knows this system knows it works. We got 62 shots against Niagara and eight goals,” Pilewicz said, noting how important Coach Gadowsky’s system has been to their success.

For Pilewicz, even when playing time can wane, he is quick to deflect attention from himself and instead focus on his stellar teammates, many of whom have been a guiding presence in his development as a player. One of the keys to Pilewicz’s game is being versatile, and he has taken heed from players such as center Ludvig Larsson about how to play the whole game, 200 feet and all.

“It’s everything, I think everyone on our team is versatile. You got a guy like Ludvig Larsson who scores a ton of goals but also dominates the face-off circle. Being a 200-foot player, being there whenever you’re called upon” Pilewicz said, being key to note how important it is to always be ready, no matter if an individual is a top line player or seeing one shift on the ice.

Playing for the Johnstown Tomahawks prior to attending Penn State, Pilewicz served as an alternate captain, gaining leadership experience that will prove to his benefit further in his Nittany Lion career. With this leadership in mind, it is easy to understand why Pilewicz understands the dishing out of playing time to more veteran players. Nonetheless, Pilewicz will remain ready regardless, just as he has all season, eager to enter the ice for a single shift or over 15 minutes of action.



Andrew Destin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email