Series Preview: AIC
On Friday night, No. 11 Penn State will play its first match this season in Pegula Ice Arena. The Nittany Lions will also raise their 2017 Big Ten championship banner before the game.
Penn State will play a Thursday and Friday series against American International.
Penn State comes into this game with a 2-2 record on the season.
The Nittany Lions lost their opening game of the season on the road against now-No. 12 Clarkson. Penn State followed its loss with a victory over St. Lawrence.
Last weekend, the Nittany Lions played their first Big Ten series when they traveled to now-No. 8 Minnesota. Penn State defeated the Golden Gophers in the open game 3-1. Minnesota defeated Penn State 6-3 in the second game of the weekend.
Penn State is averaging 2.8 goals per game and 31.5 shots per game. The Nittany Lions put in 11 goals this season and 5 off them have been on power plays.
Denis Smirnov, who was named Big Ten Second Star of the week this week, leads Penn State with three goals. Smirnov has also added a team high three assists and is the catalyst for the Penn State offense.
Peyton Jones will be in goal for the Nittany Lions. Jones was featured on Sports Center’s Top 10 plays for an incredible save that he made against Minnesota last Friday night.
Jones has 95 saves on the season and has allowed 10 goals, six of which were in the loss to Minnesota last Sunday. Chris Funkey came into relief for Jones, and it is possible he could play in the series against American International.
American International will enter Pegula Ice Arena with a 0-4-1 record.
American International College is a small college located in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Yellow Jackets have struggled this season. They were swept by Army in their opening series. American International then tied Bentley University 3-3. The Yellow Jackets dropped their last two games to Connecticut and Massachusetts respectively.
The Yellow Jackets average two goals per game and 30 shots per game. Four of the ten goals the Yellow Jackets have scored this year have been on a power play.
In the game against Bentley, American International scored all three of their goals on the power play.
The Yellow Jackets have struggled in the second period, getting outscored 7-2. The second period is the strongest period for Penn State as the Nittany Lions have outscored opponents 7-2.
Patrik Demel leads American International with three goals this season. Demel also leads the team in points with five.
Brennan Kapcheck and Martin Mellberg lead the team in assists with three each.
Alex Murray started in goal for American International in its most recent contest against Massachusetts. The senior allowed three goals and had 31 saves.
Zackarias Skog started the other four games for the Yellow Jakcets. Skog has allowed 16 goals, averaging four allowed per game. The sophomore from Sweden also has 99 saves on the year.
Ben Ferree is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.