Series Preview: Men’s Hockey vs. Minnesota

Audio/Story posted February 21, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Tom Johnston

Host Jeremy Ganes and analysts Jordan Mansberger, Jordan Hession and Jacob Cheris discuss Penn State's pivotal series against Minnesota.

Penn State will take the ice for one last time at Pegula Ice Arena in the regular season when the Nittany Lions take on Big Ten opponent Minnesota this weekend. Currently, Penn State has a record of 19-10-3 overall and a conference record of 11-8-3. The Golden Gophers, meanwhile, are 14-11-5 overall and 9-6-5-4 in Big Ten play.

The Nittany Lions are 10-5-2 at Pegula Ice Arena this season, but for as much as that record speaks, they’ve had some tough times defeating Big Ten competition. Recently, Penn State struggled in a home series against Notre Dame, losing both games to the Irish. However, the Nittany Lions did pick up some much-needed momentum last weekend on the road at Wisconsin, splitting the series with the Badgers by losing 4-3 on Friday night then coming back on Saturday to win 3-2.

Although struggles have characterized the Nittany Lions’ play recently, there are a couple positives to this weekend’s matchup against Minnesota. For one, Penn State owns a head-to-head sweep of the Gophers on the season, as the Nittany Lions traveled to Minneapolis in November and came out with two victories. The final score for each game was 8-2 and 6-3, respectively.

As for Minnesota, the Golden Gophers are coming off a road trip to Notre Dame in which they tied Game 1 3-3 (Minnesota won the shootout) and won the second game 2-1. The Gophers are 6-4-3 away from Mariucci Arena.

This weekend’s series is vital for both teams. In the latest USCHO rankings, Penn State came in ranked at No. 11, while Minnesota made an appearance at No. 18. On top of this, the Nittany Lions and Golden Gophers are currently tied atop the Big Ten standings with 36 points each.

Saturday night will also be Penn State’s senior night, at which the program will honor the graduating seniors who played for the Nittany Lions this year. Among the seniors that will be honored are goalie Peyton Jones, forwards Liam Folkes, Nate Sucese, Nikita Pavlychev, Brandon Biro and Blake Gober, and defensemen James Gobetz and Kris Myllari. All of these players will be honored for their time with the Nittany Lions on Saturday night.

The weekend series will be televised on Big Ten network. Puck drop for Game 1 will be at 8:30 p.m., and puck drop for Game 2 will be at 6:30 p.m.

With Big Ten title hopes on the line, this series will be intense. But based on momentum and pure talent, Penn State should come out as the weekend’s victor. The Nittany Lions sweep Minnesota to reclaim sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, giving the seniors a cheery final sendoff in the process.

Prediction: Penn State sweeps 2-0

Game 1: Penn State 6, Minnesota 3

Game 2: Penn State 6, Minnesota 2


Tom Johnston is a fifth-year senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

Tom Johnston's photo

Tom Johnston

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Tom Johnston is currently a fifth-year senior from Pittsburgh, PA. Currently, Tom host Talk Time with Tom on PSU’s Comm Radio. Furthermore, Tom also does play-by-play, and contributes articles for the web-based radio station. Additionally, Tom is a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism and a member of PSN-TV’s Penn State Sports Night. Tom has the aspiration of becoming a play-by-play broadcaster in college or professional sports or a sports anchor back in Pittsburgh.

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Jeremy Ganes

Sophomore / Journalism

Jeremy Ganes is an aspiring sports broadcaster and journalist at Penn State. He writes articles, produces broadcasts, and announces games for the CommRadio Sports department. He also co-hosts an NFL-focused talk show called 4th & Long that airs live on CommRadio, alongside Francesco deFalco and DJ Bauer. In addition to Commradio content, Jeremy also assists in production and serves as an on-air personality to PSNtv show Penn State Sports Night, where he covers sports such as baseball and football. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Jordan Hession

Junior / Broadcast Journalism Minoring in History

Jordan Hession is a transfer junior from Annapolis, Maryland majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in History. As a member of the sports staff on PSU Comm Radio, Jordan has written articles highlighting PSU Athletic teams, has been featured on several talk shows covering sporting contests and has broadcasted play by play State College High School sports. Jordan is the creator, producer, and host of the NHL preview podcast alongside Grant Commerer and Jacob Cheris. Jordan has a love for all sports, especially baseball and ice hockey. He hopes to help expand the interest of ice hockey globally. Jordan is interested in becoming a sports talk radio personality, a sports anchor, or a play by play broadcaster/ public address announcer for a minor or professional team. To contact Jordan email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Jacob Cheris

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

Jacob is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports play by play broadcaster or sports analyst. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school and still plays in the Student Hockey League. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night. His favorite play by play broadcasters are Mike “Doc” Emrick of NBC Sports and Joe Beninati of NBC Sports Washington. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.

Jordan Mansberger's photo

Jordan Mansberger

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

Jordan Mansberger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in marketing.