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Penn State Hockey: McAdam To Start Both Games For Nittany Lions This Weekend

by on March 01, 2016 2:00 PM

There is little doubt that Penn State hockey faces a do-or-die set of games to close out the regular season. A trip this weekend the Madison, Wisconsin will give the Nittany Lions one final shot at a potential sweep before finishing the year in Ann Arbor against Michigan and one of the best lines in the nation.

Sitting on the NCAA Tournament postseason cutline, there is little room for error. A sweep this weekend could seal the deal, at least five out of six points would probably give Penn State solid footing. Anything on the road against Michigan would be a success, and a win in the Big Ten tournament wouldn't hurt the cause either.

In short, the more points the better.

So in turn Penn State will do what it hasn't done all year, intentionally starting the same goalie two games in a row. And that goalie will be junior goalie Eamon McAdam, one of the 26 nominees for the 2016 Mike Richter Award given to the nation's top goaltender. McAdam leads the Big Ten in save percentage (.928), goals-against average (2.43) and is second in win percentage (.719).

“We looked down the road, no matter what, best case scenario, someone’s going to have to play two games in a weekend, so we want someone to have that experience,” Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said earlier this week. “We want to do all we can right now to get a bye [in the Big Ten Tournament].”

The Nittany Lions (19-9-4, 9-6-1-1 Big Ten), who continue to be ranked in both national polls at No. 15, return to action on Friday and Saturday. Both games are set for 8 p.m. ET puck drops.

With the change it will mean senior goalie Matthew Skoff won't play in goal for a series for the first time all year. With a .900 save percentage and eight wins under his belt it's hard to say Skoff hasn't done his part, especially over his career at Penn State, but simply put McAdam has been better.

“Matt’s a competitor and he’s had a very good year too,” Gadowsky said, “But he understands that in the playoffs, someone’s going to have to play two games and it would be to our advantage to have that experience earlier.”

And with an even strength save percentage of .955, it's hard to argue that McAdam isn't the man for the job.

 



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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