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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Face Ohio State Friday Night In Columbus

by on January 31, 2014 1:40 PM

Penn State hockey hasn't won a conference game this season. In fact the Nittany Lions are 4-15-1 on the season. But if you could hand out an award for being the most watchable 15-loss team in the nation, Penn State might just take it home.

Everything is new for Penn State. Every game against a top ranked team is a new experience for a program that has yet to play a whole season against Division I opponents. In many ways if this would have been the football, the equivalent schedule would have been littered with the Alabama, Oregon, and Auburns of the world.

And yet the Nittany Lions have kept it close in almost every game they've played. Losing to the the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the nation in the third period. Almost beating the former No. 1 and hanging with a smattering of Top 20 teams. All in the first season of play.

There isn't a player or coach inside the Pegula Ice Arena that enjoys losing or enjoys coming up short, but Penn State is playing toe-to-toe with the best teams college hockey has to offer. The Nittany Lions might be a season or two from getting over the hump, but the fact that's even a conversation fans are having is a testament to the team's progress so far.

This weekend Penn State will get another shot at a conference victory or two as the Nittany Lions head to Ohio State to take on the Buckeyes. Penn State knocked off the Buckeyes last season but both teams are very different than the holiday meeting between the two teams over a year ago.

Forward Casey Bailey recorded a career-high four points (2g, 2a) as Penn State edged Ohio State, 5-4, in the Three Rivers Classic consolation game Dec. 29, 2012.

The Buckeyes are (12-9-1, 2-5-1-0 Big Ten) on the year and will host Penn State for its second road series of conference play. Friday night's game will not be televised but Saturday night's contest will air on ESPNews. Both set for a 7:00 PM puck drops.

The Nittany Lions will return home for a two-game series against No. 12/12 Michigan Feb. 7-8.

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