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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Look To Snap Streak With Road Series At Minnesota

by on February 05, 2016 2:00 PM

At 16-7-3 overall on the year it would be hard to say that Penn State hockey's season has been anything other than a roaring success. While perhaps the NCAA tournament stands just out of reach in early February, that doesn't mean the third season in Pegula Ice Arena hasn't proven to be a fruitful one.

Without a doubt though the Nittany Lions face a brutal finishing leg to the season if Penn State is going to make a late run at the conference title. 10 games remain, but eight of those are on the road. Two against league leading Minnesota, two on the road against Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. 

So it's not unreasonable to assume Penn State is going to lose a few more of those games than the Nittany Lions are going to win.

But if Penn State has proven anything this year, it's that never say never to a hard working group of Nittany Lions. And if the unthinkable turnaround is going to happen, it will have to start tonight at 8:00 PM as Penn State takes on Minnesota. A tough place to snap a three game losing streak.

“It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of attitude we come in with,” coach Guy Gadowsky said Monday. “It’s always easy to say we maintain pretty even keel when things are going well. Now it’s a matter of us to try to maintain that keel even though things didn’t go well (last) weekend.”

Penn State does have some positive memories in the bank, an overtime victory against Minnesota earlier in the year set the tone for the early stage of the Big Ten campaign. Although the very next day it was a 7-1 trashing by the Gophers that sent Penn State back to earth in a hurry.

Things won't be any easier this weekend, especially with freshman forward and the team's leading scorer Andrew Sturtz out one game following a suspension from the Big Ten following a high hit late in Penn State's loss to Michigan at Madison Square Garden.

So can Penn State make the most of a strong start to conference play and make a late push with road wins and a young team? That remains to be seen, but a win on Friday night would go a long way towards answering that question.

“We (were) going to have to do a really good job in the first half of the year, and the guys did that,” Gadowsky said. “Now it sets us up to, if we can have a battle on the road and have success, that we can have a tremendous finish.”



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