Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Looking For Results During Weekend Road Series
"I know it's the wrong answer, but yes." Penn State head coach Guy Gadowksy said this week following practice.
The question Penn State's third year head coach was responding to was whether or not he wanted to see his team win a game this coming weekend during a two-game Big Ten series against Michigan State.
Obviously there is nothing "wrong" about a coach wanting his team to win, but for Gadowksy, his goals have been so much about the development of the team. If that means wins come along the way, that's an added plus. But for Penn State hockey to get better in its first real year of Division I play, the victories sometimes have to just be steps taken forward as a program rather than victories won on the ice.
So for Gadowksy to admit he wants a result this weekend is a change of message at least for the immediate time being. If nothing else, for a team that has only won three times since November 1st, it would be nice validation for the hard work and effort.
And it's the right message. Penn State is playing its best hockey as a program right now. Falling in two straight games to the No. 1 team in the nation, the Nittany Lions held their own and had a real chance to win at least one of those games. For Gadowksy, he would be foolish not to hope his team could capitalize against Michigan State. While the Spartans are a surging team in their own right, after giving Minnesota all it would handle the Nittany Lions are riding high on confidence.
Penn State can also look back on last season's meeting when the Nittany Lions won against Michigan State at the Spartan's home rink. It marked one of three Big Ten wins in the inaugural season of Division I hockey for Penn State, each being equally as crucial.
Friday night, the Nittany Lions will get a shot at repeating history at 6:30 EST on the Big Ten Network. While the Spartans are a much different team since the last time both programs met, it will still be an intriguing game to watch. The second game of the series will be played Saturday night at the same time with the game airing to an even larger audience on the NBC Sports Network.