Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Not Short on Energy During Losing Streak
If you count a two-game split in an exhibition series against Arizona State, Penn State has only won two of its past eight games. But two well-played losses on the road to No. 8 Union and two losses in a penalty-high series to Holy Cross puts the losing skid in a better light for the budding program.
Winning has never been the priority in the first NCAA Division I season for the Nittany Lions. Setting the foundation for a program in the future through good habits and growth has been the battle cry since Day 1 for head coach Guy Gadowsky. A future-first approach will likely be the key to Penn State's quick rise in status through the college hockey ranks.
Even so, losing brings its own demons into play as teams look to right the ship. But the losing hasn't slowed the effort or energy within the program.
"It's a learning experience," assistant coach Matt Lindsay said Monday following practice. "You've got a lot of guys playing their first year of Division I college hockey, so again it's an experience.
"I don't know that it feels like a grind at all. With exams coming up and a lot of hockey in a short amount of time, I think our guys have so much energy and enthusiasm being our first year that I don't think that, at least mentally, that the grind comes into play. I think they're just excited about playing the next game and showing people what they've got. I don't get the sense at all that they're struggling to get up for games by any stretch."
Penn State will get its next opportunity for victory Tuesday night at Fredonia, in New York. The 7 p.m game will be Penn State's second of three games in an eight-day stretch. The game was originally scheduled for Nov. 30 but was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy.
The Nittany Lions will head back home for a Dec. 15 showdown with Robert Morris before their two-day participation in the Three Rivers Classic at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh starting Dec. 28. Robert Morris, Ohio State, Penn State and Miami (Ohio) will all be featured in the event's inaugural year.