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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions Prepare to Face Toughest Test of Season

by on November 21, 2012 6:00 AM

Penn State hockey coach Guy Gadowsky isn't one to talk down an opponent, and considering that the Nittany Lions are setting "firsts" after almost every game, it's an appropriate position to take.

Even so, as Penn State prepares to face No. 8 Union out of Schenectady, N.Y., there is an extra sense of anticipation and respect that comes with facing one of the nation's top programs.

"It's absolutely one of the biggest games on our schedule," Gadowsky said following practice Tuesday. "I have a ton of respect for them, I was in their league for seven years and I liked how they did things. They did it with grit, strong players, it's a really hard place to play, their barn is tough. They went to the Frozen Four last year and it's as good of a test as we're going to get. I'm excited and the guys are to."

At 6-3-0, Penn State has started its inaugural season at the Division I level about as well as anyone could have expected. With wins against NCAA tournament level programs such as R.I.T and Air Force, the Nittany Lions know what kind of energy they need to bring to a big-time game.

"I don't really tell them anything different," Gadowsky said as pucks slapped up against the glass behind him. "The guys are excited and ready for the challenge and I think the coaching staff is too.

"This is going to be a good information gathering experience for us. Union is big, their tough, their strong, and I'm really looking forward to the information we're going to receive by playing them."

Penn State's first game against Union is 7 p.m. Saturday. The Nittany Lions will play the second game of the two-game series on Sunday at 4 p.m.

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