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Penn State Hockey: Program Announces Nine Man Signing Class

by on April 30, 2020 2:30 PM

It is an uncertain world for everyone, Penn State men's hockey included, but the Nittany Lions are hopeful a class of newcomers announced on Thursday will help the program find answers.

After losing 10 different starting skaters to either professional opportunities or graduation, Penn State will go from one of the more experienced teams in college hockey to a relatively unproven squad replacing at least seven starting forwards, three starting defensemen and Peyton Jones, the mainstay in goal the past several seasons.

Overall the Nittany Lions will welcome six forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender in a configuration of eight freshmen and one graduate transfer.

Thursday's news brings with it no real surprises but does solidify Penn State's options on the ice moving forward. College hockey recruiting is effectively the same as any other sport, but the ability to delay the enrollment of players such as now incoming goalie Liam Souliere does make for some outside uncertainty in terms of who will in fact enroll for the upcoming season until the class is announced.

Recruiting classes are subject to change and more student-athletes can be signed throughout the entirety of the 2019-20 signing period, which runs through August 1, 2020.

Tim Doherty // F // 6-0 // 190 // L // Portsmouth, R.I. // Maine (Hockey East – NCAA)

Doherty recently finished his tenure at Maine, making him the latest graduate transfer to join the Nittany Lions to close out a collegiate career. In 2019-20 Doherty posted a career-best 37-point season to rank tied for 18th nationally while leading the Black Bears with 14 goals while adding 23 assists in 34 games played. Doherty, the Hockey East Player of the Month in January, was also strong at the faceoff circle ranking 16th in Hockey East winning 54.4 percent of his draws.

In his three years at Maine, Doherty has played in 101 games registering 77 points on 34 goals and 43 assists.

Christian Berger // D // 6-0 // 182 // L // St. Louis, Mo. // Omaha Lancers (USHL)

The youngest of the five Berger brothers, Christian finished his first season with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. Through 44 games Berger scored five goals while adding 17 assists for 22 points from the blue-line. Former defenseman Vince Pedrie also played for the Lancers prior to coming to Penn State.

Christian will become the third Berger to have played for Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky. His oldest brother Jack played for Gadowsky at Princeton during his freshman season, former Nittany Lion captain Chase also played under Gadowsky's watch his entire collegiate career.
 

Jimmy Dowd Jr. // D // 5-9 // 161 // R // Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. // Chicago Steel (USHL)

A longtime commit now finally enrolling Dowd is the son of former NHL centerman Jim Dowd Sr. Last season, Dowd scored once while adding 18 assists for 19 points in 61 total games played during his first USHL season helping Chicago capture the Eastern Conference Championship before falling to the Sioux Falls Stampede in three games during the Clark Cup Championship.

Xander Lamppa // F // 6-1 // 205 // L // Rochester, Minn. // Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL)

Lamppa finished the 2019-20 season tied for 17th in the USHL in scoring with 45 points to lead the Waterloo Blackhawks on 15 goals and 30 assists. In two seasons with Waterloo, Lamppa skated in 111 games scoring 23 goals while adding 49 assists for 72 points. Lamppa joins current forward Alex Limgoes as the latest Waterloo product to skate at Penn State.

Chase McLane // F // 6-2 // 183 // R // Trenton, Mich. // Tri-City Storm (USHL)

McLane recently finished his third season for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL, but due to injury at the start of the year only skated in 18 games in 2019-20 scoring five goals while adding 11 assists for 16 points. In 106 total USHL games over the past three seasons, McLane has scored 13 goals while adding 37 assists for 50 total points. McLane served as an alternate captain for Tri-City during the 2018-19 campaign.


Tyler Paquette // F // 6-3 // 200 // R // Collegeville, Pa. // Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)

Paquette played the 2019-20 season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL after playing each of the past two seasons with the Des Moines Buccaneers. In 105 total games with Des Moines, Paquette scored 10 goals while adding 12 assists for 22 points and he finished this past season in Green Bay with 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 46 games.


Christian Sarlo // F // 6-0 // 188 // L // Lynbrook, N.Y. // Lincoln Stars (USHL)
 
Sarlo spent the 2019-20 season as an alternate captain for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL and led the team with 21 goals while adding 23 assists to rank second on the team with 44 points, a mark good for 21st in the entire league while his 21 goals ranked tied for 13th in the USHL. Forward Sam Sternschein is also a product of the Lincoln Stars system.

Liam Soulière // G // 5-11 // 180 // L // Brampton, Ontario // Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)

Soulière recently completed his first season with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL and after beginning the season injured he finished with a 9-6-0 record posting a 3.37 goals against average and a .917 save percentage in 15 starts. He spent the previous two seasons in the CCHL and was named the league's Goaltender of the Year in 2018-19 with the Brockville Braves after compiling a 26-8-0 record with a .930 save percentage and a 2.13 goals against average to rank second in the league for both categories. Souliere will battle with returning goalie Oskar Autio for playing time.

Jared Westcott // F // 6-1 // 175 // L // Imperial, Mo. // Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)

Westcott finished his second season with the Sioux Falls Stampede serving as an alternate captain after helping the team capture the 2019 Clark Cup Championship in 2018-19 with a three-game sweep of the Chicago Steel. In 2019-20, Westcott scored 16 goals while adding 18 assists for 34 points to lead the team in each category while playing in 44 games.



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