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Penn State Hockey: Richard Set For Return But Kerr Out For Weekend Series

by on February 14, 2017 1:20 PM

Penn State hockey will gain a key piece and lose one for this weekend's critical series against Minnesota. The Gophers are five points ahead of the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten standings.

The good news for Penn State: Forward Dylan Richard is slated for a return after missing just over three games with an injury. Richard was hurt during the first game of Penn State's series against Minnesota two weeks ago.

Richard could be seen practicing on Monday afternoon wearing a jersey indicating an injury but looked fine skating. Coach Guy Gadowsky is anticipating Richard for this weekend. Richard had played on Penn State's top line, but shakeups across the roster may equate to the senior skating on a different line this weekend. So far this season Richard has managed six goals and 11 assists in 22 games. 

The bad news for the No. 9 ranked Nittany Lions: Penn State's defense will be without perhaps its best player in Kevin Kerr, with the sophomore taking a bad fall against Wisconsin on Friday night. Gadowsky was unsure of the extent of Kerr's injury on Monday but already knows that the star defenseman won't be available for this weekend.

Penn State will now rely primarily on the parings of Kris Myllari and rising star in his own right Trevor Hamilton, and David Thompson alongside James Gobetz. The Nittany Lions' top pairing of Vince Pedrie and Erik Autio will continue as Penn State's most consistent grouping.

“Obviously it’s a big hit for our team, but I mean I think our D-core is strong enough where our third [defensive] pair can be our first [defensive] pair,” Hamilton said on Monday.

“I have to change my game a little bit because playing with Kris is a little different since he’s more of a stay-at-home guy, whereas Kevin joins the rush and everything so I think it’ll give me a little bit more freedom to join the rush and hopefully make some more plays offensively."

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