Courtesy of Penn State Athletics
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Highlighted by four matchups against
future Big Ten opponents Michigan State and Wisconsin and a home weekend
series against Air Force, the Penn State men's hockey team's first NCAA
Division I schedule has been announced by head coach Guy Gadowsky.
In 2012-13, the Nittany Lions will compete as an independent and play
23 games against NCAA Division I opponents from all five conferences -
Atlantic Hockey, CCHA, ECAC Hockey, Hockey East and WCHA - and fellow
independent Alabama Huntsville. Penn State will also face off against
three NCAA Division III foes, while playing eight exhibition contests.
In all, the Nittany Lions will host 16 games at Greenberg Ice
Pavilion, and ticket packages for all home games will go on sale
Tuesday, June 12. For more information on purchasing ticket packages and
to be put on a waitlist, fans can call 1-800-NITTANY (1-800-648-8269)
weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
"This brings us one step closer to dropping the puck on Penn State's
first NCAA Division I season," said Gadowsky. "We've been able to
schedule some marquee matchups both home and on the road that will help
provide a measuring stick for the program moving forward."
The Nittany Lions will also play at least six games against NCAA
tournament teams from a year ago. The Air Force Academy, which captured
the 2012 Atlantic Hockey regular-season and tournament crowns en route
to its second straight NCAA tournament appearance, highlights the home
slate and will visit University Park for a two-game series Nov. 9-10.
Two weekends later, Penn State will travel to Schenectady, N.Y., for a
pair of matchups against 2012 Frozen Four participant and ECAC Hockey
champion Union Nov. 23-24. On Jan. 25-26, the Nittany Lions will make
the trip to Michigan State, which appeared in the 2012 NCAA tournament,
for a weekend series against the Spartans.
Penn State, which last played a varsity game on March 3, 1947,
against Georgetown, will open its first-ever NCAA Division I season on
Oct. 12 when it hosts American International. Following Friday night's
matchup, the teams will face off on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Mohegan Sun
Arena in Casey Plaza, home to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the
American Hockey League.
Following Penn State's opening weekend, the team will embark on a
season-long five-game road trip. The Nittany Lions will travel to
western New York to face NCAA Division III's Buffalo State (Oct. 19) and
RIT (Oct. 20), with the latter being played at Blue Cross Arena, home
of the AHL's Rochester Americans.
The Nittany Lions will then visit Army (Oct. 26) and Sacred Heart
(Oct. 27) before they conclude their road trip against NCAA DIII
Fredonia State (Oct. 30).
November will begin with three straight home games, starting with
Buffalo State on Nov. 3.
Following the Air Force series, Penn State will
travel to Union before heading east down Interstate-90 for a two-game
series against Holy Cross on Dec. 7-8.
The Nittany Lions will then return home on Dec. 15 for a matchup
against Robert Morris before playing in the Pittsburgh College Hockey
Invitational Dec. 28-29 with Miami (Ohio), Ohio State and Robert Morris.
Opening night pairings for the four-team tournament have not been set.
Penn State will open the New Year in Storrs, Conn., with a pair of
matchups against Connecticut (Jan. 4-5) before hosting the U.S. National
Under-18 Team Jan. 11-12 and NCAA Division III Neumann on Jan. 15.
The Nittany Lions will then face Hockey East foe Vermont on Jan. 19
at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the National Hockey League's
Philadelphia Flyers. Penn State will also host Alabama Huntsville Feb.
8-9 before concluding the season in Madison, Wis., against the Badgers
on Feb. 24-25.
The Nittany Lions will also host six exhibition games against
American Collegiate Hockey Association club opponents, including Arizona
State (Nov. 30, Dec. 1), Ohio (Feb. 1-2) and Oklahoma (Feb. 15-16).
The 2012-13 campaign will mark Penn State's first at the varsity
level since 1946-47. Penn State previously sponsored men's hockey as a
varsity sport from 1940-47.