Friday, August 26, 2011

A Hand In Everything

My visit to the first Icers skate of the school year on Tuesday included a chance to chat with Josh Hand, who will be a man wearing many hats during the upcoming hockey season.

Not only will Josh be back as an assistant coach under Guy Gadowsky, he's the new head coach of the D-II Ice Lions AND Josh Brandwene has asked him to coach the ladies who will be tending the nets for the Lady Lions.

It's good to young and full of energy. Congrats to Josh and good luck with the Ice Lions.

On a more serious note, the pending arrival of Hurricane Irene along the East Coast is going to have an impact on a number of members of the Icers Family.

Paul Daley Sr. is the Emergency Management Coordinator in Toms River, NJ. "Big Paul" sent me a text this morning saying he's earning his pay this weekend. In addition, Gunner's mother Mary is a trauma nurse. Let's hope that they aren't overworked over the next few days.

Having reported on a number of tropical storms and hurricanes, including Katrina, I can't stress enough the importance of heeding the advice of officials when they tell you to be prepared. Have an evacuation plan in place and stock up on supplies that you'll need in the event of power outages and flooding.

Above all, be safe.

And speaking of Hurricane Katrina, one of the funniest interviews that I've done in my journalism career happened while Katrina was still a tropical storm brewing off the coast of Florida.

It turned out to be a little levity before the tragedy along the Gulf Coast.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ice Time

Guess who just got back today?
Those wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven't changed, haven't much to say
But man, I still think those cats are great

The boys are back in town
-Thin Lizzy

The Icer Open is history (more on that later), classes at Penn State are in session, and that means it's time for hockey!

It was a beautiful late summer day in Hockey Valley Tuesday, even if the ground shook when the earthquake struck the Eastern Seaboard.

The quake didn't stop the Icers from hitting the ice at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion. All 34 skaters and 4 goalies, which made for crowded conditions on the ice and on the bench.

Guy Gadowsky, Keith Fisher, Bill Downey and Josh Hand put the boys through an up tempo workout that gave a glimpse into what they can expect from the new coaching staff. It also gives both the returning players and the new recruits an idea of what they'll have to show the coaches in order to make the final roster.

As Bill Downey put it on Twitter:

It's going to be a learning process for everyone. From this point of view, that's what is going to make this a fun season - the final season of Penn State hockey in the ACHA.

Now, to the Icer Open. Sunday started out to be a beautiful day, but Mother Nature would strike a blow with most of the 80 golfers about three holes from finishing their round at the Penn State Golf Courses.

The lightning siren sent everyone scrambling to the clubhouse, while the volunteers scrambled to get all of the prizes out from under the tent where we planned on having the post-golf BBQ.

As Barb said that Sunday evening, it's a good thing that we got off the course. The video shows some of the nastiest storm that I've seen since we moved to State College. Heck, I covered a few hurricanes and tropical storms that didn't pack the punch that this quick-hitter did.

Fortunately, everyone came together to make lemonade out of lemons. On behalf of the tournament committee, I would like to thank all of the volunteers for their help, all of the sponsors and gift donors and the alumni and members of the Icers family who came out and chased the white ball around most of the course. Their support will ensure the Icers' financial support in the upcoming season.