Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Long Weekend

A long weekend for most people is welcome. For the Penn State Icers - not so much.

The team enjoyed a successful weekend on the ice, sweeping a pair of games in their last trip to the Boss Arena at the University of Rhode Island. Then Mother Nature turned a 7-hour bus ride into a nearly 24-hour marathon.

First to the positives - a 6-2 victory on Friday, followed by a 4-2 nailbiter on Saturday.

As Coach Guy says, he's more satisfied with Saturday's play than what he saw on Friday night. I was impressed by the penalty killing both nights.

The team gave up one power play goal on a dozen chances. That included a perfect 7-for-7 on Saturday, when the Icers had to deal with a pair of two-man advantages for the Rams, along with Nate Jensen's 5-minute major for a check from behind.

Chris Cerutti returned to the lineup, and notched his first goal of the season and the game-winner on Friday with a power-play marker in the 2nd period.

After skating as the extra forward on Friday, Chris slid into Tommy Olcyzk's spot on Saturday and did not look out of place alongside Taylor Holstrom and Justin Kirchhevel.

The wins were the upside of the weekend - the bus ride home surely was the downside - right into the teeth of the wicked Nor'easter that pounded New England and much of eastern and central Pennsylvania.

The combination of impassable roads and mechanical problems meant that the guys didn't get back to State College until late on Sunday afternoon.

Paul Daley put it best with this tweet:

By all accounts, everyone tried to make lemonade out of lemons. Having said that, Barb and I were thankful we weren't with them!

With another road trip in the book the Icers are preparing for what might be their toughest test of the first semester. The Fredonia State Blue Devils, a perennial NCAA Div. III powerhouse, will be at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion on Saturday night.

Head coach Jeff Meredith, in his 24th year at the helm, brings a big, veteran team to Hockey Valley. Last season, the Blue Devils advanced to the SUNYAC championship game.

Game time Saturday is 7:00pm. The Icers will wrap up the weekend with a rare Sunday matinee as the Pitt Panthers come in for a 1:00pm faceoff.

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