UNIVERSITY PARK — The first Penn State men’s and women’s varsity hockey rosters have taken shape. The state-of-the-art building they’ll be competing in next season is coming together nicely.
And while neither men’s coach Guy Gadowsky or women’s coach Josh Brandwene know what their on-ice exploits will yield until practice begins early next month, both coaches and Nittany Lion fans now know what the teams will look like from a fashion standpoint.
Both teams revealed their uniforms inside the Beaver Stadium media room Tuesday. The new sweaters feature a more simplistic design than what fans grew used to watching Penn State’s respective club teams over the years.
Gone is the gray and black trim used by the Icers, replaced with simple blue and white. The sweaters, featuring lace-up collars, alternate solid blue and white colors with a single stripe on each sleeve and along the waistline to compliment a large, Nittany Lion crest on the chest.
“Classic. Tradition. I love that,” Gadowsky, who had a hand in the uniform’s conception, said. “I think that Penn State gets away with that very well. They’re very simple, classic uniforms.”
Although the four players on hand only modeled the top of the uniform, photos released by Penn State indicate
Penn State hockey teams will wear blue pants with both the white and blue sweaters while alternating blue and white socks. Names adorn the backs of the white jerseys. Helmets will resemble those worn by the football team with solid white shells bisected by a blue stripe.
Taylor Gross, the captain of the women’s team, wore the only jersey with a letter. Gross’s captain’s designation — the ‘C’ — was stitched under the right shoulder.
Gadowsky said he’s a fan of classic hockey sweaters, simple two-tone, single-stripe designs like those worn by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings or Toronto Maple Leafs.
Revealing the teams’ new look was just another step toward the beginning of both teams’ inaugural NCAA Division I seasons.
“I’m not sure what the biggest challenge will be,” Tommy Olczyk, who modeled a blue men’s uniform said. “I know Coach Gadowsky’s always harping on us to work hard. We’re going to try to be the hardest working team in the NCAA.”
The Lions have already gotten a head start.
Olczyk, a sophomore forward, said many of the team’s seniors have organized summer skates and practices while coaches are prohibited by NCAA rules from running their own.
“I think it’s different for each guy, but I think just about every guy is doing their own type of training,” sophomore forward Max Gardiner said. “I think there are four guys up here training with Rob (McClean), our strength trainer in the summer. But for other guys like me and Tommy, we were back in our hometowns kind of doing what’s worked for us in our past.”
For now, the Greenburg Ice Pavilion, a venue from the Lions’ past, will remain their present home until the Pegula Ice Arena is completed next fall. The project, which broke ground in February, has teased Gadowsky nearly every day he arrives on campus.
“Every day I promise myself, ‘I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to take this other turn to go by it,’” Gadowsky said. “And every day I still do and I look at it and you can’t help it. It’s really exciting. It’s going to be such a beautiful building and I can’t wait for the atmosphere.
“That place is going to rock. And it is not only going to be a great place to watch a game, it’s going to be a great place to build an atmosphere. I think people get that, I think they understand it and I think they want to be a part of it from the start.”
Travis Johnson can be reached at 231-4629. Follow him on Twitter @traviswjohnson_