The Penn State men’s hockey team got its second straight weekend split, and earned yet another victory at Michigan.
But coach Guy Gadowsky was less than happy with the way his team played in Ann Arbor even as his team improved to 4-3 in two seasons against the Wolverines.
As he has said so many times this season already, he is more interested in the process and how his team plays than in the final results.
“As a team we really didn’t achieve what we wanted,” Gadowsky said by phone Tuesday night.
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The Nittany Lions (7-3-2) won 3-2 last Friday, but Gadowsky was not happy with the way the team played and it carried over and was glaringly evident in an 8-1 loss Saturday.
“You try to get a different mindset,” Gadowsky said. “But you can’t just flip on a switch. You really have to get committed to it and practice getting committed to it.”
The defense had a few good moments. They were outshot 40-28 by the Wolverines in Friday’s win, but only gave up only eight shots on goal in the third period when Michigan was desperately trying to rally. On Saturday, Penn State held Michigan scoreless in the first period before the roof fell in.
“Our team play in the third (on Friday), our defensive habits, at least were pretty good,” Gadowsky said. “Unfortunately we spent a lot of time in our defensive zone.”
The lax play was a topic after the games, and at the team’s practices early this week as it prepares for another milestone night in the program’s young Division I history.
Penn State will face Cornell (3-4) at Madison Square Garden in New York at 8 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s a matter of not only addressing it and committing to it, but playing it at game speed,” Gadowsky said.
Skoff to start
Matthew Skoff had been the No. 1 goalie all season, but was pulled in the first game of the previous weekend’s split at No. 4 Massachusetts-Lowell. Eamon McAdam came on in relief, got the win the next night and was in the net for both games against the Wolverines.
Skoff, however, will be back on the ice Saturday against the Big Red.
“Matt will play in New York,” Gadowsky said. “We’ll just make decisions after that.”
Medical update, Part 1
Gadowsky said the forward lines are getting a little thin, and while there are no serious injuries, the Nittany Lions do have a few key players “day-to-day” on the injury list.
Not disclosing specifics, Gadowsky said David Glen, Eric Scheid and Dylan Richard are all suffering from various ailments, along with defenseman Connor Varley.
Glen was hurt during the Oct. 30 win over Bentley, Richard and Varley have not played since the win over Bentley on Oct. 31, and Scheid was hurt against the Wolverines on Friday.
“We’re just trying to get some bodies back,” Gadowsky said. “We’re hoping they can get back and we can get certain line combinations together.”
Medical update, Part 2
Gadowsky also appears on the medical report after undergoing knee surgery Wednesday, repairing remnants of his playing career.
Does that mean he might not be on the bench Saturday in his first chance to coach in the World’s Most Famous Arena?
“Are you kidding?!” he said. “It’s Madison Square Garden!”