The Penn State men’s hockey team will be sporting a new look this weekend.
The Nittany Lions host Michigan State for a pair of games at Pegula Ice Arena, with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday’s game will feature the debut of an alternate third jersey.
However, hardly anyone has seen the sweater. Penn State has sent out Twitter teases with pictures of a blue helmet, and extreme close-ups of the jersey, but the look will otherwise be a surprise.
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Coach Guy Gadowsky has seen them, but he is under orders from equipment manager Adam Sheehan to stay quiet.
“He has that under lock and key,” Gadowsky said. “That’s his baby.”
Even when pressed, Gadowsky would not spill the beans.
“If you want anything, I’m afraid he’d beat me up,” Gadowsky joked.
He wasn’t sure if the new threads would be used beyond this weekend, or carry over to next season. The team had an alternate jersey for one game last season, with a blue, gray and white camouflage look for Military Appreciation Day.
Only one player has apparently seen the jersey — for a photo shoot. When asked Tuesday who that might be, several players could only speculate, surprised one of their teammates was holding out on them.
“I’m guessing it’s probably Patrick (Koudys),” Casey Bailey said of the team’s captain. “He’s probably the last guy that would ever tell anybody. We won’t find out what they look like or how they look until Saturday.”
McAdam earns third star
Goalie Eamon McAdam was named the third star of the week by the Big Ten.
The sophomore stopped 35 of 36 shots in Saturday’s 4-1 win against Ohio State to earn his first weekly conference honor of his career. His .972 save percentage led the Big Ten for the weekend
Scheid feeling better
Eric Scheid missed the previous six weeks with a concussion and returned for last weekend’s series with the Buckeyes. He assisted on a goal in Friday’s 5-4 overtime loss, then scored twice and assisted once in Saturday’s win.
“I think I’m pretty much back in the groove,” Scheid said. “It doesn’t take too long to get back into it. That’s a long time to be off so it’s going to take a little bit to get into the tip-top shape that I was before the injury.”
The junior forward, who led the team in scoring last season, had played in 11 games before the injury, and even after missing so much time, he is second on the team in goals with nine to go with three assists. He was glad it didn’t take long for the scoring touch to return.
“I was a little worried about it coming back,” Scheid said. “I came back on the ice a couple times the week before Ohio State, felt a little rusty, but came back out on Monday for practice and didn’t feel like I lost anything. I felt like I used to be.”
Making the list
Last week, Bailey and Taylor Holstrom found out they were nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey’s top player. Neither knew they were even on the list, finding out from friends or teammates.
They also downplayed the honor, on a list with 59 other Division I players.
“It’s an honor to be nominated,” said Holstrom, who has four goals and 16 assists this season. “I don’t have any thoughts of winning.”
Bailey leads the team with 14 goals along with eight assists.
Fans can vote online at www.hobeybaker.com for their favorite player.
This weekend marks the second straight week the Nittany Lions will play the Saturday game of a two-game weekend series earlier than the Friday start time, and it is a trend that will continue for every home weekend the rest of the season.
Even though it cuts into a little recovery time, Gadowsky said he prefers the scenario. For road games it means the team is home sooner with more time to rest on Sundays. It’s also a benefit to fans who travel to games, and fans who have children who play and might have games Sunday morning.
He also sees it help to condition his team for March when start times can be more unpredictable.
“If you’re fortunate enough to get to the tournament,” Gadowsky said. “... I don’t think it’s a bad thing to go through that experience once in a while.”