Penn State Hockey

Defensemen have been big contributors to Penn State hockey’s offense

The centers and wingers get most of the attention when it comes to scoring in hockey, but Penn State’s defensemen also have been major contributors to the team’s high-powered offense this season. Of the team’s top 12 in points, five are blue-liners

“I look at our D-corps and we have a pretty talented group,” said Vince Pedrie, who was named first-team All-Big Ten as a defenseman on Monday. “We have guys that can play both ends of the ice. When you can add offense from your D-corps, it’s just an added bonus.”

Pedrie is the top offensive defenseman with seven goals and 19 assists, with Trevor Hamilton right behind with six goals and 19 assists. Erik Autio, Kevin Kerr (out for season with an injury) and Kris Myllari also have double figures in points.

Andrew Sturtz, whose 21 goals leads the team, doesn’t mind when the defensemen get into the scoring column.

“I love when this guy’s shooting the puck,” Sturtz said, nodding to Pedrie. “Whether it’s blowing by me or hitting me in the stomach and going in, I love when this guy’s shooting the puck.”

The No. 4-seeded Nittany Lions will meet the No. 5 Michigan at 8 p.m. Thursday at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament.