Penn State Hockey

Penn State men’s hockey: Nittany Lions host Bentley

If you have been wanting a chance to catch the Penn State men’s hockey team, either get down to Pegula Ice Arena in the next two days, or it will be a long wait.

Thanks to the way the schedule is laid out, the Nittany Lions will be home Thursday and Friday, hosting Bentley at 7 p.m. both nights, and they will not be home again until Jan. 9.

The series completes a short four-game homestand, following a pair of impressive wins last weekend against Holy Cross, the second of which was a 7-1 victory.

But it is also a short week for Penn State, with just three days to prepare for meeting the Falcons after beating the Crusaders on Sunday.

“It is a little different,” coach Guy Gadowsky said. “It’s not only a short week, but we played Sunday, so we’re getting it at both ends, so it’s a little different. Practices are going to be … a little bit shorter than normal.”

The team took Monday off and had abbreviated sessions Tuesday and Wednesday to keep the players fresh.

Even with fewer days to prepare for an opponent, Gadowsky doesn’t mind the compressed week.

“I think all players and coaches love games,” Gadowsky said. “It’s fun to play the games. Because we had success on Sunday night, we played a pretty good game, you want to get back to it. Maybe if you don’t you want more time to work on things.”

After struggling to find the net at times last season, the Nittany Lions have been rather prolific in the early weeks of this campaign. Penn State is averaging 4.17 goals per game, which is tied for third-best in Division I.

Bentley, which swept a series from Rensselaer last weekend, is also high in the rankings, sitting ninth in the nation at 3.80 per game.

Following this week’s games, Penn State hits the road for a number of challenges. The trip starts with two games at No. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell on Nov. 14-15, then the Big Ten schedule begins at Wisconsin for two games, followed by games with No. 18 Cornell, No. 15 Michigan and the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh before returning home to meet Ohio State.

Notes: After suffering an abdominal laceration during the team’s trip to Alaska, defenseman David Thompson returned to practice this week, although he will not play this weekend. … Penn State also is averaging 40.33 shots per game, which is second in the nation.