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Stack the Pads By Derek Meluzio



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Last Build Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:50:15 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2017
 



Former Penn State players in pro hockey and where to find them in 2017-18

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 17:17:51 UTC

2017-09-14T12:50:15Z

September is here. The sound of skate blades carving through the ice and pucks flying into the net has once again arrived.  NHL rookie camps have started. After that NHL main camps, AHL camps, and ECHL camps will all follow.  Professional hockey overseas has also started. In some areas they are beginning their league play this week. In just a... September is here. The sound of skate blades carving through the ice and pucks flying into the net has once again arrived.  NHL rookie camps have started. After that NHL main camps, AHL camps, and ECHL camps will all follow.  David Goodwin has signed to play with SaiPa in Finland for the 2017-18 season: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Professional hockey overseas has also started. In some areas they are beginning their league play this week. In just a few short years Penn State ice hockey has produced quite a few professional players. There are lots of guys earning a pay check all around the world who played their collegiate career in Hockey Valley.   Here is a brief guide to help you follow your favorite former Nittany Lions playing pro hockey around the globe. See below for a list of players and where they have signed for 2017-18. Any info on players I am missing would be appreciated. I would bet that we may see some additional guys catch on with teams in the pre-season or get invited to minor league camps on a tryout basis.     Eamon McAdam- McAdam once again returns to the New York Islanders organization for the 2017-18 season. Eamon is currently participating in the Islander's Rookie Camp.  The Perkasie, PA native finished last season with a hot hand playing for Bridgeport of the AHL. He went 15-8-0 as a Sound Tiger and 11-3-1 in the ECHL with the Mavericks.  Having now proven himself at the pro level watch for McAdam to earn even more time in the AHL this season. Vince Pedrie- Like the NHL.com article says... "When opportunity knocks, you answer." Pedrie decided to leave Penn State early and try his shot at playing pro hockey with the goal of making it to the NHL. His first step towards getting there was signing with the New York Rangers.   Vince played in nine games last season with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL recording five assists. He is back again for the 2017-18 season as a member of their organization. Zach Saar- The giant winger signed with the San Diego Gulls of the AHL this summer. This will be his first season of professional hockey. Tommy Olczyk- After spending his first pro season in the ECHL with Alaska, the former Penn State captain signed with the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL for the 2017-18 season.   Luke Juha- The second year pro has signed to play with Chamonix HC of the French league. Having spent part of last season playing with McAdam in Missouri the defender heads overseas to play in the top league in France. David Goodwin- Penn State men's ice hockey's career leading scorer and former captain has signed to play with SaiPa of the Finnish Elite league. Kenny Brooks- This summer Brooks was invited to the Vegas Golden Knight's prospect camp. He was unable to participate due to an upper body injury but he did sign with the NHL club's ECHL affiliate the Quad City Mallards for the 2017-18 season. Ricky DeRosa- The two way forward signed this summer with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL. David Glen- Glen played last season in the ECHL for the Idaho Steelheads recording five goals and twelve assists. This season he is heading overseas like many of his former team mates. He has signed to play in the top league in France with Les Rapaces de Gap. Eric Scheid- Scheid also headed overseas after playing last season in Missouri and Florida of the ECHL. Just like Glen, he has signed with and is playing for Gap.   Connor Varley- After spending last season with Manchester of the EIHL , Varley heads to France for 2017-18 signing with Epinal in the top league in France. Dylan Richard- Dylan sig[...]


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A look at the many connections between pro hockey in Las Vegas and the Hershey Bears

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:27:41 UTC

2017-06-19T18:10:03Z

As most hockey fans in Central Pennsylvania are aware, NHL hockey is coming to Las Vegas. Before you know it the expansion draft will be here, fans will know who is playing on the team, and their jerseys will even be unveiled. I have had people asking me lately why I am so interested in the Vegas expansion team.... As most hockey fans in Central Pennsylvania are aware, NHL hockey is coming to Las Vegas. Before you know it the expansion draft will be here, fans will know who is playing on the team, and their jerseys will even be unveiled. T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  I have had people asking me lately why I am so interested in the Vegas expansion team. There are actually multiple reasons. Some are personal and subjective while others are more objective and fact based.   I am a sucker for expansion teams and I loved rooting for the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Mighty Ducks when they were new to the league in the 1990's. On top of that, I like Las Vegas. In the past I have visited for work many times, my best friend and goaltending partner growing up got married there, I even recently spent time there with old hockey buddies celebrating our 40th birthdays together. These are all subjective reasons why I have interest in the Golden Knights but why should the average hockey fan in Central, PA have interest? There are multiple connections between hockey in Vegas and the Hershey Bears. George McPhee is the general manager for Vegas. Some of you may recall, he also acted as the general manager and vice president of the Washington Capitals. GMGM as he was known then was active with the Caps and Bears affiliation during the very successful stretch from 2005 to 2010 that produced a lot of AHL Calder Cup Championships.  Also during that time the Hershey Bears received goaltending instruction from the Caps goalie coach Dave Prior. Prior was often times very involved with Caps prospects in Hershey and in the ECHL during development camp and during the season. To add to the Vegas connection, Prior is now the Golden Knights goalie coach. Want some more connections? Look no further than the Golden Knights scouting department. You may recognize the name Mike Foligno. Yes this is the very same Foligno that ran the bench for the Hershey Bears as their head coach for parts of five season. If you want to extend the connections a bit further, and I know this is stretching it a bit, but former Hershey enforcer and power forward Rocky Thompson has recently been named as the head coach of the Golden Knights AHL affiliate in Chicago. Tim Cheveldae shown here at Hersheypark Arena, also suited up for the Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  This is a blog that focuses on goalies so lets look at a few more connections related to guys who have played between the pipes in Las Vegas. NHL hockey might be new to Las Vegas (although the league did play an outdoor game there between the Rangers and the Kings in 1991) but pro hockey has existed there for decades. The IHL's Las Vegas Thunder was the most successful professional team to call Vegas home and multiple former Hershey Bear goalies suited up for them. During the 1993-94 season Frederic Chabot played for the Hershey Bears. He also played in the NHL for the Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers that season. He also appeared in two games for the Las Vegas Thunder during the 1993-94 season. NHL veteran Tim Cheveldae played for the Hershey Bears in 1995-96. Prior to that he spent multiple years with the Detroit Red Wings and Winnipeg Jets. He finished up his pro playing days in the IHL with the Thunder. Norm Foster played seventeen games as a Hershey Bear in 1993-94. He, just like Cheveldae, completed his pro hockey career in Las Vegas. Dany Sabourin spent parts of three season as a Hershey Bear from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that many fans are aware he spent multiple seasons in the Penguins organ[...]


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At the end of the day hockey really isn't all that important... or is it?

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 19:32:35 UTC

2017-01-03T17:35:35Z

I am a diehard hockey fan. I watch highlights from the night before on the NHL Network when I wake up. I think about it and follow hockey news on Twitter during the day. I watch games that are on TV or online at night. I grew up playing from a very young age. I played hockey as a... I am a diehard hockey fan. I watch highlights from the night before on the NHL Network when I wake up. I think about it and follow hockey news on Twitter during the day. I watch games that are on TV or online at night. I grew up playing from a very young age. I played hockey as a youth player, I played club hockey in college, and I played in the local men's league for about fifteen years before settling down and becoming a coach for all three of my children.  A little outdoor street hockey with the kids can do wonders.Derek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  As a kid I remember watching the Flyers play on PRISM. We attended Hershey Bears games when I was a kid all the time. As an adult I continued to be an avid Bears fan and even to this day, I still follow Hershey and go to games. In the 80's I attended Coach Battista's hockey camp in Happy Valley. In the 90's the Maine Black Bears and Jim Montgomery got me into college hockey. That was the basis for what became my love for the Penn State Nittany Lion men's ice hockey team. Everyone at my work knows me as the hockey guy. I can't even begin to describe how much enjoyment the sport of hockey has given me. All that being said... I am sorry hockey, for days I didn't even think about you. You never even crossed my mind. You weren't even on my radar. To give you the quick version, a short time ago my wife developed a deep vein blood clot in her calf. It traveled from her leg, passed through her heart, and settled in her lung causing a pulmonary embolism. My life's attention very abruptly and quickly turned towards her health. A panic stricken trip to the emergency room and a fairly lengthy stay in the hospital later, we are home and she is well. She has a heck of a recovery ahead of her but overall she will be okay. The whole experience made we realize what is truly important in life. It made me adjust my priorities. It made me realize the fact that at the end of the day, hockey really isn't all that important. I can't believe I just said that. Hockey really isn't all that important... or is it? When this happened tons of emotional support poured in from all over. An amazing family friend and his wonderful son came to visit right away, our pastor and associate pastor from church came, my wife's friend and our neighbor not only visited but set up a meal chain so that we didn't have to worry about cooking. It was amazing. It was overwhelming.  Thoughts, prayers, things mailed to the house, you name it. It really showed me just how many people out there care about my wife, care for me, and care for my family. My wife's friends from college all went in together to send her a care package, relatives sent well wishes, people called and texted asking how they could help, and much more. It was amazing. A great buddy of mine named Bryan who is also a goalie dad like me got in touch with me reaching out about my wife. Turns out, I never knew this before but he has been on blood thinners for years and offered to talk to my wife when she had questions down the road. It was so special to sit back and realize how nice people can be.   The Penn State Icebreakers videos provided some needed comic relief.Derek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  After a few days of being with my wife and not being at home with my kids, her and I talked about how we needed to try and bring back some routine into their schedule. They had been staying with my mom and with my mother-in-law. We realized they needed to see me. I would run home in the evening to shower and change quick and say hello, but I hadn't been home with them for an extended period of time. We needed to do something normal for them to calm thei[...]


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Peyton Jones is thriving in goal for the Nittany Lions

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 19:43:08 UTC

2016-11-08T21:13:19Z

Penn State Nittany Lion goalie Peyton Jones is a freshman. This is his first year playing NCAA Division I college hockey. You would never guess that by looking at his statistics or by watching him play.  He plays like a veteran. He plays like a person with confidence. He enters this weekend's series with a 6-0-1 record, a 1.95... Penn State Nittany Lion goalie Peyton Jones is a freshman. This is his first year playing NCAA Division I college hockey. You would never guess that by looking at his statistics or by watching him play.  Peyton Jones during the opening series against St. Lawrence: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  He plays like a veteran. He plays like a person with confidence. He enters this weekend's series with a 6-0-1 record, a 1.95 gaa, and a 92.3 save %. Those numbers are excellent. Perhaps what is even more impressive is how he has gone about achieving those numbers. Many people, Coach Gadowsky included, have talked about how calm he is in net. He helps set the tone for the team and he is very composed. He has a calm demeanor in the locker room and on the ice.  Don't let the terms "calm" and "composed" fool you. He may be relaxed. He may avoid emotional peaks and valleys by not getting too high or too low, but he is a fighter on the ice. Just like the rest of his team, he wants to win. He wants to be the best. He wants to stop every puck he can. That combination of being relaxed emotionally but still being a competitor and aggressive with your play has led to success for the Pennsylvania native.  Jones is the next goalie to take time out of his very busy schedule to answer a few questions for "Stack the Pads". In this Q&A Peyton tells us about his career before coming to Hockey Valley, what it was like playing his first college game, and also what the biggest differences between junior hockey and college hockey are. On top of that though, Peyton talks about more. He tells us about his goalie coach Jon Elkin and his idea of playing with "relaxed intensity". He also gets personal and opens up to readers about the design on his mask and the very special meaning to his back plate.    Stack the Pads- First off, can you tell the readers a bit about your playing career before coming to Penn State? Where did you play and for what teams? Peyton- Before coming to Penn State, I most recently played for the Lincoln Stars in the United States Hockey League (USHL) for two years.  Before that, I played in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League and in the Tier 1 Elite League for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, New Jersey Rockets and Team Comcast.  While playing in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League and in the Tier 1 Elite League, I also played for my high school team, Holy Ghost Preparatory School   Stack the Pads- What has been the biggest difference between junior hockey and college hockey? Peyton- For me, the biggest difference between junior hockey and college hockey has been more outside factors not involving hockey then it has been the actual hockey part.  When I played in the USHL in Lincoln, Nebraska I woke up in the morning around nine, went to the rink to workout, got a bite to eat for lunch, went back to the rink for practice, and then that was my day.  Peyton Jones being introduced during the opening series against St. Lawrence: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  I usually got done around three or four and spent the rest of the day doing whatever I want.  Now that I am in college I have much more on my plate then just hockey.  I have school, meetings, study hall, tutor appointments, and many other things that take up my time.  For me, the biggest difference is managing my time so that I have time to do everything I need to do throughout the day. Stack the Pads- Opening night against St. Lawrence... where you nervous, excited, or a little bit of[...]


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A close look at Eamon McAdam's amazing new mask for 2016-17

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 21:30:39 UTC

2016-10-13T18:10:11Z

Part of what makes being a goalie so great is the fact that you get to where special equipment. Sure the uniqueness of the position is a plus, getting the chance to control the pace of the game can be a bonus, but lets be honest... when you are a kid playing hockey, the first thing that attracts you... Part of what makes being a goalie so great is the fact that you get to where special equipment. Sure the uniqueness of the position is a plus, getting the chance to control the pace of the game can be a bonus, but lets be honest... when you are a kid playing hockey, the first thing that attracts you to wanting to be a goalie is the gear.  When talking about the gear, many different players have worn attractive pads and gloves. Growing up playing the position in the 1980's has made me super jealous of today's netminders with all the wonderful equipment options they have. All that being said, the true center piece of a goalie's gear is his mask. The view through the cage looking out at the ice from your crease is something all goalies can picture in their sleep. Goalies can be very particular about their mask. Eamon McAdam's 2016-17 goalie mask: photo courtesy of Doug WagerDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  The padding and the cage are key factors but the design on the mask is very important. It gives the goalie some uniqueness compared to the rest of his team. He can express himself or herself, something that the other players on the team can not do. Don't get me wrong sometimes a nice objective style mask works great. There have been lots of awesome goalies over the years who have had a simple and basic design that looks wonderful and becomes iconic. Team matching colors and a sharp looking logo on your mask can work great. Sometimes though, I like more of a subjective mask. I like a mask that tells a story. I enjoy a mask with some creativity behind it. College goalies can be a bit restricted with how subjective their mask can be but once you enter the pro ranks you are pretty much open and free to do whatever you want. That brings me to former Penn State Nittany Lion Eamon McAdam's newest mask. The Doug Wager (Weasel Head Custom Design) painted Warwick mask is stunning in color but the best part about the mask is the thought behind it and the creativity. McAdam himself came up with the main theme. He gave artist Doug Wager the main bullet points of what he wanted to include and Wager used his amazing skill to bring the mask to life. The overall idea carries a "theme of fours" concept. Obviously, think about the NHL club that has him under contract. One side features the New York Islander's logo in bright orange and blue. How many Stanley Cups have they won? Yup, you guessed it... four. Across the chin if you look closely you can see all four Stanley Cups that the franchise has won over the years. The other side shows the "Thing" from the comic book the Fantastic Four. Look even closer and you can see the number four on Thing's belt. Pretty cool way to celebrate the club's Stanley Cup history if you ask me.  Eamon McAdam's 2016-17 goalie mask: photo courtesy of Doug WagerDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  How do the two sides of the mask merge? Penn State ice hockey fans will recognize the stripe down the center paying tribute to his Nittany Lion days. On top of that, bringing the whole thing together are four white intersecting rings among the logo, Thing, and the stripes.  Want even more connections to Hockey Valley? Well you got them. The back plate of McAdam's mask features the Four Diamonds logo, which as many of you know is an organization and great cause near and dear to his heart and the heart of many other former Penn State players (read more about Four Diamonds and their efforts to conquer childhood cancer).  The wall and stone gate represent where he has come from and the path ahead. The gate has a PSU lo[...]


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Penn State's Vince Pedrie and Andrew Sturtz come together for the NCAA's top play of the week

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 13:13:14 UTC

2016-10-12T13:35:01Z

Penn State Nittany Lion defenseman Vince Pedrie was named to the Big Ten preseason watch list at the end of September. That list is compiled from voting by the coaches in the Big Ten hockey conference.  Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena fans didn't need any help identifying or watching Pedrie. Both he and team mate Andrew Sturtz put on...

Penn State Nittany Lion defenseman Vince Pedrie was named to the Big Ten preseason watch list at the end of September. That list is compiled from voting by the coaches in the Big Ten hockey conference. 

(image) Penn State during the national anthem at Pegula Ice Arena opening weekend against St. Lawrence: photo by Derek Meluzio 

Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena fans didn't need any help identifying or watching Pedrie.

Both he and team mate Andrew Sturtz put on a show coming together for one of the nicest pass and shot combinations in Hockey Valley history. 

While on the power play, forward Andrew Sturtz planted himself in front of the opposing team's goal. After receiving a little back rub from the blocker and stick of the St. Lawrence goalie, Sturtz got the puck, slipped it back between his legs across the crease to a breaking Pedrie who quickly put it on his forehand and went top shelf. 

The result was the NCAA's DI play of the week and a crazy celebration inside Pegula Ice Arena by the fans of Hockey Valley and the Roar Zone.

See the whole thing take place in the video below...

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Nittany Lion netminder Chris Funkey is focused and ready for the season to begin

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:27:20 UTC

2016-09-30T18:10:01Z

I remember when I was a college student. I remember what I was doing each summer. I spent the time well. That being said, I didn't spend it like netminder Chris Funkey does. I remember playing hockey, working, and kind of getting ready for the next hockey season and school year. Chris is a bit more intense I think. He spent his... I remember when I was a college student. I remember what I was doing each summer. I spent the time well. That being said, I didn't spend it like netminder Chris Funkey does. I remember playing hockey, working, and kind of getting ready for the next hockey season and school year. Chris is a bit more intense I think. He spent his summer laser focused on getting stronger, faster, and improving any small area of his game that could possibly be refined.  Chris Funkey during the 2015-16 home opener at Pegula Ice Arena: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  The Nittany Lion sophomore is the only returning goalie from last season and he is looking to be an impact player for Coach Gadowsky. He played in only seventy one minutes of action all last season. I predict we will see him play a lot more this year. Chris is the next player who has taken time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for "Stack the Pads". In this Q&A Chris tells us some details about what he did to improve his game and prepare plus he talks about his favorite moment from last season, the recent World Cup of Hockey, and much more. Stack the Pads- How did you spend your summer? How did you work on/improve your game and who did you train with? Were you also able to get away from the rink and relax a bit? Chris- This summer I spent the first seven weeks at home in Chicago. It was great getting to spend some time at home with my family after a long season/school year. While I was home I mainly trained, following the program that was given to us by our strength and conditioning coach, Cam Davidson. I was working out about five days a week and usually skating about four days a week!   When I was on the ice, it was primarily with my goalie coach, Ryan Honick. (Learn more about Ryan and the Goaltender Development Institute on their website) Ryan has been my coach for about five years now, and we really put in some good time together this summer. We mainly focused on the intricacies of my game such as: rebound control in a wide variety of situations, having good situational awareness, and maintaining good depth/body position in all scenarios (which can be very important when you're a smaller goalie). Chris Funkey at Pegula Ice Arena: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Following these seven weeks, I came back to State College to work out and skate with the team. It's always great to come into school during the summer because you get to start building chemistry with your teammates. Also it helps that the facilities that we have here at Pegula are second to none!  I did get to spend a little bit of time away from the rink, but that was all mainly the first couple weeks after the season and then a week or two after I got home. Since then, It's been all preparation for the upcoming season. Stack the Pads- What are you expectations for the coming season both individually and as a team? Chris-  I would say my individual expectations for this season are to hopefully play more than I did last season. Also, my goal is really to play my best every time that I am in the net and do whatever I can to give the team an opportunity to win. As a team, the expectations are set very high in our dressing room. Our goal is to win the Big Ten Championship, and then in turn, give ourselves an opportunity to compete for the National Championship. We feel that if we set the bar any lower than that, we would be selling ourse[...]


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Get to know Nittany Lion goalie Matt Erlichman

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:55:58 UTC

2016-09-27T19:42:39Z

The 2016-17 Penn State Nittany Lion campaign is right around the corner. Fall is here and so is hockey season. The weather is getting cooler, leaves are starting to change color, and it is time to talk hockey. To be more specific... it is time to talk about the goalies from Hockey Valley wearing the blue and white.  With... The 2016-17 Penn State Nittany Lion campaign is right around the corner. Fall is here and so is hockey season. The weather is getting cooler, leaves are starting to change color, and it is time to talk hockey. To be more specific... it is time to talk about the goalies from Hockey Valley wearing the blue and white.  With Matt Skoff graduating and Eamon McAdam signing with the New York Islanders, we knew we would see some fresh faces joining sophomore Chris Funkey between the pipes. Matt Erlichman playing with the Ice Lions: photo by Steve HassDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Freshman Peyton Jones arrives from the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. The other "new guy" on the team is junior Matt Erlichman. Erlichman may be new to the Nittany Lion roster, but he certainly isn't new to Hockey Valley. The Bedford, PA native joins the team after having spent two seasons playing for the school's ACHA DII Ice Lions. Matt has taken time out of his very busy schedule to answer a few questions for "Stack the Pads." In this Q&A Matt tells us about his playing career before joining the Nittany Lions, how he spent his off-season, what mask he will be sporting this season, and much more.       Stack the Pads- First of all Matt, can you tell the readers a little bit about your career so far? Where did you play prior to coming to Hockey Valley? Matt- Before coming to PSU I played for many different AA teams in the PAHL.  My first year of U18 hockey I played in Altoona for the Mid-State Mustangs in the PAHL.  For my second year of U18 hockey I played for the Pittsburgh Hornets which are now called the Pittsburgh Pens Elite and they play in the Tier 1 elite league.  After I aged out of U18 I played one year of juniors for the Pittsburgh Vengeance in the NA3HL. Instead of playing my last year of juniors I decided to go to school and play club hockey at PSU. I played for the Ice Lions my freshman and junior year.   Stack the Pads- How did you spend your off-season? Do you have a goalie coach that you utilize for making improvements to your game and staying sharp over the summer? Matt- This off-season I had an engineering internship at Blair Signs in Altoona. Working forty hours a week took up a lot of the ice time available in Altoona. With that said, I was preparing to play another year of club hockey but I knew the varsity team only had two goalies and my goal for this school year was to make that jump.  After work I would go to Dorman's Sport Performance in Altoona and do off ice training with Freddie Dorman. Two or three weeks before school started I got a call from Guy Gadowsky asking me to join the team. At that moment I realized I needed to put in more work.  An old teammate got ice times three days a week and we did drills for about two hours each day to get ready for our seasons coming up. Stack the Pads- Can you tell us about the design on your mask?  Matt- I did not get a design on my mask.  Since I joined the team late I did not design a mask.  My mask is similar to the player's helmets.  All white with a stripe down the middle.  I actually like that look.  It is similar to the helmet I wore while playing club hockey. Stack the Pads- What are your expectations for the upcoming 2016-17 season both individually and as a team? Matt- My expectations for the team are pretty high. The team had a good season last year and I think we can do even better this year.  I [...]


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2016-17 Penn State Nittany Lion Goalie Tracker

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 20:20:14 UTC

2016-09-10T15:24:40Z

September is here and the World Cup of Hockey exhibition games have now started. Before you know it the 2016-17 hockey season will be in full swing. Nittany Lion hockey fans will soon have lots to cheer about as the International game against Queens is fast approaching. Even before that, the NHL exhibition game between the Sabres and the... Chris Funkey and Eamon McAdam prior to a Nittany Lion game at Pegula Ice Arena in 2015-16: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  September is here and the World Cup of Hockey exhibition games have now started. Before you know it the 2016-17 hockey season will be in full swing. Nittany Lion hockey fans will soon have lots to cheer about as the International game against Queens is fast approaching. Even before that, the NHL exhibition game between the Sabres and the Wild will take place at Pegula Ice Arena near the end of September. It is time to start thinking about the current and former players between the pipes in Hockey Valley. Questions surround the program when talking about who the starter in goal will be. Experience between the pipes will not be a strong point but skill and potential certainly are. Who will wear the blue and white this season? Which former players could spend time in the NHL, AHL or ECHL? Find out below in the 2016-17 Penn State Ice Hockey Goalie Tracker. Chris Funkey- #33 is back as the only returning Nittany Lion goalie after senior Matt Skoff graduated and junior Eamon McAdam signed with the New York Islanders.  In 2015-16 Funkey did not see lots of playing time but when he was in the crease he was very effective. He appeared in four games totaling seventy one minutes of action. During that time he registered a 1.69 goals against average and a .933 save%.  What the former New Jersey Hitmen goalie may lack in NCAA experience and size he more then makes up for in work ethic. His practice habits, hard work, and overall attitude are well respected in the locker room by current players and former players alike.  You can't judge a goalie from just four games of NCAA experience, but the pieces are certainly there. Chris just needs to put them together over a full season. He heads into the coming season in great shape and looking sharp already.  Peyton Jones with the Stars: Photo by Brandon Anderson, BA-PhotosDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Time will tell and no one is certain who the starter will be, but one thing is for sure... Chris Funkey will see a lot more playing time this season than he did last year.  Peyton Jones- Jones shined in net for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL for the last few years. The Pennsylvania native played in a total of sixty three games for Lincoln and during the 2015-16 campaign he went 19-11-3. During that season he had a 2.34 goals against average and a .922 save%.  One advantage Jones has is his size. Another advantage he has is his speed. Very few tall goalies can move quickly but Peyton can.  He has no NCAA experience so there may be a bit of an adjustment period for him. That being said, the staff feels he will adapt to the speed of the game right away and be a contributor from the start.  Matt Erlichman- Matt is the newest Nittany Lion goalie joining the team after being a successful member of the school's ACHA DII team. Matt Erlichman with the Ice Lions: photo by Steve HassDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  With the Ice Lions, Matt went 8-2-0 in 2015-16 with a 2.29 goals against average, one shutout, and a .936 save %.  Third on the team's goalie depth chart, expect Matt to be more of an asset during practice compared to games but you never know what can happen. Injuries can occur and Gadowsky has been known to thrown a curve ball or two by playing all three goalies during th[...]


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Get to know York College goalie Jarrett Snare

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 11:07:12 UTC

2016-07-29T10:54:44Z

Right now we are in the heat of summer, but before you know it we will be heading to hockey rinks across the country as fall approaches and so does the 2016-17 hockey season.  Pre-season will be in full swing come September and players will be prepping for the new campaign. For many teams it will be just another... Right now we are in the heat of summer, but before you know it we will be heading to hockey rinks across the country as fall approaches and so does the 2016-17 hockey season.  Pre-season will be in full swing come September and players will be prepping for the new campaign. For many teams it will be just another start to the season. For the York College ice hockey club though, it will be a little bit different. It won't be just another season... it will be their first season.  Starting this September the team will compete in the South division of the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference at the ACHA DIII level. They will compete against teams such as Penn State Harrisburg, Gettysburg College, Mount Saint Mary's, Franklin and Marshall and more. Goalie Jarrett Snare will be sporting this awesome setup when he and the rest of the Spartans hit the ice for their inaugural season. Image courtesy of YCP Ice HockeyDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  In this Q&A "Stack the Pads" talks to Central Pennsylvania standout goalie Jarrett Snare who will be the player between the pipes for the team during their inaugural season. Jarrett has taken time out of his busy schedule to fill our readers in on his playing career prior to joining York College, what he does in the off-season, what his expectations are, and what gear he will be sporting for the coming season. Stack the Pads- First of all, can you tell our readers a little bit about your career so far? Where did you play and for what teams prior to coming to York College? Jarrett- Well, I started out with the Capital City Vipers because that's where my older brother Dustin Snare played, who was also one of my very first coaches. When I turned seventeen, we did not have enough skaters to make an 18U team, so I played for the Hershey Jr. Bears who needed a goalie. Since both teams were in the DVHL, it wasn't much of a change but we had two successful years with my coach Matt Yingst. This past year, my freshman year in college, was my last season with the team so I was eager to sign up for York College's team. Stack the Pads- How do you spend your off-season? Do you have a goalie coach that you use or have used in the past? What do you do to improve your game or stay in shape? Jarrett- Unfortunately, I haven't done much training this off-season because of work, but I do play adult roller hockey and skate when I can. I have received coaching from Mike Sherman of Goalies Plus on their synthetic ice in years past. ***Editor's Note- Many area goalie lovers might be aware of Mike Sherman and his store Goalies Plus and the training he does for players in Central, PA. He has helped many players not only stop the puck but also look good doing it.*** I also try to run a two or three miles to maintain endurance and do some yoga in order to keep flexible for the season. Stack the Pads- What are your expectations this season both personally and as a team? Jarrett- This season I hope to personally maintain a high save percentage and I am looking forward to playing against some friends that are on the other teams in the league. I just want to have fun and make some great hockey memories with my new teammates. For me, as competitive as I am, I just enjoy playing on a new team. Knowing that it's our first season makes me want to prove our abilities and skill to the league. I hope as a team that we can win at least half of our games this season. As easy as that sou[...]


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College ice hockey on the rise in Central Pennsylvania: Q&A with Spartan Connor McCormack

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:39:56 UTC

2016-07-27T17:55:27Z

Area college hockey fans have had a lot to get excited about lately. First off, a few years ago with hard work from Joe Battista and Terry Pegula, Penn State was able to elevate their ice hockey program from an ACHA D1 team to what has now become a premier NCAA D1 team playing in beautiful Pegula Ice Arena. ... Area college hockey fans have had a lot to get excited about lately. First off, a few years ago with hard work from Joe Battista and Terry Pegula, Penn State was able to elevate their ice hockey program from an ACHA D1 team to what has now become a premier NCAA D1 team playing in beautiful Pegula Ice Arena.  We also saw Lebanon Valley College excel at the ACHA D1 level and with hard work from minor league hockey legend Don Parsons and his staff, they now once again will return to NCAA DIII competition playing at historic Hersheypark Arena. York College ice hockey is the newest area school to field a team in the ACHA. Image courtesy of the York College ice hockey club. Derek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  The next school to make a leap to the next level is York College who starting this season will field a team in the South division of the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference at the ACHA DIII level. Everything is relative and although obviously not as major of an undertaking as PSU transitioning to the NCAA, many involved in college sports are aware of just how challenging and difficult starting an ice hockey program can be. You certainly want to make sure that the finished product on the ice is successful but way before you can even play your first game there is an unbelievable amount of paperwork, hard work, and sweat and tears that go into not just getting sanctioned by the ACHA, but getting approval and support from the school itself. No one knows that better then Connor McCormick and his staff at the York College ice hockey club. Not only will the former Junior B player from the MJHL be lacing up his skates and playing for the Spartans this season but he is also the club's president and one of it's founding members. In this Q&A with Connor McCormack, "Stack the Pads" takes a look at the newest ACHA DIII team to hit the ice finding out the history of the young program, who is behind the project, what their expectations are, and as many of our readers want to know, in the near future we will learn about the player who will be guarding the crease for the Spartans in 2016-17.      Stack the Pads- Can you give us some background on how you went about getting the program started?  Connor- I approached the athletics department with the proposal of a hockey team and was immediately denied. I knew how great of an opportunity this would be for the college and the community and I was persistent with them until they saw how feasible and beneficial this team would be for the school. Eventually I was given the "OK" to gauge interest in students, present to the student senate, and petition into the ACHA all within two weeks of school ending. I managed to do it with the help of the executive board, my parents, and the parents of the guys playing. Stack the Pads- The players on the ice are key but the people behind the scenes are often times just as important. Who is on the board and who will be behind the bench coaching your first season? Connor- Our board is made of Patrick Guinan as treasurer, Trevor Wash as secretary, Matt Ernst as VP and myself as President. I would like to thank Rick Guinan for stepping up as the head coach for us as well as my dad, Scott McCormick who will also be helping. Stack the Pads- Soon we will be profiling your goalie Jarrett Snare, but at Stack the Pads we know you have five other guys on the ice helping out so we also [...]


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Penn State ice hockey goalies: Celebrating the success, looking ahead to the future

Fri, 06 May 2016 19:49:36 UTC

2016-05-06T20:57:10Z

Penn State has only been competing in ice hockey at the NCAA D1 level for four seasons. That being said, those few years have led to quite a bit of success both on and off the ice and especially when it comes to the goaltending position. Actually, think about it for a second. The first three players to appear... Penn State has only been competing in ice hockey at the NCAA D1 level for four seasons. That being said, those few years have led to quite a bit of success both on and off the ice and especially when it comes to the goaltending position. Fans in Hockey Valley will see a lot more of #33 Chris Funkey now that Eamon McAdam has moved on to play in the Islanders organization: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Actually, think about it for a second. The first three players to appear in goal for Penn State during the current NCAA era have all gone on to sign professional contracts. That is three for three. Not too shabby.  The first player to do it was PJ Musico who graduated last season after playing for both Penn State's ACHA team and the NCAA squad for multiple seasons. He started the 2015-16 season with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL and appeared with them in thirteen games going 7-3-1. Later in the season he joined the Quad City Mallards and played in ten regular season games going 6-3-1. Musico also had a brief stint in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves dressing and backing up against the Admirals.  At the conclusion of the 2015-16 Penn State season both Matt Skoff and Eamon McAdam would see action in the pro ranks. In fact, McAdam would become the first ever Nittany Lion goalie to ink an NHL deal.  Matt Skoff made his professional debut with Reading after four very successful seasons at Penn State: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Senior Matt Skoff finished up his last season at Penn State and shortly after signed an ATO with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. Skoffer practiced with Reading for quite a bit and would appear in two games with the Royals going 1-1-0.  Not long after Skoff signed with Reading, junior goalie Eamon McAdam announced that he would forgo his senior season and he signed a three year entry level contract with the New York Islanders. This made Eamon the first Nittany Lion goalie to ink an NHL deal and only the second player ever behind forward Casey Bailey.  Eamon then signed an ATO with the Islander's AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and joined them for the remainder of the season. With the Sound Tigers involved in a tight race for an AHL playoff spot his playing time was limited but he did earn a start at the end of the season becoming the first goalie in Penn State hockey history to start a game in the American Hockey League. Mark Scally, who played for Penn State in the late 1990's on the ACHA team is the only other goalie to see AHL playing time as he entered a game during the 2000-01 season in relief for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. Musico played for both Greenville and Quad City during the 2015-16 ECHL season: photo by Derek MeuzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  So what does the future hold for Penn State goaltenders? The future to me looks bright. Chris Funkey will return next season. Although he did not see a ton of action this season, he did make the most of the playing time he got and was very effective. He only logged seventy one minutes but during that time he only allowed two goals and had a .933 save% and a 1.69 gaa.  On top of that, Funkey has earned the praise of former team mates Eamon McAdam and Matt Skoff who both feel he is more then up to the challenge for next season. Besides Chris Funkey who else will be[...]


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Penn State goalies Eamon McAdam and Matt Skoff join the professional ranks

Thu, 24 Mar 2016 20:23:21 UTC

2016-03-24T20:54:45Z

The last few days have been exciting for Penn State ice hockey fans. Multiple Nittany Lions have agreed to professional contracts with teams from the NHL, AHL, and ECHL. Redshirt-senior forward Eric Scheid has signed an ATO with the Portland Pirates of the AHL. To go along with that, senior defenseman Luke Juha has signed an ATO with the Bridgeport... The last few days have been exciting for Penn State ice hockey fans. Multiple Nittany Lions have agreed to professional contracts with teams from the NHL, AHL, and ECHL. Eamon McAdam between plays at Pegula Ice Arena: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Redshirt-senior forward Eric Scheid has signed an ATO with the Portland Pirates of the AHL. To go along with that, senior defenseman Luke Juha has signed an ATO with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. A photo of him practicing with the team has already surfaced on the Sound Tigers Twitter page.  On the goalie side of things there is just as much activity. First, senior goalie Matt Skoff has signed an ATO with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. The "We Bleed Purple" Twitter page has already posted a few photos of Matt with the team as well as the Royals themselves. Skoff completed the 2015-16 NCAA season with an 8-5-3 record and a .902 save% and 3.26 gaa. He concluded his career as a Nittany Lion as the team's all time leader in games played, starts, shutouts, saves, and wins.  Two days later junior goalie Eamon McAdam agreed to a three year entry level contract with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League and will report to their AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on an ATO for the remainder of the current season. He is only the second Penn State player (Casey Bailey being the other) to ink an NHL contract.  Matt Skoff stretching at Pegula Ice Arena: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  McAdam finished up the 2015-16 season with a 13-8-1 record and a .913 save% and a 2.98 gaa. Eamon also tied for the lead in points scored by a goaltender in the nation with four. He racked up multiple Big Ten awards all season and was even named as a nominee for the Mike Richter Award going to the top goalie in men's college hockey. Speaking of former Penn State goalies in the professional ranks, PJ Musico has had an amazing season in the ECHL during 2015-16. He started the season with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits going 7-3-1 then was traded to the Quad City Mallards and since joining them he has gone 5-1-1. Chris Funkey at Pegula Ice Arena: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Chris Funkey completed his freshman season with Penn State appearing in four separate games. He played a total of seventy one minutes and only allowed two goals giving him a .933 save% and a 1.69 gaa. Obviously seventy one minutes is not enough time to really get a read on a goalie but the numbers don't lie, the time he did spend between the pipes was used effectively. It is a good sign for next season as he is sure to get a substantial increase in games played with the graduation of Skoff and departure of McAdam. Future Penn State goalie Peyton Jones is finishing up an excellent season in the USHL. He has played in thirty games and has a 17-9-1 record with a .925 save % and a 2.24 gaa which also shows promise for the next regime of Nittany Lion goalies that are taking over for the original group of Musico, Skoff, and McAdam. It is rather impressive to think that so far in the short history of NCAA DI hockey at Penn State each of the first three goalies have inked professional contracts, one of them being an NHL deal. That to me says a lot about the s[...]


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A look at the outstanding college career of Penn State goalie Matt Skoff

Fri, 19 Feb 2016 16:37:41 UTC

2016-02-19T16:46:24Z

As a youth hockey player I remember my first game when I moved up from the bantam level to the midget level. As a goalie I wasn't sure how I would respond to the higher level of play and the faster pace of the game. The players were older, bigger, and they shot a lot harder. The night before... As a youth hockey player I remember my first game when I moved up from the bantam level to the midget level. As a goalie I wasn't sure how I would respond to the higher level of play and the faster pace of the game. The players were older, bigger, and they shot a lot harder. The night before the game I was a nervous wreck. It seemed like a huge weight was on my shoulders.  Matt Skoff during the 2015-16 season: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  I was playing for a local youth team in an area league covering central Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. High stakes hockey to me but in the broad scheme of things it was pretty minor. Imagine if you had to experience the same situation but this time you weren't playing for a small local youth team but rather you were playing for the Pennsylvania State University. Instead of being a rookie at the midget hockey level, you were being tossed into the NCAA division I ring. Instead of playing in front of a bunch of parents and a few schoolmates you were playing in front of 1,300 screaming fans with the entire college hockey world watching. That is exactly what Penn State goalie Matt Skoff had to do at the start of the 2012-13 NCAA season. So much attention was on the team and the program. They had received a huge donation from Terry Pegula, they were moving up from ACHA hockey to the NCAA, and a new state of the art arena was being built. There was lots of speculation about the program, how competitive they would be, pressure to perform was high, it was an unbelievably tough situation to play in as a freshman goalie. I remember the game agianst AIC like it was yesterday. I also remember arriving at the rink and seeing that a freshman was starting in goal. It made me realize that the coach must have faith in him and that this kid must be one heck of a character player. Skoffer on the big screen at Pegula Ice Arena: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Matt Skoff responded in amazing fashion that game. The McKees Rocks Pennsylvania native made 26 saves that night in a great game that ultimately ended in a 3-2 overtime loss. Despite the fact that the game ended in a loss it showed the college hockey community that Penn State meant business and that they could hang at the NCAA level. It also introduced the college hockey world to a goalie that would transition from being an unproven rookie to what is now a Penn State legend who will leave behind him a legacy of wins, great performances, and memories that will last for a long time.  Heading into the last home weekend of the season and especially Senior Day, Matt Skoff has racked up an amazing 32 wins in 74 games played. He has a career 2.82 gaa and a career .910 save percentage. Those would be impressive numbers for any NCAA goalie but especially for one who played on a team that despite exceeding many peoples expectations is still in the early stages of it's development. Those first two seasons especially, the team was young, the defense was still learning, and they relied heavily on their goaltender for confidence and stability. The team got that in Matt Skoff.  Matt Skoff at the start of the first NCAA DI game in Penn State history: photo by Derek MeluzioDerek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  I can honestly say in all the games I have seen him play he has always played with[...]


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Goalie Matt Healy having memorable senior season at LVC

Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:01:21 UTC

2016-01-12T16:34:50Z

Lebanon Valley College goalie Matt Healy is having quite the memorable senior season. He and his teammates are currently ranked #12 in the ACHA National Rankings with a record of 17-3-0. Healy himself has a 1.33 GAA, a .929 save%, and a perfect 3-0-0 record with one shutout in 180 minutes of action. Matt's most recent victory came just last... Lebanon Valley College goalie Matt Healy is having quite the memorable senior season. He and his teammates are currently ranked #12 in the ACHA National Rankings with a record of 17-3-0. Healy himself has a 1.33 GAA, a .929 save%, and a perfect 3-0-0 record with one shutout in 180 minutes of action. Warthog/pig on Healy's 2015-16 mask by Hart Designs. Derek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Matt's most recent victory came just last weekend when LVC kicked off the second half of the season against NCAA DIII opponent Daniel Webster College. He made 22 saves on the night only allowing one goal in a 4-1 victory and was named the #3 Star of the Night. It isn't just this season that Healy is playing well and pulling his weight for coach Don Parsons. In the 2014-15 season he appeared in twelve games (notching one shutout) and was named to the ESCHL All-Academic team.  Prior to that during the 2013-14 season he was a huge part of LVC's success going 12-6-0 in twenty games played with one shutout. Lastly, as a freshman in 2012-13, he went 4-1-1 with a 3.02 GAA and a .910 save%. As he and the rest of the Dutchmen begin the second half of the ACHA season and close out what will be his final collegiate campaign, Matt has once again taken time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for "Stack the Pads". LVC Dutchmen logo on Healy's 2015-16 mask by Hart Designs.Derek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  In this senior season edition interview he tells us about how 2015-16 has gone so far but also looks back on some of his favorite memories wearing the blue and white at Hersheypark Arena and in other rinks around the country.    Stack the Pads- The first half of the season has started well for both you personally and the team as a whole. What can you attribute to the great start? Matt- Our team has really come together and worked well as a unit since day one. Everyone worked very hard during the offseason on aspects of their game and it's paid off so far. Stack the Pads- During your playing career at LVC is there one game or one moment that stands out as your favorite? Matt- My favorite moment during my college career has got to be organizing and playing in the military appreciation games the last four years. The atmosphere and support has been phenomenal, and we've been fortunate enough to help out quite a few families that more then deserve it. Stack the Pads- During your playing career at LVC what opposing team's rink did you enjoy playing in the most? What rink did you like the least? Matt- During my playing career at LVC I have been fortunate enough to play in many different rinks across the east coast. My favorite rink besides Hershey Park Arena has to be playing in Rhode Island at their facility. My least favorite rink that I played in during my LVC career was in Lehigh University. The backplate for Healy's 2015-16 mask by Hart Designs. Derek Meluzio | Special to PennLive  Stack the Pads- Can you tell us a bit abot your amazing new mask for your senior season? Who painted it? What was the inspiration behind the design, etc? Matt- This one is painted by Hart Designs in British Columbia. The mask is a mix of my home, and my new home here at LVC. It's got snow and ice marks across the mask,[...]


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