Penn State enters the month of December 7-4-2 and 1-1-0 in the Big Ten after splitting a weekend series at Michigan. They look to get back into the win column with a two game series Friday and Saturday at Wisconsin (1-8-1). Here are some thoughts and notes heading into action this weekend.
Penn State @ Wisconsin – Friday December 5 @ 9PM ET – TV: ESPNews
Penn State @ Wisconsin – Saturday December 6 @ 9PM ET – TV: CW15 in Harrisburg-Lancaster-York-Lebanon and MeTV in Johnstown-Altoona-State College (also MyTV in Pittsburgh but on tape delay and starting at 10PM)
-A record of 2-3-0 in the month of November with all 5 games on the road is not terrible, splitting a two game series with each then ranked #4 UMass Lowell and then at Michigan. A 3-1 loss to Cornell at Madison Square Garden this past weekend is likely one the team would like to have back.
-Penn State enters the week #21 in the PairWise Rankings, down from 16, that factors in strength of schedule. For the most part, teams that finish in the top 16 in this ranking at the end of the season are most likely to be invited into postseason play.
-Penn State, who was once one of the top offensive teams in all of D1, has fallen to 11th in goals per game after being held to one lone goal each of the last two games. Wisconsin, honestly, is not a very good team this year and certainly not the same squad that defeated Penn State in the Big Ten tournament the end of last year. This Wisconsin club is having trouble finding the back of the net, scoring a total of 17 goals in their 10 games so far.
-Biggest news so far this week broke on Wednesday with the announcement that additional games will be televised locally around the region. I believe it brings the total to 18 guaranteed games to be televised somewhere in the country. The game this Saturday is the first of six that will be on CW15 in Harrisburg-Lancaster-York-Lebanon areas and MeTV in Johnstown-Altoona-State College. Apparently MyTV in Pittsburgh will also air the game but on tape delay. At this time I am not sure if MyTV will do the same with the other games CW15 and MeTV were announced to air. The more games that end up on TV will only provide that much additional exposure to both Penn State and Big Ten hockey but also provide some additional outlets for scouts to maybe notice someone who otherwise had been flying under the radar.
-A win tonight would already match the win total from the 2013-2014 season.
-Schedule is on the light side for December, just this two game series at Wisconsin then a few weeks off before the Three Rivers Classic to be held in Pittsburgh.