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  • Originally posted by ZedLeppelin View Post
    I think Penn State is better than UMD or BC this season, and I would go so far as to put them in the mix with #4 Northeastern and #5 Colgate. Why not?
    Due to Covid, the uncertainty is greater than normal around many teams. Penn State reminds me a bit of some of the Robert Morris teams of a few years ago that got off to fast starts, most notably, the Colonials of 2013-14. That squad started 20-3-2 and looked to be on pace to make the NCAA Tournament as an at large. If I'm remembering right, that was the last year that the CHA didn't have an automatic bid. I remember struggling with where to rank RMU that year. Early on, it had split on home ice with a BU squad that didn't have Poulin (Olympics) but was still good enough to reach the tourney. It sure looked like the Colonials were going to be what Mercyhurst had always been in the league, a team that was at least capable of pulling a first-round upset in the NCAAs. Instead, RMU closed with a 4-5-1 stretch, and its season ended with a 4-1 loss to RIT in the conference semis.

    So maybe you're right and PSU is a top-five caliber team, but last year, it finished a clear fourth in the CHA. If it is now as good as Northeastern, it has improved a ton since then. If you hold the BSU series against UMD, then you also have to fault PSU for its results with Syracuse. If we ignore the gimmick of the 3-on-3 OT, then Penn State was 1-1-2 versus Syracuse, and UMD was 1-0-1 versus Bemidji. Is Syracuse better than Bemidji? Maybe, but I'd bet you that if Syracuse went to Bemidji, it wouldn't sweep. I doubt that Penn State would be able to sweep in Bemidji either. I've watched UM teams that would go on to be national champs go down in defeat to the Beavers. They don't score enough to contend in the WCHA, but year after year, they are able to ruin the day of any team, including beating UMD in the longest game in WCHA history last year. The point was made that Lindenwood is a tough place to play; that's even more true of the Sanford Center in Bemidji, even if the home team has slumped a bit in recent years.

    Penn State's top career scorer is Heising with 87 points as a senior, the same number that Aurard has for Northeastern as a junior. The Nittany Lions added Zanon this year, but now Northeastern has added Murphy, and then it has Mueller and Fontaine. Perhaps your offensive talent will eventually prove to match that of the Huskies, but they have more seasoned talent. And it's the same in net, where you have a good young goaltender, but Frankel has been one of the best in the country for the last few years.

    I think that if UMD and Penn State played, it would be a heck of a game, and very few goals would be scored. Who would win? Most likely, the team that lost the previous day.
    "... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling

    Comment


    • As far as RMU in 2013-2014 4-5-1 down the stretch is typical CHA pounding each other.

      As far as Syracuse and PSU this year, Syracuse always plays PSU tough. And when PSU played Syracuse this year it was with 4 d. Since, PSU has had enough players to go with 5 d, PSU has swept Mercyhurst and RMU.

      As far as comps, PSU has gone 2-1-1 against Providence the last two years with Murphy there. Providence has gone 3-0-1 against Bemiji in the last and and was 2-1 against Northeastern last year. PSU also split with Colgate two years ago and Colgate went 0-1-1 on the road with OSU. Colgate also knocked off Wisconsin three years ago. PSU also tied Cornell two years ago.

      That's a lot of apples and oranges, but there is enough smoke in the above paragraph to cast some holes in your reasoning on annointing OSU and Northeastern to the same tier as Wisconsin and Minnesota. When Colgate knocked off Wisconsin just like OSU did to Wisconsin, there was no hurry to annoint Colgate. As far as Northeastern, maybe with their additions they have entered that tier. However, knocking Heising for having 87 pts in a system which is la bit like Quinnipiac is misleading. If Heising played in a high octane system she would have a lot more points.

      That being said I think 5 or 6 is within reach depending on the outcomes in games over the next two weeks.

      I appreciate your effort and insight above, there is no doubt you follow women's hockey closely.



      ​​​​​
      Last edited by Reddington; 01-26-2021, 08:06 PM.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ARM View Post
        Due to Covid, the uncertainty is greater than normal around many teams. Penn State reminds me a bit of some of the Robert Morris teams of a few years ago that got off to fast starts, most notably, the Colonials of 2013-14. That squad started 20-3-2 and looked to be on pace to make the NCAA Tournament as an at large. If I'm remembering right, that was the last year that the CHA didn't have an automatic bid. I remember struggling with where to rank RMU that year. Early on, it had split on home ice with a BU squad that didn't have Poulin (Olympics) but was still good enough to reach the tourney. It sure looked like the Colonials were going to be what Mercyhurst had always been in the league, a team that was at least capable of pulling a first-round upset in the NCAAs. Instead, RMU closed with a 4-5-1 stretch, and its season ended with a 4-1 loss to RIT in the conference semis.

        So maybe you're right and PSU is a top-five caliber team, but last year, it finished a clear fourth in the CHA. If it is now as good as Northeastern, it has improved a ton since then. If you hold the BSU series against UMD, then you also have to fault PSU for its results with Syracuse. If we ignore the gimmick of the 3-on-3 OT, then Penn State was 1-1-2 versus Syracuse, and UMD was 1-0-1 versus Bemidji. Is Syracuse better than Bemidji? Maybe, but I'd bet you that if Syracuse went to Bemidji, it wouldn't sweep. I doubt that Penn State would be able to sweep in Bemidji either. I've watched UM teams that would go on to be national champs go down in defeat to the Beavers. They don't score enough to contend in the WCHA, but year after year, they are able to ruin the day of any team, including beating UMD in the longest game in WCHA history last year. The point was made that Lindenwood is a tough place to play; that's even more true of the Sanford Center in Bemidji, even if the home team has slumped a bit in recent years.

        Penn State's top career scorer is Heising with 87 points as a senior, the same number that Aurard has for Northeastern as a junior. The Nittany Lions added Zanon this year, but now Northeastern has added Murphy, and then it has Mueller and Fontaine. Perhaps your offensive talent will eventually prove to match that of the Huskies, but they have more seasoned talent. And it's the same in net, where you have a good young goaltender, but Frankel has been one of the best in the country for the last few years.

        I think that if UMD and Penn State played, it would be a heck of a game, and very few goals would be scored. Who would win? Most likely, the team that lost the previous day.
        Penn State has improved a ton since last year - it's like watching a whole different team. Your point about Natalie Heising illustrates it well, because until this season she's been tasked with carrying the offense, and hasn't piled up the points for the effort. The team has always needed more than Heising, as good as she is, and they have it now with the talent Jeff Kampersal has added to the roster. It doesn't stop with Kiara Zanon, either. They play a different style of hockey with this whole group than they've played before. No more wasting time in the defensive zone, circling around, trying to figure out what to do. No more one-and-done shot attempts. No more taking periods off, or even a shift off. Nobody is getting benched for extra curricular activities. It isn't a "Heising or bust" deal anymore (that's a gross over-simplification, but basically how it's been). They're faster than I've ever seen them, they move the puck better, they're more physical, their penalty kill is better (9 for 9 against Mercyhurst), the defense is more offensive minded while still being a tough defense, etc. What they've done in the past (or not done) has nothing to do with this year's team.

        I know it's going to take consistency before Penn State is taken seriously, and that's fair, but this really is a different program this season. They've had players before with talent (Heising, Laura Bowman, and others), but with no supporting cast it doesn't take a program very far. This season it's spread out, and nobody (not even Kiara Zanon) is the single standout on the team. She may prove to be the best of the group, but it's definitely a group effort, finally, and that's something Kampersal can build on more than being a "one trick pony" kind of team. Will they stumble this season? They could...it's a very young team...but so far they haven't been intimidated by what an opponent has done in the past. They just go out and play them, and they're 8-1-1 doing it.

        Would they sweep UMD? Maybe, and I think they would have a good chance at it, but I also think UMD wouldn't sweep Penn State, either. Bemidji, Mankato, St. Cloud? I think Penn State would be up for any of them. Maybe that's my fan bias showing through, but I believe it.

        Putting my fan bias aside, I do recognize that this is the first season of what looks like a whole new Penn State program, but having so much talent on the team makes for a solid base to build on for Jeff Kampersal, and that makes next season look just as promising, and the season after, and on and on. I wish Natalie Heising was a freshman this season, so she could enjoy four years not having to carry an offense, and just play her game. Consistency is key for this season, though, before Penn State can expect consistent recognition.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Reddington View Post
          As far as RMU in 2013-2014 4-5-1 down the stretch is typical CHA pounding each other.

          As far as Syracuse and PSU this year, Syracuse always plays PSU tough. And when PSU played Syracuse this year it was with 4 d. Since, PSU has had enough players to go with 5 d, PSU has swept Mercyhurst and RMU.

          As far as comps, PSU has gone 2-1-1 against Providence the last two years with Murphy there. Providence has gone 3-0-1 against Bemiji in the last and and was 2-1 against Northeastern last year. PSU also split with Colgate two years ago and Colgate went 0-1-1 on the road with OSU. Colgate also knocked off Wisconsin three years ago. PSU also tied Cornell two years ago.

          That's a lot of apples and oranges, but there is enough smoke in the above paragraph to cast some holes in your reasoning on annointing OSU and Northeastern to the same tier as Wisconsin and Minnesota. When Colgate knocked off Wisconsin just like OSU did to Wisconsin, there was no hurry to annoint Colgate. As far as Northeastern, maybe with their additions they have entered that tier. However, knocking Heising for having 87 pts in a system which is la bit like Quinnipiac is misleading. If Heising played in a high octane system she would have a lot more points.

          That being said I think 5 or 6 is within reach depending on the outcomes in games over the next two weeks.

          I appreciate your effort and insight above, there is no doubt you follow women's hockey closely.



          ​​​​​
          Man...you're good.

          Comment


          • Takeaways from this past weekend.
            1. They are playing with a lot of confidence you can see the chemistry building and the trust in one another.
            2. There is no panic in their play. last weekend killed off a 5 minute major and a 5 on 3 fairly easily.
            3. The line of Weiss Burns and Gough is solid Weis is a stud!
            4. The third line of Connelly, Ciarochi and Dobson is not only an energy line they also score big goals.
            5 Alyssa Machaado has a great set of hands and is very calm on the ice.
            6. There is a sense of calm when watching these kids play as they seem to handle adversity very well.
            I would like to see them play Syracuse again to see if what they have learned about each would affect the out come of the games. They definitely play to win.

            Comment


            • Make no mistake Syracuse is notorious for being erratic except when they play Penn State. Klimick is a handful. RMU coach lays in bed at night scheming on how to get revenge on Penn State. There is nothing automatic about the games next weekend. Diffendahl has finally grown into her frame and now all of a sudden is looking quick.
              Sisti is another one that does not like losing and you can bet he will have made massive changes to Mercyhurst by the next time they play Penn State.

              Ideally PSU sweeps Lindenwood and RMU sweeps RIT and someone ranked ahead of RMU loses and then you have two CHA teams in the top ten setting the table for a Battle Royale the following weekend.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by ZedLeppelin View Post

                Penn State has improved a ton since last year - it's like watching a whole different team. Your point about Natalie Heising illustrates it well, because until this season she's been tasked with carrying the offense, and hasn't piled up the points for the effort. The team has always needed more than Heising, as good as she is, and they have it now with the talent Jeff Kampersal has added to the roster. It doesn't stop with Kiara Zanon, either. They play a different style of hockey with this whole group than they've played before. No more wasting time in the defensive zone, circling around, trying to figure out what to do. No more one-and-done shot attempts. No more taking periods off, or even a shift off. Nobody is getting benched for extra curricular activities. It isn't a "Heising or bust" deal anymore (that's a gross over-simplification, but basically how it's been). They're faster than I've ever seen them, they move the puck better, they're more physical, their penalty kill is better (9 for 9 against Mercyhurst), the defense is more offensive minded while still being a tough defense, etc. What they've done in the past (or not done) has nothing to do with this year's team.

                I know it's going to take consistency before Penn State is taken seriously, and that's fair, but this really is a different program this season. They've had players before with talent (Heising, Laura Bowman, and others), but with no supporting cast it doesn't take a program very far. This season it's spread out, and nobody (not even Kiara Zanon) is the single standout on the team. She may prove to be the best of the group, but it's definitely a group effort, finally, and that's something Kampersal can build on more than being a "one trick pony" kind of team. Will they stumble this season? They could...it's a very young team...but so far they haven't been intimidated by what an opponent has done in the past. They just go out and play them, and they're 8-1-1 doing it.

                Would they sweep UMD? Maybe, and I think they would have a good chance at it, but I also think UMD wouldn't sweep Penn State, either. Bemidji, Mankato, St. Cloud? I think Penn State would be up for any of them. Maybe that's my fan bias showing through, but I believe it.

                Putting my fan bias aside, I do recognize that this is the first season of what looks like a whole new Penn State program, but having so much talent on the team makes for a solid base to build on for Jeff Kampersal, and that makes next season look just as promising, and the season after, and on and on. I wish Natalie Heising was a freshman this season, so she could enjoy four years not having to carry an offense, and just play her game. Consistency is key for this season, though, before Penn State can expect consistent recognition.
                To be successful in Women's NCAA D1 hockey, you need two strong lines, 2 strong defensive pairings, and a sound tender. Anything short of that, and the team will have highly variable results. You won't find many teams who have 3 line depth, and a 5th strong d. If you can interject a couple studs in the lineup, it certainly helps.

                Simply put, winning breeds a winning culture/mindset. The influx of the freshman class at Penn State has served to elevate the game of several returning players. It sounds like the energy level has been significantly ramped up, and the team now plays with confidence and expects to be on top when the buzzer sounds.

                When COVID is behind us, it will be fun to see how Penn State competes out of conference.

                Comment


                • Penn State Atheltics podcast features a talk with Natalie Heising this week: https://gopsusports.com/podcasts/let...lie-heising/76

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Reddington View Post
                    As far as RMU in 2013-2014 4-5-1 down the stretch is typical CHA pounding each other.
                    True, such mutual destruction happens in most leagues. The point is that a team won't stay ranked if it comes out on the losing end of such a stretch against mostly unranked opponents.

                    Originally posted by Reddington View Post
                    That's a lot of apples and oranges, but there is enough smoke in the above paragraph to cast some holes in your reasoning on annointing OSU and Northeastern to the same tier as Wisconsin and Minnesota.
                    If I implied that I am equating all of these teams, I apologize. I see UW as the No. 1. I'd put OSU very close based on watching the two teams. The Badgers are deeper and have more talent, but the Buckeyes are very good at getting the most out of what they have. Minnesota might be on a tier (tear) of its own, reserved for teams with talent that spend far too many minutes playing like they're totally lost. I struggle to know where to place Northeastern, because the only time I watched it play this year, Maine spent much of the game standing in one place hoping that the clock would run faster.

                    Originally posted by Reddington View Post
                    When Colgate knocked off Wisconsin just like OSU did to Wisconsin, there was no hurry to annoint Colgate.
                    Anoint Colgate what? The best team in the ECAC? The Raiders haven't quite made that jump in any year. Maybe this year, but it would come with an asterisk. In most seasons, finishing in the top four in the ECAC is a nice achievement; we're all still trying to wrap our heads around a four-team ECAC.
                    One thing that worked against the Raiders is that the year they reached the Final, they graduated a lot of the core of the team. So opening weekend of the following season, they lost to a Penn State team with 12 skaters. If there is such a thing as momentum carrying from one season to the next, that's a good way to lose it. When Colgate beat Wisconsin, it wasn't a fluke. It was, however, an Olympic year, and the Badgers got Pankowski and Clarke back in the offseason. So while Colgate had passed UW in the spring of 2018, it seemed a distant memory by the following fall.

                    Originally posted by ZedLeppelin View Post
                    I know it's going to take consistency before Penn State is taken seriously, and that's fair, but this really is a different program this season.
                    I think Penn State became a different program as soon as it hired a D-I coach. What I don't know yet is how far along it is in that evolution. Last year, the Nittany Lions played teams like UW, BU, and Clarkson. With only league games this time, we don't get to see any of those measuring sticks.

                    I'll believe you that Penn State has improved a ton. The question is, where does that improvement put it? We may all have theories, but until we reach a postseason, assuming there is one, it is hard to say conclusively.

                    "... And lose, and start again at your beginnings
                    And never breathe a word about your loss;" -- Rudyard Kipling

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by ARM View Post
                      When Colgate beat Wisconsin, it wasn't a fluke. It was, however, an Olympic year, and the Badgers got Pankowski and Clarke back in the offseason. So while Colgate had passed UW in the spring of 2018, it seemed a distant memory by the following fall.
                      UW getting to the FF was a bit of a playing above paygrade that year without Pankowski and Clark.
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                      Timothy A --> Great hockey mind... Or Greatest hockey mind?!?"

                      Comment


                      • Great analysis. OSU has wins against Wisconsin and Minnesota this year. Northeastern has swept Providence and split with BC. PSU is definitely a ? mark.

                        Comment


                        • Kills me to say it but nice job on the sweep Penn State. I saw Penn State is ranked 8th as well. Zed are you able to watch games in person? Saw some roar zone signs that made me wonder if there are fans there

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Lindsay View Post
                            Kills me to say it but nice job on the sweep Penn State. I saw Penn State is ranked 8th as well. Zed are you able to watch games in person? Saw some roar zone signs that made me wonder if there are fans there
                            No, I think only immediate family is allowed at the games, so that's not me. I can't imagine how quiet Pegula Ice Arena is on game nights this year, but I'm glad the players' families can be there.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by ZedLeppelin View Post

                              No, I think only immediate family is allowed at the games, so that's not me. I can't imagine how quiet Pegula Ice Arena is on game nights this year, but I'm glad the players' families can be there.
                              That’s a shame, wish you could go. I’m sure there are players who don’t have family there. Maybe someone can adopt you. Nonetheless looks like they are putting together a great season. One of the most interesting storylines in college Hockey right imo.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Lindsay View Post

                                That’s a shame, wish you could go. I’m sure there are players who don’t have family there. Maybe someone can adopt you.
                                I do wish the authorized attendee list included obnoxious fans - I'd be first in line (haha)!

                                Nonetheless looks like they are putting together a great season. One of the most interesting storylines in college Hockey right now imo.
                                I think Natalie Heising hit on that, too, in her podcast interview yesterday (https://gopsusports.com/podcasts/let...lie-heising/76). She talks about how this group of talented freshmen have really sparked Penn State into the style of play we've seen this season, and also how they've motivated upper classmen to kind of up their game to make it work. I've had a hard time trying to describe just how different Penn State is this season, and how much better they look, because the changes happened in one season with one class, rather than getting a series of individual hot shot players over the course of a few recruiting years who gradually change the program. It's not a drastic enough change to have Penn State challenging for a national title or anything, but it's a pretty big jump from what anyone is used to with Penn State women's hockey. Like I said earlier, consistency is what will "legitimize" the attention they're getting right now, at least for anyone still on the fence about them (which is completely reasonable).

                                Yada yada - it's just really fun being a fan of Penn State women's hockey this year.

                                (EDIT: here are links for tonight's live stream ($9.99 per game) and for live stats at Lindenwood: https://***********/PennStateWHKY/st...90382502547461)


                                Last edited by ZedLeppelin; 01-29-2021, 10:37 AM.

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