2012-13 Schedule Finalized

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Sat 19 May 2012, 3:29 am

I was kicking around USCHO tonight - they really do a fantastic job tracking everyone's schedules over there.

We're getting pretty well down to it. Michigan Tech's came out today, so the WCHA and Atlantic Hockey are both completely done. We obviously got Wisconsin from the former and 12 games plus a possible 13th (RMU in Pittsburgh) from AHA.

The CCHA is down to two NC dates for Miami and one for Notre Dame. Everyone else is booked.

In the ECAC, Harvard has three left, Dartmouth has two, and Princeton/Quinnipiac have one each.

Hockey East has the most remaining dates: BC/Northeastern/Providence with two each, BU/Vermont/Lowell/Maine with one each.

Alabama-Huntsville hasn't even whiffed 34 in a while and will take anyone with available dates. Their known count is 17 FWIW.

I'm going to go ahead and call it - while the PSU connections to Harvard and Princeton might lead to something down the road, and I know Battista will get ND scheduled at some point, I think we're done with DI games at 20...UNLESS there's a series with UAH in the works. Both schools have games with no dates set (obviously, they ARE set, we just don't know about it), but on what we do know at the moment, both have the following weekends available:

11/16-17
11/30-12/1
1/11-12
1/18-19
2/1-2*
2/8-9*
2/15-16*

* The OU Post reported that our games with the Bobcats were in February, so that likely chips off one of the last three.

Why not help each other out during that brutal spring semester when everyone else has a conference to worry about?
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huntsville

Post  stackhouse on Sat 19 May 2012, 1:35 pm

a friend of mine from alabama,, who is a alum, claims huntsville will be playing at psu but games might be played at other pennsylvania arena.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  sideshowbob on Sun 20 May 2012, 5:06 pm

I still think we'll see a series with Alabama-Huntsville. It would make sense for both schools -- UAH has a lot of dates to fill and would probably take most any game against a Div 1 foe they could get and given their current level of play, not having PSU count for the PWR isn't a big deal; for PSU, it is a beatable Div 1 team and can fill in some of the gaps in the spring semester.

I think it's more likely for PSU to go down to UAH for 2 games, but it's not impossible for the two teams to play 4 games with 2 in each location. Heck, they could even do 1 game at each school, couldn't they? There's enough room in the schedule for that.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Sun 20 May 2012, 8:44 pm

stackhouse wrote:a friend of mine from alabama,, who is a alum, claims huntsville will be playing at psu but games might be played at other pennsylvania arena.

sideshowbob wrote:I still think we'll see a series with Alabama-Huntsville. It would make sense for both schools -- UAH has a lot of dates to fill and would probably take most any game against a Div 1 foe they could get and given their current level of play, not having PSU count for the PWR isn't a big deal; for PSU, it is a beatable Div 1 team and can fill in some of the gaps in the spring semester.

I think it's more likely for PSU to go down to UAH for 2 games, but it's not impossible for the two teams to play 4 games with 2 in each location. Heck, they could even do 1 game at each school, couldn't they? There's enough room in the schedule for that.

I hope that Penn State plays Alabama-Huntsville. I would be really happy if the two programs agreed to series into the future. Alabama-Huntsville is a great program in a very atypical hockey market. I hope that Atlantic Hockey or WCHA Lite picks them up. That program could thrive in a conference.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Mon 21 May 2012, 1:41 am

stackhouse wrote:a friend of mine from alabama,, who is a alum, claims huntsville will be playing at psu but games might be played at other pennsylvania arena.
That actually makes a ton of sense. Early on, Battista et al. boasted that this season would involve games at larger arenas around PA. Sure we got the Pittsburgh tournament, but that's it in that regard. UAH in Philly, Hershey or Scranton would pull some of that concept back.

TBH, I'd rather go down to Huntsville. If we don't, I hope we at least split the money down the middle or something. We're going to be safely in a league come 2013, they probably won't be. They need home games more than we need whatever benefit a low-DI game in a "neutral" PA site involves. Maybe we can do both - even better.
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Mon 21 May 2012, 1:50 am

TYTKyle wrote:
stackhouse wrote:a friend of mine from alabama,, who is a alum, claims huntsville will be playing at psu but games might be played at other pennsylvania arena.
That actually makes a ton of sense. Early on, Battista et al. boasted that this season would involve games at larger arenas around PA. Sure we got the Pittsburgh tournament, but that's it in that regard. UAH in Philly, Hershey or Scranton would pull some of that concept back.

I am not sure that Alabama-Huntsville would be a big enough draw for a Philly-sized rink. I would go regardless. It seems odd to me that Penn State is not playing a game in the heart of the greatest density of its alumni in Philadelphia. It seems as though no game will occur in Philadelphia. At one time, I had hoped they'd play in Wells Fargo.

TYTKyle wrote:
TBH, I'd rather go down to Huntsville.

That's actually what I would prefer, especially into the future. The television exposure could help out UAH. I would make the trip definitely if UAH decided to host Penn State at its annual game that it hosts in Nashville at the beginning of each December.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  sideshowbob on Tue 22 May 2012, 12:36 am

The wait will soon be over: the schedule will be officially announced tomorrow by PSU. I guess we'll get the answers regarding games versus UAH or other teams. Will we have the full compliment of 35 games (34 + 1 exhibition)?

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  Brittany on Tue 22 May 2012, 11:46 am

And the finalized schedule is officially out: http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/052212aad.html !!

Additions include a few DIII teams (Buffalo State and last year's opponent at the Winter Classic, Neumann), the full ACHA team complement, as well as games against 2 more DI programs, University of Alabama-Huntsville at Greenberg, and University of Vermont at the neutral site location of Wells Fargo in Philadelphia. Additionally, the second AIC game is going to be at a neutral location (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton arena) and a few date-changes have occurred.

So what does everyone think of the finalized schedule?
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Tue 22 May 2012, 3:30 pm

Brittany wrote:And the finalized schedule is officially out: http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/052212aad.html !!

Additions include a few DIII teams (Buffalo State and last year's opponent at the Winter Classic, Neumann), the full ACHA team complement, as well as games against 2 more DI programs, University of Alabama-Huntsville at Greenberg, and University of Vermont at the neutral site location of Wells Fargo in Philadelphia. Additionally, the second AIC game is going to be at a neutral location (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton arena) and a few date-changes have occurred.

So what does everyone think of the finalized schedule?

I am fairly excited about the prospect of playing Neumann again. Their fans were particularly crass and disgusting with how they treated other Penn State fans and me after the 2012 Winter Classic game. I don't feel the need to elaborate here, but it went well beyond what even the Children of Yost (if you cannot make out what they are saying, see here with the one that begins "OOOOOOOOOOH") would think is acceptable at a hockey game in both form and subject material.

I am really excited to see Alabama-Huntsville. They are a great program. Hope that Penn State gives them the chance to play at Pegula next season.

I am very disappointed with Vermont at Wells Fargo. I think that the building will be empty. That will not be a good introduction to the market with the greatest number of Penn State alumni.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Tue 22 May 2012, 3:49 pm



Larger view of the schedule.

Here's the schedule in image forms with a breakdown for each team, where the game will be played, when it will be played, record of each opponent in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, 2011-12 record of each opponent, and the conference in which each opponent plays.

-Penn State has managed to book an opponent from every conference.

-Penn State plays only one opponent that won a tournament last year: Union in the 2012 ECAC Championship.

-Penn State could play as many as four opponents that played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

-Eight of Penn State's 15 NCAA Division I opponents earned a 0.500 record or better last season.

-The cumulative record last season of all opponents that Penn State will play in 2012-13 was 335-332-74. However, the cumulative record of NCAA Division I opponents that Penn State will play is below 0.500 at 222-279-62.

I think that the Wisconsin series is the best chance that Penn State has at "a game of legacy" during its first season. The type of game historians, fans, and alumni will point to as a pivotal point in the development of Penn State hockey when books are written about Penn State hockey. Union might seem like the best chance to make a statement or a win to remember, but Union's staying power atop the college hockey landscape is uncertain. Union, despite what its fans think, is not a brand in college hockey. Wisconsin is. Toppling Wisconsin could be the analog to UNO's win over Maine in its first season.

Any other thoughts?

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  cagney on Tue 22 May 2012, 4:57 pm

Looks like a solid schedule when all factors are taken into consideration. There are games to look forward to and plenty of competitive games that shouldn't be too much for the team to handle.

I know the D3/ACHA games aren't all that exciting but if things aren't going as well with the D1 slate as hoped they might be a good opportunity for the team to gain some confidence or work on some issues (as long as they don't take away any bad habits).

I like them playing the NTDP. I follow the program closely and nearly all of the players on this team already have commitments but it's good to set a precedent with the program in looking towards future recruiting. They'll also probably provide a pretty nice challenge.

I'm happy to see a game in Philly as I might very well be able to make it to that one. I agree that attendance could be a real issue but I'd rather them give it a shot than not. They're touching spots all over PA as it is so it'd be strange for them to skip Philly.

Really excited for the season. I certainly hope I'll get to see a lot of the games somehow.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Wed 23 May 2012, 12:28 am

cagney wrote:I'm happy to see a game in Philly as I might very well be able to make it to that one. I agree that attendance could be a real issue but I'd rather them give it a shot than not. They're touching spots all over PA as it is so it'd be strange for them to skip Philly.

Really excited for the season. I certainly hope I'll get to see a lot of the games somehow.

I'm really excited too. Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited about the game in Philly. I was hoping initially that Penn State could lure a Boston-based school, Cornell, Maine, RPI, or UNH to the game at Wells Fargo Center. The only thing that I would change about that game is have a marquee opponent or at least a brand (like UConn even), even a brand that is not a hockey brand. I will be there for the Vermont clash, I just think that a mostly empty Wells Fargo Center won't be good PR for a nascent Penn State program.

Vermont just felt like a letdown because after the Miami and Ohio State announcement for the Pittsburgh College Hockey Invitational, it felt like the sky should have been the limit for the opponents that Penn State could have gotten at arguably a more famous venue in Philadelphia.


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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  Brittany on Wed 23 May 2012, 12:46 am

Random, potentially unpopular opinion: I think that it would be a better idea to play in Penn's Class of 1923 rink against Vermont. I'm happy it's in Philly (as it is reasonably close to my apartment), but to have PSU vs. Vermont in Wells Fargo is going to be embarrassing. Wells Fargo is not a small venue.
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Wed 23 May 2012, 3:06 am

College Hockey News wrote an article covering the first NCAA Division I schedule for Penn State. I find it interesting that the opening paragraph supports my earlier thesis that a win over Union would not be something that would be long-remembered in the history of Penn State hockey.

CHN Staff Report wrote:UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State's first Division I schedule is highlighted by four matchups against future Big Ten opponents Michigan State and Wisconsin and a home weekend series against Air Force.

The article includes also a quote from GG:

Guy Gadowsky wrote:This brings us one step closer to dropping the puck on Penn State's first NCAA Division I season. We've been able to schedule some marquee matchups both home and on the road that will help provide a measuring stick for the program moving forward.

TYT had a blog post that analyzed the new features of the 2012-13 schedule that were revealed. He takes a more favorable few of the prospect of playing Vermont at Wells Fargo than others have.


Thank You Terry wrote:...there's unquestionably nothing bigger than the game against Hockey East foe Vermont in Philadelphia. While UVM was a Frozen Four team in 2009, they've been in decline mode since then, bottoming out at 6-27-1 last year. To add to those difficulties, leading scorer Sebastian Stalberg went pro and star goalie Rob Madore (a Pittsburgh native - yep, that area is okay for goalies) ran out of eligibility. Still, it should be noted that one of those six wins was at Minnesota. The Gophers, of course, were in the Frozen Four last year.

Also, you may remember that the Catamounts brutalized the 2011 U.S. World University Games team 7-1 in a pre-tournament warmup back in December, 2010. Icers forward Eric Steinour, who will be joining the Nittany Lions this year, was on that team of ACHA all-stars. So as bad as UVM was last year, it's certainly one of those games that will tell us where we sit in year one. And much like last year's contest with Neumann in Philly, it's likely to be a destination game.

Perhaps it's the ECAC fan in me, but I find it hard not to think of Vermont always as the program that left the ECAC without little regret and the Conference viewed the addition of Quinnipiac as an upgrade. The upside to the Vermont-Penn State clash is that it should be an easier chance to win than playing a college hockey brand at Wells Fargo.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Sun 27 May 2012, 3:26 am

My thoughts are that Penn State hockey fans should vote for Robert Morris to play Miami in the first round of the Pittsburgh College Hockey Invitational so that Penn State will be guaranteed the opportunity to play Ohio State in Penn State's inaugural season. Voting is on the RMU Facebook poll. This will be a great chance to start a rivalry with Ohio when we "upset" them in Penn State's first season on the big(ger) stage of the Pittsburgh College Hockey Invitational.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:09 am

amg424 wrote:I was hoping initially that Penn State could lure a Boston-based school, Cornell, Maine, RPI, or UNH to the game at Wells Fargo Center. The only thing that I would change about that game is have a marquee opponent or at least a brand (like UConn even), even a brand that is not a hockey brand. I will be there for the Vermont clash, I just think that a mostly empty Wells Fargo Center won't be good PR for a nascent Penn State program.

Vermont just felt like a letdown because after the Miami and Ohio State announcement for the Pittsburgh College Hockey Invitational, it felt like the sky should have been the limit for the opponents that Penn State could have gotten at arguably a more famous venue in Philadelphia.

Just to defend my defense of this game....

I'm not sure I understand why Vermont is such a disaster, but Maine, RPI or UNH wouldn't be. The Penn State fans who are educated on those programs will largely be at WFC regardless of the opponent. The ones who aren't, the ones who need to be sold, see most of those schools as interchangeable. "Small state flagship in New England...yeah, I guess they're probably good at hockey." My opinion, of course. BC, BU and probably Cornell have added recognition outside of college hockey circles.

Regardless of the opponent, I don't think a ton of visiting fans will show for a one-off of some distance from home during the dog days of the regular season against a team they should beat. There's minimal college hockey presence in Philadelphia, to the point where there isn't anything even resembling a no-brainer "local" team. Even nearby Princeton has a notoriously disengaged fanbase and barely outdrew the Icers last year. And like I (sort of) said above, outside of the Big Ten and a handful of others, mostly the national champions of the last decade, I'm not sure how many college hockey programs resonate with the average Penn Stater and/or the average Philadelphian.

It's a Penn State showcase, plain and simple. In much the same way that the outdoor game drew in the PSU "mainstream" for a couple weeks despite it being against a school most didn't know existed before the game was scheduled, I think the game in Philly will have that same type of juice. No, it doesn't have the novelty of the Winter Classic ice left behind after the NHL packed just about everything else up, but it also isn't an ACHA team against a DIII team, it's NCAA Penn State against a major-conference DI school, one that's horrible now but was in the Frozen Four a few years ago. I'll again attempt to read the minds of the casual fan (a nice way of saying "speculate" haha) and argue that UVM's more likely to carry positive recognition from that FF than negative recognition from the last couple years. Casual fans watch the Frozen Four, but usually not the regular season.

In my observation, it received the most buzz of any of the games on the schedule in the aftermath of the announcement and also the greatest number of people saying "ooh, I have to go to that one." That could be because the Pittsburgh tournament was already old news by then, or it could be because Philly PSU alumni outnumber Pittsburgh PSU alumni by about 2-1.

I'm curious to hear what you guys think about the attendance. I think you immediately have to throw out the idea that this is Cornell-BU at MSG or MSU-Michigan at JLA, both of which sold out last year. Those are rivalry games and Penn State doesn't yet have a rival. They're also games involving two fanbases larger than what Penn State has to start (I'll even submit that it's precisely why they scheduled a game like this). And all four of those schools have a presence in their respective cities larger than any possible PSU opponent does in Philly (maybe BU is a reach there, but the sheer size of NYC certainly helps). All Penn State really has going for it right now are size, the PSU name built through channels that aren't hockey, and some vague "sweet, it's about time we got NCAA hockey" excitement that we can't yet translate into a rough number of committed hockey fans/tickets sold. Until we have more, selling out an NHL arena is off the table IMO.

My opinion: anything over 7,000ish should be considered a success, anything within range of 10,000 should be considered a huge success. Those are the same numbers I'd throw out there for probably 45 of the 53 possible non-Big Ten DI opponents.

PS. Actually, when I looked up college regular-season games I knew took place in NHL arenas, I realized that the Pittsburgh tournament will give us a nice read on PSU's drawing power in this first year, both for PSU fans and for increased numbers of opposition fans. RMU-OSU at Consol last year: 4,927. RMU-Miami at Mellon three years ago: 3,654.


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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:13 am

Brittany wrote:Random, potentially unpopular opinion: I think that it would be a better idea to play in Penn's Class of 1923 rink against Vermont. I'm happy it's in Philly (as it is reasonably close to my apartment), but to have PSU vs. Vermont in Wells Fargo is going to be embarrassing. Wells Fargo is not a small venue.
I'd like to play Penn in Penn's Class of 1923 rink. Someday...
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  Brittany on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:34 am

I'm curious to hear what you guys think about the attendance. I think you immediately have to throw out the idea that this is Cornell-BU at MSG or MSU-Michigan at JLA, both of which sold out last year. Those are rivalry games and Penn State doesn't yet have a rival. They're also games involving two fanbases larger than what Penn State has to start (I'll even submit that it's precisely why they scheduled a game like this). And all four of those schools have a presence in their respective cities larger than any possible PSU opponent does in Philly (maybe BU is a reach there, but the sheer size of NYC certainly helps). All Penn State really has going for it right now are size, the PSU name built through channels that aren't hockey, and some vague "sweet, it's about time we got NCAA hockey" excitement that we can't yet translate into a rough number of committed hockey fans/tickets sold. Until we have more, selling out an NHL arena is off the table IMO.

In terms of attendance, I first look at the size of Wells Fargo: 19,537 (not including the standing room seats). I don't think that anyone is under the delusion that we're going to be anywhere close to selling that out next year. It is just incredibly unfeasible in spite of the number of alumni in the surrounding area. The second thing I'd look at is the attendance of the Winter Classic game. That was what, between 5 and 6 thousand depending on which estimate? Let's be generous and give them 6,000. There were a fair amount of Neumann fans there as well, due to the proximity of the school (and Philly area people do recognize the name even if they don't respect it), even though the Penn State fans easily outnumbered the Neumann ones. But if you say it was 75% Penn State fans, which is a reasonable estimate, then you're left with around 4,500 PSU fans. I think more than doubling that is a bit high because while there will be more PSU current students and alumni who go, I do not think Vermont will draw many if any people outside of family and local friends. Another big difference is the timing. The Winter Classic game occurred while most (if not all) students were still on break. The very first week of January is perfect timing. This game being on the 19th is about two weeks into the semester. Not unfeasible (especially given the relative ease of getting to Philadelphia from State College), but still a deterrent.

All in all, I'd consider it a success if it broke 7,500 fans, but I think it far more likely to top off around 6,000. If I were the program, though, I'd consider it a success to be above the halfway mark of the arena, so 9768.5 (babies count as half a person right? geek ). Which rounds up to about your 10,000 mark.

Random, potentially unpopular opinion: I think that it would be a better idea to play in Penn's Class of 1923 rink against Vermont. I'm happy it's in Philly (as it is reasonably close to my apartment), but to have PSU vs. Vermont in Wells Fargo is going to be embarrassing. Wells Fargo is not a small venue.


I'd like to play Penn in Penn's Class of 1923 rink. Someday...

I would LOVE that. Then again, I'm partial to the rink. I think it is pretty, has character, is adequately sized, and it doesn't hurt that it isn't terribly inconvenient for me to get to while I'm at school in Philly (and will have friends who'll be living in the city for at least the following four years who would not mind letting me use their couch once I'm gone). It's a shame that Penn doesn't use it for hockey though.
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:56 am

TYTKyle wrote:Just to defend my defense of this game....

I thought I was supposed to be the argumentative one on here being a law student and all. Wink

My views have changed from my initial reaction somewhat.

TYTKyle wrote:I'm not sure I understand why Vermont is such a disaster, but Maine, RPI or UNH wouldn't be. The Penn State fans who are educated on those programs will largely be at WFC regardless of the opponent. The ones who aren't, the ones who need to be sold, see most of those schools as interchangeable. "Small state flagship in New England...yeah, I guess they're probably good at hockey." My opinion, of course. BC, BU and probably Cornell have added recognition outside of college hockey circles.

I will concede that the inclusion of RPI might not have been the best choice, even though I respect its program and history immensely. I think that Maine and UNH would be better draws. Maine has a lot of college hockey fans that are scattered in obscure locations (Florida?). And UNH, despite the fact that it has never gone the distance, is a college hockey brand. The only reason that I think a big name might draw more fans to the arena is because there is attraction of the possibility of seeing a major upset. The Alabama-Penn State football game drew immensely because there was the allure that an upset could happen and no one wants to miss out on the moment of history no matter how steep the odds are stacked against that upset.

I think you raise implicitly a very valid point that I am looking at this through the prism of a New Yorker who has been a college hockey fan for a long time. So, to me, the difference between a UNH and a Vermont is stark, but the great majority of Penn Staters in Philadelphia are casual college hockey fans if they are college hockey fans at all will be drawn by the name of their alma mater and, as you pointed out, the fact that they are playing a New England public university that they will assume is good in hockey.

Perhaps, objectively, the opponent is not as big of a deal in the situation of Penn State when the position of Penn State hockey and acquaintance of Penn Staters in the region with college hockey is concerned. I was probably falling back to my default of 2009 was a disaster for Cornell because instead of playing a BU or Michigan at MSG, Cornell played Colgate in the Prudential Center which was viewed as a fate worse than death for many reasons.

TYTKyle wrote:In my observation, it received the most buzz of any of the games on the schedule in the aftermath of the announcement and also the greatest number of people saying "ooh, I have to go to that one." That could be because the Pittsburgh tournament was already old news by then, or it could be because Philly PSU alumni outnumber Pittsburgh PSU alumni by about 2-1.

I agree with that. I am actually shocked at how most of the media, even those from Philadelphia, are responding so favorably to the match-up. That is a large reason why I have tempered my reaction. I want the environment in the arena to be electric, even if it is far from full, while being equally far from being empty.

TYTKyle wrote:I'm curious to hear what you guys think about the attendance. I think you immediately have to throw out the idea that this is Cornell-BU at MSG or MSU-Michigan at JLA, both of which sold out last year.

As I mentioned. BU-Cornell at MSG has tainted my views of somethings. That game is amazing. Cornell ends up drawing 75% of crowd because of Cornell alumni connections in Downstate New York and Manhattan.

TYTKyle wrote:Until we have more, selling out an NHL arena is off the table IMO.

Selling out the arena would be amazing, but, as optimistic as I am about many prospects on here, I know that Penn State in its first year won't come anywhere near filling Wells Fargo. I think the range will be around 5,000-7,000. Yes, it's a broad range. I doubt many Catamount fans will travel. I would love if they did and that would boost my number, but I doubt many will make the trip.

The end of the range toward which it falls will be affected, in my mind, by how much Comcast and Penn State promote the event. I think that if Penn State does not promote pointedly the game in the Philadelphia market then it will be lucky to break 5,000. However, with a concerted effort in the region and the fact that Penn State is the flagship university of the Commonwealth, I think that interest and attendance would be boosted enough that it could approach 7,000. I personally hope some element of the fact that both mascots are mountain lions is played up in some form (ie naming, apparel, etc.), but that's a musing on the side.

I hope that attendance breaks the expected capacity of PIA. If the attendance is much below that, I think it will be a disappointment for the program. Attendance will be hurt by the fact that classes will have resumed at Penn State on January 7. That's the only scheduling issue that I think threatens attendance. I hope that in the future such events at Wells Fargo with Penn State involved will be held over Thanksgiving or Winter Break when current Penn Staters and Penn State alumni families can join in Wells Fargo to watch the Nittany Lions play an establish college hockey power. But, that will be in the future.

TYTKyle wrote:PS. Actually, when I looked up college regular-season games I knew took place in NHL arenas, I realized that the Pittsburgh tournament will give us a nice read on PSU's drawing power in this first year, both for PSU fans and for increased numbers of opposition fans. RMU-OSU at Consol last year: 4,927. RMU-Miami at Mellon three years ago: 3,654.

I realized how low it was last year. I did not realize how low it was when Miami played three years ago. I think that those numbers should see an appreciable boost from Penn State participation.
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 4:03 am

TYTKyle wrote:Even nearby Princeton has a notoriously disengaged fanbase and barely outdrew the Icers last year.

Yeah, Princeton is the worst college hockey environment I have witnessed in terms of sheer apathy. I feel bad that GG brought a competitive program to Hobey Baker Rink and it was never appreciated as it should have been. The legacy of the program for which Hobey Baker played deserves better.

Princeton outdrew the Icers? Must be a lot of their opponents travel well. I was there for the Cornell-Princeton game and you could count the number of attendees wearing orange on one hand. The Rink was a sea of carnelian.

The Wall Street Journal agrees with our critique:

LEAST LIVELY: Princeton

In fairness, we caught Princeton on a tough night—a Tuesday game against overmatched Sacred Heart while the student body was on break.

Still, Princeton's ancient Hobey Baker Rink (opened in 1923) is well known for both looking and sounding like a library. The building itself is a jewel: a tiny, roughly 2,000-seat rink with exposed brick throughout that's named for the legendary early-1900s Princeton football and hockey star. It's also in a good spot across from the recently built Whitman residential college and next to a train station. But the fans lack passion. In the Sacred Heart game, the visiting goalie got yanked midway through the first period yet heard nothing from the crowd.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:14 pm

Brittany wrote:The second thing I'd look at is the attendance of the Winter Classic game. That was what, between 5 and 6 thousand depending on which estimate? Let's be generous and give them 6,000. There were a fair amount of Neumann fans there as well, due to the proximity of the school (and Philly area people do recognize the name even if they don't respect it), even though the Penn State fans easily outnumbered the Neumann ones. But if you say it was 75% Penn State fans, which is a reasonable estimate, then you're left with around 4,500 PSU fans. I think more than doubling that is a bit high because while there will be more PSU current students and alumni who go, I do not think Vermont will draw many if any people outside of family and local friends. Another big difference is the timing. The Winter Classic game occurred while most (if not all) students were still on break. The very first week of January is perfect timing. This game being on the 19th is about two weeks into the semester. Not unfeasible (especially given the relative ease of getting to Philadelphia from State College), but still a deterrent.

All in all, I'd consider it a success if it broke 7,500 fans, but I think it far more likely to top off around 6,000. If I were the program, though, I'd consider it a success to be above the halfway mark of the arena, so 9768.5 (babies count as half a person right? geek ). Which rounds up to about your 10,000 mark.

It's unfortunate that the Winter Classic is really the only barometer we have so far. I'll admit to being disappointed by the number of people there. I've spoken with Andrew Dzurita of Lions247 on the popularity issue, and he insists that while everyone was aware of the transition, most took a "wake me up when we're an NCAA team" approach to it. Speaking as someone who started a blog largely because I thought it would be interesting to see how an ACHA team transforms into a DI team, that's disappointing.

Another thing I neglected to mention: even though news of that game leaked in July, it wasn't officially confirmed/announced until less than a month before puck drop. The promotion, then, was largely word of mouth, after people made holiday travel plans, etc. After the initial leak, someone suggested a THON tie-in to boost the attendance, and I imagine that the lack of a signed contract made things like that impossible.

Basically, this game has very little in common with that game. That can cut both ways - DI on the positive, the fact that an arena isn't as "exciting" as an outdoor game on the negative.
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 3:33 pm

amg424 wrote:I thought I was supposed to be the argumentative one on here being a law student and all. Wink

A law student called me argumentative. Not sure how to take that tongue

Good points all around. I think we can agree that for educated fans, Vermont was a letdown. My initial reaction was something like "Huh? What? Why?" I had really convinced myself that Princeton was team the night before. The Gadowsky storyline, the nearest team to Philly, Hobey Baker himself (a Philly native!)...it all made perfect sense. Like I said in my previous post, I don't think any of that translates to much in the attendance number (maybe two PU fans make their way over, which is roughly two more than UVM will bring), but it certainly would have made for more interesting discussion. I had a picture of Jack Berger all ready to go for my post because Gadowsky recruited him to Princeton and has now recruited brother Chase to PSU (for 2015). It was perfect. Then I was left to scramble and figure out someone UVM is bringing back this year since Pittsburgher Rob Madore (my usual go-to for them) is gone.

Once Penn State hockey builds its own brand and once opponents draw more of a benefit from playing us, I think we'll be able to forget all about this one and get that PSU-CU MSG game. But for now, I don't think the sky's the limit just yet.
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 8:44 pm

This guy is less than ecstatic about the schedule:

http://psuromes.blogspot.com/#!/2012/05/analysis-of-2012-2013-penn-state-hockey.html

So much I want to answer from that...in the interest of brevity, I'll just pick one thing.

There should have been opportunities to bring in NCAA Division 1 opponents. They travel to Army and RIT for one game each, why not have them travel to Happy Valley for a game? The Nittany Lions travel to Union, Connecticut and Holy Cross for a weekend series each, a return trip to Penn State should have been involved.
There is a return trip involved...next year. Battista has said (several times) that he negotiated for road games this year, with home games to come in the first year of the PIA.

I'm willing to hear criticism of the schedule. I even agree with some of it. Last year, the women used approximately half of their schedule to play DIII and DI teams and are more or less full-go DI this year. The men changed almost nothing from a typical Icers schedule last year and are using this as their transitional year. The "destination" in both cases is conference entry, not DI status. A few other considerations:

  • Last year's schedule was mostly created before Guy Gadowsky was hired.
  • It also came together at a time when the Big Ten wasn't supposed to start until 2014. With that, again, as the destination, a slow three-year process was the plan.
  • IMO, it would be a mistake to go from more or less a strict ACHA schedule to playing the heavy hitters of DI every weekend. The program simply isn't ready for that.
  • Mr. Shell seems unaware of the PWR and other realities that made a prime-time schedule all but impossible. Tom Anastos has even acknowledged that their scheduling PSU was more of a "best interests of college hockey/the Big Ten" thing than due to any benefit to his program.

I happen to know Shell personally, as I was in HMA with his sister. I'm not going to explicitly say anything about him on the internet, but feel free to read all you want into my silence. Wink
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  cagney on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 11:41 pm

I really think that most new and/or casual fans are going to be more interested in a team that can compete with their oposition and hopefully win some games than anything else. I'm sure a game against a major name team at home would draw a lot of interest but if that game ended up as a blow out it might very well do more harm then good.

I'm planning to try and talk my family, who are huge Penn State football fans, into going to the Vermont game and I feel better doing so knowing there's a chance it'll be a tightly contested game. Hockey is a hard sell to someone like my father and if he were to go to a game where Penn State got blown out, he'd never watch another one of their games again (and he'd never let me hear the end of it when I bring them up).

It seems pretty clear that most of us here are big college hockey fans to begin with so we might lose sight of the fact that this is going to be something new for many of the people that will be the Penn State hockey fan base going forward. I believe the thing those people will be drawn in by is winning and this schedule certainly is more favorable to that than what it seems like some might have been hoping for.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Sat 02 Jun 2012, 2:11 am

TYTKyle, adding to your points about the fact that he missed the well-published fact that two-year home-and-home agreements were made between the first two years because there is high demand to play at PIA, how would increasing the number of games against Army, Holy Cross, or UConn have addressed his concerns that the schedule overall is too weak? Those programs are among the weakest in the nation. It seems like his solution to one problem would only make him complain more about the weakness of the NCAA Division I teams that Penn State did manage to book.

He seems entirely ignorant of PWR. I address that below further. He mentions that it would have been nice to get Michigan or Cornell among other programs as opponents in the Greenberg Ice Pavilion. Cornell and Michigan are programs with whom it is difficult to negotiate. I have not seen personally the locker facilities at the Ice Pavilion, but I have heard that they are a large reason why most brand names in college hockey would not agree to play there in addition to the smaller size. Also, Michigan does not have a great track record of winning the CCHA, so Michigan enters every season with the plan of reliance on a strong OOC schedule and record in addition to regular-season CCHA success to gain an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Cornell is limited to a handful of OOC games due to Ivy League scheduling limits and would not surrender one of its few OOC slots for a game against a team after which the result will have no effect upon PWR. I know that there is great interest among the Cornell fanbase to play Penn State, but I think a Cornell-Penn State clash is entirely unlikely until Penn State's third year when the result of said game will count for PWR. Outdoor game at Beaver Stadium? Idea

Other points from the article with which I take issue:

Half of the home games won’t count on their overall record.
The only time an overall record counts is for PWR considerations. Penn State's records will not be meaningful in the PWR for the first two years that it competes in the NCAA Division I level because of the now infamous transition rule. So, the notion that the schedule is inherently bad because the game "won't count" is flawed. Secondly, his premise is very flawed. Cornell made the 2012 NCAA Tournament in large part because of crucial wins against Union and Colorado College. Were Penn State eligible for the 2013 NCAA Tournament, with key upsets, Penn State could have earned a similar at-large bid with what he describes as an overly weak schedule.

What’s the point to going to one of those home games?
This concept bothers me immensely. Fair-weather fans are very annoying. Fans and alumni, especially, should go to the events to support the team and the program. The next thing he will suggest in a post is that fans should leave early if the team is not doing well.

I see a struggle to let go of the past.
This attitude among some fans is what bothers me. Penn State hockey should never forget its roots and showing this type of implicit disrespect for the ACHA Division I era bothers me. Worthy programs remember the golden ages and the dark times. The Icers era in the future might be viewed as having shades of both, but it should never be forgotten because it was an integral part of Penn State and Penn State hockey history. One of my biggest gripes with some recently successful programs is that their fans have lost all historical perspective because they are entirely ignorant of their pasts. Brittany and TYTKyle know to which program I am referring. Penn State should not become one of the programs in the near future. I doubt that Penn State's fanbase would become one of the overly zealous hockey fanbases that belittles other programs, but the Icers era should be revered. That's why I hope that the Penn State-Ohio clash becomes a mainstay exhibition game. Most other NCAA Division I programs play one or more exhibition games against Canadian university teams. Why shouldn't Penn State commemorate a rivalry that helped Penn State hockey rise to its current heights with a game that commemorates that rivalry? I think an agreement to alternate at which venue it was held would help Ohio hockey and would show an appropriate reverence for tradition, rather than a feeble attempt to avoid "let[ting] go of the past."

The current schedule is focused on gaining enough wins to have a respectable record at the end of the season instead of playing quality opposition and building the foundation of a program that will compete with the powerhouse schools on an annual basis.
This is the one quasi-criticism with which I agree. I think that Penn State should have been aware of the possibility that a transitional or weak schedule in the first year might set expectations for the second year higher than they reasonably should be. The second year is the beginning of B1G Hockey. If Penn State manages a respectable overall record next season, which I think it will, expectations will be somewhat inflated for the second year rather than tempered when in the second year. Even my optimistic assumptions support the conclusion that a record of 0.450-0.470 is the best that can be expected logically.

The silence is deafening. Wink

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