2012-13 Schedule Finalized

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Sat 02 Jun 2012, 2:19 am

cagney wrote: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 think you're right about that fact generally. So, that's why Vermont is probably a good choice for a game in the heart of the largest alumni base of Penn State. I wish that you weren't right about the fact that a blowout would depress interest on campus though. I hope you're wrong about that, but it is still valid. I will go and cheer: win, tie, or loss.

cagney wrote: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)...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.
Let's hope the Nittany Lions put in a good performance at Wells Fargo so that your father will become a perennial Penn State hockey fan and pick up a few other fans in the area who will be attracted to a program that wins.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Sat 02 Jun 2012, 6:06 pm

amg424 wrote:
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 feel obligated to mention the not-quite-annual-but-still-frequent Army-RMC game here. Yeah, Army largely dominates the series in the modern era, but it's a great rivalry and a great tradition. The uniqueness of the two institutions allows for something like that, so why shouldn't we embrace our uniqueness as an ACHA team that successfully crossed over (unless my memory's failing, I believe that's a first)?

Here's the thing about the ACHA: without it, I wouldn't be here right now, because generally, NCAA programs don't allow the same opportunities for student volunteers. As a student, I produced the entire program/media guide with zero "adult" help (beyond the actual printing of course, but I was the guy's exclusive contact with the team), among many other less exciting things like attempting to fit a 6' sub for the booster hospitality room into an old Grand Am twice every weekend. For my efforts, I was effectively treated as a member of the team, even though my playing ability topped out at "bender on a horribly bad/new high school team." Not always by the players - as you might expect, most were cool with/respectful of the HMA peons, a few weren't - but certainly by Joe Battista and the rest of administration. I have a championship ring. Unfortunately, I'm showing my age a little with that statement, but at least it's from the last decade! To this day, I get invites to all the alumni functions and other things like that. I'm not bragging (not deliberately, anyway), just pointing out that I have a personal stake in the program that only exists because of the ACHA past.

The NCAA doesn't happen without the success of the club team. And that's not some vague appeal to embrace something I obviously value - remember that Terry Pegula's introduction to PSU hockey came through his son's going to camp at PSU. How many club programs ran hockey camps in the early 90s?

Something else that's important to remember: those ACHA games will be more competitive than many played by the Icers last year. In their history, the Icers played 13 games against DI teams, with a record of 3-10-0 and an average score that rounds to 3-7. None of those games were against Michigan or Boston College - in fact, ten of the 13 games came against teams in their first couple years of DI (including a Notre Dame team that dropped to club for a single season in the 1980s). Guess who is in their first couple years of DI now? I think/hope we win all six of those games confortably as long as we take them seriously, but as a fan, if you showed up to LVC, West Chester, Rutgers, West Virginia, Mercyhurst and Kent State last year, why wouldn't you show up to the ACHA games this year? They certainly won't be less competitive.


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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Sat 02 Jun 2012, 6:23 pm

cagney wrote: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.
Excellent point, and sort of what I was trying to get at in my usual long-winded way previously. We have to try to see things from outside of the bubble.

Your dad sounds a lot like mine. With ACHAs in my hometown last year, I asked him (a PSU alumnus, BTW) if he wanted to check out a game with me. He said no. Then, on the day of the Oklahoma game, he called me out of nowhere to ask where the rink was located. It was verrrrry obvious that my mom had guilted him into going. But he saw an exciting game, as I'm sure you all know. By the end of it, he was asking me about forechecking schemes when protecting a lead. No, he'll probably never be a hardcore PSU hockey fan, but if I have an extra ticket in Columbus someday, I'd at least be optimistic when asking him.
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Sun 03 Jun 2012, 1:40 am

TYTKyle wrote:
I feel obligated to mention the not-quite-annual-but-still-frequent Army-RMC game here. Yeah, Army largely dominates the series in the modern era, but it's a great rivalry and a great tradition.
I did not know about that hockey tradition. Thanks for alerting me to that. It is really interesting. Army and RMC have agreed to extend it into the future also.

TYTKyle wrote:The NCAA doesn't happen without the success of the club team. And that's not some vague appeal to embrace something I obviously value - remember that Terry Pegula's introduction to PSU hockey came through his son's going to camp at PSU. How many club programs ran hockey camps in the early 90s?
I agree with this entirely. It seems like he's ignorant of that fact. Penn State fans should not think that 2012 was the beginning of hockey at Penn State, like some outside of the Penn State community have told me.

TYTKyle wrote:I have a championship ring. Unfortunately, I'm showing my age a little with that statement, but at least it's from the last decade!
Nah...Penn State won two ACHA Division I national championship rings in the last decade. 2003 was not that long ago either (I say as I realize that Cornell has not gotten to the Frozen Four since then).

TYTKyle wrote:In their history, the Icers played 13 games against DI teams, with a record of 3-10-0 and an average score that rounds to 3-7. None of those games were against Michigan or Boston College...
Had the Icers played any games against Michigan their record would be better and the margin somewhat narrowed. jocolor

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Sun 03 Jun 2012, 1:46 am

TYTKyle wrote:
cagney wrote: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.
Excellent point, and sort of what I was trying to get at in my usual long-winded way previously. We have to try to see things from outside of the bubble.

Your dad sounds a lot like mine. With ACHAs in my hometown last year, I asked him (a PSU alumnus, BTW) if he wanted to check out a game with me. He said no. Then, on the day of the Oklahoma game, he called me out of nowhere to ask where the rink was located. It was verrrrry obvious that my mom had guilted him into going. But he saw an exciting game, as I'm sure you all know. By the end of it, he was asking me about forechecking schemes when protecting a lead. No, he'll probably never be a hardcore PSU hockey fan, but if I have an extra ticket in Columbus someday, I'd at least be optimistic when asking him.
If your dads will react that negatively to seeing a Penn State hockey loss you will need to give me forewarning as to which games you are inviting them. I take my cousin to some college hockey games and he's quite the jinx. I have been to a lot of Cornell hockey games. I have lost count of the exact number. I have seen them lose in-person 7 times. My cousin has attended 4 of those games. He has not seen Cornell win a hockey game in-person. Often, the losses involve a fluke call (see 2011 ECAC Quarterfinals where the goal camera was never turned on to verify a Cornell goal or the 2011 Red Hot Hockey game when what should have been a game-winning Cornell goal was waived off). I am convinced he's cursed and I won't risk taking him to a Penn State game if the experience could be off-putting for either of your dads. I have not proven if the curse transcends from Cornell hockey to Penn State hockey, but I won't risk it if either of your dads are in attendance.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  sideshowbob on Sun 03 Jun 2012, 1:11 pm

One side aspect I've been excited about regarding the Pittsburgh games and our planned future involvement there... I hope this leads to a ongoing close relationship between Robert Morris and PSU. Since they are the closest Div 1 school to PSU and fellow Pennsylvania school, they are a natural "rival" of sorts for us to play regularly. But also, they provide the best option for coordinated non-conference scheduling -- I'm hoping we'll see PSU and RMU travel together to play two close teams and have such teams play 1 game at PSU and RMU each in a weekend. For example, PSU can travel up to Boston and play a game each at BC and BU while RMU plays the one game at each as well; then the next year we could host BC and BU one game each (e.g. BC on Friday, then they travel to Pittsburgh to play RMU on Sat while BU plays at RMU on Friday and at PSU on Sat).

Okay, maybe it wouldn't happen with teams as good as BC/BU but there are lots of pairs of teams that are close enough together to work like this. It would give us some nice variety in the schedule -- go to Happy Valley and see two different teams in a weekend -- and help with Pairwise.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Sun 03 Jun 2012, 9:41 pm

sideshowbob wrote:One side aspect I've been excited about regarding the Pittsburgh games and our planned future involvement there... I hope this leads to a ongoing close relationship between Robert Morris and PSU. Since they are the closest Div 1 school to PSU and fellow Pennsylvania school, they are a natural "rival" of sorts for us to play regularly. But also, they provide the best option for coordinated non-conference scheduling -- I'm hoping we'll see PSU and RMU travel together to play two close teams and have such teams play 1 game at PSU and RMU each in a weekend. For example, PSU can travel up to Boston and play a game each at BC and BU while RMU plays the one game at each as well; then the next year we could host BC and BU one game each (e.g. BC on Friday, then they travel to Pittsburgh to play RMU on Sat while BU plays at RMU on Friday and at PSU on Sat).

Okay, maybe it wouldn't happen with teams as good as BC/BU but there are lots of pairs of teams that are close enough together to work like this. It would give us some nice variety in the schedule -- go to Happy Valley and see two different teams in a weekend -- and help with Pairwise.

I never thought of that idea for OOC games. The ECAC uses travel partners like this during its regular season (Brown-Yale, Clarkson-SLU, Colgate-Cornell, Dartmouth-Harvard, Princeton-Quinnipiac, RPI-Union), but it'd be a really interesting idea for an OOC travel partner regime with Penn State-Robert Morris. It would help raise the level of RMU hockey if big programs would agree to play RMU. Programs tend to attain or nearly attain the level of their frequent opponents. I think that name brands in college hockey would agree to play Penn State as the national brand Penn State is as well as the attenuated PWR benefits of Penn State playing in B1G Hockey.

However, I worry that if Penn State was adamant about a Penn State-Robert Morris travel partnership, a lot of brand names would refuse to agree, and both Penn State and RMU would lose out. Neither Mercyhurst nor RMU finished the season as a team under consideration. Mercyhurst was the closest. Mercyhurst toward the end of the season was popping onto and off of being a TUC. I think a travel partnership with Penn State-RMU would be great for Pennsylvania hockey and growing the sport, but I feel that most of the major programs that are not want for attitude would not do what they view as debasing themselves to play RMU. RMU's OOC schedule over the last two years assuages these worries somewhat with a series against North Dakota in 2010-11, but NoDak appears to be the only brand name that RMU has played.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Sun 03 Jun 2012, 9:42 pm

Do we know what coverage we Penn State fans will be able to get of away games? I know with the other college program that I follow, I find myself often having to pay for the broadcast of the host team. Will that be the case next year?

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 5:07 am

amg424 wrote:However, I worry that if Penn State was adamant about a Penn State-Robert Morris travel partnership, a lot of brand names would refuse to agree, and both Penn State and RMU would lose out. Neither Mercyhurst nor RMU finished the season as a team under consideration. Mercyhurst was the closest. Mercyhurst toward the end of the season was popping onto and off of being a TUC. I think a travel partnership with Penn State-RMU would be great for Pennsylvania hockey and growing the sport, but I feel that most of the major programs that are not want for attitude would not do what they view as debasing themselves to play RMU. RMU's OOC schedule over the last two years assuages these worries somewhat with a series against North Dakota in 2010-11, but NoDak appears to be the only brand name that RMU has played.
I'm not entirely objective on RMU, but I agree. I think they've done a remarkable job getting to respectability in a short time. They've pulled off some massive wins. I'm a huge fan of Coach Schooley, and openly endorsed him for the PSU job, at least until I learned Coach Gadowsky was on our radar in the last couple weeks before we hired him.

But yeah, I do want to see a little more until we chain ourselves to them. Different sport, sorry, but when Butch Davis coached the Browns, I remember him saying something like "it's a lot easier to go from 4-12 to 8-8 than it is to go from 8-8 to 12-4." Not my favorite guy ever, but I think he made a sound observation there, one applicable to a lot of things that aren't the NFL. RMU's at sort of a crucial stage in their program's development. They've gone from 4-12 to 8-8, and made a few headlines on the way. Are they now destined to advance to 12-4, or will they remain a mid-table AHA program indefinitely? I think the next five years or so will give us the answer. And if that answer's a positive one, then yeah, let's talk about it.
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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  sideshowbob on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 11:25 pm

amg424 wrote:
However, I worry that if Penn State was adamant about a Penn State-Robert Morris travel partnership, a lot of brand names would refuse to agree, and both Penn State and RMU would lose out.

TYTKyle wrote:But yeah, I do want to see a little more until we chain ourselves to them. Different sport, sorry, but when Butch Davis coached the Browns, I remember him saying something like "it's a lot easier to go from 4-12 to 8-8 than it is to go from 8-8 to 12-4." Not my favorite guy ever, but I think he made a sound observation there, one applicable to a lot of things that aren't the NFL. RMU's at sort of a crucial stage in their program's development. They've gone from 4-12 to 8-8, and made a few headlines on the way. Are they now destined to advance to 12-4, or will they remain a mid-table AHA program indefinitely? I think the next five years or so will give us the answer. And if that answer's a positive one, then yeah, let's talk about it.

Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that we schedule every non-conference series in concert with RMU or anything. I certainly wouldn't expect PSU to be "adamant" about teams having to play RMU, just that involving them might give us some flexibility especially if a potential opponent wants to play single games against teams. My point was that for maybe a few non-conference weekends a year (maybe 2 or 3) we could split the opponents with RMU in order to get some greater diversity. We'll have 14+ non-conference games a year, so we have plenty of opportunities for a variety of scheduling options.

Just a thought and I think us hosting RMU and being involved in the Pittsburgh tourney bode well to a healthy and mutual beneficial relationship with them.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  amg424 on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 2:27 am

Union must not think much of Penn State's chances in the series next year. The College-sponsored blog, not to be confused with the student-run Union Hockey Blog, analyzed "key" non-conference games that will serve as a barometer of the level of Union next season. Union plays non-conference games against Merrimack, Bowling Green, AIC, UConn, Vermont, and Lake Superior State in addition to the Penn State-Union clash during Thanksgiving Break. The post recognizes games against Merrimack, Bowling Green, Lake Superior State, and Vermont as "key" or barometric measures of their success. The games against Penn State are unanalyzed. Union did not even mention the Penn State match-up. So, Union at best assumes that Penn State is on the level of AIC or UConn who had a combined record of 24-45-7 last season. I know that Penn State is a newcomer, but thinking that Penn State will provide less of a challenge than a Vermont team that went 6-27-1 seems like a not-so-subtle insult.

I hope that I can make the train ride up from the City to Schenectady to catch the second game on Sunday.

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Re: 2012-13 Schedule Finalized

Post  TYTKyle on Thu 07 Jun 2012, 3:04 am

amg424 wrote:Union must not think much of Penn State's chances in the series next year. The College-sponsored blog, not to be confused with the student-run Union Hockey Blog, analyzed "key" non-conference games that will serve as a barometer of the level of Union next season. Union plays non-conference games against Merrimack, Bowling Green, AIC, UConn, Vermont, and Lake Superior State in addition to the Penn State-Union clash during Thanksgiving Break. The post recognizes games against Merrimack, Bowling Green, Lake Superior State, and Vermont as "key" or barometric measures of their success. The games against Penn State are unanalyzed. Union did not even mention the Penn State match-up. So, Union at best assumes that Penn State is on the level of AIC or UConn who had a combined record of 24-45-7 last season. I know that Penn State is a newcomer, but thinking that Penn State will provide less of a challenge than a Vermont team that went 6-27-1 seems like a not-so-subtle insult.

I don't know...my instinct is to be insulted, and by some undetermined date in the future I probably will be, but I can't say I feel that way right now. We're new. It's hard to find anyone, at Union or anywhere else, who thinks we'll be any good for a little bit. I think we'll get there, but until we do, I'm not going to lose any sleep over things like that.

Looking at it another way, putrid Vermont won 6 of 34 last year against a schedule consisting entirely of major conference teams, which reduces to one of every 5 2/3. Penn State plays 8 or 9 major-conference games this year (depending on Pittsburgh), so to beat UVM's rate, we'd have to win two. I'd be thrilled with one. Until we prove otherwise - and I certainly hope we do ASAP - we're looking up at all of DI, including UVM, UAH and AIC.
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