Why Penn State Hockey Can Win National Championship
Looking at the present, No. 5 Penn State Hockey has never been ranked this high in program history, even with loaded teams like the 2018-2019 team.
If we look back at the 2018-2019 season, Penn State Hockey held a 22-15-2 record. The Nittany Lions attempted to make the national tournament three consecutive years in a row, but fell just short of an automatic bid, losing to Notre Dame in the Big Ten title game 3-2.
Overall, that Lions team finished No. 16 in the Pairwise. Now holding a 17-5 record, they have a chance to make history.
Given the fast start Penn State Hockey has gotten off to in 2022-23, does history suggest the Nittany Lions can win it all this season?
Penn State Hockey head on Comparisons
As it stands a little over halfway through the 2022-2023 season, Penn State Hockey has deep scoring, with eleven players at 10 or more points already on the year.
The Lions also have a perfect nonconference record, and the best goaltender to ever wear the blue and white, yes, I said it.
The 2018-2019 roster had some crazy firepower too, names like Brandon Biro, Alex Limoges, Evan Barratt, Liam Folkes, Nate Sucese, and Peyton Jones are all scattered around professional to semi-professional leagues.
It followed a similar blueprint to the team today but was never as good defensively. Today, the Nittany Lions give up 2.4 goals per game to opponents, while the comparable 2018-2019 team gave up 3.6. Giving up a little over one more goal a game matters so much in tournament play and could have established a different outcome in the 3-2 Big Ten Tile loss to Notre Dame. One that eliminated them from competing in the national tournament.
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Could We See a Nittany Lion Hockey Natty?
The present 2022-2023 team is so good defensively, having all the pieces to win close matchups between Liam Souliere and shot-blocking machines in Christian Berger and Paul DeNaples.
Mixing this vital element in with great-depth scoring could be the reason Penn State fans travel to Florida in April, and swarm Amelia Arena. We could absolutely see a Nittany Lion hockey national championship.