Tuesday, October 23, 2012

College hockey coming to Wells Fargo Center in January

The inaugural Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff, to be contested at the Wells Fargo Center, will feature the University of Vermont and Penn State University on Saturday, January 19, 2013.

Vermont, a member of the Hockey East conference, started out its 2012-13 season by earning a 1-1 tie with No. 6 U-Mass Lowell on October 12.  Vermont’s roster includes defenseman Nick Luukko, a 2010 Flyers draft pick from West Chester, PA, and forward Kyle Mountain of Bryn Mawr, PA, who was invited to attend the Flyers’ 2012 summer prospect camp.  Other NHL draft picks playing for the Catamounts include forwards Connor Brickley (Florida, 2nd rd. 2010) and Brett Bruneteau (Washington, 4th rd. 2007) and defenseman Michael Paliotta (Chicago, 3rd rd. 2011).  Other Catamounts native to the greater Philadelpha region include forwards Colin Markison (Princeton, NJ/Pennington) and Chris McCarthy (Collegeville, PA/US National Development Program).  

Penn State is beginning its first season as an NCAA Division I hockey program after several decades as one of the country’s most successful club ice hockey programs.  The school last fielded a varsity ice hockey team in 1947.  The Nittany Lions picked up their first-ever Division I win on October 13 with a 4-3 overtime victory over American International College.  The team’s young roster includes sophomore forward Max Gardiner, a third-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2010, who becomes the first-ever NHL draft choice to play for the school.  Also toiling for the Nittany Lions are four players from the greater Philadelphia region: defensemen Rich O’Brien (Furlong, PA/Central Bucks East), Connor Varley (Lansdale, PA/La Salle) and Peter Sweetland (Newtown, PA/Pennsbury) along with forward Dominic Morrone (Sewell, NJ/St. Augustine Prep).  Penn State will play the 2012-13 season as an independent before joining the new Big 10 hockey conference next season, at which time it will also move in to the new 6,000-seat Pegula Ice Arena on the State College campus.

This marks the first-ever Division I college hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center ,which will host the 2014 Men’s NCAA Frozen Four. The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) will serve as the host for the event on April 10 and 12, 2014.

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