Saturday, 17 January 2015

New Nittany Lions

If you know anything about me, you know I have passion for collegiate hockey, and I've been wanting to see more on Canadian television. Having the Big Ten Network in my cable package helps, but they have a limited run of teams they show on their programming. Despite being a mere two hours from a major NCAA hockey program, we never see that program on television! Thankfully, TSN stepped in this weekend with an amazing slate of games! I cannot tell you how happy I was to watch NCAA hockey thanks to some of the differences seen in the collegiate game in comparison to the professional game.

One of the big games featured on TSN this weekend was Penn State hosting Michigan State. Michigan State has a long and storied history in the NCAA ice hockey world. Penn State, on the other hand, has a long and storied history, but most of it comes from the football program. However, both programs feature beautiful uniforms, and I'm happy to report that Penn State's newest alternate uniform carries on that tradition!

Friday night saw Penn State don their new uniforms in a game against the Spartans, and they looked good! Seen to the right, the new Penn State alternate uniform features a solid chest stripe that helps draw attention to the Penn State logo - one of the best logos on the planet in this writer's opinion - where the logo is an old-school logo-in-circle. The colours work really well in terms of the setup that Penn State chose, and I'm alright with the drawstring collar on this jersey because of its old-time feel. I'd hope the players do something better than letting the strings dangle, of course, but that's a minor quibble. The only thing I don't like? The Nike logo directly front and center above the Nittany Lion logo. That shouldn't be featured as part of the uniform.

The back of the uniform is pretty clean and stylish. I love the hem and sleeve stripes that are designed in a traditional hockey sense. Unlike Reebok, Nike uses a straight hem on their jerseys, and it looks so much better. Kudos to Nike for having some fashion sense. The numbers are easy to read in their blue-on-gray setup, and that's never a bad thing. I don't have a problem with the contrasting name bar, but let's not get too carried away with doing this. Once is unique, twice is a trend, and any more is copycatting. Penn State's name bar, though, gets a thumbs-up.

The game televised on Saturday, though, was a great game. I expected Michigan State to bring their A-game out after winning 3-2 in a shootout the night before, but it was Penn State in their snazzy uniforms who stole the show and put on an offensive display for their fans. Casey Bailey put Penn State up 1-0 just 1:11 into the game before goals by Villiam Haag on the power-play and Michael Ferrantino sent Michigan State into the intermission with the 2-1 lead.

From there, though, it was all Penn State. Second period goals by Nate Jensen and David Goodwin gave PSU the 3-2 lead after 40 minutes, and Taylor Holstrom and Casey Bailey's second of the game capped off a 5-2 PSU victory over MSU. PSU improved their record against MSU to 2-4-2 all-time against the Spartans with the victory, so maybe the new uniforms bring a little added confidence and luck to the Nittany Lions? Either way, PSU captured four of six possible points this weekend!

You can add a Nittany Lion alternate uniform to my "Want" list. They're beautiful, and I'd be proud to wear the Nittany Lion if I was wearing this jersey!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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