This week was a chance to rebound for Penn State (6-5-0) before it gets set to play Holy Cross (7-4-2).
Coach Guy Gadowsky said he saw some improvement in his team against No. 12 Union and Friday against American College Hockey Association club team Arizona State, but he said he wants his team to recover after Saturday's 3-1 loss against the Sun Devils.
After Saturday's game, Gadowsky said the team wasn't mentally prepared to play and gave them a couple days off in the beginning of the week.
Penn State plays Atlantic Hockey's Holy Cross this weekend in Worcester, Mass. for a two-game series. The puck drops Friday at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m.
"We sort of lost that focus Saturday night, so we have to readdress what we thought we had going in the right direction," Gadowsky said.
Junior defenseman Nate Jensen said that Saturday's loss was merely a learning experience for the team.
"We have a lot of young guys and guys that haven't played Division I yet," Jensen, who transferred from Mercyhurst last year, said. "I think we all just need to make sure we're focused every night and need to bring the mentality that we need to go out there and play our best and work hard so we don't have disappointments like that."
He said the team is bringing a lot of things to the game from practice that they need to play teams like Holy Cross.
The Nittany Lions have had recent success in their penalty kill, despite some losses. During the last seven games, the team has gone 33-for-36. Jensen said he thinks his team has been out-playing its opponent when it's on the penalty kill, which is why it's been so successful.
"I think we just have a really good structure for the penalty kill," Jensen said. "[Gadowsky] has been working with us throughout the year. So, all of our players know what they're doing when they're on the penalty kill."
On the other hand, their power play may not be statistically good, but went 3-for-3 on Friday night against the Sun Devils.
"It's obviously a confidence builder for the team," Jensen said. "I think we're doing a lot of stuff in practice that we're bringing into the games. I think we still need a lot of work on it, though, especially when we play teams like Holy Cross."
Freshman goalie Matthew Skoff, who made a career-high 42 saves against Union on Nov. 24, is ranked 12th in the NCAA in save percentage (.934).
Skoff said any goalie would be confident after his recent success.
"When you play against a good team like that you can measure yourself against the best kids in the country," Skoff said.