PHILADELPHIA -- Penn State fans echoed throughout the arena with "We Are" chants close to the intensity of ones at a football game.
It was another one for the history books in Penn State's inaugural NCAA Division I season, when it played Vermont in the first-ever Philadelphia College Hockey Face-Off at the Wells Fargo Center. The Nittany Lions played in front of a crowd of 19,529 people -- the largest college hockey crowd in Pennsylvania history.
The amount of people in attendance on Saturday nearly doubled the larger crowds the team has played against this season in Rochester, N.Y. against RIT or at the Consol Energy Arena.
Guy Gadowsky said he thought it was "fitting" that the record amount of fans went to a Penn State game. He said it was awesome to see thousands of Penn State fans in blue and white cheering his team on.
"I can't say enough about Penn Staters," Gadowsky said. "...Penn State's the coolest university there is. It was just a tremendous crowd and it was so much fun to play."
The Penn State coach noticed that they not only support the team in State College at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
"They were everywhere," Gadowsky said. "Whether it's Wilkes-Barre or Pittsburgh, they're just great. I think there's more of them tonight...but they've been consistently excellent."
Matthew Skoff also acknowledged what it was like to play in the environment. The freshman goaltender secured the 4-2 win for Penn State by saving 34 shots on net.
"That was a cool atmosphere," Skoff said. "It was the largest crowd I ever played in. That was probably the biggest win of my career."
Some could say that Penn State rises to the occasion in big games, with big crowds, but Gadowsky said it may be a little to early to say that. He said Penn State alumni and fans do a have a huge part in motivating the team.
The Lions defeated RIT and Ohio State in front of crowds of over 10,000 people this season.
"There certainly seems to be a pattern," Gadowsky said. "They figure out a way to win. RIT was similar. We didn't come out with our best game and had to grit it out and this sort of felt similar to that."
Gadowsky said they'd like to do the Philadelphia Face-Off again, but he said schedules for college hockey are done years in advance.
The event also marked the first college hockey game in the home of the Philadelphia Flyers, but it shouldn't be the last, said Gadowsky.
"I know I was on the committee when we selected this site for the NCAA Frozen Four, so I know that this is sort of a warm-up," Gadowsky said. "If it's any indication, I think they're going to knock it out of the park. The fans were great. The arena did a fantastic job."
The first-year head coach said this game could foreshadow what it might be like at the new Pegula Ice Arena next season.
"You want to play in big venues with huge Penn State crowds, and we have a huge venue of our own coming and we want to rock it," Gadowsky said. "If this is any indication, it's going to be a lot of fun."