Christian Sarlo Drives the Puck

Penn State forward Christian Sarlo (10) drives the puck down the rink during the men’s ice hockey game against Arizona State University at Pegula Ice Arena on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.

It may be 85 degrees every day, and people may be opening their pools to aid that, but it’s never too early to get back on the ice — especially for a Penn State team that lost three of its biggest contributors from last season.

Alex Limoges, Tim Doherty and Aarne Talvitie are all on their way out from the program, so it’s time for new faces to step in.

Guy Gadowsky has no easy task ahead of him looking toward the 2021-22 season, but if some young players and transfers can step up, they could make the youth movement a thrilling experience.

Four forwards will try to help the Nittany Lions improve upon their 2021 record of 10-12. If these players help Penn State dominate the Big Ten and pick up a championship like it did just two seasons ago, next summer’s look ahead might be a little less ambiguous.

Christian Sarlo

In Christian Sarlo’s freshman season, the Lynnbrook, New York, native racked up 11 points between a split of five goals and six assists.

The forward was awarded the program’s Freshman of the Year for his performance across 21 games.

Sarlo closed out the campaign on a three-game point streak with two strong games against Notre Dame and two assists in a loss to Wisconsin.

Jared Westcott

At the closure of the season, Gadowsky mentioned Jared Westcott alongside Sarlo as freshmen who could fill the holes on offense next season.

Westcott added six points to the blue and white’s offensive output in 2021 via one goal and five assists. The rising sophomore put up 35 shots in 17 games.

The Imperial, Missouri, product’s lone goal came in an offensive barrage back in early December against Michigan in which Penn State picked up a 9-5 win.

MORE SPORTS COVERAGE

Kevin Wall

In his sophomore season, Kevin Wall saw his production skyrocket, going from seven points his first season to 19 in 2020-21.

Wall netted eight goals and 11 assists in 22 games, four less contests than he played in the prior season.

The New Yorker had a two-goal game against Ohio State at the turn of the year in a 5-2 victory.

If his numbers can take another jump similar to this season’s, Penn State has one less hole to fill in the rotation.

Ben Copeland

In early June, the Nittany Lions picked up Ben Copeland via transfer. Copeland spent his 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons with Colorado College.

In 41 games his first season with the blue and white, the Minnesotan picked up 21 points through nine goals and 12 assists.

In 34 games the next year, Copeland grabbed another 18 points with 14 assists.

The fourth-year player will be expected to bring the same offensive firepower to the lines of Penn State’s team next season.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.