Lions draw rematch in NCAA hockey opener

UNIVERSITY PARK — Last season Penn State made it the furthest it’s been in NCAA hockey tournament play, all he way to the regional final.

That’s where the Nittany Lions ran into the overall No. 1 seed and eventual national champion Denver.

This weekend, the Nittany Lions will have a chance at revenge as they were paired up with the Pioneers in the Midwest Regional tournament.

Penn State was seeded No. 3 in the Allentown-based regional (of which it is the host) and Denver was seeded No. 2. Ohio State garnered the top seed and Princeton No 4 in the region, which Penn State was guaranteed to be assigned to if it was selected.

In September, before the season started, associate captain Chase Berger reflected on the 6-3 loss in Cincinnati that ended the Lions’ 2016-17 season.

“It was unbelievable to get to see the best team in the country and know what level we need to be at in order to get there,” Berger said. “Playing Big Ten teams is great but it was an unbelievable experience to see the highest level.”

Berger and the Lions will see how much they’ve learned from last year’s experience Saturday at 7 p.m. The game, to be played at PPL Center, will air on ESPN3.

Penn State was 2-1-1 against Ohio State this season. The Lions have not playing Princeton since Jan. 28, 2017, a game that Princeton won 5-4.

Four Big Ten teams made the field. The others are Notre Dame (No. 1, East) and Michigan (No. 2, Northeast).