Penn State men's hockey continues its ascent up the national polls. Despite being idle since December 2, the Nittany Lions have moved up a spot to No. 2 in both the USCHO and USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine national polls.
Previously, Penn State advanced to No. 3 in both polls around the midpoint of December. The Lions moved to No. 2 in the January 2 editions of both polls. It's the highest ranking in the program's short history.
The Lions are only 79 points behind Minnesota-Duluth which holds the top spot in both polls. Penn State is also the top ranked Big Ten team with Minnesota at No. 9 and Ohio State at No. 11 in both polls, while Wisconsin is receiving votes in the USCHO poll.
What's even more exciting for the Nittany Lions is that recent early signee and Buffalo Sabres' draft pick Brett Murray will join Penn State's squad immediately, forgoing the remainder of his junior hockey season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-5 forward will enroll a semester early at PSU and provide some additional punch to an already potent lineup.
Penn State's last action before the winter break was a two-game sweep of Michigan where they outscored the Wolverines across both contests 11-2. The Lions will resume Big Ten play with a double header against Ohio State on Friday, January 6 and Saturday, January 7.