The Greater Philadelphia Region will be well-represented when the University of Vermont takes on Penn State University in the first-ever Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, January 19 at the newly announced start time of 8 p.m.
The game will include nine players from the Tri-State area – five currently playing for Penn State and four playing for Vermont. All of them grew up playing hockey in the area for various club organizations. And while some of them left the area as they got older to play at the highest levels of junior hockey, many of them started their high school years at some of the region’s top hockey powers. Five players – Penn State’s Rich O’Brien, Connor Varley, Peter Sweetland, and Brian Dolan, along with Vermont’s Nick Luukko – participated in the Flyers Cup Scholastic Championships with their respective high school teams.
"This game is a terrific opportunity to show the hockey world the impact the Greater Philadelphia Region has on the future of the sport," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. "This game will also serve as a preview of the exciting Frozen Four which will come to Philadelphia for the first time in 2014."
The game is the first-ever Division I NCAA hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center and will serve as a preview to the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four men’s hockey championships, which will be held at the Wells Fargo Center April 10-12, 2014.
The near capacity crowd is expected to be the largest crowd ever at a collegiate hockey game in the state of Pennsylvania, a mark expected to be surpassed when NCAA hockey returns to the Wells Fargo Center for the Frozen Four next year.
Tickets for the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff between Penn State and Vermont are still available and can be purchased exclusively through ComcastTIX on line atComcastTIX.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Wells Fargo Center box office.
The following is a rundown of the players from the local region.
Sr. – D – Furlong, PA
Age 21 (2/13/91)
O’Brien attended Central Bucks East High School and played his club hockey for Team Comcast. O’Brien played the past three seasons for Penn State’s ACHA club hockey team, collecting 60 points (12g, 48a) over 105 games.
Fr. – D – Lansdale, PA
Age 20 (6/30/92)
Varley joined the Nittany Lions as a freshman this year after spending the 2011-12 season in the USHL with the Des Moines Buccaneers. Varley played club hockey as a youth for both the Valley Forge Minutemen and the Philadelphia Junior Flyers. Varley attended La Salle College High School, where he was a member of the school’s 2008 Flyers Cup and Pennsylvania State AAA Champion team, and was named to the Flyers Cup All-Tournament Team on defense.
So. – D – Newtown, PA
Age 21 (2/18/91)
Sweetland came to Penn State last season as a member of the ACHA team and collected 13 points (2G, 11A) 22 games. He attended Pennsbury High School and played club hockey for the Mercer Chiefs.
Sr. – F – Sewell, NJ
Age 23 (5/29/89)
Morrone has collected 100 points (38g, 62a) in 93 games over the past three years with Penn State’s ACHA team. He played locally for the Philadelphia Junior Flyers and attended St. Augustine Prep.
Sr. – D – Havertown, PA
Age 22 (7/18/90)
Dolan picked up 20 points (4g, 16a) in 57 career games over three seasons with Penn State’s ACHA team. He played high school hockey at Monsignor Bonner, where he was a first-team All-Delco selection.
So. – D – West Chester, PA
Age 21 (11/29/91)
Luukko arrived at Vermont a year ago after spending a season in the USHL with Dubuque, where he helped the Fighting Saints to the league championship. He played locally for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers and Team Comcast, and also attended Malvern Prep. Luukko was selected by the Flyers in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
So. – F – Princeton, NJ
Age 20 (8/6/92)
Markison is in his second season with the Catamounts, arriving on campus after spending two seasons in the USHL with Omaha. Markison played club hockey for the Mercer Chiefs and the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers.
Jr. – F – Collegeville, PA
Age 21 (7/30/91)
McCarthy is Vermont’s leading scorer with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points through the team’s first 19 games of the season. He came to the Catamounts after spending a season playing for the US National Under-18 team. Locally, McCarthy played for the Valley Forge Minutemen and Team Comcast.
So. – F – Bryn Mawr, PA
Age 22 (9/3/90)
Mountain is in his second season with Vermont. Prior to joining the Catamounts, he played one season in the British Columbia Hockey League (Canadian Jr. A) and three seasons in the Eastern Junior Hockey League (US Tier III). He played locally at Malvern Prep and also for the Valley Forge Minutemen and Philadelphia Jr. Flyers. Mountain attended the 2012 Flyers summer prospect camp on a camp invitation.