On the heels of an incredibly successful season, with a major impact from the freshman class, the Penn State men’s hockey team signed four players to National Letters of Intent for the spring signing period.
The team announced in a news release Thursday it has added a little depth to the defensive corps with Cole Hults and Adam Pilewicz, to go with forwards Alex Limoges and Sam Sternschein.
The quartet, along with three others from the fall signing period, can only hope to have the impact of last season’s freshman class, which accounted for 40 percent of the team’s goals with 64 and and 34 percent of the assists with 90.
Pilewicz brings central Pennsylvania ties to the program, playing the last two seasons of juniors for the Johnstown Tomahawks of the NAHL. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Pilewicz is a native of Sewickley, posting nine goals and 34 assists over 108 games for the Tomahawks.
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Hults (6-2, 195) is a product of Stoughton, Wis., playing three seasons for the Madison Capitols of the USHL, netting six goals and 25 assists this past season. He is the first Wisconsin product to sign with the program.
The two defensemen, along with Alex Stevens, who committed during the early signing period in November, give the team depth with David Thompson graduating and Vince Pedrie leaving after his sophomore season to play professionally.
Sternschein (6-1, 204) is a native of Syosset, N.Y., playing for for the Lincoln Stars and Cedar Raipids RoughRiders of the USHL this past season. He had 20 goals and 12 assists in 45 games for Lincoln and one goal and one assist in 13 games for Cedar Rapids.
Limoges (6-1, 200), from Winchester, is the first product of Virginia to become a Nittany Lion in hockey and earned a gold medal in 2016 with the U.S. Junior Select Team in the World Junior A Challenge. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the five-nation tournament.
He has collected 22 goals and 34 assists over 55 games for two teams in the USHL, starting with the Tri-City Storm and ending with the Waterloo Black Hawks, who are playing in the USHL Clark Cup semifinals. Limoges originally committed to Cornell but changed his mind over the winter, according to the Winchester Star.
Sternschein and Limoges are joined on the forward line by fall signees Evan Barrett and Brett Murray. Murray joined the team for the spring semester in January.
The Nittany Lions have made an incredible rise over its first five seasons of Division I hockey, finishing this past season No. 8 in both major national polls with a 25-12-2 record after winning the Big Ten tournament title and advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals.