Courtesy of Penn State Athletic Communications
UNVIERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State women’s hockey rounded out its coaching staff on Monday as Courtney Drennen was tabbed by head coach Josh Brandwene as the program’s newest assistant coach. Drennen comes to Hockey Valley after two seasons as an assistant at Wesleyan University and three years at North Dakota.
“Courtney brings outstanding playing and coaching experience to our program,” Brandwene said. “She has a positive coaching style and skill set that is an exact match for our student athletes. We are excited to welcome Courtney to the Penn State hockey family.”
Drennen is a 2009 graduate of Mercyhurst University, a Penn State rival in College Hockey America, compiling a record of 26-4-2 between the pipes for the Lakers. After her time at Mercyhurst, she joined the North Dakota coaching staff for three seasons before arriving at Wesleyan University.
"I am honored and excited to be joining the Penn State women's hockey program,” said Drennen. “Penn State has an amazing tradition of success in athletics, and I am eager to be part of this tradition. Being part of a program that is so well supported by the University, its administration, and the local community is a great opportunity. Returning to College Hockey America will be thrilling and challenging, and I am excited to face these familiar programs behind the Penn State bench."
Most recently at Wesleyan, Drennen helped steer the program from a 4-20-0 overall record in the year before she arrived in Middletown, Conn. (2011-12) to a 8-11-6 mark in the 2013-14 season. The Cardinals allowed 89 goals in that 2011-12 season (3.71 goals against per game), but gave up just 53 goals under Drennen’s tutelage (2.12 allowed per game) in 2013-14.
At North Dakota (2009-12), Drennen was the goalie coach and video coordinator. In 2011-12, North Dakota finished with a 22-12-3 record and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. While at UND, Drennen began her Master’s degree in Public History. In 2010-11, Drennen was also the girls’ player development director for the North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association.
As a Mercyhurst student-athlete, Drennen was part of some of the most successful teams in Laker history, including the 2008-09 squad that reached the Women’s Frozen Four title game. Drennen started 30 of the 37 games in which she played, compiling a .927 save percentage and a 1.42 GAA with eight shutouts. Mercyhurst went an impressive 112-24-12 during her four years in Erie.
In addition to her experience at Wesleyan and North Dakota, Drennen has been an instructor for ProCrease Goaltending Institute since 2012 as well as the USA Hockey National Festival Camps (2010-12). She remains a part of the USA Hockey District Selection and Development Camps for the Atlantic, New England and Rocky Mountain Regions since 2010.
The Nittany Lions embark on their third season as a varsity program in 2013-14. Drennen will oversee the goaltenders in her new role, including rising junior Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.). Whitlinger has a career .923 save percentage in 25 games for the Blue and White.
Leading scorers Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas), Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.), Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) and Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.) look to lead Penn State offensively next season. Bowman was named to the All-CHA Rookie Team in 2013-14, while Yoxheimer earned the same honor during PSU’s inaugural season.
The 2013-14 schedule was released last week and season tickets for Penn State’s second season at Pegula Ice Arena went on sale Wednesday, May 14. Packages for the upcoming season at Pegula Ice Arena will remain the same price ($50) as last year.
The Nittany Lions will embark on their second season at Pegula Ice Arena with a 16-game regular-season slate. Purchases can be made over the phone (1-800-NITTANY) or by visiting the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.). A Nittany Lion Club donation is not required for season tickets and parking is complimentary to all games.