Leading a Division I team isn’t an easy job, but it’s safe to say Penn State men’s hockey captain Alex Limoges is making the most of his opportunities during an unusually challenging season.
The senior forward is coming off another solid series in Penn State’s series split against Ohio State this past weekend. He currently leads the team in goals and points and is second in the Big Ten in goals scored.
Limoges scored the team’s first goal in Saturday’s game, which eventually propelled the Nittany Lions to a 5-2 win over the Buckeyes.
Despite being named to the preseason All-Big Ten first team, Limoges didn’t have the best start to the season. The forward started with only three points in the team’s first five games but started turning things around with a go-ahead goal in Penn State’s first win over the Michigan Wolverines. Penn State’s captain then earned Big Ten’s second star of the week after tallying three goals and an assist in Penn State’s series against Arizona State in December.
Naturally, Limoges’ significant improvement this season hasn’t gone unnoticed by head coach Guy Gadowsky.
“His play, like our team, has picked up drastically from where we were at the start of the year,” Gadowsky said Monday. “As you can see, it’s not by accident. After his first semester freshman year, he’s been on an unbelievable pace. He’s a hockey player. What I mean by that is a lot of the stuff that he does, it’s not like you tell him, ‘Do this,’ he figures it out…He’s just an elite mind.”
Even though Limoges leads Penn State on the ice, his guidance off the ice has arguably had a bigger impact on the team. Bringing a team together under normal circumstances is difficult, but it’s even harder to accomplish during a global pandemic. From getting the team on Zoom hangouts to bonding with new players, Penn State’s captain has proved he is an effective leader by overcoming the obstacles.
“What he does off the ice as a leader is even far greater than what he does on the ice and then,” Gadowky said. “This is the hardest year to be a captain for this team, for sure.”
Gadowsky said freshmen normally get acclimated to the team’s culture through what the leaders teach them, but that wasn’t the case this past summer and throughout the first semester as the freshmen were rarely on the same ice as upperclassmen. Even when the team was together, players were split up into two locker rooms and rarely able to hang together off the ice.
“His job to try and get continuity and create culture off the ice has been harder for him than Biro, Pucks, and Goodwin,” Gadowsky said. “A lot of these captains actually called to see how he’s doing, and that’s exactly what I told them.”
Limoges and the Nittany Lions will try to stay hot when they take on Michigan State at 6 p.m. on Friday at Pegula Ice Arena. The game will be broadcasted on BTN+.