Neumann vs. Penn State: Wed., Jan. 4, at 8 p.m.

Drexel vs. Villanova: Thurs., Jan. 5, at 7:15 p.m.


Two college hockey games will be played as part of Winter Classic week at Citizens Bank Park.

Neumann University will play Penn State at 8 p.m. Wednesday, and Drexel will play Villanova at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets for each game are $10.

Neumann is a Division III team, while Penn State is playing a club schedule. The Nittany Lions are the top-ranked team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. The Nits are in the process of going to Division I in 2013-14.

Neumann (5-3-0) is ranked 15th in the Division III poll.

"This is the first time we will be playing Penn State and are excited to help promote college hockey in the Philadelphia area as they begin their transition to NCAA Division I," Neumann coach Dominick Dawes said. "We know they are a very strong program with a long tradition, and are looking forward to the opportunity."

Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky called playing on the Winter Classic rink a "once-in-a-lifetime event."

"Many of my fondest memories of growing up playing hockey come from playing outdoors," Gadowsky said. "There is something really special about the feel of the air and the sound of the ice."

Drexel and Villanova are club teams.

"This event showcases university club sports. Most people don't know that club sports participants play intercollegiately at a high level," Drexel associate athletics director Dan Simmons said.

Drexel and Villanova met, indoors, on Nov. 5, with the Dragons winning, 4-0. The Dragons are led by goalie Daniel Pyne, who started for the United States at the 2011 World University Games. Drexel is 12-10.

Villanova is 4-11. Lee Zoeller is the Ice Cats' leading scorer.

"Drexel is honored to be a part of this prestigious event," Dragons coach Gregg Marinari said. "Our team has worked hard all season long and we are very excited for an opportunity to showcase our talent against a good Villanova team. The Drexel-Villanova rival goes back a long way within the ECHA. It will be a good example of what Philadelphia college hockey is all about."