By Warren Kozireski —
In late January, DeWitt native Ryan Kirwan stood tied for first in the Big Ten Conference in shots on goal, tied for second in game-winning goals and ninth in goals as he played on left wing for Penn State’s second line.
His 12 goals through 25 games put him among the top 50 in Division I in the nation.
“It’s been good; playing with good linemates and we have a great team here, so things are going well,” Kirwan said after the Michigan State weekend.
“This year establishing some good chemistry with (fellow New Yorker) Danny (Dzhaniyev)…so having the help of those two guys working hard and playing off each other.
“We’ve known each other for a while just through skate camps and stuff in New York State and we played together on a line way back when in Cicero and in regional camp and state camp.”
Kirwan played for the Syracuse Nationals as a 14-year-old before leaving home for Avon Old Farms in 2017-18. His coming out year came in 2018-19 with Little Caesar’s in Detroit where he exploded for a combined 65 goals with 118 points in 79 games with their 16U program.
“Just playing with a bunch of good guys and a good coach in Kris Draper, great facilities, great organization and we had a real good team that year.”
The USHL noticed and he spent the next two seasons with Madison (WI) and then Green Bay in the dispersal draft after Madison folded scoring at about a goal every other game clip.
“Me and Danny were supposed to play together with Madison after he got drafted there, but Green Bay was a great spot, and I loved my time there.”
Kirwan stands 6’2” and 194 lb. and plays a 200-foot game—one example against Michigan State was hustling back from the offensive zone for a diving breakup of a breakaway chance. His spot on the power play is between the circles in the high slot.
The youngest of four hockey-playing siblings, Kirwan’s older sister, Lauren, played Division I hockey with Minnesota State-Mankato and the University of New Hampshire and his oldest brother, Luke, went the Ontario Hockey League route with several teams before finishing with two years the University of Prince Edward Island. His other older brother, Matt, also spent time with Avon Old Farms before finishing with one season in the NAHL.
The junior Recreation major is planning to finish his fourth season at Penn State next season and then?
“See what it takes. Hopefully play some pro hockey and hopefully we win some things here along the way—that’s the goal.”
Kirwan netted his first collegiate hat trick against Army on Jan. 6 and Penn State hockey media rep John Hanna got him the puck and helped with the obligatory pictures.
“That’s going to go to my dad for his office.”
A memento for the miles, skates, sticks and early mornings times four.
(Photos provided by Penn St. Athletic and Men’s Hockey Depts.)