The passion emanated the strongest from the first goal of what would be a 4-1 Lions win, but it started during the dedication ceremony before the game.
Various Penn State officials took to the ice alongside Terry and Kim Pegula, among others. The dedication culminated when Pegula, associate athletic director Joe Battista, and Penn State hockey captain Tommy Olczyk each poured vials of water onto center ice to represent the past, present, and future of Penn State hockey.
Terry Pegula addressed the fans.
" 'Knock and it shall be open to you,' " Pegula said, referencing one of his favorite Bible verses. "I believe it's time to knock and see what our two hockey programs can do."
The arena started filling up more than an hour before the game, and the crowd seemed to feed off the dark. The lights lowered during a pregame video that acknowledged Pegula and Battista, while also inciting the fans.
The Lions spent nearly half of the first period shorthanded, and every penalty was met with increasing chagrin from the crowd. By the time Penn State found itself on the bad end of a five-on-three situation in the second period, the students appeared ready to break down the glass panes.
But in the third period, Penn State answered their frustration when Curtis Loik found the net on a shorthanded breakaway, securing an electric win for the Lions on the ice arena's opening night.
"The student section was definitely the first star tonight," Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said. "I thought the atmosphere was tremendous, right from walking out from the bench. It was a phenomenal feeling."