Kirchhevel departs Penn State for ‘personal reasons’

Penn State forward Justin Kirchhevel has left the program due to personal reasons, the school announced Thursday.

Kirchhevel will return home to Brookings, S.D., and finish his Penn State degree through online classes.

“I want to thank the coaching staff and my teammates for an amazing experience over the last two years,” said Kirchhevel in a statement. “It truly was an honor to represent the Nittany Lions and help set a solid foundation for the program. I’ve learned invaluable life lessons at Penn State that I will take with me forever.”

“Justin was a significant part of our program’s foundation and a consummate Nittany Lion on the ice, in the locker room and in the classroom,” added Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky. “I want to thank him for all his contributions during his time at Penn State. Justin made this decision with his family’s best interests in mind. He will be missed and we wish him well.”

During the 2012-13 season, Kirchhevel scored two goals and added four assists in 16 games as a junior. He registered the first shorthanded goal in program history Nov. 9 against Air Force.

Kirchhevel began his NCAA career at Alaska-Anchorage in 2010-11 and tallied two goals plus an assist in eight games.