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Penn State Women’s Hockey Splits ‘D1 In D.C.’ Series

No. 17 Penn State women’s hockey (8-6-2, 4-2-0) spent Thanksgiving weekend on the outskirts of the nation’s capital in Arlington, Virginia, for “D1 In D.C.,” matchups against No. 12 Minnesota-Duluth on Friday and No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday. 

The Nittany Lions defeated Minnesota Duluth on Friday, but fell to Ohio State on Saturday.  

How It Happened

Game One

Penn State matched up very well against the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. The Nittany Lions opened the scoring in the first period, as Natalie Heising scored a goal at 5:19 into the game. Heising’s tenth goal of the season was assisted by Jess Ciarrocchi, her first assist this season. Just three minutes later at 8:04, however, Minnesota-Duluth’s Anna Klein scored a power-play goal to tie the game, assisted by Gabbie Hughes and Elizabeth Giguere. The Bulldogs were not done yet though, as Klein scored another goal at 18:18 in the period. She was again assisted by Hughes and Giguere. Penn State took another penalty in the period, but did not score. 

Things were much quieter in the second period, as no goals were scored by either team. Penn State had three power plays, but were offensively very quiet as it did not manage more than three shots each opportunity. Minnesota-Duluth also had three power plays, but it too was offensively quiet, as it did not have more than two shots for either of the power plays. 

Heading into the third period, it was 2-1 in favor of the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs came out swinging on a power play early in the period with six shots. However, the momentum shifted very quickly as Natalie Heising once again scored a goal at 5:18, assisted by Kiara Zanon. Minnesota-Duluth had one more power play but did not score. Penn State, on the other hand, had three power plays in the final period of regulation. On the third power play, Penn State capitalized and took the lead. At 12:34, Lyndie Lobdell scored for the blue and white, assisted by Mallory Uihlein and Kiara Zanon. 

Penn State and Minnesota-Duluth played a great game, but Penn State completed its comeback and won 3-2. 

Game Two

Penn State took on No. 2 Ohio State for game two of this series. Both teams had plenty of offensive chances in the first period. However, it was Ohio State that opened the scoring, as Sophie Jacques notched a power-play goal at 9:00 in the period. With a quick one-two punch, the Buckeyes struck again, as Clair DeGeorge scored a goal at 8:36. 

Penn State began the second period with a two-skater advantage. It quickly took advantage of the power play and climbed back into the game, thanks to a Natalie Heising goal. Penn State still had a power play, but did not capitalize. Ohio State, however, bounced back by scoring two more goals in the period. At the end of the second period, it was 4-1 Ohio State. 

In the third period, Penn State had another five on three power play. The Nittany Lions scored another goal to make it 4-2, with Rene Gangarosa scoring this time with eight minutes left in regulation. It would be too little too late, however, as Penn State was defeated by Ohio State, 4-2.

Key Takeaways

  • Penn State needs to work on staying out of the penalty box. It won’t work out well in the long run once it continues to face top-tier competition down the stretch.
  • Natalie Heising once again had a great series, and has been phenomenal for Penn State this season. She’s still leading Jeff Kampersal’s group with 19 points on the year.
  • Despite a tough loss to Ohio State, Penn State is a good team in many areas and should continue to win big games. Especially as it re-opens CHA play, the Nittany Lions could manage to get pretty hot down the stretch.

What’s Next?

Penn State travels to University of New Hampshire to take on the Wildcats on December 9 and 10. 

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a freshman majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which can be both difficult and rewarding. If you want to debate anything about sports with him, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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