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Penn State Women’s Hockey Sweeps Mercyhurst In Two-Game Set

Penn State women’s hockey (14-8-3) faced Mercyhurst (16-9-2) at Pegula Ice Arena for a two-game slate this weekend.

The Nittany Lions had a comeback in a 2-1 overtime win in game one after a solid performance from both goaltenders Friday afternoon. In game two, Penn State outplayed Mercyhurst and won 3-1, as Mallory Uihlein’s two goals were a huge factor.

How It Happened

Game One

Both teams played a clean and competitive game. Neither team scored in the first period, although both played well in every area. The Nittany Lions outshot the Lakers 10-6 in the opening sequence, however.

The second period turned out to be more of the same. Each team had spells of momentum throughout the sequence. Josie Bothun and Mercyhurst goaltender Ena Nystrøm were each playing very well. At that point in the game, Bothun had made 11 saves while Nystrøm had 20. 

Besides Nystrøm, another big reason why Mercyhurst was likely still in the game was its defense. The Lakers blocked a whopping 30 shots the entire game.

At the beginning of the third period, Mercyhurst finally broke through and scored almost instantly. Penn State was playing as if it had lost confidence or momentum. Nystrøm and the skaters in front of her were playing terrific and appeared to be on the verge of a win, until Natalie Heising leveled up the game with just over a minute remaining, sending the game into overtime.

Just a few seconds into overtime, Heising once again did what she does best, scoring a game-winning goal after getting the rebound shot from Rene Gangarosa. A brief coach’s challenge ruled that Heising did indeed score, giving the Nittany Lions a 2-1 victory.

Game Two

Round two of the series was the “skate for a cure” game against cancer, and many Nittany Lions taped their sticks pink for the game. Kiara Zanon opened up the game by getting ahead of the Mercyhurst defense and barely missed the net.

The scoring in game two got off to a much faster start. At 7:44 in the first period, Mallory Uihlein sniped a shot near the blue line and past Jenna Silvonen to make the game 1-0 for Penn State.

Much of the first period was dominated by Penn State’s offense. The Nittany Lions outshot the Lakers 11-5.

Penn State and Mercyhurst continued exchanging shots in the second period. Both teams also had trips to the penalty box.

Halfway through the period at 10:28, Mallory Uihlein did it again. Uihlein scored her second goal of the day, making the score 2-0.

Just a minute later at 9:32, Penn State scored yet again. This time, it was Amy Dobson, her first goal of the year.

Penn State’s third goal of the game prompted Jenna Silvonen to be swapped for Ena Nystrøm, who played very well as the starter in game one.

At 7:22 in the third period, Mercyhurst got on board. Marielle Parks got the Lakers back into the game on the power play. Penalties were a problem for both teams, as Penn State took five while Mercyhurst took three.

Penn State missed many chances to score again on an empty net, but it didn’t matter. The Nittany Lions defeated Mercyhurst 3-1, thus completing the series sweep against the Lakers.

Player Of The Series

While Mallory Uihlein and Natalie Heising had two goals each, the player of the series deserves to be Josie Bothun, who made over 20 saves in each game against one of the better teams in college hockey.

What’s Next?

Penn State hosts Syracuse on February 4 and 5. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

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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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