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No. 11 Penn State Women’s Hockey Falls 3-1 To Mercyhurst

Following its resounding victory the afternoon prior, No. 11 Penn State women’s hockey (8-5-1) returned to Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday to finish its two-game series against Mercyhurst (6-6), losing to the Lakers 3-1.

After going down early, the Nittany Lions were able to tie the game up on a power play goal. Mercyhurst got ahead late in the third period and grabbed an empty netter as well, securing a series split.

How It Happened

As goalies Josie Bothun and Ena Nystrøm took their places to start the game, newly promoted first-line center Tessa Janecke won the opening draw for the Nittany Lions and the game was underway. Both teams had scoring chances early, but neither team was successful in converting on their opportunities.

Penn State’s Izzy Heminger was booked for roughing midway through the period, but the blue and white penalty kill unit locked down Mercyhurst’s offensive and the game remained even.

Picking up where they left off yesterday, there was clearly no love lost between the two sides as a scrum developed in Mercyhurst’s crease as the Nittany Lions chased a close rebound. After a stern talking to by the referees, play resumed, but Janecke was sent to the box a play later for an interference minor. Penn State was able to kill the penalty and end the period 0-0, holding on to a slim lead in the shot column of 13-12.

To start the second period, the Nittany Lions were able to get two shots off in a hurry but lost possession. As the puck entered the neutral zone, super senior Courtney Correia intercepted the puck but was sent to the ice as Mercyhurst’s Kylee Mahoney tripped her from behind. Though she was slow to get up, Correia rejoined the bench in short order.

Penn State was able to maintain its stranglehold of the puck for the majority of the period but conceded a three-on-one rush after an offensive zone turnover. Sydney Pederson was able to tuck the puck away for a score after a pass from Chantal Ste-Croix set her up in the low slot, making the game 1-0 Merceyhurst.

Tempers flared towards the end of the second period and Pederson was put in the penalty box for roughing after the whistle. Combined with a minor for too many players on the ice, the Nittany Lions were awarded a 5-on-3 advantage. Penn State diced the three Lakers on the ice for an open look on goal, and Kiara Zanon was able to convert in front of Nystrøm and knot the game up at 1-1.

After the tying goal, the puck spent most of its time in the neutral zone as time expired in period two.

The final frame opened without much shooting, but Mercyhurst had an incredible chance six minutes in and challenged Bothun, who came up with a triplet of highlight saves.

Tense action followed, as both teams attempted to edge out their opponents. Mercyhurst was able to strike with eight minutes to go, Thea Johansson was found at the backdoor of the crease for the tap-in go-ahead goal.

Penn State generated an enormous amount of offensive pressure, getting the puck to dangerous areas of the offensive zone on multiple occasions, but wasn’t able to click and finish the play. Pulling their goalie with a minute-and-thirty to go, the Nittany Lions were unable to tie the game up and the Lakers netted an insurance goal on the empty cage.

Takeaways

  • The Nittany Lions dominated the faceoff circle today, grabbing 65% of the draws. Unfortunately, their ability to retain possessions after the whistle didn’t translate into as many opportunities as last game.
  • Penn State was in control of the puck for seemingly the entire second period, shooting 12 to Mercyhurst’s three. Both teams scored a goal during the frame and the blue and white were unable to claim the lead on this lengthy stretch of pressure.
  • Though the box score shows 23 shots for Mercyhurst, Bothun was forced to make acrobatic saves to keep the Nittany Lions in this contest. Her efforts weren’t enough in the end, however, as the Lakers found an open skater on the back post that no goalie had no chance of saving.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions return to Pegula Ice Arena on Tuesday, November 8 to take on Brown in a two-game home stand. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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About the Author

Jack Scott

Jack is a sophomore aerospace engineer from Pittsburgh, PA. Sometimes, he enjoys the misunderstanding of his friends and family that Penn State Club Ski Racing may be a D1 sport and usually won't correct them. Jack is way too into Thundercat for his own good. Follow him on Twitter @joscottIV and Instagram @jackscott._iv

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