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No. 12 Penn State Women’s Hockey Shuts Out Syracuse 4-0

No. 12 Penn State women’s hockey (12-8-1) took on its CHA conference opponent, Syracuse (7-10-1), and handily defeated the Orange in a 4-0 shutout.

The Nittany Lions took the lead in a competitive first period and never looked back, stacking on goal after goal en route to a resounding victory.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions started the reliable Josie Bothun in the cage, making her 74th career appearance for the blue and white. The Orange opted for Arielle DeSmet.

The Nittany Lions looked strong out of the gate, maintaining pressure in the offensive zone and holding a firm forecheck to keep the Orange from seeing many opportunities.

Penn State almost struck early as Eleri MacKay cut down the left wing of the zone and unloaded a snapshot, only for the puck to ring off the iron and bounce out of play.

The Nittany Lions found themselves a player down as Courtney Correia was called for tripping, prompting a penalty kill situation. Bothun was called upon to make multiple goal-front stops and turned the puck away, and Penn State returned to full strength.

Syracuse tilted the ice in their favor following the penalty, holding the lion’s share of possession and forcing lots of face-offs in Penn State’s defensive zone. Strong play from Bothun kept the Nittany Lions level with the Orange as the period ticked down.

Penn State took the lead at the end of the first period when Kiara Zanon scored her 90th career point, receiving a pass from Olivia Wallin at the goal mouth and placing the puck out of DeSmet’s reach for the goal.

The period expired with the Nittany Lions on top 1-0.

The second period started evenly matched, as Penn State kept the puck in threatening situations but Syracuse’s defense was unwavering. The Nittany Lions almost doubled their lead after a Tessa Janecke snipe beat DeSmet glove-side-high, but the shot hit the pipe and returned to play.

Penn State was awarded the power play after Mik Todd was called for tripping and got on the offensive in a hurry, peppering DeSmet with shots. The power play unit wasn’t able to convert, however, and the Orange returned to full strength.

The Nittany Lions carried the momentum from their power play chances into five-on-five and kept the pressure on Syracuse, turning the puck on net at every opportunity. They finally broke through as a centering pass made its way to the point and Izzy Heminger hammered it home for the 2-0 goal.

Penn State didn’t wait long to double down as just 18 seconds later, Zanon broke into the zone and slid the puck past two defenders to find Alyssa Machado open in the slot. She fired it home and put the Nittany Lions up 3-0.

As the game went into the third period, Penn State maintained its chokehold on the puck, not allowing a shot on goal for the first 11 minutes of the period. The Nittany Lions were dangerous on multiple occasions, hunting for rebounds in the crease but were unable to convert as traffic converged on the puck.

The Nittany Lions were tasked with a second power play in the middle of the third period as Machado caught a hooking minor. Penn State cleared the puck at will and held Syracuse to just one shot on its advantage.

Penn State tacked on a fourth goal with five to go, as Janecke forced a turnover on the doorstep of the goal and cooly put the puck past DeSmet for her 12th goal of the season.

The third period expired and the Nittany Lions came out on top 4-0.

Takeaways

  • The Nittany Lions were lights out to start the third period, as they held Syracuse shotless for 11 straight minutes. They only conceded 17 in the game, helping Josie Bothun get her fifth shutout of the year.
  • Kiara Zanon netted three points this outing, grabbing a goal and two assists. With 92 points on her career, 100 is in sight in the near future.
  • Penn State maintained possession by winning draws today, getting 31 of 50 face-offs and keeping the puck to itself.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will return to Pegula Ice Arena tomorrow, December 4, to finish their series against Syracuse. Puck drop is set for 1 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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