Your Guide To Penn State Women’s Hockey’s Postseason
No. 10 Penn State women’s hockey is coming off its best season in program history, finishing the regular season with a record of 24-8-2 (14-1-1 conference) and capturing the CHA regular-season title in the process.
The team has also been hot down the stretch, holding the third-best unbeaten streak in CHA history at 14-0-1 since November 26. Now that the postseason is looming, it’s time to go over the team’s path to the NCAA title.
CHA Conference Playoffs
The first stop on the blue and white’s journey is the CHA conference playoffs, a four-team tournament that will be played out over the next two weekends. Sitting in the top spot, the Nittany Lions will play No. 4-seeded Lindenwood at Pegula Ice Arena this weekend. The games are set for 2:30 p.m. on Friday, February 24; 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 25; and a tiebreaker is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 26.
The matchup looks easy on paper for the Nittany Lions, who have dominated Lindenwood as of late. The team has also announced a promotion for each game this weekend where the first 100 students to the arena will get free admission, adding to the excitement surrounding the series.
If it gets past Lindenwood, Penn State will face the winner of the Mercyhurst-Syracuse matchup across the bracket in the CHA championship game. The Nittany Lions have never lifted the postseason trophy and will be in prime position to take down their likely opponent and 13-time champion, Mercyhurst, in the final. Their competition will be stiff, though, as Laker goaltenders Ena Nystrøm and Jada Brenon have combined for nine shutouts this season.
If the Nittany Lions win against Lindenwood, the championship matchup will also be played in State College. The winner-take-all game is scheduled for March 4, and the victor will be granted an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship Tournament.
NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship
The big dance has eluded Penn State throughout its program’s 11-year history in Division I competition. This year, the Nittany Lions have a serious shot at not only entering the tournament but making serious noise on the national stage. If the Nittany Lions fail to secure the CHA championship, they are still in place to receive an at-large bid from the selection committee given their No. 10 USCHO poll rank. Once in the tournament, the team will face 10 other teams in a single elimination setting beginning March 10.
The Frozen Four, or the quarterfinals, will be held in AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minnesota, where in three days of competition, a winner will emerge. The Nittany Lions will have to contend with heavy favorites like Ohio State, Minnesota, and Yale, but with the immense talent on the roster and their seemingly unending unbeaten streak, this could be their year.
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About the Author
The Nittany Lions participated in a max-out lifting session to mark the end of winter workouts.
The Nittany Lions bested the Buckeyes on the heels of a strong second period.
Gaines was committed to the Nittany Lions for nearly a year.