Penn State’s hockey teams had a full weekend on their hands. The women’s hockey team went 0-2 this weekend against Robert Morris while the men’s hockey team split their series 1-1 against Air Force. Combined, the two hockey clubs went 1-3 in their weekend games.
Friday night’s 5-1 loss against Air Force seemed to tilt more in Penn State’s favor than the score showed. The loss snapped the Nittany Lions four game win streak and while they led in shots 35-24, won 4 more face-offs, and had 4 less penalty minutes than Air Force, they were only able to net one goal in sixty minutes of play. However, that lone goal from junior forward Justin Kirchhevel was Penn State’s first club shorthanded goal of the year. PJ Musico was in goal again for the Nittany Lions and stopped 19 shots through three periods. This was his first loss in goal this year and is now 4-1-0 this season.
Saturday’s matchup was a much different story because this time, Penn State pulled out a 5-1 victory over Air Force. Not only was I in attendance for this game (may I add that combined, Penn State hockey is 2-0 this season when I visit their games), according to this tweet from the Daily Collegian’s Men’s Ice Hockey twitter, former NHL star turned coach and current United States Hockey Hall of Famer Eddie Olczyk was in the house for the game. His son, Tommy Olczyk, is the captain of the men’s team and celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday. Even though the captain didn’t put up any points in Saturday’s win, five different Nittany Lions scored, including David Glen. As a freshman, forward David Glen currently leads the team with six goals this season. Matthew Skoff – now 2-2-0 for the year – started in net for the Nittany Lions and faced 32 Air Force shots, allowing one goal early in the third. Also, two of Penn State’s five goals were empty netters within the last three minutes of the third period. The weekend split improves the men’s team record to 6-3-0 less than a quarter into the season.
The women also played out a hard fought series against Robert Morris this past Saturday and Sunday. In Saturday afternoon’s 7-1 loss, freshman forward Shannon Yoxheimer extended her seven game goal scoring streak with the only goal of the game for the Nittany Lions. While the team only put up 15 shots on goal in three periods, goalie Nicole Paniccia saved 36 shots for Penn State. Despite letting in 7 goals in the game, Paniccia has maintained a pretty sharp .925 SV% for the year. Sunday’s game went down the same road, with Penn State losing a tough game 4-1. Forward Micayla Catanzariti had the only goal this time in the third and it seemed to spark a late game comeback but Robert Morris held on for the win. Paniccia was back in net for the Nittany Lions and saved 49 out of 53 shots. This time the offense had 20 shots on goal and even though they are getting some chances, they definitely need to find more ways to get the puck on net in order to win. The two losses drop the women’s record to 4-7-1 on the year and 0-5-1 in the College Hockey America (CHA) league.
Both teams are headed on the road in the coming weeks. The women are headed on a 6 road game stretch and won’t be home again until January 4th of next year. They play two conference games against Lindenwood next Friday and Saturday. Lindenwood is currently winless on the season but they are hungry for their first win so it should be a great matchup. As for the men, they have this weekend off but they will return to action with two away games against Union, who are 6-2-1 right now. The men will return home at the end of this month to play Arizona State on November 30th.
Courtesy of GoPSUTV, you can watch highlights of both the men’s and women’s games on YouTube. Check out the men’s team highlights here and the women’s team highlights here. Next week, I’ll have a recap of the women’s games and a look ahead to both hockey clubs’ matches!
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