Penn State’s women’s hockey team had their final two regular season games this past weekend against Robert Morris University. Game one Friday night saw the Nittany Lions drop an early lead in a 4-1 loss, then lost 4-2 in their season finale Saturday afternoon.
Friday night’s loss against the Colonials actually got off to a great start for the Nittany Lions off the stick of Emily Laurenzi. The freshman netted her fourth goal of the season and gave the team a 1-0 lead, a lead that they eventually relinquished midway through the second period. RMU took the lead on a power play goal just three minutes later and did not look back. After that, the Colonials would shut out Penn State and hold them to only 14 shots in total for the night. Nittany Lion goalie Nicole Paniccia was in between the pipes and saved 59 of RMU’s 63 shots as well in the 4-1 loss. Despite the lead in the first, the Nittany Lions were not able to generate any opportunities whatsoever and it was clear that RMU controlled most of the play in this game.
Both teams would trade goals in the first period but Robert Morris would eventually score three straight to spoil Penn State’s last regular season game of the year. RMU tallied the first score with less than 5 minutes in the first frame but just 24 seconds later; Shannon Yoxheimer netted her 14th of the year to tie the game at one apiece. From there it was all RMU, as they scored three straight on Penn State netminder Celine Whitlinger. However, Taylor Gross would score a power play goal, her sixth of the year, to cut the Colonials lead in half but the comeback could not be completed. The shot count for the night was 57-12 in favor of RMU and Whitlinger saved 53 of them for the Nittany Lions. The two weekend losses puts Penn State’s regular season record at 7-24-2 overall and 1-17-2 in the CHA conference.
The regular season may be over for the women’s team, but they will play in the CHA Tournament starting this Friday against RIT. Round one will be a best-of-three series against the Tigers, all away in Rochester, New York. Penn State is ranked as the sixth seed while RIT holds the third seed in the tournament. The winner of the best-of-three will play second seeded Syracuse the following week in Erie. Game one is scheduled for Friday, game two Saturday, and if needed, game three on Sunday. All three games have 2 p.m. starts.
Also, the men will have their final faceoff of their regular season tonight in Wisconsin at 8:30 p.m. They lost their first game to the Badgers 5-0 in Madison but look to rebound tonight against a tough team to close out the season and their recap will be up within the next few days. As always, make sure to follow me on Twitter for all of your Penn State hockey needs!