It may be a bit too early to label the Penn State women’s hockey team as comeback kids, but they definitely showed resiliency in their 4-2 win over the Vermont Catamounts on Saturday. Aided by great play by some new faces and equally great goaltending by sophomore Celine Whitlinger, the Nittany Lions came away from their first weekend of hockey with a record of 1-0-1.
Unlike Friday night’s game, the first period saw more than a fair share of goals. UVM’s Gina Repaci gave the Catamounts a 1-0 lead out of a pile of traffic in front of goaltender Whitlinger at 6:51 in the first. Yet just over five minutes later, Kelly Seward added her second goal of the season – her second in two games – off a point shot that sailed past UVM netminder Roxanne Douville. A mere twelve seconds later, freshman Laura Bowman tallied her first collegiate hockey goal to give the Nittany Lions the 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
The second period started off much more frantically than the first. With 16:12 to play in the second frame, Dayna Colang of the Catamounts tied the game at 2 for UVM off of coincidental minors that forced the teams to play 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes. Eight seconds later; however, Hannah Hoenshell tallied her second point of the night – her first came on an assist to Bowman’s goal – to give the Nittany Lions back the lead off great self effort play to take the puck to the net herself. Bowman then scored again with 2:44 left in the frame thanks to some beautiful work by Hoenshell around defenders and then an on-the-tape pass to Bowman who buried it from the side of the net. Penn State was then content to let their two goal lead sit in the third period by letting goaltender Whitlinger shine along with some good defensive play to net them their first win of the 2013-14 season.
Besides Bowman’s two goal night and Hoenshell’s three point game, goalie Whitlinger saved 37 shots in the game in her season debut with the team. This was her second win with the team, her first coming last season against the Chatham Cougars. The Catamounts outshot the Nittany Lions again, but this time by a lesser margin of 22-39. Both teams couldn’t connect on the extra attacker advantage as well, with UVM going 0-2 and Penn State 0-3.
Next week, the women will take on the 1-0-1 Quinnipiac Bobcats up in Hamden, Connecticut on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. Unfortunately, I will not be livetweeting Friday night’s game, as I will be in the press box for the men’s opener against Army, but Thank You Terry always does great liveblogs so check that out in my absence. Saturday’s game will also not be livetweeted, due to homecoming, but if livestream links are made available, I will broadcast them out. In the meantime, the Penn State Women’s Hockey twitter always has good updates as well.