Penn State was shut out in their CHA opener at home against Robert Morris 4-0 Halloween night on Thursday. Nicole Paniccia made 33 saves in net for the Nittany Lions, but the team couldn’t keep up with the Colonials as they were outshot 37-18 through three periods.
Robert Morris took the early 1-0 lead just 2:17 into the game. On the Colonial’s first shot of the game, Katie Fergus took a nice tape-to-tape pass from Mackenzie Johnson at the bottom of the left circle to beat starting Penn State goaltender Nicole Paniccia stick side. Paniccia came up big after that for the Nittany Lions in the first, stopping the remaining 14 shots that came her way with some help from the PK unit on a Birdie Shaw hooking penalty about halfway through the period. Penn State seemed to find their legs a little after that, but were outshot 15-4 by the Colonials after one.
The ice seemed more even at the start of the second period, but Robert Morris was able to take control again and RMU forward Rebecca Vint capitalized on a rebound with 7:11 gone in the period after Paniccia made a great save on the initial attempt but was unable to stop the second shot as it slid through her stick side to make it 2-0 Colonials. Then with about nine minutes left in the frame, RMU tallied its third goal of the night on a 3-on-2 rush that forward Maeve Garvey was able to get a skate on to make it 3-0.
Penn State arguably had their best period of the night in the third and final frame of the game. The Nittany Lions finally got their first power play of the night in the period but despite putting up four shots on the extra skater advantage, Penn State couldn’t net one on RMU goalie Courtney Vinet. The team got their best chance of the game with 8:52 left to go as a shot trickled through to the side of the net but the team couldn’t get it past Vinet. Robert Morris added one more insurance goal off of Brittany Howard’s unassisted tallyt that beat Paniccia to make it 4-0 and to seal the win for the Colonials.
Despite being outshot through three periods, Penn State did outshoot Robert Morris 10-9 in the final period, doubling their shot total through the first two periods. Shannon Yoxheimer led the team with four shots in the game, followed by Amy Petersen with three.
Penn State will have a chance to tie the series with Robert Morris as they rematch the Colonials Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.