Penn State visited Rochester, New York this weekend and came away empty handed against the RIT Tigers, losing two close games, one 2-1 Friday night and the other 3-2 Saturday afternoon.
In game one Friday night, the Nittany Lions and Tigers went scoreless after the first two periods of play. RIT dominated play early in the game, but Penn State tightened up and were able to take back some of the momentum, outshooting the Tigers 10-7 in the second frame after being outshot 8-16 in the first. Taylor Gross broke the scoreless tie with 9 minutes left in the game for her fifth of the season, with Emily Laurenzi assisting on the tally. RIT tied it up three minutes later on a shot that beat Penn State goalie Nicole Paniccia, and then took the lead with 1:08 left in the game to take game one of the series on a hard loss for the Nittany Lions. Paniccia tallied 36 saves on 38 RIT Tiger shots in Friday night’s game.
Game two saw Penn State take a quick 2-0 lead in the first, thanks to two Jill Holdcroft strikes. Goal number one came on the power play, after RIT took a tripping penalty 7:49 into the frame and twelve seconds later, Holdcroft found the back of the net for her second tally this season. Her third came shorthanded on an RIT power play when Jess Desorcie went to the box for two minutes for hooking and an errant Tiger turnover turned into the team’s first shorthanded goal in their new Division I history. RIT came back got two goals from one of their own as well, one power play goal at the end of the second and one even strength tally to start the third from Marissa Maugeri on Penn State goalie Celine Whitlinger. The Tigers took the 3-2 lead, their first of the game, six minutes later and were able to hold off the Nittany Lions for the comeback win. Whitlinger saved 37 of 40 RIT shots, while the team as a whole put 23 shots on RIT goaltender Ali Binnington.
The loss brings Penn State’s record against RIT to 0-7-1 through the past two seasons and their overall season record to 2-11-1 (0-6-0 in the CHA). The Nittany Lions will travel to Lindenwood for a series next weekend on Friday and Saturday. Friday night’s puck will drop at 8 p.m. and Saturday’s at 3 p.m.