Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Women's Hockey: Weekend Sweep Capped By OT Loss

Penn State battled back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game late in the third period and force an extra period of hockey, but the Lindenwood Lions took the momentum and the win out from under the Nittany Lions in the extra frame, besting Penn State 4-3 Sunday afternoon in the team’s most heartbreaking loss of the season.

Jordin Pardoski scored the tying goal with 1:36 remaining in the game with an extra skater out on the ice in the contest on her third goal of the season.

“Couldn’t be happier with Jordin Pardoski’s play, both as a defender and a leader.” Coach Brandwene said. “She stepped up to the plate big time this weekend, especially today when the team needed it.”

Amy Petersen scored her fourth goal of the year that put Penn State out ahead early and Laura Bowman added her ninth to keep her atop as the Nittany Lions’ leading goal scorer this season. Hannah Hoenshell put up two assists in the loss, her ninth and tenth of the season. Senior Nicole Paniccia started her second-consecutive game in goal for the Nittany Lions over backup netminder Celine Whitlinger.

The Nittany Lions gained an early power play opportunity when Lindenwood’s Alyssa West committed a body checking penalty 5:35 into the first frame. Shannon Yoxheimer had a chance in close but was denied by Lindenwood’s goaltender Nicole Hensley. Captain Taylor Gross almost had her eighth goal of the season but misfired on a set play one timer at the side of the net.

Petersen gave Penn State its first lead of the two game series on an opening period tally. Hannah Hoenshell circled behind Hensley in net and fed a quick pass in front to a waiting Petersen in the slot. The freshman then tapped it in past Hensley’s glove side to go up 1-0 with 11:52 gone.

The lead did not last long, as Lindenwood tied the game up quickly on a power play. With Bowman sitting in the box for hooking, Lindenwood’s Katie Erickson fired a slapshot from the left circle while Paniccia was screened in front of the net three and a half minutes after Petersen’s goal to tie the game 1-1.

With 51 seconds left in the period, Lindenwood stole the momentum and took the 2-1 lead on a breakaway goal late. Lion Jocelyn Slattery had a breakaway in the Penn State zone and fired a wrister past Paniccia’s outstretched glove and into the net for the Lindenwood lead heading into the first intermission.

Lindenwood extended its lead to 3-1 just 20 seconds into their second extra-skater advantage of the game at 1:22 of the second. On Bowman’s second penalty, this time for roughing, Lyndsay Kirkham for Lindenwood tipped a quick Rachel Welch shot in front of Paniccia that went up and over the Penn State goaltender’s left shoulder, who had no chance of stopping the redirection.

The 3-1 Lindenwood lead held going into the second intermission, despite Penn State outshooting Lindenwood through the first two periods.

Gross had a breakaway chance within the first minute of the third period but was tripped from behind by the Lindenwood defense and stopped easily by Hensley. The trip resulted in a Penn State power play but nothing came on that chance or on the ensuing extra skater advantage after Lindenwood went to the box for too many women on the ice after the first kill.

With 10:15 left in the game, Penn State cut Lindenwood’s lead down to one on Bowman’s ninth goal of the season. Hoenshell set up again behind the Lindenwood net and passed to Bowman at the front of the net and the freshman pounded home the puck through Hensley’s five hole and in to make it 3-2.

Penn State’s persistence paid off with less than two minutes remaining and Paniccia pulled for an extra skater, Jordin Pardoski blasted home a point shot from the blue line that looked to deflect off a Lindenwood defender and in past Hensley for the 3-3 tie to send the game into overtime.

In the overtime period, the Nittany Lions sustained pressure throughout the first few minutes, but a costly turnover at the blue line made Penn State pay. Lindenwood’s Kirkham forced the turnover to cause a 2-on-1 and passed to teammate Kendra Broad who put it through Paniccia all alone on the team’s only shot of the overtime period to steal a 4-3 win from the Nittany Lions.

Coach Brandwene said Sunday’s loss was “absolutely” the toughest heartbreaker the team’s lost this season. “When you fight that hard, that’s what makes it tough.”

Again, Penn State outshot their opponent through the 60-plus minutes of play. The Nittany Lions outshot Lindenwood 47-25 and 8-1 in the overtime period, though Lindenwood got it where it counted.

Lindenwood went 2-2 on the extra skater advantage to Penn State’s 0-5 in the three and a half periods of play.

The losses over the weekend put Penn State’s record at 4-22-1 (1-13-2 CHA). The Nittany Lions will play their last two home games of the season next Saturday and Sunday against No. 10 Mercyhurst. Saturday’s game starts at 8 p.m. while Sunday’s finale is at 1 p.m. at home.

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