Penn State beats Lindenwood 2-1 to Sweep Series
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Women’s Hockey defeated Lindenwood 2-1 in the Skate for a Cure game on Monday at Pegula Ice Arena.
Penn State started out a bit slow compared to the effort of the Lindenwood Lions. The Lions came roaring out of the gate sustaining offensive pressure in the Nittany Lions zone.
On Sunday, Nittany Lion goaltender Jenna Brenneman shutout Lindenwood in what would be her fourth shutout of the season. She is now tied for the all-time school record for shutouts in a single season.
Heading into the second game of the series, Penn State would flip the script. For the majority of the opening period, the Nittany Lions outshot Lindenwood 12 to three in the first 20 minutes of play. The Nittany Lions also excelled at controlling the puck early, winning 10 faceoffs to the Lions three.
Penn State left wing Amanda McLeod was called for a hooking penalty, but the Nittany Lions nullified the Lindenwood power play by clearing the puck and earning faceoffs in Lindenwood’s zone, grabbing a couple prime shorthanded goal opportunities in which they were unable to capitalize.
Missed opportunities became a theme of this matchup, as Penn State would fail to score on their first power play opportunity of the day. The Nittany Lions racked up 19 shot attempts without producing a goal before Lindenwood scored first on a goal by left wing Cierra Paisley. The Lions came out with great energy after a stoppage of play.
Penn State would get the equalizer they needed on a goal from Natalie Heising, who continued her impressive season with a score to tie the game up 1-1 at 11 minutes into the second period.
Despite finally converting on an offensive opportunity in the second period, it felt as if Penn State left goals on the ice. Lindenwood goaltender Sophie Wolf made several impressive saves to keep the score even.
Penn State broke the tie with Natalie Heising’s second goal of the game. Heising scored on the Nittany Lions’ sixth power play opportunity after failing to convert on their first five man advantages.
Wolf exited the game briefly for what appeared to be a broken skate, and she was replaced by Annika Asplundh, who made seven saves in three minutes of action.
“We still need to a better job of putting the puck in the back of the net regardless of who’s in there,” Penn State head coach Jeff Kampersal said.
Wolf earned second star honors for her play, making 43 saves for a robust .956 save percentage, a commendable performance that came up short in a tight loss.
Heising led the way for the Nittany Lions, scoring two goals on ten shots. Jessica Adolfsson tallied an assist for her pass to set up Heising’s go-ahead score.
Penn State had an abundance of offensive chances throughout the game, registering 52 shots to Lindenwood’s 14. The Nittany Lions also controlled the puck for much of the game, winning 39 faceoffs while Lindenwood won the puck drop 19 times. Center Katie Rankin won 19 faceoffs for the Nittany Lions.
“Rankin is a stud in the faceoff circle, last year she was close to 65 percent [faceoff wins]. She started out slow this year in terms of the faceoffs, but since BU and a little bit before that she started coming on. She’s a really mentally tough kid and a good competitor,” Kampersal said.
Penn State returns to the ice next Friday, January 25 for a two game series at Syracuse.
Jeremy Ganes is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.