Penn State Dominates Down the Stretch to Snag Senior Day Win
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Despite a sluggish first period, the No. 12-ranked Penn State women’s hockey team (20-8-2 overall, 10-1-1 CHA) dominated the second and third frames of the game, picking up a decisive 6-3 victory on Senior Day against Lindenwood (3-23 overall, 3-9 CHA).
It was a tail of two games, as Penn State came out looking flat throughout the first 20 minutes. The Nittany Lions didn’t record their first shot on goal until roughly seven-and-a-half minutes into the game and struggled to keep possession of the puck despite dominating in the faceoff circle.
Morgan Neitzke – who scored the final goal of a 5-1 loss on Friday night for Lindenwood – scored the first goal of this game with 2:34 left in the first period, finally getting past goalie Josie Bothun with assists from Chloe Corbin and Sydney Rarick.
The score stood at 1-0 entering the first intermission, with Penn State only putting four shots on goal as opposed to Lindenwood’s eight.
The Nittany Lions came out firing in the second period, recording more shots on goal in the first two minutes of the frame than they had throughout the entirety of the first period. But it was once again the Lady Lions for Lindenwood who struck first, as Rarick scored off a Neitzke assist to go up 2-0.
Despite the early second-period goal from Lindenwood, Penn State began to dominate throughout the rest of the period.
Senior Courtney Correia finally found the back of the net on Penn State’s 13th shot of the period, with assists from Lexi Bedier and Olivia Wallin. Wallin then laced in a goal of her own with an assist from Eleri MacKay, leaving the game tied at 2 entering the final 20 minutes.
After outshooting Lindenwood 22-5 in the second period, Penn State continued attacking the net throughout the third. The go-ahead goal came with just over three minutes elapsed in the final period when MacKay found pay dirt with help from Tessa Janecke and Rene Gangarosa.
Penn State’s leading scorer – Kiara Zanon – decided to join in the fun as well, as she scored off a faceoff for her 21st goal of the season, a new school record. The goal also gave Zanon her 41st point of the season, breaking a record that she previously held.
The scoring spree continued just over a minute later, as MacKay – who tallied two goals and three points Friday night – grabbed her second goal and third point of this match off a power play. The senior’s second goal was assisted by fellow seniors Correia and Mallory Uihlein.
With the game well in hand, Penn State tallied one more goal in the final five minutes, with Alyssa Machado cashing in off a Zanon assist to grow the advantage to 6-2. With 46 seconds remaining, Lindenwood found the back of the net one last time, as Thea Jørgensen scored off a feed from Rachel Goff to complete the 6-3 final score.
After being out-shot 8-4 in the first period, Penn State went on to outshoot Lindenwood 41-14 the rest of the way. Penn State’s faceoff domination also continued through the entire game, as they held a 49-21 advantage in that category.
Bothun recorded 19 saves on 22 shots, while Lindenwood goalie Natalie Ferenc had 39 saves on Penn State’s 45 shots.
With the final home series of the regular season in the books, Penn State will head to Syracuse to play the Orange on Feb. 3-4.
Kasey Kreider is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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