Women’s Hockey falls to No. 7 Mercyhurst
The Mercyhurst Women’s Ice Hockey team came out firing against Penn State Friday night at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
Penn State lost to Mercyhurst 5-2 to fall to 7-18-1 on the season. Mercyhurst improves to 20-5-1.
Mercyhurst scored goals throughout the contest as it flurried Penn State goaltender Celine Whitlinger with 64 shots.
Despite the outcome, the Penn State squad played one of its best games of the season. Coach Josh Brandwene was pleased with how his team played.
“I’m really proud of the compete level, I’m really proud of how they handled the adversary and how they stood toe to toe with the number seven team in the country out there today,” said Brandwene.
The Nittany Lions kept the Lakers off the board for the first nine minutes of the game. Christine Bestland put Mercyhurst on the board 9:27 into the first period, recording her first of three goals on the night.
Forward Kaleigh Chippy finished out the scoring for the first period, when she found the back of the net at 13:53 to make it 2-0 Mercyhurst.
Mercyhurst continued its scoring with Jenna Hendrikx putting the put past freshman goaltender Celine Whitlinger 4:52 into the second period.
Penn State freshman Hannah Hoenshell put her team on the board when she buried home a breakaway opportunity coming off a pass from defender Paige Jahnke.
Bestland scored her second of the game, while on a five on three power play 16:13 into the period off of a rebound Whitlinger couldn’t control to make it 4-1.
Penn State opened the scoring in the third period when Jordin Pardoski took advantage of a powerplay opportunity at 6:27 of the third period.
Bestland, the captain of the Lakers, finished off her hat-trick 8:40 into the third period when she put home a rebound following a shot from Lauren Jones for the final score of 5-2.
Three of the seven goals scored on the night occurred while on the power play. There were plenty of penalties to go around with the Nittany Lions being called for nine and the Lakers called for eight.
Freshman defender Jordin Pardoski explained the physicality.
“Today definitely was a physical game for both teams. I think both teams were really amped up,” said Pardoski. “We’re just ready to go for tomorrow.”
Whitlinger was given the start against Mercyhurst, giving junior goaltender Nicole Paniccia the night off. The freshman turned aside 59 of the 64 shots fired at her and saw 30 of the shots in the first period alone.
The young Nittany Lion squad relied on Whitlinger and its defense against the seventh ranked team in the nation and turned in an effort the whole team was proud of.
“Today was another turning point for our team. The last couple games have been very frustrating. Even though the score wasn’t what we hoped it to be, it was a really good game for our team,” said Pardoski.
The Nittany Lions are back in action on Saturday, February 2 at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion when they face-off with No. 7 Mercyhurst at 2 p.m.
Allie Rothman is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.