Women’s Hockey Weekend Recap: Penn State vs. Robert Morris

Story posted January 24, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Alissa Devine

FRIDAY: Penn State edges Robert Morris 3-2 in Happy Valley return

Penn State women’s hockey was welcomed back into Pegula Ice Arena for their first home game of the New Year after two months. What better homecoming than a 3-2 overtime win against the Robert Morris Colonials.

The Nittany Lions looked slow and shaky to begin the game, but dominated the overtime when it really counted, standing strong defensively and moving their feet on offense.

The little plays really made the difference for the Blue and White to start the game, which gave them momentum and rhythm late in the first. Simple plays, working hard, and capitalizing on open space in the ice gave the Nittany Lions momentum to build on and led to the first goal of the game.

The first goal came from the dominant line of Hannah Bramm, Amy Peterson, and Laura Bowman 17 minutes into the game. They were able to capitalize on odd man rushes that Robert Morris gave up because of their east and west game played through the neutral zone. The Nittany Lions were able to move the puck easily into the offensive zone, allowing Peterson to perfectly move the puck and set up Bramm for her sixth goal in front. Penn State continuously supported each other in the offensive zone allowing for offensive chances and an early lead.

The second goal was a similar story and again came from a Peterson assist and Bramm goal in front of Robert Morris’ Jessica Dodds.

Hannah Bramm working her way into the lineup with Amy Peterson and Laura Bowman has benefitted the Lions thus far and proved to be the most dominant line for the Blue and White. They are all able to find the space they need because of great communication and timing, allowing for such success.

Bramm commented on how natural it is to play on the line with Peterson and Bowman because of similar playing styles saying, “we like to move the puck fast, skate together, and share the puck with each other.”

Despite the early lead, Penn State gave up two goals in the third period, which as been the story for this hockey team so far this season. The Nittany Lions have had tight games all season as a result of late goals given up in the third.  However, this time the Nittany Lions responded in a resilient manner ending the third period and coming out stronger and faster than ever in the over time. Their response after the Colonials second goal was especially notable. Once the faceoff dropped in that instant, Penn State seized all the momentum and took their first game back on home ice.

The defense late in the third period especially electrified the Nittany Lions, giving them all the momentum in over time. Penn State’s defense was extremely poised and disciplined, giving an overall strong effort. The play of Emily Laurenzi was particularly noteworthy after blocking three shots in the span of about 30 seconds.

They’re great at picking up sticks in front and on the penalty kill they did a really great job of picking girls up in front”, Celine Whitlinger commented about her defense’s performance tonight. “Its great that they will put themselves out there and I know they have my back.”

Coach Josh Brandwene commented on Penn State’s dominant play and said, “you can point to the resilience and the response we got from our team today. That is total credit to them for how they finished the third period strong and that over time was something else and that’s something that I’m really proud of.”

When making good decisions and moving their feet, this team plays their best hockey. That was the theme Brandwene harped on going into the overtime. Penn State went into “beast mode,” according to Brandwene. There was a full team effort in the final minutes of the overtime, which led to the final goal of the game with Bella Sutton in front.

Coach commented on his team’s mindset going into the overtime and going into tomorrow’s afternoon game saying, “Our theme headed into the overtime was once you get the puck down there it's go time. Move your feet. You really saw that in all three of our lines throughout the overtime. They were just in beast mode down there, grinding the puck down low. It really was a total team effort in the offensive zone.”

Penn State will be ready to come out just as resilient as they did to start the over time. Watch for fast moving feet and grinding play as Penn State takes on Robert Morris for the second game of the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Pegula Ice Arena.

 

SATURDAY: Penn State, Robert Morris Draw at two

Tight games have been the story so far this season for Penn State women’s hockey. Penn State’s 2-2 tie against the Robert Morris Colonials was no exception.

There is a great amount of respect for both teams that battled so hard throughout the whole weekend’s contest. Both Penn State and Robert Morris have talented and determined players that looked to take another win, as playoffs seem to be closer than ever.

Coach Josh Brandwene commented on his thoughts about the two battling teams:,  “Well some days like yesterday you get the last good bounce of the day. Certainly the work that we put into yesterday we got that last good bounce. Today was one of those days we did not get that last good bounce, but that was almost 130 minutes of out mount war between two great hockey teams that have tremendous respect for each other.”

Robert Morris being one of the top teams scoring-wise in the CHL was no easy opponent. Penn State played well offensively against the Colonials, getting the early chances, and defensively shutting down Robert Morris for a majority of the game. Robert Morris looked slow compared to the Nittany Lions, who did a better job of moving their feet to create space and offensive opportunities.

Going into the first period the Nittany Lions had momentum from last night’s game and gave them the early goal coming only 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the first period.

Again the offensive production came from the Hannah Bramm, Amy Peterson and Laura Bowman line seen in last night’s game as well. For the third time this weekend Bramm found the back of the net scoring her eighth goal of the season in front, giving Bowman her fifth assist on the season.

Peterson had scoring chances all game, finding open ice and getting in front of the net to generate those chances and get the puck in the back of the net. Again creating space for herself, Peterson took on Robert Morris defender one-on-one beating the defender and goalie Jessica Dodds for a top-shelf goal 9:35 in the third period.

The chemistry and support of the top line for the Blue and White has been generating the team’s offense and competitive intensity to get work done in the offensive zone.

“I think the biggest thing is that we try to think of our line mates before ourselves. So trying to make a tape to tape pass whether or not you’re going to get hit after is really important to us” Bowman said on her line with Bramm and Peterson. “We really like to make pretty plays rather than slapping the puck around and I think that really helps us make those plays, break out and get those odd man rushes that we have been scoring on.”

Support and selflessness was seen from all lines of Penn State’s team, offensively and defensively. Despite giving up another lead in the third, Penn State’s effort defensively gave them the opportunity to close out the game and get the edge over Robert Morris. However, the unlucky bounces at the end of the third proved otherwise.

The Nittany Lions had a total of 18 blocked shots for today’s game alone. Their willingness to sacrifice for the team will be a great asset for games to come, especially in the playoffs.

Brandwene commented on effort seen on both ends of the ice saying, “Commitment to both ends of the ice helped us. They did a great job backchecking today and they did a great job of blocking shots. Hannah Bramm had a whole bunch of blocked shots and that’s playing a complete game.”

Chemistry, support, and selflessness has proved to be important for the Nittany Lions’ success on the ice. Moving forward, the team looks to keep up their intensity, but also the love and support proving to positively impact this hockey team’s success.

“I think our chemistry has just developed that much more,” Peterson said after today’s game. “We’re just having fun out on the ice with each other, trying to make some plays and do the best we can. I think it just shows that we’re improving each game.”

Look for more selfless, but intense play as Penn State takes on RIT for their second weekend in a row at home in Happy Valley.

 

Alissa Devine is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email alissadevine96@gmail.com.