Penn State Women’s Hockey Falls in Thriller
Penn State dropped a 3-2 thriller to the visiting Providence Friars in overtime. In what was a fast, physical game that swung on key power play goals, Penn State ultimately dropped a close one to a formidable Friars team.
Nittany Lions center Katie Rankin put her team on the scoreboard first with a power play goal five minutes into the first period. Rankin received the puck in front of the net off a pass from forward Natalie Heising.
“Our power play unit has been working hard in practice, trying to create seams and get pucks to the net, and that play was seamless, we had tic-tac-toe passing, and Natalie Heising made a good pass to the middle and I knew I had to get it off my stick and that’s what I did,” Rankin said.
Rankin’s score was quickly followed by a Providence goal, as Whitney Dove scored in the seventh minute off of a power play after PSU’s Katie McMillan was called for a cross-checking.
Friar’s Center Maureen Murphy was an offensive force all day long as she scored in the second period and in overtime to get the win. The speedy and aggressive Murphy scored while the Friars were short-handed two minutes into the second period after Kate Friesen was whistled for interference. Murphy’s defense contributed to her own goal, she stole the pick from the Nittany Lions at neutral ice and raced down to the goal to set herself up for the score.
Penn State would even the score in an exciting third period off of Katie McMillan’s even-strength goal nine minutes into the third period. Off a pass from Shea Nelson, McMillan found space to the left of the goal and lifted a lightning fast shot into the upper left hand corner of the net over the shoulder pad of Friar’s goalie Madison Myers.
Penn State looked much more aggressive and coordinated in its offensive attack during the third period, creating many prime offensive chances that they simply could not capitalize on. This all came after a very sluggish late first period and second period of play where the Lions seemed content to dump the puck into the boards and get to it before the Friars could.
“We showed really good waves of being relentless and it’s a matter of consistency as this point," Rankin said. "We have to do that for each period because we had a lot of chances, and we need to work on capitalizing and eliminating the mental mistakes, and if we do that we can get the win,” Rankin said.
Murphy’s dominance would prove to be icing on the cake for Providence as she scored the game winning goal a minute into the overtime period. Murphy received a beautiful pass from Hayley Lunny to seal the road win for the Friars.
Penn State head coach Jeff Kampersal was complimentary of Murphy’s performance after the game.
“Maureen Murphy is a great player, she has one of the quickest, most accurate releases. That overtime goal and the breakaway goal were absolute snipes,” Kampersal said.
Penn State concludes its series against Providence on Saturday at noon, as the Nittany Lions will look to come out with a series split.
Jeremy Ganes is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.