WHKY: Nittany Lions Fall in Final Home Series
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – It wasn’t quite how the seniors envisioned their final series at Pegula Ice Arena.
The Nittany Lions suffered a tough sweep this weekend at the hands of the Syracuse Orange, losing on Friday, 5-1, and on Saturday, 2-0, to finish the regular season at 9-20-5.
In Game one of the series, Penn State simply got out-hustled by Syracuse. After a scoreless first period, the Orange started the scoring at 5:33 of the second period, when Savannah Rennie put home the first of her two goals in the period to give Syracuse an early lead.
That lead was cut in half at 0:25 of the third period, however. Amy Petersen put home a shorthanded goal off a feed from Laura Bowman as the line-mates connected for a goal like both seniors have so many times in their careers.
“Yeah, we have a lot of chemistry,” Bowman remarked after the game.
“Of course right? That seems to be the way it's kind of gone throughout the course of the year...it was certainly fitting,” interim head coach Dean Jackson said about the duo that led his team in scoring this season, and linked up for the only goal the Nittany Lions would score on the weekend.
But the Orange would explode for three third period goals, cruising to an easy 5-1 win off of goals from Allie Munroe (6), Sarah Stuehr (1), and Stephanie Grossi (14). All four of Penn State’s seniors were honored on the ice after the game, with Amy Petersen, Sarah Nielsen, Laura Bowman, and Kelly Seward each being treated to a video montage on the center ice scoreboard, as well as a warm reception from friends, family and fans in attendance at Pegula.
In Game two of the series, the Nittany Lions were considerably more competitive. Emily Castales put home an empty net goal with just under a minute left to seal the 2-0 victory for the Orange. “It was a hard-fought, 60-minute game today. I thought we played extremely well,” Jackson commented after the contest.
The only goal Hannah Ehresmann (21 saves) gave up on Saturday came at 19:33 of the first period when Savannah Rennie put home a beautiful finish to put Syracuse up 1-0. The Nittany Lions had their chances, with four power play opportunities on the afternoon, but could not make the most of them.
“We had some chances...I give their goaltender credit, she made some big saves when we had those opportunities,” Jackson said. Abbey Miller (14 saves) was able to make the stops the Orange needed, only giving up a combined one goal on 31 shots she saw over the course of the series.
While the regular season comes to a close for the Nittany Lions, they have at least one more game left on their schedule. The CHA Tournament finds Penn State traveling to Buffalo, NY next weekend to take on RIT, a team they’ve had success against, beating the Tigers in three of four meetings this season. The puck drop for that game is at 7:30.
Zach Kaplan is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.