Penn State Completes Sweep Against RIT in Final Series Before Break
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State women’s hockey (6-8-4, 2-3-1) beat the RIT Tigers (4-10-2, 1-5-0) Saturday afternoon 6-2 in Pegula Ice Arena to close out the first half of the season.
This is the first time this season that Penn State has scored five or more goals in a game. Finishing 3-6-2 in their previous 11 games, the Nittany Lions were desperate for a dominant win before nearly a month’s break of play. They weren’t commanding throughout the entire game, but they did enough to break away late, as five of their six goals were scored in the final period.
Although Penn State actually had 16 shots to just seven for RIT in the first period, physicality and aggression from both teams caused even puck possession as the game was tied 1-1 after one.
Penn State senior forward Amanda McLeod put the first goal on the board just four minutes in, but RIT answered exactly nine minutes later on a power play goal from the Big Ten logo by senior defender Taylor Baker to even up the score when Penn State sophomore Izzy Heminger was in the penalty box for tripping.
The second period was an even defensive battle as neither team was able to score and neither team put up double digit shots, Penn State having seven and RIT having two. The Nittany Lions had two great opportunities to take the lead go to waste.
Just three minutes in, Heminger missed just left on a close shot on a rebound that forced RIT senior goalie Terra Lanteigne out of position. With a minute and a half left to go before the second intermission, junior forward Natalie Heising broke away from defenders for an open center shot, but she was too fancy with it as the puck hit the left crossbar and bounced right back into RIT’s grasp.
Penn State finally turned on the jets in the third period as they scored five goals to give them a 6-2 victory. Senior forward Katie McMillan got things started just a minute in, sophomore forward Anna Promersberger recorded her first goal of the season two and a half minutes later, junior forward Shea Nelson scored less than a minute after that, and Heising solidified the victory by scoring two goals with less than 10 minutes to go for her fifth and sixth goals of the year.
RIT sophomore defender Madison Itagaki gave the Tigers another power play goal, but it was far too late for a comeback with just 1:30 to go.
Head coach Jeff Kampersal was worried about limiting penalties heading into the break. They committed six Saturday, and two of them caused RIT to score. But he was also proud of the way his team dominated the third period after struggling on offense in the first two, emphasizing the depth of the team, as five different players scored a goal.
“They’ve worked really hard all year, and it’s nice for them to finally be rewarded for their efforts,” Kampersal said.
The Nittany Lions will be off until Jan. 3 when they host New Hampshire in a two-game series. This will be a big test for Penn State, as New Hampshire sits at 9-7-2 on the season.
Jack McCune is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Jack McCune is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism from Yardley, Pennsylvania, which is outside of Philly and just across the Delaware River from New Jersey. He attended Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. He’s a huge fan of the Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, Penn State football and Penn State basketball. He’s a sports anchor and multimedia reporter for the Centre County Report. He’s a Football Insider for CommRadio. His talk show, Broad Street Bros, airs Thursday nights at 5:45, as he talks about Philly and Penn State sports. He hopes to some day become a play-by-play announcer for football, basketball and/or baseball, and he is also interested in becoming a bartender.