Penn State Learns Lessons in 5-1 Loss to Robert Morris

Story posted November 12, 2012 in Sports, CommRadio by Pat White

The Penn State women’s ice hockey team fell to College Hockey America foe, Robert Morris 7-1 at Greenberg Ice Pavilion Saturday afternoon. The loss snapped the Nittany Lion’s two game winning streak.

Penn State began the game with a lot of energy and intensity against Robert Morris. They controlled the tempo early on with some sustained offensive pressure. Midway through the period, the ice began to tilt down in Robert Morris’ favor.

“The first 10 minutes was about some of the best hockey we’ve played all year and I was really pleased,” Brandwene said. “They came out of the locker room well prepared, fired up, some of the best execution all year, and we had a great rhythm through that first ten minutes.”

Brandwene said the remaining 50 minutes was a major struggle for his team.

“Instead of playing the ice and doing the little things right, we started playing the scoreboard,” Brandwene said.

Robert Morris pinned Penn State down in their zone and peppered goaltender Nicole Paniccia with shots from in tight. After a scramble in front of the net, Robert Morris forward Rebecca Vint jammed the puck between Paniccia’s legs to give Robert Morris the 1-0 lead. The goal would begin a five minute onslaught by Robert Morris.

After a tripping penalty was assessed to Penn State forward Jenna Welch, Vint struck again. She carried the puck down the left wing and fired a backhand shot that beat Paniccia high on the glove side.

Robert Morris would extend the lead to 3-0 when Kylie St. Louis lit the lamp for the Colonials. Penn State defender Madison Smiddy lost her stick as St. Louis drove hard to the net and beat Paniccia under the blocker.

Another goal by Rebecca Vint just under a minute later forced Penn State coach Josh Brandwene to take a timeout. Brandwene was pleased with his team’s response.

“I thought we responded pretty well,” Brandwene said. “They gained a little bit of themselves back again so that was certainly something positive we took going into the locker room after the first period.

Penn State slowed the game down in the second period and hung tight with Robert Morris through the first eight minutes. The momentum did not last long as Robert Morris forward Thea Imbrogno capitalized on a beautiful passing play on the rush set up by Kristen Richards.

Penn State would respond with a goal.  Captain Taylor Gross found forward Shannon Yoxheimer in the left circle, and the freshman fired a wrist shot that beat goaltender Kristen DiCiocco. The goal was Yoxheimer’s tenth goal on the season, tying her for the CHA lead in goals. She has scored a goal in seven straight games for the Nittany Lions.

“It was a nice faceoff by Taylor and I just found the back of the net,” Yoxheimer said of her goal.

The game belonged to Rebecca Vint, who scored her fourth goal of the game two minutes later when she corralled a rebound in front and punched it home to give Robert Morris the 6-1 lead.

Vint would cap off her career night with a fifth goal when she slipped the puck past Paniccia on the side of the net.

Yoxheimer said that the bench was alive and cheering during the first 10 minutes. After the scoring spree by Robert Morris, she said the bench hung their heads.

“We can take away that getting down on [ourselves] doesn’t help anyone,” Yoxheimer said. “Looking at the scoreboard can mentality mess with your mind rather than just playing the game.”

Brandwene said his team needs to address the mistakes, and prepare for the next game.

“First take lessons from it and you need to reflect and learn what you have to do better.” Brandwene said. “Once you’ve done that, you put it away and start over fresh cause anything can happen.”

Pat White is a senior majoring in journalism. To contact him, e-mail pmw5072@psu.edu.