Women’s Hockey Finishes the Sweep and Completes a Successful PSU Hockey Weekend

posted January 19, 2015 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Bobbyn

It was a big weekend for Penn State Hockey.  After the men’s team beat Michigan State 5-2 on Saturday, they moved to number one in the Big Ten standings.  The Penn State women’s hockey team (11-9-3, 6-4-1 CHA) sits at second place in the College Hockey America conference, and remained there after taking on the Tigers of RIT (8-13-3, 2-7-1 CHA) on Saturday and Sunday at the Pegula Ice Arena.

When describing his hockey team, head coach Josh Bradwene used one word: “Growth.  Just tremendous growth.” 

Bradwene was impressed with how the team has fought through adversity, and how they were able to seal a two-game sweep at home.

The first game began in a back and forth fashion as both teams lost and regained possession of the puck equally.  Goalie Celine Whitlinger had three key saves in the first seven minutes of play, snatching two shots with her dominant left glove. 

“Celine was so efficient, so poised, so square all weekend long,” said Brandwene of his goalies’ weekend performance. 

Through 20 minutes of first period play the game was scoreless.  However, the second period was filled with much more excitement.  In the third minute of play, RIT’s Celeste Brown sent the puck close to the goal, where Jess Paton was able to get her stick on the ice and knock it in for a Tiger score. 

The Lady Lions bounced back quickly when Shannon Yoxheimer was able to capitalize on Penn State’s third power play of the afternoon.  The goal gave the Lions the confidence they needed.  Shortly after the power play goal, Bella Sutton seized a shot opportunity, placing the puck in the top shelf of the goal.

“I got the puck at the point and really I was just trying to throw it on net, and my teammates did a good job of screening and getting me that puck,” said Sutton.  

The second period ended 2-1, and the Lady Lions went into the third period with a head of steam.  Penn State stayed on the offensive attack, but the Tigers put up a strong defensive front, being lead by senior defenseman Morgan Scoyne.  Despite their best efforts, the Tigers couldn’t come back and Penn State took the first game.

When the teams met again on Sunday, RIT came out hot.  RIT dominated offensively with 13 shots on goal.  However, Penn State’s defense remained strong and sent RIT to the locker room scoreless in the first period. 

The game began to intensify only minutes into the second period.  The two CHA rivals got into some verbal and physical altercations down on the ice, which ended up sending Penn State’s Micayla Catanzariti to the penalty box.  Despite being a woman down, the Nittany Lions were able to find the back of the net when Laura Bowman found herself in a one-on-one opportunity with RIT goalie Ali Binnington.  The goal sent Penn State into the third period with the lead. 

Penn State struck again halfway through the third period when Bella Sutton took a shot from the point that found its way to the back of the net. 

“I was just hoping to get a nice [shot] on the net for my teammates to tip in or rebound in.  I didn’t know it was originally mine.  I could care less, I was just happy that we got one on the board,” said Sutton.

The Tigers scored for the first time when the stick of Cassie Clayton found the puck in a mob of people.  However, the celebration was short lived.  Penn State bounced right back when Yoxheimer and Hannah Hoenshell found themselves in a two-on-one situation.  Yoxheimer had the assist to Honeshell, who only had the goalie to beat.  She did just that, putting Penn State up by two. 

The Tigers were unable to recover, and Penn State sealed their second victory of the weekend. 

“We’ve got just great chemistry right now… stick with the process and it’s only a matter of time,” said Bradwene.

The Penn State women’s hockey team will look to stick to that process as they travel to the University of New Hampshire this Friday.  The puck hits the ice at 7 p.m.

Alex Bobbyn is a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism.  To contact him, email aeb5671@psu.edu.