Women’s Hockey Knocks Off Two-Time CHA Defending Champs

Story posted February 28, 2016 in CommRadio, Sports by Keith Smith

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women’s hockey hosted the RIT Tigers at Pegula Ice Arena for the round one of the College Hockey America Tournament in a best of three series from Friday through Sunday, if need be.

The first period started with a lot of back and forth play; both teams had a hard time getting offensive zone chances. Penn State found momentum midway through the period and dominated RIT. The Nittany Lions scored a late first period goal with seconds left in the period taking a 1-0 lead into the locker room. 

Penn State came out in the second period with the same fire in their eyes they had when the first period concluded. The second period was all Penn State and a goal from Hannah Bramm put the Nittany Lions up 2-0 in with 12:46 left in second. Penn State continued to have the momentum throughout the second period. RIT showed some life late in the period but Celine Whitlinger shut down every shot that came her way, allowing the Nittany Lions to take a 2-0 after two periods of play. 

The third period started off with offensive zone presence for RIT that had netminder whitlinger making back to back saves before the Nittany lions could clear the puck out of the zone. Penn State got momentum back and gave RIT’s netminder De Jonge a workout, as she had to make a few saves of her own.

The momentum continued for the Nittany Lions as Cassie Clayton took a holding penalty giving Penn State the man advantage. RIT killed off the penalty but the Nittany Lions continued to have the momentum. RIT got a chance to score late in the third period as Kelly Seward took a hooking penalty giving the tigers a chance to came back in game.  RIT was unable to capitalize on the power play opportunity and gave the momentum back to the Nittany Lions. Penn State took game one with a final score of 2-0. 

"A well-balanced effort I felt from our hockey team tonight. I think the thing that I am most pleased with was our preparation and our outstanding start that we got off to today that was punctuated by Laura Bowman’s goal at the end of the first period,” coach Josh Brandwene after defeating RIT in game one. Game two would be played Saturday afternoon with a puck drop set for 2 p.m.

Penn State got the scoring started early in game two as Laura Bowman scored on a beautiful pass from linemate Amy Peterson giving the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead. RIT tried to come back in the period but Penn State continued to dominate offensively peppering netminder Jetta Rackleff with 14 shots. A late penalty from Jess Paton for RIT give Penn State a chance to increase their lead, the periods ends with 37 seconds left on the power play for the Nittany Lions coming into the second period. After one period of play the Nittany Lions took a 1-0 lead into the locker room. 

As the second period started RIT came out and slowed down the pace of the Nittany Lions by getting offensive zone presence. Both teams exchanged penalties making it 4 on 4 play. Neither team scored during the penalties, Moments later Shannon Yoxheimer for Penn State lights the lamp increasing the lead to 2-0. RIT took another penalty, which they find a way to kill off but seconds after the penalty expires Amy Petersen finds the back of the net giving Penn State a 3-0 lead. After Rackleff let the third goal behind her, RIT makes a goalie change putting Jenna De Jonge between pipes hoping for a chance to come back in the game. As the horn sounds the Nittany Lions have a 3-0 lead after two periods of play.

RIT found some life early on in the third as Caitlin Wallace gets a puck past net minder Ehresmann for Penn State, making this game 3-1. Trailing by two goals RIT kept fighting and after Remi Martin takes a cross checking penalty, the Tigers Carly Payrel lights the lamp and the NIttany Lions lead 3-2 with 7:11 left in the third. Penn State dug deep late in the third period to prevent RIT from scoring the tying goal and the Nittany Lions sweep the RIT Tigers in round 1 of the CHA tournament.

“I give RIT a ton of credit for their competitiveness, they've got a world class coaching staff, great people running that program. They gave us everything we could handle in the third period. I'm extremely proud of our team for their response, especially after the timeout in the third period,” Brandwene after defeating the Reigning CHA Champs 3-2 on Saturday afternoon. “It took a tremendous amount of poise to hit the reset button and right the ship. And they did an outstanding job, and it feels really good to close out the series. I'm really proud of this program for moving on to the CHA Final Four.”

Penn State will travel to Buffalo, New York to face Syracuse this weekend in round two of the tournament.


Keith Smith is a senior telecommunications major. To contact him, email kds5304@gmail.com or @iamkeithsmith on twitter.