Penn State Women’s Hockey Falls to Syracuse
After going unbeaten in five games, the Penn State Nittany Lions (9-16-5, 5-6-5 CHA) dropped two games against conference rival Syracuse (14-13-3, 10-4-2 CHA).
The first game of the series, on Friday Feb 6, was a tightly contested battle that came down to the wire. The Orange started the scoring 16:08 into the game with Melissa Piacentini’s eighth goal of the season, but the Nittany Lions responded. Kelsey Crow scored on a slap shot from the top of the slot with 11:35 to go in the second period to knot the game up at one goal apiece.
Less than three minutes later, Laura Bowman scored her 11th goal of the season on a great feed from Amy Peterson. Peterson skated through the left circle, drawing Syracuse goalie Jenn Gilligan out and dished it to a wide open Bowman, who buried it.
With 2:42 to go in the third, the Orange scored on a Morgan Blank shot from the point. Nittany Lion goalie Celine Whitlinger made 38 stops on the night, but was screened from traffic in front on the shot from Blank.
In overtime, both teams worked back and forth, but with just 25 seconds remaining, Peterson was called for body checking. With just seven seconds left, Syracuse’s Jessica Sibley hammered home a rebound on a Megan Quinn shot.
“The second period was a great response on our part,” said Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene. “When we play our game, when we move our feet, and when we focus on the here and now and win our battles, I’ll take this hockey team over anybody in the country.”
On Saturday, the Nittany Lions finished up the series playing in their Skate for the Cure game. Playing in front of a pinked out crowd of almost 1,400 fans and with a new goalie in net, Hanna Ehresmann, the Nittany Lions got behind early.
“The fans were decked out in pink, we had the band, it was just an amazing atmosphere,” said Brandwene. “We had a 15 year cancer survivor dropping the ceremonial first puck it just gives you so much perspective.”
Just 56 seconds into the game, Emily Costales deflected a Stephanie Grossi shot to go up 1-0.
Midway through the second period, Bowman put the Nittany Lions on the board with an identical goal from the night before, just on the opposite side assisted by Peterson.
“[Bowman and Peterson] have been playing together since they were about five years old,” said Brandwene. “So they have a silent communication and understanding of where they’re going to be on the ice that really in a lot of ways is unparalleled.”
Minutes later though, Megan Quinn scored her sixth of the season on the powerplay with 7:10 left in the second. Quinn’s goal went on to be the game winner to complete the Orange sweep.
“I think we definitely knew where we stood in the CHA and where they stood,” said Peterson. “At this point every game matters and those weren’t the results we wanted this weekend, but we have to move on from here.”
The Nittany Lions continue their home stand with a series against Lindenwood, as February 12th’s faceoff is set for 7 p.m. and the second game will be February 13th at 2 p.m.
Brandon Pelter is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism and finance. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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