Penn State Women’s Hockey Drops Second Straight to New Hampshire
After an offensive explosion on Saturday, that featured a total of 13 goals between New Hampshire and Penn State, the Nittany Lions fell victim again to the Wildcats 3-1, on Sunday.
“The effort is always there,” said Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene. “Got to give credit to UNH for a really good game plan.”
After both teams failed to score in the first period, signs of Saturday picked up in the first two minutes of the second period, when New Hampshire (5-2-1) junior defender, Jess Ryan scored on power play.
Ryan threw in another power play goal from just inside the blue line, to give New Hampshire a 2-0 lead.
“They (UNH) have multiple things they’re trying to do on their power play,” said Brandwene. “It’s a matter of taking away lanes, taking away those high risk areas and to a certain degree we did that.”
Penn State (2-5-1) got on the board shortly after on a puck that was knocked around in front of the net multiple times, and then punched in by senior captain Taylor Gross. Sophomore forward Shannon Yoxheimer picked up her fifth assist of the season.
It was Gross’ third goal on the season and 22nd for her career.
Right before the second intermission, New Hampshire senior defender Arielle O’Neill had a puck deflect off her skate and miraculously went past Penn State sophomore goaltender Celine Whitlinger.
Whitlinger saw shots all day long as New Hampshire outshot Penn State 35-18.
“You think about the pressure UNH put on us in the first period and to go to the locker room after the first period 0-0 is a tremendous credit to her (Whitlinger),” said Brandwene.
It was the first game New Hampshire freshman goaltender Ashley Wilkes saw in the net this season. Wilkes made 17 saves.
“We need to have outstanding balance in terms of speed, vision and early decision making,” said Brandwene. “It’s a matter of making it consistent going into league play.”
Penn State will host Robert Morris on Thursday and Friday, to begin conference play. You can tune into ComRadio for full coverage of the action.
Ryan Stevens is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.