Women’s Hockey Falls to Clarkson In Opener
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – It was a hard-fought battle as soon as the puck dropped onto the ice.
Penn State played stingy defense, controlled the pace of the game and played physical ice hockey for 60 minutes, but could not pull off the upset over the No. 2 Clarkson Golden Knights.
The Nittany Lions (1-3-1) fell 2-0 in their series opener against Clarkson (3-0-1), a team who has not lost since Jan. 20 of this year.
Penn State head coach Jeff Kampersal was very impressed with his team’s performance and thought it was the best of the season, so far.
“I thought that was our best game,” the first-year head coach said. “I’m really proud of them, I thought they did a great job. They did everything that we asked them to do.”
The defending NCAA champions struggled to find rhythm on offense, but made up for it by being tougher on the defensive side to squander any chance of Penn State making a comeback.
Clarkson goalie Shea Tiley and Penn State goalie Daniela Paniccia put on a show in Pegula Friday night.
Paniccia entered the contest riding a hot hand after being named the College Hockey America Goalie of the Week for the fourth time of her career.
Tiley pitched a shutout, as the box score shows, and finished with 18 saves.
Aside from the two goals allowed, Paniccia matched the defensive intensity of Tiley, denying the Golden Knights 21 times.
A little more than halfway through the first period, the Golden Knights were on the board with a quick wrist shot right in front of the net.
Junior left wing Loren Gabel found the top shelf of the goal to sneak it by Paniccia for the first score of the game, and her third goal of the season.
While the goal buzzer did not sound in the second period, Penn State showed that it could hang with the No. 2 team in the nation.
Even though they were down, the Nittany Lions controlled the pace of the game and made the Golden Knights play at their pace.
Paniccia and the defense stopped 14 Clarkson shots and the team applied pressure on the offensive end.
Seven of Penn State’s nine shot attempts were on target, putting added pressure on Tiley to hold her team’s 1-0 lead.
The third period started out with a bang when Clarkson freshman right wing Elizabeth Giguere fired the puck right past Paniccia, giving the Golden Knights a 2-0 advantage.
Both goals by the Golden Knights were identical in terms of how the play was set up and executed, resulting with a shot and score at the center of the Nittany Lion net.
Penn State and Clarkson were extremely physical for the entirety of the game, something Kampersal was pleased with.
But it did result in the most penalties in a game for Penn State this season, which Kampersal hopes to improve upon.
“We want to be physical, without being dirty,” Kampersal said. “So, we’re focusing on discipline when we play these tough teams. I want teams to know when they play Penn State they’re going to have to grind to beat us.”
Zach Seyko is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.