Women’s Hockey Falls to Clarkson For Second Straight Day

Story posted October 14, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by Tyler Olson

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women’s hockey was outclassed by the defending national champion Clarkson Golden Knights for the second straight game on Saturday.

After falling 2-0 on Friday evening, the Nittany Lions lost to No. 2 Clarkson by the same score Saturday afternoon in a game that was much more lopsided than the final score indicates – Clarkson controlled the puck most of the game and as a result outshot Penn State, 28-13. 

A Clarkson shot approximately halfway through the first period by Michaela Pejzlova was the first real scoring chance for either team despite two early Penn State power plays. Nittany Lion goalie Daniela Paniccia, who was named College Hockey America Goalie of the Week after her performance last weekend against Union, made the save.

While the teams were evenly matched early in the contest, Clarkson seized momentum after the Pejzlova shot, applying nearly constant offensive pressure on Penn State for the rest of the period.

Pejzlova eventually capitalized on the pressure and scored the icebreaking goal with 3:09 left in the first period. She weaved her way into Penn State’s zone through several defenders, faked right, went back left and slid the puck between Paniccia’s skate and the left post, showcasing her impressive stickhandling.

With the Golden Knights sequestering the puck in Penn State’s zone, the Nittany Lions were unable to get off a shot until the final 15 seconds of the first period, leading to a lopsided Clarkson advantage in shots (6-1) and faceoffs (10-5) at the first intermission.

The Nittany Lions’ struggles continued in the second period, as they got off only three more shots and squandered away a third power play. In its first three power plays on the afternoon, Penn State managed just a single shot. Clarkson also continued to control faceoffs, finishing the second period leading 21-12 in that category.

The Golden Knights’ offensive pressure resulted in another score in the third period. Penn State’s Paniccia was out of position behind the net and Clarkson’s Loren Gabel took advantage, wrapping a shot around the right post to put Clarkson up 2-0.

It took a 5-on-3 powerplay for Penn State to finally control play for an extended period of time, and though the Nittany Lions held the puck in Clarkson’s zone for almost the entire duration of both penalties, they again failed to score with a numbers advantage.

In the third period, as with the rest of the game, Penn State couldn’t overcome Clarkson’s strong forecheck and physical defense to create enough opportunities to win.

Clarkson finished the game with a 28-13 advantage in shots and a 31-22 edge in faceoffs.
Penn State coach Jeff Kampersal pointed to conditioning for games on consecutive days as one reason why his team fell short against the Golden Knights.

“We still have game two issues, but I do think our team was ready for it. I don’t think it’s a mental thing I think sometimes it’s a physical thing,” he said. “We need to be in better shape, for sure.”
Kampersal also lamented that the Nittany Lions have yet to score a power-play goal on the season, and failed to capitalize on six Clarkson penalties Saturday.

“We need to get better on the power play,” Kampersal said. “Four games that we’ve been shut out and four goals in six games, if we’re not getting it done five-on-five, we have to get it done five-on-four.”

While Kampersal and his players were disappointed in the final result, Clarkson is a very good team and there is still plenty of hockey left in the season, they said.

“They gave everything they had so I can’t be disappointed in terms of effort,” Kampersal said of his squad. “I told the team that we’ve got get up and plow the field Monday and try to get better.”
The Golden Knights are now unbeaten in their last 22 games and have not dropped a road game or lost to a non-league opponent since October 2016.

The Nittany Lions will travel to Merrimack for a two-game series Friday and Saturday before kicking off CHA conference play at home against Robert Morris on October 28.

 

Tyler Olson is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. To contact him, email tso5043@psu.edu.