Women’s Hockey: Nittany Lions Dominate In Sweep Of Union

Story posted October 19, 2015 in Sports, CommRadio by Brandon Pelter

Just a week after the Penn State Nittany Lions (3-3-0) split two games on the road against Boston University, the Nittany Lions returned home to face the winless Union College Dutchwomen (0-3-2).

The blue and white swept the Dutchwomen handily, both by the score of 3-0 while outshooting Union 71 to 27.

On Saturday night, senior Celine Whitlinger guarded the net for Penn State while Melissa Black was across the ice for Union. After her strong 38 save performance against Boston University, Whitlinger came out strong, flashing her glove on the first Union shot of the day from Jessica Kaminsky. Whitlinger went on to record 11 saves in Penn State’s first shutout of the season.

The Nittany Lions drew first blood nine minutes into the game when, on the power play, Victoria Samuelsson won the faceoff in the left circle and a Shannon Yoxheimer shot rang off the left post, but Hannah Hoenshell was there to tap it into the back of the net just 10 seconds into the power play.

In the second period, Penn State added two more tallies to their lead. Yoxheimer got the puck from Meike Meilleur, who dug it out along the right side boards. Yoxheimer took it to the slot and sniped a shot into the top left corner at 12:57.

The Nittany Lions third goal came with 4:17 remaining in the second period on a two-on-one opportunity. Amy Petersen skated up the left side and passed the puck to Laura Bowman, who scored from the right slot.

Although the Dutchwomen lost 3-0, one bright spot was their goaltender Melissa Black. Black recorded 41 saves on 44 shots.

Sunday was a very special game for Penn State, a game that showcased two different goaltenders. Hannah Ehresmann started in net for the Lions and Leah Patrick for the Dutchwomen. 

The Lady Lions celebrated “THON Day,” donning special jerseys with a yellow ribbon on the left shoulder and “For The Kids” on their nameplates. A few THON families greeted the team on the ice, a THON child delivered the game puck, and a THON child also sang the national anthem. In addition, the THON executive committee displayed this year’s theme, “Believe Beyond Boundaries,” to the crowd during the second intermission.

“There is nothing more Penn State than THON,” said Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene. “As a coach and every bit as much so as an alum, I was very honored to be a part of that today as we all were as a Penn State women’s hockey family.”

Bowman was also extremely proud to play on THON day.

“We always say before the THON game that we’re playing for something more than ourselves today,” said the junior who recorded two goals this weekend. “We just want to make sure that we put it all on the ice and give a good show for everyone that came out for us and to support such a good cause.”

The Nittany Lions battled what appeared to be a much stronger Union team, but Nittany Lion Kelsey Crow netted her first career goal, which deflected off her side, just 6:23 into the first period.

“I whipped it on my backhand to [Amy Petersen],” said the freshman defenseman. We were already tired, so I knew we needed to get the puck out and the rest of our line switched, so it was just me and Amy. She was up by the blue line so I figured I might as well go to the net and see what happens.”

Beginning the second period, Union controlled much of the possession and took the lead in shots, but weren’t able to even the score. At 12:01, Dutchwoman Jacyn Reeves was sent to the box for hooking, which turned the tables for the Nittany Lions. Just 13 seconds into the power play, Bowman netted her fourth of the season from Jill Holdcroft and Bella Sutton. Bowman was able to tip it in off Holdcroft’s shot.

“Credit goes to (the girls) for their willingness to stay patient and stay poised,” said Brandwene on their second period performance. “They got back to basics and we moved our feet and it was a really good job.”

The Lions also added their third goal on a left point shot from Jordin Pardoski assisted by Victoria Samuelsson.

Lion goaltender Hannah Ehresmann recorded her first shutout of the season in the 3-0 victory.

Whitlinger and Ehresmann made a combined 27 saves this weekend without conceding a goal. The Penn State power play went 2-6 while the penalty kill was a perfect 6-6.

“They had both individually and together a great week of preparation and it showed in both of their performances this weekend,” said Brandwene. “Just rock solid, very steady, good communication back there, great job helping the (defense) move the puck when it was called upon, so I’m just really proud of both of them.”

Brandon Pelter is a freshman majoring in both broadcast journalism and finance. To contact him, email brandon.pelter@gmail.com