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Penn State Ice Hockey: Lots and Lots of Hockey

It was a busy weekend for Penn State ice hockey. The men opened their season with a set against American International College; the women had their home opening weekend, facing off against CHA foe Syracuse; and both ACHA squads continued on with their seasons. I tried to recap (to some extent) all of the games that have been played since I last updated you all. This just means there are some very brief recaps because of the volume (not to mention I am still trying to figure out how I want to do this, what with all these teams to discuss). In any case, there is quite a bit to recap, so let's get rolling!

Men's NCAA D1:

October 12, 2012 1 2 3 OT Final
American International 1 1 0 1 3
PENN STATE 0 1 1 0 2
PSU Goals: Bailey (1); Holstrom (1)
American International SOG: 29
Penn State SOG: 63

Summary: There was no lack of energy or excitement in the Greenberg Ice Pavilion on Friday night, as the men's team finally took the ice to their first NCAA Ice Hockey game. A packed-house helped get the energy flowing, and the Nittany Lions hoped to use the crowd to jump out to an early lead. Unfortunately, it was an early penalty against Penn State that opened the door for American International College to take an early 1-0 lead. Penn State would control much of the rest of the period, but come away still down 1-0. That control would carry into the second period, where the Nittany Lions would out-shoot AIC, 22-8. Some of that sustained pressure would finally lead to Penn State's first goal, with Casey Bailey slamming home a rebound to tie the game at 1-1. Halfway through the period, AIC would take advantage of the open ice during some 4-on-4 play, regaining the lead at 2-1. That would remain the score until Taylor Holstrom would make his presence felt late in the 3rd period. Holstrom would take a Mark Yanis pass and fire a shot over the glove of the AIC goaltender, tying the game at 2-2. In the overtime period, Penn State had a number of chances, but AIC's Ben Meisner was up to the task, including a huge save on George Saad, after Saad had stick-handled through much of the AIC defense. With time running down, AIC defensemen Jake Williams fired a shot from the blue line that was deflected by Jon Puskar past PSU goalie Matt Skoff, giving AIC the late 3-2 victory. It was a solid effort for Penn State in the first game, and they likely deserved more than the OT loss.

October 13, 2012 1 2 3 OT Final
American International 0 1 2 0 3
PENN STATE 1 1 1 1 4
PSU Goals: Glen (1, 2); Yanis (1); Milley (1)
American International SOG: 35
Penn State SOG: 44

Summary: Penn State would get the chance to earn their first win the next night, if not in front of a home crowd. The scene shifted to Wilkes-Barre, to the Mohegan Sun Arean at Casey Plaza. The Nittany Lions would keep the pressure up on AIC, and David Glen would give PSU a 1-0 lead late in the first period. AIC would tie the game in the second on the power play, but Mark Yanis would rip a shot past AIC's Meisner, giving Penn State a 2-1 lead after two periods. Jonathan Milley extended the lead to 3-1 on the power play early in the 3rd period, but AIC countered a few minutes later, cutting the lead to 3-2. A late breakdown allowed AIC to tie the game at 3-3, sending the two teams to overtime for the second straight night. 38 seconds into overtime, David Glen would bookend the game's score sheet, putting a Kenny Brooks pass behind the AIC netminder, and giving Penn State their first win in their return to varsity ice hockey. Sophomore goalie PJ Musico would pick up the win with a solid 32-save performance.

Season Record: 1-1-0

Next Opponent: The men are on the road this coming weekend. Friday night's game is against NCAA D3 Buffalo State, which will be home and season opener for the Bengals. Saturday's game is against RIT (1-1-0), who are coming off of a quality road split against #3 Michigan.

Women's NCAA D1:

October 6, 2012 1 2 3 Final
PENN STATE 1 2 2 5
Vermont 2 0 1 3
PSU Goals: Yoxheimer (1, 2); Catanzariti (1, 2); Shaw (1)
Penn State SOG: 24
Vermont SOG: 34

October 7, 2012 1 2 3 Final
PENN STATE 1 0 0 1
Vermont 1 0 2 3
PSU Goals: Shaw (2)
Penn State SOG: 19
Vermont SOG: 43

Summary: It was a good opening weekend for the ladies. Friday night saw Vermont jump out to a 2-1 lead, as they would sandwich two power play goals around Shannon Yoxheimer's (and PSU Women's Ice Hockey's) first goal. The second period belonged to Micayla Catanzariti, as her two goals would give Penn State a 3-2 lead. Yoxheimer would extend the lead to 4-2 in the third period, and Birdie Shaw would ice the game with an empty netter, giving the ladies their first every NCAA victory, 5-3. On Saturday, Birdie Shaw put Penn State out front early, but they couldn't hang on. Vermont would tie the game late in the first period, and after a scoreless second, an early PSU penalty led to a Vermont power play goal. Vermont would add a third goal late in the period, splitting the weekend with a 3-1 victory.

October 13, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Syracuse 0 2 2 4
PENN STATE 0 0 0 0
PSU Goals:
Syracuse SOG: 57
Penn State SOG: 21

October 14, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Syracuse 1 1 4 6
PENN STATE 0 0 0 0
PSU Goals:
Syracuse SOG: 44
Penn State SOG: 20

Summary: Any time you get swept in a weekend and are unable to score a goal, there is a lot of learning to be done. Saturday's game saw goaltender Nicole Paniccia stand on her head in the first period alone, stopping all 28 Syracuse shots. But Syracuse continued their pressure, and eventually put 4 goals past the hard-working goaltender. Sunday's game became a classic case of penalties coming back to hurt you. The five PSU penalties lead directly to two Syracuse goals, and helped slow down any offensive momentum Penn State was trying to develop. Still a close 2-0 game after two periods, two early 3rd period penalties against PSU would allow Syracuse to double their lead (one PP goal, one just one second after the PSU penalty expired). The ladies were never able to rebound, as Syracuse would finish the sweep with a 6-0 victory. Even with the less-than-desirable scores from this weekend, there are a lot of positives to be taken (solid goaltending, defensive improvements from Saturday to Sunday). The season and the team are both still very young, and this team can surely turn things around and make this a solid inaugural season.

Season Record: 1-3-0 Overall, 0-2-0 CHA

Next Opponent: The women look to rebound on the road, as they head off for a weekend set against Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart is 0-2-0 on the season, and is coming off of an exhibition weekend sweep over ACHA D1 Rhode Island.

The ACHA round-up: October has not been a kind month to the Ice Lions this season. After opening the season 3-0, the Ice Lions were handed a tough, shoot-out 4-3 loss to Lebanon Valley College. The next night, the boys traveled to Washington D.C. to compete in the ACHA Showcase. The lost the first game against Miami (OH), to the order of a 7-3 near-blowout loss. Sunday's game against Providence College went much better, as the Ice Lions would skate to an easy 10-1 victory. This past Saturday, the Ice Lions took on Delaware, and in a tight battle, were handed their third loss of the season, as the Blue Hens won 5-3. The Ice Lions now stand 4-2-1 on the season, but still have a great deal of talent and experience to get them pointed in the right direction.

The new ACHA D2 Lady Icers (still trying to figure out their "true" team name...) were on the road at Michigan State, in the hopes of picking up their first ever win. They would double that goal, as they swept the weekend, winning 1-0 and 2-1. Both goaltenders played outstanding, as Katie Vaughn earned the shutout on Saturday, and Sarah Eisenhut earned the Sunday win. Offensively, Devon Fisk scored a goal in each game, and Carly Szyszko scored the second goal on Sunday. Great effort all around from the ladies, as they now sit 2-1-0 in their inaugural season.

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