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Ice Hockey Recap: A Tale of Two Weekends

For the two NCAA teams, the past two weekends have seen opponents on opposite sides of the spectrum. For the men, one weekend was a lone home game against a D-III foe, while the next was a weekend set against a team that has been to the NCAA tournament 5 of the past 6 years. For the women, it was a weekend set against a lackluster Sacred Heart squad, followed by a weekend set against defending CHA champion Robert Morris. Both teams would need to find ways to not look past their first opponent, then try to play back up to the second.

For the ACHA squads, the two teams rotated which team had the off weekend and who was playing. For the men, it was an unexpected weekend off, with their trip to New Jersey cancelled due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. To compensate, the Ice Lions found themselves facing a more than full weekend, consisting of four games in three days. The ladies, on the other hand, finally got their chance to play a real opponent, travelling down to Maryland before facing another lengthy break.

Men's NCAA D1:

November 3, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Buffalo State 1 0 1 2
PENN STATE 1 2 1 4
PSU Goals: Glen (4,5); Longo (2); Olczyk (1)
Buffalo State SOG: 25
Penn State SOG: 49

Summary: Penn State was looking for some revenge after being embarrassed by Buffalo State just two weekends earlier. Buffalo State would get the jump on PSU first, scoring halfway through the first period on the power play. But the Nittany Lions would battle back, as David Glen would tie the game late in the first period. Penn State would take the lead in the second on the stick of Mike Longo, and Tommy Olczyk's first of the season would extend the lead to 3-1. Buffalo State would make it close again with an early goal in the 3rd, but PSU would tighten defensively, and Glen's fifth goal of the season would seal a Penn State win, 4-2. Matt Skoff's 23-of-25 save performance allowed him to pick up his first win of the season.

November 9, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Air Force 1 2 2 5
PENN STATE 0 0 1 1
PSU Goals: Kirchhevel (1)
Air Force SOG: 24
Penn State SOG: 35

Summary: In an effort to save space, I am deferring the review of this game to Air Force head coach Frank Serratore. (h/t to TYTBlog for the video.) Also, kudos to Kirchhevel on his first goal of the season - a great solo effort on the PK which found Kirch tipping the puck behind the AFA defender, creating his own breakaway, and finishing masterfully with a quick shot past AFA's Jason Torf.

November 10, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Air Force 0 0 1 1
PENN STATE 1 1 3 5
PSU Goals: Bailey (4); Juha (1); Glen (6); McDonagh (1); Varley (1)
Air Force SOG: 32
Penn State SOG: 25

Summary: Well, Frank Serratore was right. While AFA played better Saturday night, this is a Penn State team that isn't about to go quietly into the night. The Falcons had their fair share of chances in the first, but it was a Connor Bailey shot that beat AFA's Torf to give the Nittany Lions the 1-0 lead. Luke Juha's first goal at PSU extended the lead to 2-0 in the second period. Air Force would make it close early in the 3rd, cutting the lead to 2-1. But David Glen would continue his torrid scoring streak, and McDonagh and Varley (both their first of the season) would add late, empty-net goals to seal the game and counter Friday night's loss with a 5-1 win on Saturday. Goalie Matt Skoff played well again, picking up his second win in as many starts.

Season Record: 6-3-0 (4-2-0 NCAA D1)

Next Opponents: Hurricane Sandy forced the postponement of the Tuesday night game against D3 Fredonia Stat, rescheduling for Tuesday, Dec 11th. The boys are off this weekend as they prepare for probably their biggest weekend yet, when they travel to Schenectady, NY to face #7 Union.

Women's NCAA D1:

November 2, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Sacred Heart 0 0 0 0
PENN STATE 1 3 2 6
PSU Goals: Hoenshell (2,3,4); Yoxheimer (7,8); Holdcroft (1)
Sacred Heart SOG: 18
Penn State SOG: 66

November 3, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Sacred Heart 0 2 0 2
PENN STATE 1 4 3 8
PSU Goals: Yoxheimer (9); Gross (3); Rasmussen (1); Holdcroft (2); Descorcie (1); Welch (1); Laurenzi (1)
Sacred Heart SOG: 25
Penn State SOG: 64

Summary: I mentioned something here last time about the ladies being more of a defensively-focused team and not taking enough offensive chances. Well, they decided to show me wrong, and did so handily against Sacred Heart. Between the two games, the ladies combined for 130 shots and 14 goals, completely controlling Sacred Heart in the weekend sweep. Hannah Hoenshell's hat trick in the first game helped set the tone, while Shannon Yoxheimer continued her hot streak, bringing her season total to 9 goals. Nicole Paniccia continued to look dominant in net, and Brooke Meyer saw her first action of the year, playing out the third period in the 6-0 victory.

November 10, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Robert Morris 4 2 1 7
PENN STATE 0 1 0 1
PSU Goals: Yoxheimer (10)
Robert Morris SOG: 43
Penn State SOG: 15

Summary: After a big, blowout weekend against Sacred Heart, Robert Morris came to town. Unfortunately for Penn State, RMU's Rebecca Vint was ready to show everyone that there is a talent gap between Sacred Heart and the teams in the CHA. Vint's first period hat trick set the tone for the game, and although Penn State settled things down in the 2nd and 3rd periods, it was far too much to overcome, as RMU skated to a comfortable 7-1 victory. Yoxheimer scored again, giving her at least one goal in 7 straight games, going back to the shutout loss to Syracuse on 10/14.

November 11, 2012 1 2 3 Final
Robert Morris 3 0 1 4
PENN STATE 0 0 1 1
PSU Goals: Catanzariti (3)
Robert Morris SOG: 53
Penn State SOG: 20

Summary: For the second day in a row, Robert Morris jumped out early on Penn State, scoring 2 minutes into the game. RMU would add two more goals later in the first, and they were off to a 3-0 lead after one period. RMU would dominate the 2nd period to the tune of a 19-2 shot differential, but goalie Nicole Paniccia would continue her stellar play, keeping it a 3-0 game after two periods. Penn State would play much better in the third period, creating some serious pressure at times. With just over 6 minutes left, Micayla Catanzariti would give Penn State hope with her 3rd goal of the season. PSU would get a few more chances on a late power play, but RMU would hold strong, adding a late empty net goal to seal the weekend sweep with a 4-1 win. Although it was another underwhelming weekend result-wise, Penn State definitely held their own for solid stretches of time against a more talented and experienced Robert Morris team.

Season Record: 4-7-1 Overall, 0-5-1 CHA

Next Opponent: The ladies begin a six-game road trip next weekend, travelling to Missouri to take on CHA foe Lindenwood. Both teams are looking for their first conference victory on the season, while Lindenwood is still looking for their first overall victory of the season, as they sit at 0-10-0.

The ACHA Round-up: The Ice Lions' trip to New Jersey last weekend was cancelled due to the remnants and clean-up of Sandy. After the unexpected off-weekend, the Ice Lions travelled to Loudonville, NY to play in the Siena College Tournament. Friday night, PSU would take on host Siena. The Ice Lions would jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first, extend the lead to 5-1 in the 2nd, and keep it the same through the third to take down the hosts with a 5-1 win. On Saturday, it was William Patterson. The two teams would trade goals in the first, but a William Patterson goal late in the first would flip to momentum away from PSU. William Patterson would get three goals in both the 2nd and 3rd periods, making it a blowout loss for the Ice Lions, losing 7-1.

Sunday's game saw PSU play a struggling Florida Gulf Coast team. The Ice Lions would rebound nicely against FGCU, scoring the first 7 goals of the game, before allowing a late goal to thwart the shutout opportunity. PSU spread the scoring around in the 7-1 win over FGCU, with Ben Snow being the only multi-goal scorer of the game. The win pushed the Ice Lions to 8-2-1 on the season, and they are currently ranked 4th in the Southeast region. The Ice Lions were originally scheduled to play ACHA D1 Lebanon Valley later in the day on Sunday, capping an insane 4 games in 3 days, but the game was cancelled. No makeup date has been announced for the LVC game.

D2 Women's team finally found themselves playing a real opponent, as they travelled to face Maryland for a single Saturday game on 11/3. And they unleashed their fury on the Terrapins, rolling to a solid 5-0 victory. Devon Fisk led the way scoring-wise with a hat-trick, and Carly Szyszko would cap the scoring in the third with a goal of her own. Perhaps the biggest story of the game, however, is how Penn State hockey continues to show off their quality goaltending. Katie Vaughan and Sarah Eisenhut continued to look stellar in the combined shutout effort. Even bigger than the play between the pipes was the goal from Mary Kate Tonetti, who is - you guessed it - a converted goaltender. The win brings the ladies' record to 3-1-0 on the season. Once again, it's another long layoff for the ladies, as their next scheduled game is a home game on December 14th.

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