Ice Hockey Round-Up: Big Crowd, Big Win in Rochester

These kinds of wins weren't supposed to come this early. Yes, Penn State had put together a great combination of coaches and players for a brand new NCAA program. There would be close games, good wins, and a handful of blowouts to established teams. RIT, while still a "new" team to the NCAA D1 ranks, has already shown they are a solid program. They made the Frozen Four in 2010, and had gone on the road and split the weekend set against #3 Michigan to open their 2012-13 season. RIT is a quality program. The fact that Penn State went on the road to RIT for their homecoming game, played in front of a sold-out Blue Cross Arena, took an early lead and held onto that lead for the win - well, it's a major win for the program in just the fourth game of the season. It doesn't mean the team is Frozen Four bound this season, but it does mean that this team is ready to compete in every game on the schedule.

Along with that major game, the Penn State Women's team played at Sacred Heart this weekend - a team they beat last year while still at the ACHA level. And the ACHA D2 Ice Lions took on Virginia Tech as they looked to bounce back from last weekend's loss to Delaware.

Men's NCAA D1:

October 19, 2012 1 2 3 Final
PENN STATE 0 0 0 0
Buffalo State (D3) 1 2 0 3
PSU Goals:
Penn State SOG: 35
Buffalo State SOG: 26

Summary: Oh what fresh hell is this! Maybe it was the looking ahead to the next night's game against RIT. Maybe it was a case of "bus legs". Whatever it was, it looked sloppy and horrid. It was a chippy game all-around, as the two teams combined for 29 penalties totaling 83 penalty minutes. The difference in the game is that Buffalo State actually took advantage of their power play opportunities, scoring all 3 goals with the man-advantage - including scoring two goals during Joseph Lordo's 5-minute charging major in the second period. Penn State would get chances and looks on the power play, but were unable to get anything past goalie Kevin Carr. After a nice split the previous weekend, losing to a D3 team in this fashion definitely left many people around the program wondering how much of a struggle the rest of the season might be.

October 20, 2012 1 2 3 Final
PENN STATE 1 1 1 3
Rochester Institute of Technology 0 1 1 2
PSU Goals: Loik (1); Bailey (2); Gardiner (1)
Penn State SOG: 22
Rochester Institute of Technology SOG: 42

Summary: It is amazing how different a season outlook can change in the course of 24 hours. After looking like they didn't belong at the varsity level against Buffalo State, Penn State rebounded in miraculous form against RIT. In front of a sold-out homecoming weekend crowd (10,556 - largest attendance in Penn State ice hockey history), the Nittany Lions showed they weren't about to just roll over on this season. A back-and-forth first period would end with Curtis Loik putting Penn State up 1-0 with 10 seconds left in the period. RIT would dominate much of the remaining 2 periods of play, out-shooting Penn State 33-10. But Penn State would make the most of those 10 shots, with Casey Bailey getting his second of the season in the 2nd period, and Max Gardiner getting his first goal in the third period. A late 5-minute major on George Saad allowed RIT to finish the game on the powerplay, but PJ Musico continued to come up big in net, ensuring Penn State got their split and a landmark win for the program just 4 games into the season.

Season Record: 2-2-0 (2-1-0 NCAA D1)

Next Opponents: The men continue their October road trip over the next week, visiting Army (1-2-1) on Friday, Sacred Heart (0-4-1) on Saturday, and then a Tuesday trip back to New York to face off against D3 Fredonia State (1-1-0).

Women's NCAA D1:

October 19, 2012 1 2 3 Final
PENN STATE 0 0 1 1
Sacred Heart 1 1 0 2
PSU Goals: Yoxheimer (3)
Penn State SOG: 42
Sacred Heart SOG: 28

Summary: Consider this game part of the "growing pains" related to a new program with a lot of young players. On paper, Penn State did very well in the game. The ladies controlled much of the play, kept the penalties to a minimum, and got another solid game out of goaltender Nicole Paniccia. Yoxheimer's late third period goal would give Penn State some hope, but they could not get the 2nd goal, dropping a tough one to Sacred Heart, 2-1.

October 20, 2012 1 2 3 Final
PENN STATE 2 1 3 6
Sacred Heart 0 1 0 1
PSU Goals: Gross (1), Yoxheimer (4), Bateman (1), Desorcie (1), Hoenshell (1), Pardoski (1)
Penn State SOG: 38
Sacred Heart SOG: 26

Summary: Looking to show results for their efforts, the ladies came to score on Saturday. Taylor Gross would start early with a power play goal, and Yoxheimer (named CHA Player of the Week) would add a PP goal of her own minutes later to give PSU a 2-0 lead. The two teams would trade power play goals in the second (Bateman getting the tally for Penn State), then it was all Penn State from there. Jess Desorcie and Hannah Hoenshell would score 26 seconds apart in the third period, and Jordin Pardoski would cap the scoring of 6 goals from 6 different scorers for Penn State. Paniccia would pick up the win, completing the weekend with just 3 goals allowed on 54 shots.

Season Record: 2-4-0 Overall, 0-2-0 CHA

Next Opponent: Quick turnaround for the ladies, as they welcome the RIT women's team (3-3-0) to State College for games on Thursday and Friday night in the second round of conference games for Penn State.

The ACHA round-up: Hoping to start turning things around, the Ice Lions faced off against Virginia Tech at the Greenberg on Saturday night. Scoring in the game started slowly, as VT broke the scoreless tie halfway through the 2nd period. Then the two teams would combine for 7 goals in the final period of play, with Penn State overcoming a 3-1 deficit to storm back with 4 goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. Goalie Kevin Lowthert stopped 37 of 40 shots on the way to the Ice Lions' 5-3 victory. The Ice Lions improved to 5-2-1 on the season with the win over V-Tech, and welcome MACHA North opponent St. Joseph's for a single Saturday game this weekend.

The D2 Lady Icers were off this past weekend. And if the ACHA website is correct, they won't see a competitive game again until November - the drawbacks of being part of an extremely small division of hockey.

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