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Ice Hockey Recap: Welcome to PSU Hockey, 2013

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Both men's and women's ice hockey teams were in action the first weekend of 2013 - the start of what will undoubtedly be a very exciting calendar year for Penn State ice hockey.

Thank You Terry

The calendar flips, and both NCAA hockey teams are on the ice out of the gates. Following a solid 5-4 win over Ohio State, the men's team was on the road, taking on Atlantic Hockey's UConn Huskies for a weekend set. For the women, they were at home to play a lackluster and under-staffed NCAA D3 Chatham team. Both teams were certainly looking to get the new year started right with a couple of wins.

In a small bit of housekeeping news, men's forward Bryce Johnson left the team this past week, citing "personal reasons". Johnson was a NCAA transfer that came to Penn State last season, playing for the Icers as one of the first official members of the NCAA D1 team. He had appeared in 9 games this season, had not registered a point, and was a -4 on the season. We wish Bryce all the best as he continues forward.

Men's NCAA D1:

January 4, 2013 1 2 3 Final
PENN STATE 1 2 0 3
Connecticut 1 2 1 4
PSU Goals: Glen (9); Holstrom (4); Varley (4)
Penn State SOG: 42
UConn SOG: 21

Summary: Penn State has had their struggles on the first game of the two-game weekends. In fact, all three shut-out losses have come that way this season (Buffalo State, Union, Robert Morris). 28 seconds into the Friday night game against UConn, those first-night struggles seemed to be back again, as UConn would grab the very early 1-0 lead. Penn State would slowly start to turn the tide, taking control of the offensive pressure. Glen's 9th goal of the season tied the game at 1-1, and Taylor Holstrom's goal in the 2nd period gave Penn State a 2-1 lead. UConn would storm back midway in the 2nd period with two goals in 1:07, and just 9 total shots on goal to that point. But the Nittany Lions returned to their offensive control, and Connor Varley would tie the game at 3-3, setting up a big third period.

An early Penn State power play would result in more offense but no goals, while UConn's 2nd shot of the period gave the Huskies the 4-3 lead with 13:30 left in the game. Penn State would continue to apply pressure, and a late flurry of chances with the empty net extra attacker fell just short for the Nittany Lions. Despite doubling up the Huskies in shots, UConn snuck away with the 4-3 victory over Penn State.

January 5, 2013 1 2 3 Final
PENN STATE 1 0 0 1
Connecticut 2 1 1 4
PSU Goals: Bailey (9)
Penn State SOG: 43
UConn SOG: 26

Summary: After the disappointing loss Friday night, the Nittany Lions looked to rebound for a Saturday win. Casey Bailey helped get things started in the right direction for Penn State, scoring just 13 seconds into the game. UConn would counter with an early goal of their own, tying the game less than a minute later. While Penn State would continue to play well throughout the entire game, the remaining scoring would come only for the Huskies. A late 1st period goal would give the Huskies the lead, and goals in the second and third period (the 3rd period goal coming with the Penn State net empty) made it a 4-1 victory for UConn, giving them the weekend sweep. Although Penn State controlled long periods of the action in both games, the team returns home, trying to figure out how to turn this quality effort into wins.

Season Record: 8-11-0 (6-10-0 NCAA D1)

Next Opponents: Penn State returns home next weekend to take on the US National Talent Development Program (US NTDP) Under-18 team. The weekend will count as an exhibition weekend, as the US National U-18 team is part of the USHL, and they are very talented. Nearly every player on the team is committed to a college - and all those college commitments are with the top NCAA DI programs. (There's a handful headed to Big Ten schools, so we'll see some of these guys again in the future.) They are coming off of a solid weekend of wins against U of Michigan (5-3) and D3 Milwaukee School of Engineering (7-2).

Women's NCAA D1:

January 4, 2013 1 2 3 Final
Chatham (D3) 0 0 0 0
PENN STATE 5 4 1 10
PSU Goals: Yoxheimer (11, 12); Hoenshell (6, 7); Rasmussen (2, 3); Weaver (1); Holdcroft (6); Pardoski (2); Welch (2)
Chatham SOG: 17
Penn State SOG: 48

Summary: This was a wonderful "Welcome back to full-speed hockey" weekend for the Penn State ladies. Taking on a 1-7-0 Chatham (D3) team acted like a light scrimmage, and Penn State took full advantage on Friday night. Yoxheimer scored her 11th goal of the season midway through the first period, and a few minutes later, the goal scoring barrage began. Yoxheimer's 2nd of the game was followed by Hoenshell's goal 26 seconds later, and then Rasmussen made it 4-0 just a minute after Hoenshell's tally. Tess Weaver's first varsity goal made it 5-0 after the first period. The second period, which saw a PSU goalie switch because of the dominance, saw goals from birthday-girl Jill Holdcroft, and Jordan Pardoski's 2nd of the season, before Hoenshell and Rasmussen both netted their second goals each, making it 9-0 after 40 minutes. A 3rd period, a 3rd goalie for Penn State (that's Pannicia-Whitlinger-Meyer, for those scoring at home). Jenna Welch would add a goal late in the period to cap the 10-0 blowout victory for the Nittany Lions.

January 5, 2013 1 2 3 Final
Chatham (D3) 0 0 0 0
PENN STATE 1 1 2 4
PSU Goals: Zinn (1); Welch (3, 4); Holdcroft (7)
Chatham SOG: 16
Penn State SOG: 71

Summary: After the 10-0 drubbing the night before, the Penn State coaches made a few changes, sitting top players Shannon Yoxheimer, Taylor Gross, Jess Desorcie, and Hannah Hoenshell. In their place, Stephanie Walkom and senior Kate Christoffersen appeared in their first games of the season, and Cara Mendelson played in her second game. Even with the line-up changes, the Nittany Lions showed no signs of slowing down against Chatham.

While the goals were not as readily found, the ladies still heavily controlled the game, outshooting Chatham 71-16. Katie Zinn opened the scoring with her first goal of the season early in the first period. Jenna Welch added goals in the second and third periods to cap a 3-goal weekend for the junior. And Jill Holdcroft finished the off the scoring, giving Penn State the weekend sweep with the 4-0 win. Goalie Celine Whitlinger came with 7:26 of the shutout, before she was replaced for Brooke Meyer late in the 3rd (in an effort to keep all three goalies sharp). A strong effort by the entire team this weekend.

Season Record: 8-12-1 Overall, 1-8-1 CHA

Next Opponent: In what amounts to a combination of luck and brilliant scheduling, the Nittany Lions continue a progressive increase in the talent level of their opponents to open 2013. Next weekend, Penn State heads on the road to take on a Union squad that is 5-11-3 on the season. While Penn State lit up the scoring past weekend, Union is coming off of a weekend where they were outscored by a 15-0 total margin.

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