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Penn State Sports Roundup: Men’s Hockey Team Readies for Postseason

Hockey and basketball tournaments highlight the sports calendar that is inching toward the spring

COLLEGE HOCKEY: NOV 11 Penn State at Minnesota Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images via Getty Images

It’s tournament time around Happy Valley for a number of winter sports teams.

The 20-13-1 men’s hockey team will be on the road for a best-of-three quarterfinal series against Ohio State beginning on Friday, March 3 in Columbus.

Penn State is the No. 6 seed, while the host Buckeyes are seeded third. The winner of the series will face off against the winner of the Michigan/Wisconsin series in a single elimination semifinal.

Minnesota earned the top seed and the automatic bye to the semifinals. Penn State and Ohio State split four contests this year, both going 1-1 on home ice.

Last weekend, Penn State split a pair at Pegula against Wisconsin, taking the Friday night game 6-1 behind two first-period goals and an assist from Linden Ture. The Lions then fell 2-1 on Senior Day.

Women’s Hockey Advances

With a dominant 7-1 win against Lindenwood, Penn State’s No. 10-ranked women’s hockey team advanced to its first ever CHA Championship Match.

In the semifinal win, the Lions blitzed Lindenwood with three first period goals. Kendall Butze, Kiera Zanon, and Lexi Bedier netted those goals as Penn State built an insurmountable lead.

The Lions will get the chance to claim the CHA title on Saturday at Pegula when they play host to Mercyhurst at 2 p.m.

Women’s Basketball Closes out Season

What could be described as a disappointing year for Penn State’s women’s basketball team will likely end this week in Minneapolis.

The Lady Lions (13-16, 4-14 B1G) will be the No. 13 seed in the 14-team bracket and take on the hometown Gophers on Wednesday. The game will be broadcast at 2 p.m. by the Big Ten Network.

In an 80-65 Senior Day loss to Michigan State, freshman guard Shay Ciezki erupted for 27 points, including knocking down seven 3-pointers. The Lady Lions honored three seniors: Anna Camden, Johnasia Cash, and Alexa Williamson.

Softball Team Off to Hot Start

Penn State’s softball team rolled off seven consecutive wins to open the season, before cooling down with three straight losses.

In that season-opening win streak, Penn State posted shutout wins against North Florida (5-0), Bethune Cookman (3-0), Jacksonville (4-0), and Charlotte (3-0). Bailey Parshall posted three of those shutout wins.

For the season, Parshall, a first-team all-Big Ten player in 2022, is 4-3 with a 1.97 ERA.

Penn State is home for the first time on March 17.

Baseball Season Opens Season with Upset Win

Penn State’s baseball team, which qualified for the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha last year and won a first-round game, is off to a solid start in 2023.

The Nittany Lions are 4-3 on the year following last weekend’s doubleheader sweep of NIU and a trip-closing 11-3 beatdown of Monmouth in Cary, North Carolina.

But Penn State’s most interesting win came in its opener more than a week ago when the Nittany Lions knocked off then No. 22 Miami in Coral Gables.

Kyle Hannon and Tayven Kelley connected for home runs as Penn State earned its first win over a ranked out-of-conference opponent since 2019 and its first ever win against Miami, Penn State head coach Rob Cooper’s alma mater.