Live Blog: Nittany Lions Host RIT in Conference Showdown

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to in-game coverage for the 2012 Penn State Women's Hockey season.  GoPSUsports.com will provide insight from press row throughout the 2012-13 season.  Check back often for running updates as the action unfolds.

The Nittany Lions host Rochester Institute of Technology in the first of two games this weekend at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion. Penn State (2-4-0, 0-2-0 CHA) host College Hockey America foe RIT (3-3-0, 0-2-0) as both programs are in search of their first CHA win of the year.

1st Period: 16:40 - Penn State 0, RIT 1
The Tigers came out playing very physical and Paniccia was able to clear away the first three shots she faced, but traffic in front of the net didn't allow her to see the slap shot from Katie Hubert on the right wing. The puck spent most of the first three minutes in the Nittany Lion zone after Kendra Rasmussen won the opening faceoff for the Blue and White.

1st Period: 8:06 - Penn State 0, RIT 1
Paniccia has been busy in net for the Nittany Lions, making nine saves to this point in the game. The junior made three saves in a row against RIT's Jess Paton when Paton threw a shot off of the pads of Paniccia, got her own rebound and wrapped around behind the net, just to see Paniccia make another pad stop on the post. Patton gathered in the rebound again, but the Lion keeper met her at the other post with her third pad save.

1st Period: 1:06 - Penn State 1, RIT 1
The captain - Taylor Gross - might have missed on her first shot of the game, but RIT goalie Ali Binnington couldn't corral the attempt. PSU's Paige Jahnke took control of the rebound and found Shannon Yoxheimer, who put the puck in the back of the net to draw the home team even with the Tigers at one goal apiece. It was the team-leading fifth goal of the season for Yoxheimer, with Jahnke grabbing her first career assist on the tally.

End of the 1st Period - Penn State 1, RIT 1
RIT came out with all of the offensive momentum, but the Nittany Lions did the most with the opportunities they were given and entered the first intermission deadlocked at one. The Tigers held an 11-5 advantage in shots, but Paniccia was up to the test after allowing an early goal to slip by. Penn State took advantage of the power play, scoring their goal on the player advantage, and enjoyed the advantage on four occasions in the opening period.

2nd Period: 13:20 - Penn State 1, RIT 1
Penn State has flipped the script on RIT to start the second stanza with the Nittany Lions putting the pressure on in the offensive end. Penn State had two marque scoring chances early in the period as Jess Desorcie took a pass from Jill Holdcroft in transition and ripped a shot from the slot that was saved by the RIT keeper. On the first power play of the second half, Birdie Shaw couldn't get the puck on her tape as it hopped just over her stick on the doorstep.

2nd Period: 7:06 - Penn State 1, RIT 2
A pair of Penn State penalties led to the second goal of the evening for the Tigers, as RIT scored on the 5-on-3 power play. The Nittany Lions did a great job killing off the first penalty, but with just thirty-seconds remaining on the initial penalty, a cross-check was called and a two-player advantage resulted in a goal. The Tigers worked the puck behind the net and Hubert notched her second goal of the game to push the visitors back in front.

2nd Period: 2:00 - Penn State 1, RIT 3
The second goal of the period was tallied on with Penn State on the power play, but it was RIT that collected a shorthanded goal. After holding the Tigers to limited offensive chances in the first eight minutes of the period, the Nittany Lions couldn't clear the puck from their own zone and a turnover on their own blue line led to a turnover and Erin Zach made a nice move to beat Paniccia.

End of 2nd Period - Penn State 1, RIT 3
After ending the first period and starting the second period with nice offensive production, the Nittany Lions found themselves heading to the locker room with a two-goal deficit. RIT held a 9-3 shot advantage in the second frame and force RIT goalie Binnington to make just three saves in the period. Shannon Yoxheimer lead the PSU attack with three shots, while five others have one shot apiece for the Blue and White.

3rd Period: 12:00 - Penn State 1, RIT 3
Good open ice play by both teams, along with solid defense from each squad made of an entertaining first eight minutes of action in the final period. Both team's enjoyed one power play, but PSU's Paniccia and RIT's Binnington did not allow anything during their respective power plays.

3rd Period: 5:00 - Penn State 1, RIT 3
Paniccia killed off a 5-on-3 advantage midway through third period and has held the Tigers off of the board through the first three-quarters of the final period. The junior has fended off a trio of shots that came through traffic in from of the net and made two stops on slap shots from the point.

3rd Period: 3:31 - Penn State 1, RIT 4
The second power play of goal of the game pushed the RIT advantage to 4-1 when Tenecia Hiller took a nice pass that went left-to-right through the crease from Carly Payerl and found the open net to Paniccia's near post.

FINAL - Penn State 1, RIT 4
When you look at the score you won't see how well Nicole Paniccia played, the junior goalie faced 38 shots - including a host that came at point blank range or found their way through traffic in front - and made 34 saves on the night. The native of Oakville, Ontario helped the Nittany Lions kill off six of eight power plays - including one 5-on-3 advantage for the Tigers - as Penn State fell in the series opener versus RIT. Yoxheimer netted her fifth goal of the year to continue her impressive rookie campaign, while Gross added her fifth assist of the year. In another first time moment for the squad, Jahnke recorded her first career point with an assist on the lone tally of the night for the Blue and White.

NOTE: The Nittany Lions (2-5-0, 0-3-0 CHA) will take to the ice on Friday, Oct. 26 versus RIT (4-3-0, 1-2-0 CHA) starting at 7:30 inside Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
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Pregame Reading:
- Penn State will be playing their seventh game in program history and enters the matchup with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a 2-4 record. The Blue and White are 0-2 at home, losing twice to Syracuse on Oct. 13 and 14 by scores of 0-4 and 6-0, respectively. The Nittany Lions opened the season with a victory at Vermont, 5-3, but lost four straight contests before claiming a 6-1 win at Sacred Heart, 6-1, last Saturday.

- For her efforts against Sacred Heart, Shannon Yoxheimer was named CHA Offensive Player of the Week for a three-point weekend and a game-winning goal over the Pioneers. Yoxheimer leads the team with four goals and is tied with Taylor Gross for points with five. Yoxheimer is the first Nittany Lion to receive CHA Offensive Player of the Weeks honors and joins fellow classmate Micayla Catanzariti (Rookie of the Week, Oct. 8) on the honor roll.

- In the 6-1 victory at Sacred Heart, the Nittany Lions had six different players find the back of the net. Jeanette Bateman, Jess Desorcie, Taylor Gross, Hannah Hoenshell, Jordan Pardoski and Shannon Yoxheimer all tallied goals, with Gross, Yoxheimer and Bateman lighting the lamp on the power play. 

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