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In Game Blog: Women's Hockey vs. Lindenwood

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome back to in-game coverage of 2012-13 Nittany Lions women's hockey season.  Insight and reaction will be provided by throughout the game, so check back often as the action unfolds.

Look back at Penn State women's hockey's (7-20-1, 1-13-1)  3-1 loss to Lindenwood (4-23-2, 4-9-2) in College Hockey America action from Friday, Feb. 8 inside the Greenberg Ice Pavilion.

Today's Game in 140 Characters: Big chance 4 #PennState to climb CHA standings...PSU's come a long way since Nov. games vs. LU...offense needs wakeup call, Paniccia been great

Leading Lines (Starting lineups)
Nittany Lions -
LW- Welch, C- Holdcroft, RW- Catanzariti, D- Bateman, D- Jahnke, GK- Paniccia
Lady Lions - LW- Wickenheiser, C- West, RW- Arcibal, D- Cox, D- Witwicke, GK- Hensley

1st Period: 14:04 - Penn State 0, Lindenwood 0
The start to this game has been better than most for the Nittany Lions, as they have spent a nice chunk of time in the Lindenwood zone and connected on a bevy of passes. Both teams have had good chances to score, with Birdie Shaw and Taylor Gross both watching their shots from point blank get saved by Nicole Hensley. Kelsey Talbot had a nice opportunity for LU, but it was padded away by Paniccia to keep the game scoreless.

1st Period: 9:22 - Penn State 0, Lindenwood 0
Nicole Paniccia stood tall in goal on the first power play of the afternoon and the Nittany Lion penalty kill helped with a couple of blocked shots. The action has been up and down the ice quickly between these two squads and PSU has done a nice job limiting LU's time in their zone, but the forecheck will have to pick up if the Nittany Lions continue to dump the puck into the offensive zone. Penn State will now go on the power play after a roughing call on the Lady Lions.

1st Period: 6:20 - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 0
The power play didn't provide much offense for the Nittany Lions, but shortly after Lindenwood returned to full strength a nice defensive effort from Shannon Yoxheimer turned into offense and gave the Nittany Lions their first lead of the afternoon. After Yoxheimer chipped a puck out of her own zone, Shaw tracked down the puck on the opposite end and found Emily Laurenzi, who found the back of the net on a nice shot for her third goal of the season. It's amazing what an early goal does for confidence as Paniccia sprung out of net as the goal was scored in celebration.

End of 1st Period - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 0
It was the start that Penn State needed against Lindenwood, with Paniccia continuing her solid play in net and the offense applying a lot of pressure on the other end.  The Blue and White will now have to add to the early tally from Laurenzi to improve their chances of moving up in the CHA standings. Paniccia and Co. has been good in net with a lead, owning a 5-0-1 record when entering the first intermission with a lead. Penn State has won eight of the 15 faceoffs and outshot Lindenwood 14-12 in the opening 20 minutes.

2nd Period: 14:00 - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 0
The puck spent the first 45 seconds of the second period in the Lindenwood zone and the Nittany Lions had a pair of good scoring chances, but the next two minutes was all Lindenwood as the Lady Lions almost tallied the equalizer. Unlike the opening 20 minutes, the second period has not been as crisp for the Nittany Lions. The two early chances are all that they have had through the first six minutes and a couple of errant dump-in passes have led to nothing for PSU.

2nd Period: 8:52 - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 0
Yoxheimer had the best look so far in the second period for Penn State, but her slap shot from the blue line was padded away by Hensley. The last five minutes for the Nittany Lions have been a little crisper, which has led to more pressure on Hensley and less on Paniccia. Hannah Hoenshell was on the door step, but a bouncing puck skipped over the blade of her stick and Hensley was able to knock the puck away.

2nd Period: 7:45 - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 1
The equalizer was scored on the power play for Lindenwood and there was nothing that Paniccia could do about it. The junior saved a bevy of opportunities from Lindenwood, but the traffic and pressure in front of the net was too much. A shot from the point was saved, as well as the follow attempt, but Alyssa West stood strong on the doorstep and put in the equalizer past a sprawled out Paniccia.

End of 2nd Period - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 1
Taylor McGee - who is celebrating her birthday today - had a nice full strength shot from the blue line that was saved by Hensley and that was about all until a Penn State power play started with two minutes left in the period. The player advantage started well for PSU, with Yoxheimer talking an uncontested shot from the left faceoff circle. The shot was saved and Holdcroft had a chance on the put back, but Hensley stood tall again. Yoxheimer and Desorcie each had a crack at the goal on the power play, but could not find the net. PSU took a penalty late in the period and Lindenwood will start the third period with 1:06 left on the power play.

3rd Period: 18:59 - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 2
The player advantage worked in favor of Lindenwood for the second time in the game, as Chelsea Witwicke was the beneficiary of a loose puck in front of the net after Paniccia made two saves prior. The puck was sent on net by West and Allysson Arcibal had a follow up chance. Paniccia lost her balance on the second save and could get her glove in front of Witwicke's shot and the junior defender added a goal to her earlier assist.

3rd Period: 11:59 - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 2
A boarding penalty pushed Penn State onto the power play and a roughing call gave the Nittany Lions a 5v3 advantage, but a couple of nice clears by Lindenwood and five saves by Hensley kept the Lady Lions in front of the Nittany Lions. Gross had a couple of chances on the power play, but came away with nothing to show for it. Yoxheimer had the opening shot that was saved by Hensley and Desorcie had a clear look at the net, but a nice recovery by Hensley kept Penn State off the scoreboard.

3rd Period: 6:52 - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 2
The last five minutes have been full of action on both ends of the ice and Paniccia has done all she can to keep her team in this game. Penn State had a chance to grab the equalizer when Shaw just missed on a connecting pass with a wide open Holdcroft in the slot. Lindenwood has continued to apply pressure on Paniccia, but the junior has made 40 saves, so far.

FINAL - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 2
Even playing with an empty net and six skaters for the final 75 seconds, the Nittany Lions couldn't get anything past Lindenwood goalie Nicole Hensley after tallying the opening goal in the first period. Caitlyn Post netted the third goal of the game into the open net with 25 seconds left to play and that was too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome.

It was the first loss this season when the Nittany Lions led entering the first intermission and the climb out of the sixth spot in College Hockey America will be a tough one for the Blue and White. Penn State needs a win tomorrow vs. Lindenwood to pull closer to the fifth place Lady Lions.

Nicole Paniccia may not have the stats in the win column, but this girl can play. She ended the night with 42 saves to mark the 10th time this season that she has topped the 40-save mark. Both goals came on the power play and an empty netter - not charged to the goalies goals against average - closed out the scoring for the Lady Lions, however, it was much closer than the final score indicated.

Quick Change Press Conference Quote

"We played our best hockey in the first period and we know that we could've played that way the whole game. That's why it's disappointing. We need to come out with better intensity throughout the game tomorrow."
-Junior goalie Nicole Paniccia

"The second goal was frustrating. I thought I had [saved] it, but it got away from me and they were able to score."
-Junior goalie Nicole Paniccia

"We were down there on the forecheck and Birdie [Shaw] made a beautiful pass and I was able to make it count."
-Freshman Emily Laurenzi

What To Look For:

- Penn State and Lindenwood hold down the fifth and sixth spots in the College Hockey America standings entering the final three weekends of the regular season. The Nittany Lions can pull within one point of the Lady Lions with a pair of wins this weekend, before closing out the season at third place RIT and fourth place Robert Morris.

- Freshman Shannon Yoxheimer is among the top scorers in the CHA and ranks third on the rookie scoring charts in the conference. Yoxheimer is tied for fifth in goals scored in the CHA with Jenna Dingeldein of Mercyhurst with 12 and her 14 assists are tied for eighth in the conference.  She also has three game winning goals, which ranks fourth, and has accumulated 26 total points which is tied for seventh.

- These two teams split a pair of earlier contests at the Lindenwood Ice Arena in Wentzville, Mo. With the Lady Lions grabbing a 5-1 victory on Friday, Nov. 16 and Penn State claiming a 3-2 triumph on Saturday, Nov. 17. Yoxheimer had three assists on the weekend, while Jill Holdcroft tallied one goal in each game vs. Lindenwood.

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