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By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Josh Brandwene often refers to his team as "road warriors." This moniker was proven right this weekend as Penn State (13-10-3, 7-4-1 CHA) split with New Hampshire (7-17-1, 4-9-0 Hockey East) in Durham, N.H. After dropping Friday's contest, 2-0, the Nittany Lions rebounded on Saturday to top the Wildcats, 3-1.

"Our process was really good all weekend long," said Brandwene. "I loved the effort on Friday. We generated a ton of scoring chances, and we stuck to the game plan on Saturday. We kept our feet moving, and in well-deserved fashion got rewarded for it."

Offensive balance was on full display, especially on Saturday, as the line of Sarah Nielsen, Hannah Bramm and Caitlin Reilly each tallied two points to lead the Nittany Lions.

"We've been getting great effort at both ends of the ice from all of our forward lines, and it was great to see Hannah, Caitlin and Sarah get rewarded for their efforts this weekend," said Brandwene. "I'm really proud of them."

After Friday night's loss, Penn State returned to the rink hungry on Saturday, scoring three goals en route to victory.

"I'm really pleased with how all three of our goals turned out," said Brandwene.

Nielsen scored at the 8:44 mark in the first period to push the Blue and White out to an early one-goal lead. Reilly and Bramm each assisted on the score.

"On the first goal, Caitlin Reilly moving her feet and just putting on all sorts of pressure with her foot speed and great finish from Sarah Nielsen," said Brandwene.

After Hannah Armstrong scored for New Hampshire to tie the game at one 10:48 into the second frame, Emily Laurenzi netted her first goal of the season on an apple from Shannon Yoxheimer with 2:44 left in the second to give Penn State the lead, 2-1.

"I loved seeing Em Laurenzi shoot the puck on the second goal," said Brandwene.

Then, with three minutes into the final period, Reilly and Nielsen's passing set up Bramm's score, giving the Nittany Lions a two-goal advantage.

"Just a gritty effort in front by Hannah Bramm on the third one," said Brandwene. "I was really pleased. It was a total team effort this weekend."

Play between the pipes this weekend was solid. While Hannah Ehresmann made 32 stops in Friday's loss, Celine Whitlinger earned her ninth win of the season by kicking away 32 shots on Saturday.

"I'm so proud of both Hannah and Celine with their preparation and their poise over the course of the entire weekend," said Brandwene. "They did a great job."

One area that stood out for Penn State against New Hampshire was the solid blue-line play by the defensive unit.

"It was another great effort from our D-core," said Brandwene. "Just fabulous gap control. Really poised in so many situations. They did a fabulous job, as well."

This weekend presented Penn State's final non-conference games of the season. With its final eight games all against conference opponents, the Nittany Lions intend to finish the regular season and enter the postseason strong.

"Keep working hard," said Brandwene. "Keep growing. One practice at a time. One shift at a time".

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Pit bulls are often misunderstood. But, for junior forward Emily Laurenzi, that is not the case.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are more than 400 dog breeds worldwide. Based on a multitude of experiences, Laurenzi has decided to dedicate her life to protecting and rescuing the breed she is most zealous about, pit bulls.

"She just developed a real passion and affinity for [pit bulls], and it just spoke to her," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "Em has a heart of gold, and that's in everything that she does. The care and love she has for her teammates, and just the effort and commitment that she has put into the dog rescue does not surprise me in the least. It's who she is as a person."

Laurenzi's adoration for pit bulls began with Animal Planet's "Pit Bulls and Parolees" TV show. Episode after episode, her love for the breed grew exponentially. What the show did for Laurenzi was inspire her to want to rescue, as well.

The goal of the popular show is to raise awareness on a national level so that one day, caring people won't have to protect pit bulls.

So, on Pit Bull Awareness Day in 2013, Laurenzi met her match. She found the perfect pit bull to adopt.

She wanted to help this pit bull so badly that she even cried before a hockey game.

The Townsend, Del., native finally saved Gracie on November 3, which was about a week after the two first met.

"Gracie is good," said Laurenzi about her pit bull. "She's the nicest dog. Everybody on the team loves her. She comes to every game and wears a little Penn State jacket. She's like the mascot."

Following her first rescue, Laurenzi wanted to volunteer more, so she began to help out at the Delaware l Response-a-Bull Rescue, a place mostly for bully breeds.

Her care for pit bulls translates into a supportive teammate and friend. Being the warmhearted person that she is, her actions come as no surprise to those around her.

"[Laurenzi's pit bull work] has me speechless because it's so incredible," said teammate and roommate Jordin Pardoski. "Her passion for pit bulls...it's indescribable how much she cares about animals, especially that certain dog. She's always looking to help others out. She's one of the most selfless people I've ever met...and it shows on the ice."

Laurenzi's spare time is spent at home volunteering at Response-a-Bull Rescue. She provides a voice for a breed that so often receives a false impression.

"I would definitely call her a pit bull advocate," said Pardoski.

For right now, Laurenzi is focused on Nittany Lion hockey. However, following graduation she plans to start up her own shelter. Currently, she has a fund set up to save money to eventually start her own dog home.

"I want to have my own rescue one day," said Laurenzi. "I've already started a fund for myself. I don't have that much money in it, but every once in a while I put money in there. That's just a dream of mine to own my own one day."

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior goaltender Celine Whitlinger stopped 53 shots over the course of two games to help lead Penn State (12-9-3, 7-4-1 CHA) to a series sweep of conference foe RIT (8-14-3, 2-9-1 CHA) this past weekend at Pegula Ice Arena.

In Saturday's matinee, Whitlinger kicked away 27 bullets to push the Nittany Lions to victory, 2-1. Then, in Sunday afternoon's contest, Whitlinger posted 26 saves to preserve the win, 3-1.

"Celine was so efficient, so poised, so square all weekend long," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "I'm tremendously proud of her. It's all about her effort and it's all about the great job she's doing."

Freshman defenseman Bella Sutton, who had two goals and an assist on the weekend, echoed the words of her head coach.

"Having Celine back there is a huge weight off my shoulders just knowing we have great goalies behind us, so I'm just doing whatever I can to help her out and make sure I can block any shots that she can't see," said Sutton.

In game one, both teams skated out to strong starts. Despite a scoreless first period, the Nittany Lions outshot the Tigers, 12-8, and were on the doorstep of finding the back of the net.

After a misdirected shot by RIT's Jess Paton trickled past the left pad of Whitlinger 2:22 into the second period, Shannon Yoxheimer's power play goal tied things up at the 8:04 mark. Yoxheimer beautifully redirected Sutton's shot from the point to bury the biscuit.

"I love the work and the growth that both of our power play units continue to put in," said Brandwene. "I thought we had great looks on even the power plays that we had before. We broke through and scored, so we had great puck movement, great communication. And again, you got a good low shot from Bella and Shannon perfectly placed in front of the net."

Just over two minutes had ticked off the clock following Yoxheimer's goal when a wrist shot from Sutton atop the right wing circle provided the Nittany Lions with the game-winning goal.

"I got the puck at the point, and really I was just trying to throw it on net," said Sutton. "My teammates did a good job of screening and getting me that puck, so I just threw it on net and hoped for the best."

The Blue and White carried momentum into game two, as Laura Bowman netted her second shorthanded goal of the season at the 8:49 mark in the second period.

"Honestly, I was trying to go for a pad pass, but it ended up hitting the inside of [Binnington's] pad," said Bowman who has 12 goals on the season. "She does have a pretty open five-hole."

Sutton continued her "offensively-minded defenseman" mentality into the second game. The Shoreview, Minn., native gave Penn State a 2-0 lead when, on the power play, she fired a shot from the point through traffic past RIT's net minder, Ali Binnington.

"There was traffic in front...so I just got a nice shot through, hoping to get one on the net for my teammates to tip in or rebound in," said Sutton.

RIT cut the lead in half at the 12:31 mark in the third period when Cassie Clayton scored her second goal of the season. However, junior forward Hannah Hoenshell put the fans at ease just over a minute later when she found the back of the net for her fourth tally of the year to give the Blue and White a two-goal lead.

"Just from this weekend we know that when we stick to our game plan and everyone is doing their job that we will get the results we want as long as we're working 110 percent every shift," said Sutton.

The key for Penn State over the weekend was special teams play. The Tigers finished 0-for-9 on the power play, while the Nittany Lions managed to score two power play and one short-handed goal.

"Our team really prides ourselves on our special teams," said Bowman. "We have one of the best percentages in the league. Sometimes we actually get excited for the power play and penalty kill."

With the two triumphs, Penn State notched its second home series sweep of the season

"It feels great," said Sutton when asked about the series sweep. "It's really cool that our hard work is paying off, but we have to look forward to the next weekend. Enjoy this, but be ready to work hard this week to prepare for next weekend."

The Nittany Lions will look to extend their two-game winning streak next weekend, Jan. 23-24, as they travel to New Hampshire for their final two non-conference games of the season.

 

 

 

 

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's hockey team (10-7-3, 5-4-1 CHA) may be in its third season as a Division I program, but after sweeping No. 6 Mercyhurst (17-4-2, 7-3-0 CHA) over the weekend at Pegula Ice Arena, the Nittany Lions mean business.

Following a 2-1 upset over the Lakers Friday night, the Nittany Lions carried momentum into Saturday afternoon's THON game by winning again, 5-3.

"This team is so resilient," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "Playing the number six team in the country, we never wavered and stuck with the game plan. That was a big time effort from our hockey team."

Junior goaltender Celine Whitlinger was the star in Friday's contest, making 36 saves to preserve the one goal victory.

"She definitely kept us in the game," said freshman defenseman Bella Sutton. "There were a lot of amazing saves she made that I have no idea how she did."

The top line consisting of Minnesota trio Caitlin Reilly, Amy Petersen and Laura Bowman had a stellar weekend.

In the first game, Petersen received a drop pass from Bowman who then buried the biscuit top shelf to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 advantage.

"Laura really did all of the work," said Petersen. "She made a nice play and beat two defenders, and all I had to do was hit it home."

Then 62 seconds later Sutton pushed Penn State's lead to two goals when, while on the power play, she fired a hard, low shot from the high slot past the glove of Mercyhurst net minder, Amanda Makela.

Top CHA goal scorer, Emily Janiga, cut the Penn State lead in half 17:24 into the third period, but it was too little, too late as the Nittany Lions managed to hold on for the upset.

"Incredibly proud of this hockey team," said Brandwene. "We had a solid first period and we built on it and got better in the second. We had excellent special teams play, and we never wavered in the third, no matter what they threw at us."

Earlier in the week, Petersen talked about how Saturday would be more than just a game because of THON day. With that being said, it's no surprise that Petersen and the top line put on a show for the 1,257 fans and THON children in attendance.

Thanks to a hat trick from Laura Bowman, the Nittany Lions were able to bring out the brooms.

Bowman's second goal of the afternoon turned out to be the game-winner. After stealing the puck in the neutral zone, the sophomore assistant captain skated down the right side and wristed a shot towards Makela. Initially seen as a save, the puck managed to trickle through Makela's five-hole and cross the goal line to give Penn State a 4-3 lead with 1:44 remaining in regulation.

"I honestly thought [Makela] had it," said Bowman. "I was kind of disappointed, but then [the fans] started cheering. I didn't see it go in until [the fans] cheered."

Despite trailing 2-0 early in the first period, freshman goaltender Hannah Ehresmann calmed down in net to turn away 26 shots.

"I just made sure I focused on each of the next shots, played my own game, and kept with the process," said Ehresmann.

The Nittany Lions cut the two-goal first period deficit in half after Bowman tallied her first goal of the game 4:21 into the first frame.

Then it was freshman speedster Caitlin Reilly who redirected a Kelly Seward shot from the point to tie the game at two.

Hannah Bramm gave the Nittany Lions a 3-2 advantage 4:11 into the third period after netting a power play goal on a hard wrist shot past the blocker of Makela.

Bowman secured a hat trick on an empty net goal following a center ice faceoff win with 3.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

Notable for the Nittany Lions over the weekend was the continued formidable special teams play. While going 2-for-6 on the power play, the Blue and White managed to hold the Lakers to 0-for-6 on the player-advantage.

"This sweep shows just how far we've come," said Petersen. "It shows just how far we've come in our third year as a D1 program. It shows that we're capable of doing anything we set our minds to and we can if we work together as a team."

With the program being so young, many "firsts" are still being crossed off the list. This past weekend not only included Penn State's very first win over a ranked opponent, but it also consisted of its very first sweep of a ranked and conference foe.  

With finals week and the holidays upcoming, Penn State will take a three-week break before returning to action Jan. 3 and Jan. 4 at home versus Ohio State.

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State women's hockey team is no stranger to a tough road schedule. The Nittany Lions traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa. and split with conference foe Robert Morris this past weekend.

Friday afternoon's contest was dominated by Penn State, as the Blue and White shutout the Colonials, 5-0. However, it was a different story Saturday, as the Colonials returned the favor by winning, 4-2.

"We're a team that's comfortable playing in any environment," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "We have a group of big time competitors, and I'm really pleased with the effort this weekend.

Penn State played very disciplined hockey down a player. Robert Morris went 0-for-9 on the player-advantage. In 18 games played this season, opponents are converting on just 21.8 percent of power play opportunities.

 "It was a great effort from our penalty killers all weekend," said Brandwene. "They played with great confidence, great poise, and really good aggressiveness. I'm really pleased with their effort at both ends of the ice." 

Additionally, Penn State scored a short-handed goal in each of the two games against the Colonials.

Micayla Catanzariti scored the first shorthanded goal in game one. Then, in game two, Laura Bowman continued the trend. Hannah Bramm added a power play goal, as well.

 "I'm so proud of Micayla and her whole line," said Brandwene. "They continue to give us a great effort night in and night out. They do a great job as individual penalty killers, as well. It was great to see them get rewarded. It was a heck of a pass by Emily Laurenzi, as well."

Catanzariti's first goal of the season, the aforementioned shorthanded goal, was set up beautifully by her teammate, Emily Laurenzi.

 "Great forecheck by Em Laurenzi," said Brandwene on how the play started. "Excellent work behind the goal line and a beautiful backhand saucer pass to Micayla who was in the right spot and had a great shot release."

Amy Petersen and Hannah Hoenshell each scored a goal while Shannon Yoxheimer added a pair of goals to round out Penn State's five.

Play between the pipes was equally as impressive over the weekend. Celine Whitlinger made a season-high 42 saves en route to her second-straight shutout, while Hannah Ehresmann stopped 33 shots in Saturday's loss.

"It was a terrific performance by Celine on Friday," said Brandwene. "Controlled, efficient. I'm really proud of her. Hannah battled hard. She did a great job of seeing pucks through traffic and excellent work on the penalty kill. I'm really pleased with the goaltending."

Despite winning the first game convincingly, the Nittany Lions were outshot in both contests, 42-21 and 37-21, respectively.

In response to the large shot differentials, Brandwene continues to look at each subsequent game as part of the process.

"We continue to strive for excellence in all three zones, in all aspects of our game, and I'm really pleased with the continued growth of this hockey team in all aspects," said Brandwene. "We are taking things one day at a time. I'm looking forward to getting back to work at the beginning of the week and stringing some practices together in preparation for the weekend."

The biggest take away from the two-game weekend series at 84 Lumber Arena was Penn State's apparent on-ice communication.

"Our on-ice communication was as good as it's been all season long," said Brandwene. "That's something I'm really pleased with. The players have taken great responsibility there, and it's something we're definitely going to build on."

The Nittany Lions will continue their progression in practice this week before facing off against Mercyhurst in a two-game home series at Pegula Ice Arena this upcoming Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The two may be miles away from home, but their journey together to Penn State has helped mold the friendship of a lifetime. Penn State women's hockey Juniors Micayla Catanzariti and Celine Whitlingerare were both integral pieces in Penn State's transition to a Division I program and have taken the team to new heights, but the similar paths that each took in arriving in Happy Valley is like California Dreamin'.

"
Both are fabulous, fabulous players in their own right," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "You have great hockey being played in the state of California. And, historically it goes back to the Wayne Gretzky trade."    

"We've been through a lot together," said Catanzariti. "It's made coming here so much easier. Especially being so far away from home, just having someone from home who knows everything about you..."

"...Brings a little piece of home with you," said Whitlinger finishing Catanzariti's sentence.

The voyage starts in California, takes a one-year pit stop in Ohio and then finishes in Happy Valley.

Anaheim Ducks

Catanzariti hails from Rancho Santa Margarita and Whitlinger is from Garden Grove, but their routes first crossed at the age of 13 when each starting playing on the Anaheim Ducks club team.

"We did so much traveling [with the Ducks]," said Catanzariti. "We'd leave Thursday night on a red eye, play six games and then get back Sunday night in California. It was a lot of traveling."   

The two Californians played for the Ducks for four seasons (2007-2010), helping guide the club to three bronze medals at the National Championships.

Gilmour Academy

However, the hockey road doesn't end there for them. Rather, due to their excellent play for the Ducks, the duo got recruited prior to the start of their senior year of high school to attend Gilmour Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, to further their hockey careers.

"It was like if you go, I'll go, but we were probably both going to go regardless," Whitlinger said about attending Gilmour Academy with Catanzariti.

Unlike California hockey, where Catanzariti and Whitlinger played side-by-side with guys their age, Gilmour Academy provided an environment that was similar to that of the women's collegiate game.

"The game is completely different in California," said Catanzariti. "They are stronger, faster, they hit, but they weren't allowed to hit us, but it was still more physical. Then in Gilmour we played other girl's high school teams, so I think that really prepared both of us for here [Penn State]. We were on the ice every day at Gilmour, which was different. We practiced three or four times a week in California, but at Gilmour we'd skate every day."

Penn State

After a tournament in Ohio, Brandwene recruited Catanzariti.

"We had seen Micayla pretty much right out of the gate as the program was launched during that transition year," said Brandwene. "She made an immediate impression on me with her work ethic, her intensity, and just those intangibles that she brings to the game along with her skill set. So that's where that process started. I'm thrilled that it worked out and glad that she saw Penn State as a great fit for her. She continues to do great things for us."

Then, Whitlinger followed suit.

"Basically I committed [to Penn State] and convinced Celine," said Catanzariti.

"I saw [Whitlinger] in the process just a little bit later and also brings all the attributes we look for in a Penn State women's hockey player," said Brandwene. "She is a terrific student who is very dedicated to her schoolwork, a fabulous teammate, has great character, and she's a tremendous athlete in goal and continues to have great success here."

While Catanzariti has tallied one assist this season, Whitlinger has posted a 4-4 record in net to go along with a 2.88 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.

According to Brandwene, having two Californians on the team has created a very natural, comfortable and fun-loving family environment. Combining their unique, positive personalities with their big time contributions make for one proud head coach.

"They bring great intensity and great spirit to the program," said Brandwene. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to coach both of them individually and collectively."

Californication and the rest of the Nittany Lions (7-6-3, 2-3-1 CHA) travel to Pittsburgh this weekend to take on Robert Morris (4-10-3, 1-3-2 CHA) in a two-game series at 84 Lumber Arena.

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving from Penn State Athletics

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - 'Tis the season for giving thanks, and the Penn State Athletics would like to take an opportunity to say thank you to the loyal fans on Thanksgiving.

As you sit down with family and friends to eat your traditional meal while the Lions and Cowboys host their annual Thanksgiving day home games, Penn State Athletics would like to thank you, the fans, for the unrivaled support you give every team on campus.  Penn State's teams would not be the same without the greatest fans in college sports.

As a token of their appreciation, several student-athletes from teams on campus would like to say thank you and Happy Thanksgiving for the support you give them throughout the athletic season.


Coach Brandwene Update


By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Those close to freshman forward Aly Hardy know that she is a well-rounded individual. She is not only a dedicated hockey player, but also a saxophone player and dancer.

Her smooth saxophone and dance abilities translate well onto the ice where she displays orchestrated skating with her line mates, as well as a unique barrel of stick handling skills.

She is making the most of her opportunities and impacting play through her constant progression, feisty play and work ethic.

The St. Albans, Vermont native has seen playing time in the past four games has jazzed up the program and was a contributor to three Blue and White wins during that four-game span.

Her hard work even translates into the players lounge at Pegula Ice Arena where she enjoys competing in 'Just Dance' on Xbox and at the Ping-Pong table, as well.

"Well I play ping pong mostly with [Hannah] Bramm because I can't play against Jill [Holdcroft] anymore because she makes me mad," said Hardy.

In fact, according to Hardy, the aforementioned statement is her favorite aspect of the state-of-the-art Pegula Ice Arena.

"I'd probably have to say the lounge," said Hardy. "The couches are really comfy, and I really like how we have Xbox and we play 'Just Dance' sometimes and the ping pong table definitely."

Music, dancing and ping-pong aside, Hardy intends to continue to jazz up Penn State as she progresses into a more experienced performer on the ice. 

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's hockey concluded the weekend on a high note with a 3-2 overtime win over RIT on Saturday. Head Coach Josh Brandwene continues to commend the freshmen class on their consistency on the ice.

"They just continue to grow every single day," said Brandwene. "The effort is always there. The poise continues to get better with great jobs at both ends of the ice, and a tremendous performance by Hannah [Ehresmann] in net."

Caitlin Reilly, CHA Rookie of the Week, boosted the Nittany Lions with two goals on Saturday including the game-winner in overtime. Reilly's first goal came in the first period with assists from Amy Petersen and fellow freshman Remi Martin. However, Reilly's game-winning goal was a total team effort.

"Great pressure at the offensive blue line by Amy Petersen," said Brandwene on how the play started. "Just a really smart hockey play with a nice chip and support from Laura Bowman. And, a great heads up play by Laura to feed Caitlin in the slot. Caitlin stuck with it and on her second opportunity threw it on net, and when you put pucks on net great things happen."

Making the necessary adjustments from a loss to skate to victory the next day speaks volumes to the type of program Brandwene and his players are creating.

"It says everything about the team family environment that we have," said Brandwene. "They are a great group. They bring tremendous enthusiasm and a great effort to the rink. We have a great group of leaders and veteran players who are tremendous veteran leaders for them."

Not only have the freshmen shined but also special teams.

Penn State's penalty kill was perfect against the Tigers, holding them scoreless on six opportunities. According to Brandwene, Bowman, Petersen, Emily Laurenzi, Micayla Catanzariti, Hannah Bramm, and Sarah Nielsen continue to positively progress on the disadvantage.

"A great week of practice from the penalty kill this week and an excellent effort on Friday and nice adjustments as well on Saturday," said Brandwene. "Great effort. Great poise. Great adjustments."

After going 0-for-3 on the power play in Friday's loss, the Blue and White scored on the player-advantage in Saturday's win. Freshman defenseman Bella Sutton netted the game-tying goal while on the power play with 5:06 in regulation.

"They remain patient and poised," said Brandwene on his power play. "We had good looks all weekend, and they made some just nice, simple adjustments to find some open space and open lanes, and I'm really proud of their effort, as well."

After nearly a month away from home, Penn State finally returns to Pegula Ice Arena this upcoming weekend for a two-game conference series against Lindenwood.



 



By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Already 12 games into the season, Remi Martin from Littleton, Colo., has positively impacted Penn State's defense. She's a big reason why the Blue and White are allowing just two goals per game.

College Transition

Transitioning to collegiate play can be challenging, but for Martin, having junior Jordin Pardoski as her defense partner has smoothened the process.

"I've definitely learned to be a little bit more mature, communicate better, and be open to her constructive criticism," Martin said about what she's learned from Pardoski.

Martin has certainly taken a hefty load of advice from her defense partner, but she has also taught Pardoski a few things, too.

"I've learned a lot from [Martin] even though I'm older," said Pardoski. "She's a great player on and off the ice. Just communicating wise I've learned from her style of play. We play really well together on the ice, so we accommodate each other."

Building Chemistry

Having chemistry on the blue line is integral to defensive success for the Nittany Lions. Still early in the season, Martin and Pardoski have developed into one of the strongest defense pairings in the CHA.

"We mesh well because at the same time we're both defensive-minded," said Martin. "She trusts me and I trust her with the puck, so we both support each other."

It's not just her relationship with Pardoski that makes the team so special to Martin. In fact, the freshman finds it unique that she relates well with all of her teammates.

"It's really welcoming here," said Martin. "Everyone on the team I relate with individually on a different level."

Martin brings a skilled and physical presence to the team. She's blocked 12 shots in addition to tallying one assist thus far. She notes the reason for her early success is due to her communication development.

According to head coach Josh Brandwene, Martin is a "multi-dimensional defender" who balances her skills evenly in both the defensive and offensive zones. She is a strong skater with excellent vision, a hard shot, and the ability to create puck movement.

Favorite Parts of Penn State

It doesn't matter if she's on or off the ice, Martin simply enjoys being around her teammates.

"My favorite thing about Penn State is definitely being around my team because I love my team," said Martin. "And I would say coming to the rink everyday and practicing and just feeling the camaraderie with everyone on the team.

Her favorite part about Penn State is one thing, but playing in the state-of-the-art Pegula Ice Arena presents another area of campus that Martin finds attractive.


"I would definitely say the training room," Martin said about her favorite part of Pegula Ice Arena. "I go in the hot tub a lot, and I go in the ice bath a lot."

Forward Thinking

Despite being just a freshman, Martin is playing at a skill level that is progressing at a fast rate. Expect her to continue to be a dynamic mainstay on the blue line for the Nittany Lions.