Recently in Women's Hockey Category
By: Sean Flanery, GoPSUsports.com Student
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - After a season filled with firsts, the Nittany Lions
dropped a hard-fought series in the opening round of the College Hockey America
playoffs. Now, with a bounty of lessons learned during their inaugural season,
Penn State will turn their focus to the 2013-14 season.
"I'm really proud of the effort that this group put in and the way they
battled all year," said Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene. "They got better
and better as the year went on. We said we wanted to play our best hockey at
the end of the year and despite the heartbreaking result in the CHA playoffs
they played their best hockey of the year at the end of the year. I think that is
something that's going to be a real pay it forward thing for us as we move into
At the start of its inaugural season, Penn State (7-26-2) featured a team
comprised of 17 freshmen, a few transfer players, and a number of players from
the club hockey team. Despite the youth and lack of Division I experience, the
Lions battled all season and stuck to the systematic plan Brandwene developed
at the start of the season and the improvements on the ice became apparent.
"The level of effort and improvement is phenomenal and that is to their
credit as people and hockey players," said Brandwene. "[Our players] are so
coachable, so willing to learn, and that paid big dividends for that group this
year. It will pay even bigger dividends next year with hard work moving
Now, as the tide turns and the Blue and White turn their focus to a new
season and a clean slate, the team has a lot to look forward to. Next year, the
Blue and White will feature a group of 17 sophomores, which now have the
experience out on the ice that will prove to be pivotal.
One freshman in particular that played a vital role in the Lions' success
this season was Shannon Yoxheimer, who recently earned All-CHA rookie team
honors for her outstanding play this season. The young forward led the Lions in
points this year with 31 (14 G, 17 A). The Michigan native said she couldn't
have received the same experience on the ice with any other program besides Penn
State and she is already looking forward to next season.
"I think the experience that we gained from this year will definitely
help," said Yoxheimer. "We are going to start off with that experience rather
than have to gain that throughout the year and we still have more to gain, but
we have some experience under our belts and that always helps with everyone's
Another bright spot for Penn State will be the return of some of their
veteran leadership positions that had previously transferred from Connecticut,
as net-minder Nicole Paniccia, along with forwards Jenna Welch and Taylor Gross
are only juniors.
"I've always been younger on teams," said Paniccia. "I have a really late
birthday, so I've been kind of the baby on the team, so I knew I was going to
have to step up. It was really my first time being a leader on a team and being
one of the older girls, so I think the biggest thing for me this year was to
step up my leadership role."
Now, with experience, a returning group that has a year of captaincy under
the belts, and a solid core of youthful talent, the Lions are poised to come
back next year with even higher expectations. In addition to the experience the
group gained this past season, Brandwene and his staff will have the luxury of
adding a very talented recruiting class.
The Lions will be adding four new skaters to the roster next season. Penn
State will introduce three new forwards in Sarah Nielsen from Edina High School
and teammates Laura Bowman and Amy Petersen from the Minnesota AA High School
State Championship team Minnetonka High School. In addition to the highly
coveted offensive firepower Penn State will be adding, they will also be
welcoming a 5-foot-9 defensive presence in Kelly Seward from Williamsville,
"They're great players and even better people that are going to fit in so
well in our culture," said Brandwene. "It's just an ideal situation for this
program to have a nucleus, a great core, and such wonderful people and talent newcomers
joining us that, I'm counting the days until we get started."
A talented core is in place that posses an unmatched level of team
chemistry, a new recruiting class full of talent is on the way, and a brand new
state-of-the-art facility in Pegula Ice Arena that will be opening before next
season, are all things for the Nittany Lion faithful to get excited about.
Penn State seemingly has all of the pieces in place for what could be an
excellent and successful second season. While many will never forget the
memories that were made both on the road and at home in the Greenberg Ice
Pavilion during the inaugural season, it's hard to not focus on the very bright
future ahead for women's hockey in Happy Valley.
"We've got a perfect storm coming together here with a great foundation, a
great nucleus that has outstanding leadership, now has experience and add tremendous
skill, with this recruiting class coming in," said Brandwene. "I'm really looking
forward to next year."
By: Sean Flanery, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
PARK, Pa. - Since wrapping up the regular season portion of its inaugural
campaign, Penn State (7-24-2) and head coach Josh Brandwene have had a week of
practice to prepare for the team's first appearance in the College Hockey
The CHA women's conference has been in existence since the fall of the 2002
season and was then comprised of four teams. Now, the league has slowly lost a
few teams, but also gained some to now account for six of the nation's Division
I women's programs. This past fall, Penn State, Rochester Institute of
Technology, and Lindenwood all made their CHA debuts.
With the CHA now being comprised of six teams, the format of the postseason
tournament has undergone a few changes. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will now get
a bye in the first weekend of action while the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds will do
battle with the No. 6 and No. 5 seeds, respectively.
"It's an interesting element of the series that we just played [RIT] pretty
recently," said Brandwene. "They've got a great team and they've had a great
season. I have tremendous respect for coach McDonald and the job he's done with
that program. They're the third place team and the pressure is on them to move
Penn State finished the season stronger defensively than it started it, but
struggled offensively down the stretch. However, the regular season is now in the
past and it doesn't matter how many goals anyone has scored, or allowed up to
this point. All that matters now is what each team does in the playoffs. Penn
State will make its' tournament debut when it travels to play RIT in a
best-of-three series beginning Friday at 2 p.m. inside Ritter Arena.
"[Our players] have worked so hard," said Brandwene. "They've been so
competitive and the beauty of it is everybody's worked really hard. All
programs have worked really hard during the regular season and it's sort of a
reset button heading into playoffs, so anything can happen. We've got the
underdog mentality and we're going to go up there with everything to gain and
nothing to lose and give it our best shot."
All tournament seeds are based upon how the teams faired throughout conference
play with the tiebreaker coming from head-to head records between the tied
College Hockey America Tournament
1. No. 9 Mercyhurst (26-6-1, 17-3-0 CHA)
= The Lakers are led by forward Christine
Bestland who posted a season total of 66 points (26 Goals, 40 Assists) this
= In goal, Stephanie Ciampa led the CHA in
goals-against average (1.40), winning percentage (.944), and ranked second in
= The Lakers had won 10 consecutive CHA titles
coming into this season.
= Mercyhurst's conference record dating back to
2002 is 114-5-9.
= This season, the Lakers posted a goals-per-game
average of 4.3 while limiting opponents to a 1.7 average.
This season, Mercyhurst proved once again why it is regarded as one of the most
elite Division I women's hockey programs in the country. Under the direction of
Michael Sisti, the Lakers have dominated the conference while making eight
straight NCAA tournament appearances including two consecutive trips to the
NCAA Frozen Four in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The team's strength this season was
their size and speed while having the help of one of the most elite forwards in
the country in Christine Bestland who led the CHA with 66 points this season.
2. Syracuse (19-14-1, 13-6-1) 27 points:
= Balanced attack led by sophomore
forward Nicole Ferrara (24 points; 10 G, 14 A) and senior forward Holly Carrie-Mattimoe
(24 points; 9 G, 15 A).
= Junior goaltender Kallie Billadeau regarded as
second-best net-minder in the CHA posted a conference best save percentage of
= Syracuse's inaugural season in the CHA was in
= It took the team just three years to make a
place for itself atop the CHA conference under Paul Flanagan making a trip the
conference title game losing to Mercyhurst 5-4 in 2011.
In the 2012-13 campaign Syracuse battled through its' schedule with a balanced
attack including five players registering 20 or more points for the season.
Also, the Orange benefitted from having one of the most elite goaltenders in
the conference in Billadeau who posted a 14-8 record this season. The team
relied heavily on its defense while its' offense produced only an average of
2.7 goals-per-game. Syracuse played in several close games this season
including 17 games decided by only one goal, which will bode well for the team in
the playoffs having experience in close games.
(14-15-5, 7-8-5) 19 points:
= Posted an average of 2.7
goals-per-game this season while holding opponents to 2.2 goals-per-game.
= The team was led by senior
forward Tenecia Hiller as she registered 25 points this season (14 G, 11 A).
= The team featured a duo of
goaltenders that both finished right around .500 in sophomore Ali Binnington
(9-9-4) and junior Laura Chamberlain (5-6-1).
= Impressively, both
net-minders averaged a 2.32 goals-against-average or better.
In the Tigers first year in the CHA and as a Division I team, they relied
heavily on their defense and outstanding goaltenders to finish third in the
conference thanks to a helpful head-to-head tiebreaker with Robert Morris. Head
coach Scott McDonald ranks as the team's all time leader in coaching wins and
led the team to its' first ever NCAA Championship as a Division III program
just last season posting a 28-1-1 mark. The Tigers will host the Nittany Lions
of Penn State in the first round of the CHA playoffs beginning March 1. This
season, the Tigers posted a record of 3-0-1 against the Nittany Lions while
outscoring them by a total of 13-4.
Morris (13-14-3, 9-10-1) 19 points:
= A terrific penalty kill unit
that allowed only 18 goals in 124 power plays all season.
= Forward Rebecca Vint led the
team registering 31 points on the year (16 G, 15 A).
= Goaltender Kristen DiCiocco
posted an 11-12-3 record while posting a goals-against-average of 2.32.
= The Colonials are the
defending CHA Tournament Champions after defeating Mercyhurst in 2012.
The Colonials will look to defend their CHA tournament title this season, but
drawing the four seed could mean trouble as the team will have to play an extra
series to get into the championship round. This year, the team has drawn
red-hot Lindenwood who finished the season going 5-1-2 in the month of
February. Robert Morris posted a 1-3 record versus the Lions this year, so the
road back to the championship round will be challenging.
5. Lindenwood (7-24-3, 7-10-3) 17 points:
= Finished the season on a strong
note going 5-1-2 in the month of February.
= All seven of the team's wins
came in conference play, which should help in the tournament.
= Posted a goals-per-game
average of 1.8 while allowing just over four goals-per-game (4.3).
= Sophomore forward Alison
Wickenheiser led the team with 23 points (12 G, 11 A) in 148 shots on net.
= Freshman goaltender Nicole
Hensley ranked first in the conference for shots faced with 993.
The Lions ended the season exactly how they needed to, making a push for the
four seed, but ultimately fell just short by two points to Robert Morris. So,
Lindenwood will have to make the trip to Neville Island, Pa. in the first
weekend of the CHA tournament where the team went 1-1 against Robert Morris in
the regular season while matching the Colonials goal-for-goal in that series
with seven apiece.
6. Penn State (7-24-2, 1-17-2) 4 points:
= The Nittany lions made their
Division I debut in early October and will be competing in the CHA tournament
for the first time.
= The roster includes 17
freshmen along with a number of transfer and former club players.
= The team averaged just 2.0
goals per game in its' first season while allowing 3.2 goals-per-game.
= Freshman forward Shannon
Yoxheimer led the Lions with 30 points (14 G, 16 A) and tied for fifth in the
CHA in goals.
= Junior goaltender Nicole
Paniccia (6-17-2) ranked as the third best goaltender in the conference posting
a goals against average of 3.20 while saving .925 percent of the shots she
faced, which ranks third in the CHA.
Under the direction of head coach Josh Brandwene the Nittany Lions proved that
there are many ups and downs that come along with an inaugural season, but they
have steadily improved over time. Now, as the tournament is finally here, Penn
State will head to Rochester, N.Y. where they will square off with RIT, a team
that they went 0-3-1 against in the regular season and just paid a visit to two
By: Sean Flanery, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After falling in two games this past weekend to
Rochester Institute of Technology, the Nittany Lions are preparing for the
final series of their inaugural season.
Last weekend the Lions' offensive woes continued, managing to find the net only
once in their two game series at RIT and they will look to right the ship this
weekend. Penn State (7-22-2) will travel to Neville Island, Pa. to do battle
with in-state foe Robert Morris (11-14-3) in the final series of the regular
"I think it has to start in the defensive zone to create more offense," said
freshman forward Shannon Yoxheimer. "We have to have good breakouts, get the
puck out quickly and transfer momentum from the defensive zone into the
Penn State's defense, despite this past weekend, has played well in the second
half of the season. The Blue and White have allowed just 2.6 goals per game, in
comparison to its season average of 3.1 goals allowed. The improvement in their
defensive zone has been apparent, but at the offensive end of the ice continues
to search for their footing.
The team has managed just 10 goals in its last 11 games, which does not bode
well for being on the right end of the scoreboard. However, the team has
endured some tough competition of late in playing teams such as No. 7 Mercyrhust,
Syracuse and RIT, which makeup the top of the College Hockey America standings.
"It's definitely key to keep playing better in the defensive zone and get [the
puck] out," said sophomore forward Jess Desorcie. "Keep moving it around the
offensive zone and don't get caught up in just taking shots. You have to keep
moving [the puck] around and getting it up to our points a lot more."
Getting the puck out has been a problem for the Lions as of late and Yoxheimer
accredits the team's recent struggles to not focusing enough on the simple
things and clearing pucks out of their own zone. Both Yoxheimer and Desorcie
said that the team has used this final week of practice before their last
regular season series at Robert Morris to address that very issue.
"We've been working a lot in practice on getting the puck out and getting
clears rather than hanging on to the puck in our end," said Yoxheimer, "especially
when it's near the blue line. I think that's a big thing that we're going to
focus on this weekend as a group."
There is plenty of work to be done as the Lions gear up for the last series of
their inaugural season and their first ever College Hockey America tournament
in the first week of March.
"Going into this last weekend we just want to be really positive and finish off
the season on a good note," said Desorcie. "Even though we have had our rough
patches through the year, we have definitely learned a lot. We just want to wrap
up the regular season on a high note this weekend before heading into
By: Sean Flanery GoPSUsports.com, Student Staff
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four years ago, when senior Lindsay Reihl (Cheshire,
Conn.) made Penn State her college choice coming out of high school, she
thought her dream of one-day playing Division I hockey was over.
Upon arriving in University Park, Reihl became a star defenseman on the
university's women's club team, the Penn State Lady Icers, which competed in
the Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League at the non-NCAA level in the
American Collegiate Hockey Association.
While with the club team, Reihl thrived on the ice helping to lead her team to
an ACHA tournament appearance in 2010, as well as an ECWHL regular season title
in 2012. The Connecticut native was also named the team's Defensive Player of
the Year during each season she spent at the club level.
However, during her third season with the Lady Icers, Reihl's dream of one-day
competing at the Division I level, which had previously seemed to vanish, came
to life again.
"As soon as I heard that [Penn State] was adding a Division I team, I wanted to
play for it," said Reihl. "It's had always been my dream to play Division I
hockey, but I just never thought that it would actually happen, so when I heard
[Penn State] got a team I just tried to work really hard. This has been an
amazing transition. It's an unreal experience playing Division I hockey and I
It wasn't too long after the hiring of head coach Josh Brandwene to lead the
Nittany Lions that the team announced the addition of 12 new players to the
inaugural seasons roster, one of which being Reihl. The defensemen's dream had
become a reality right before her eyes and the opportunity had practically fallen
in her lap.
As time passed, the dream Reihl was finally living kept expanding. In
mid-September just before the season began, the team collectively took a vote
on who would become the assistant captains alongside junior captain Taylor
Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Once again Reihl's name appeared. The senior
became one of Penn State's two assistant captains, alongside junior Jenna
Welch, it its inaugural campaign.
"It was awesome because I didn't have any Division I experience myself, but now
I am a leader on the team," said Reihl. "I can teach everyone our Penn State
ways and I had help from Taylor and Jenna. They're awesome co-captains. They've
just helped with the whole Division I transition and they're really awesome to
With both Gross and Welch transferring from Connecticut last year and 17
freshmen coming in to fill out the program's roster in its first season, it was
vital for Penn State to have a leader that was familiar with the university.
"It's great," said Gross. "Lindsay and I have become really good friends and it's
great to have experience on the team. Especially in hockey and school wise, she
has done a really good job of helping the younger girls adjust."
Now, Penn State (7-20-2) is no longer a team compiled of transfers, former club
members, and freshmen, but it's rather a battle-tested seasoned group as coach
Brandwene so often puts it.
Penn State's progress this season may not always show on the scoreboard, but
due in part to the tremendous captaincies of Gross, Reihl and Welch, the Lions
have created high hopes for a bright future for women's hockey in Happy Valley.
"I think we have come a long way since the beginning of the season," said Reihl.
"In September, we had seventeen freshmen and now everyone has equal experience.
Everyone is working together, we're meshing, and the chemistry is amazing. We
have come a long way and I think we are playing some of our best hockey right
now. I'm excited to see what we can bring in the playoffs."
With only four games remaining, the Nittany Lions hope to fine tune some areas
of play before the team makes its first ever College Hockey America tournament
The next drop of the puck for Penn State will be this Friday night at 7 p.m. in
the first of a two-game series with Rochester Institute of Technology
By: Sean Flanery, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - This past weekend Penn State (7-20-1) closed out its
final home series of the season with a 3-3-tie verses fellow College Hockey
America newcomer Lindenwood (4-23-2).
Following a devastating 3-1 loss, which included three unanswered goals by
Lindenwood on Friday afternoon, the Nittany Lions rebounded with a brilliant
effort in their final home contest of the season.
was an unbelievable gutsy 65-minute effort against an unbelievable set of
circumstances," said Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene. "I am extremely
proud of them and their effort, their courage, their stick-to-itiveness and
that's going to be my takeaway from today. Today was a big step for this
program and I'm really proud of the adversity we handled."
this past weekend marked the final home games of the season for the Blue and
White, it also marked the last time the women's team will suit up in Greenberg
The Nittany Lions have a lot to look forward to in the future as their new
home, Pegula Ice Arena, is currently being constructed and is on schedule to be
completed sometime before next season. While the future facility will offer so
much for the young program, Greenberg will always be known as the first home of
the Penn State women's hockey program.
a ton of great memories from this building as a player," said Brandwene, "I got
engaged at center-ice in this building and I even came back here to coach
against Penn State. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here with this
program right now looking at what we have to look forward to at [Pegula], but
also in this historic first season, which was spent right here in this building
and I'm proud to have done it with this group of kids."
the result in the final game at Greenberg wasn't one of which the players were
hoping for, junior goaltender Nicole Paniccia, who made 44 saves on the day,
believes she couldn't have asked for more out of the team as a whole.
played so well today, and I'm so proud of everyone," said Paniccia. "As our
last home game, like coach has been saying all year, we want to play our best
hockey at the end of the season and I definitely think we have been. I'm really
proud of my team and I think it was a good way to end our final home series
Now, as Penn
State says goodbye to Greenberg, it looks to prepare for a four game road trip
to end the season that will begin next Friday in Rochester, N.Y. where they
will face Rochester Institute of Technology (12-12-5).
days leading to the CHA tournament continue to wind down, the Nittany Lions
will use all of the momentum they have earned up to this point to continue to
improve before the playoffs begin in early March.
this is helping us going into the playoffs," said Brandwene. "We have been in
so many one-goal, two-goal games I've actually lost count to this point,
especially this semester. We are a battle-tested underdog and that is a great
place to be going into the playoffs and I'm really looking forward to these
next couple weekends against some great competition. Our goal continues to be playing
our best hockey down the stretch because anything can happen in playoff time."
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
GoPSUsports.com throughout the game, so check back often as the action unfolds.
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
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,
Lady Lions - LW- Wickenheiser, C- West,
RW- Arcibal, D- Cox, D- Witwicke, GK- Hensley
1st Period: 14:04 - Penn State 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,
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
1st Period: 6:20 - Penn State 1, Lindenwood 0
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,
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
2nd Period: 14:00 - Penn State 1,
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
2nd Period: 8:52 - Penn State 1,
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,
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,
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
3rd Period: 18:59 - Penn State 1,
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,
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,
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
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.
Sean Flanery GoPSUsports.com, Student Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - While Penn State has endured many ups and downs
throughout its inaugural season one aspect of head coach Josh Brandwene's
philosophy has remained constant, his positive attitude.
Brandwene, a standout defenseman for the men's club team from 1987-91 and a
Penn State graduate, described receiving the head coaching position at Penn
State as his dream job in every aspect of what the position entails. The Penn
State alum's numerous accomplishments at a variety of levels of the game, both
as a player and a coach, made him more than qualified to fulfill the role of
the program's front man in its inaugural season.
While his numerous accolades throughout his hockey career are impressive,
his positive attitude and his coaching philosophy are the keys behind the
Nittany Lions' success this season.
"He is always positive," said sophomore forward Jess Desorcie. "He obviously
always has a couple of things to say that we need to improve on, but it always
comes back to the positive side. So, it's nice to know what we need to work on,
but know that we are improving along the way."
All season long, Brandwene has described the season as a long process working
towards improvement, and the Nittany Lions are beginning to display just how
far they have come in their inaugural season.
At 7-19-1, Penn State's success on the ice extends beyond the record of
So far this season, the Lions have been involved in 10 games decided by two
goals or less and despite being on the losing end of most of them; the teams'
strides towards improvement are evident in the way they have kept competing. Brandwene's
philosophy as a coach has played a large role in the players' ability to not
"I think it's so effective because he is so positive," said Desorcie, "but
he does give constructive feedback and it's feedback that's going to be helpful.
So, while it might be something that we need to work on, he finds a positive in
it to make it something that we want to work towards and not just yell at us
and tell us we're doing bad. Not telling us we can't do it, but telling us that
it just needs to get better."
Brandwene's recipe for success and positive attitude has been the same
throughout his career developing a winning attitude at numerous programs at
many different levels, but it wasn't something that he just picked up.
"[My attitude] comes from a number of different places," said Brandwene. "I
had great influences here in both Joe Battista, my former coach, and Ralph
Sabock, a professor here at Penn State, and any number of other sources along
the way. To me this is the way it should be done and it's something I believe
Now, Brandwene has developed a level of competiveness and belief so much
that the Nittany Lions stood toe-to-toe with one of the best women's teams in
the country in No. 7 Mercyhurst just this past weekend.
Moving forward in their inaugural season, the Lions have just six games
remaining before they prepare for their first ever appearance in the College
Hockey America Tournament.
This weekend, the Lions will have a chance to move up the CHA standings while
finishing off the home part of their schedule by hosting Lindenwood (3-23-2) in
a set of two matinee games beginning Friday at 2 p.m.
While it may not be evident at the end of every game on the scoreboard, the
Lions are right on track when it comes to Brandwene's process, and when looking
at the alum's accolades that's a great start.
Flanery, GoPSUsports.com Student Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - All season long the Nittany Lions have showed an
improvement at both ends of the ice, but this past weekend freshman forward
Micayla Catanzariti (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) exemplified what it means
to give 100 percent effort at both ends.
Catanzariti and Penn State (7-19-1) came into the series versus No. 7
Mercyhurst (21-5-1) this past weekend with a belief that they could compete
with anyone at the Division I level.
"I like our level of competitiveness," Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene
said. "I like the fact that we're willing to take away space and be in battles
and show some real togetherness and some real toughness against the best in the
The California native was one player in particular that displayed all of
what Brandwene alluded to following the series.
Throughout the weekend, Catanzariti provided a tremendous effort at both
ends of the ice. At the defensive end, the freshman blocked four shots, bringing
her total to 49 on the season, which leads the team.
"When anybody does it, I always try and make an effort to say thank you,"
said junior goaltender Nicole Paniccia. "Just because for us [goalies] it means
so much especially for point shots when people are in front and you can't
really see it, so it means a lot. I am so thankful. It's like the best thing."
While Catanzariti provides a lot for the Lions in their own zone, she also
manages to lead Penn State on breakouts and into the offensive zone. So far
this season, the forward has amassed 48 shots on goal, which ranks third on the
team. When watching the freshman operate in the offensive zone it is evident
that her stick skill and speed has made her into the high-energy offensive
force she is.
"I don't know if I can give my move away," said Catanzariti. "I have a good
one and it only works on one side of the ice. Normally, on the right side of
the ice, I have a good one that I normally pull out and I save it for
occasions, but I can't really talk about it."
Catanzariti is a very skilled player both offensively and defensively, but it
doesn't keep the freshman from assuming the role of the 'tough enforcer' on the
team. Prior to the Mercyhurst series, the 5-foot-4 forward had totaled 18
penalty minutes and this past weekend the story remained the same. Catanzariti
committed four penalties this past weekend, all of which were of the checking
or roughing variety.
"I think [Mercyhurst] got a little nervous and I think that's where it kind
of started," Catanzariti said. "We had them on their heels for a bit and they
started throwing their bodies and we aren't going to take it."
Despite falling to the Lakers by scores of 5-2 and 4-1 on Friday and
Saturday, respectively, the Lions and Catanzariti showed a sense of fight and
toughness against a top-ranked team. The Lions will look back on this past
weekend to draw motivation moving forward. Penn State stood toe-to-toe with one
of the best teams in the country and had success in multiple areas of play.
As Catanzariti and the rest of the Nittany Lions move forward they will
have a week of practice to prepare for their final home series of their
inaugural season with fellow College Hockey America newcomer Lindenwood (3-23-2).
That series with the Lions will be a series of matinees beginning next Friday
at 2 p.m. at Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
By: Sean Flanery, GoPSUsports.com Student Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following a three-goal loss to Princeton on Tuesday
night, the Nittany Lions are now set to prepare for their toughest home-test to
date in No. 7 Mercyhurst.
This past Tuesday night, Penn State (7-17-1) fell to Princeton (7-12-2), in
what was the first game of a five-game home stand, by a score of 3-0. In the
two team's only meeting of the season, the Tigers took the lead late in the
first period and never looked back.
"To be honest, I don't think today [Tuesday] was our day," said junior
goaltender Nicole Paniccia regarding the loss to Princeton. "It wasn't Penn State hockey, but we're ready
to go hard this week and get ready for Mercyhurst."
Now, as the team moves forward, what may very well be their hardest home series
of the season lies ahead.
night, Penn State will welcome in-state foe No. 7 Mercyhurst University
(19-5-1) to Happy Valley in the two teams' second meeting of the season. In
early December, when these two teams met for the first time, the Nittany Lions
fell by scores of 5-0 and 7-1. However, despite what the box scores might say,
this series marked somewhat of a turning point in Penn State's season.
In the second game of the first series, Penn State showed a lot of fight as
they battled with the then-fourth ranked team in the country ending the first
period dead-locked at one goal apiece. Despite eventually losing the game by a
large margin, Penn State learned how to fight for an entire period even against
what may be a more talented opponent.
Since the first Mercyhurst series, Penn State has played in countless games
decided by only a few goals, or less, and has showed signs of a newfound team
confidence that is apparent on the scoreboard.
"Today aside, our six Division I games prior [to tonight] have been decided by
one or two goals," said Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene after the
Princeton loss. "Princeton is the first game at this level that we haven't had
a chance to get our goalie pulled since early December, so the progress is
there. We want to keep working and getting better. I'm proud of this young
team. I like the way we're coming together. We want to continue to improve
every day as we head into playoff time."
Currently, the team holds down the six and final seed in College Hockey America,
but trails Lindenwood by a mere two points for the fifth spot. The CHA playoffs
are a month away and only eight conference games separate the Lions from
determining where their final seeding will be.
"They're big, definitely," said freshman forward Micayla Catanzariti regarding
the eight conference games. "The goal is to keep getting better every game and
I think our main focus right now is just the end of the season; playoff time. So,
I think we are going to take those games and we are just going to keep getting
better and when the playoffs come around I think we are going to surprise a lot
When the puck drops this Friday evening at 7 p.m. in Greenberg Ice Pavilion,
the Nittany Lions may be facing-off in what is their toughest home-series of
However, this series may prove to be another great learning experience for the
young team, just as it was the first time around in early December. It may very
well be what the Lions need to help propel them to a higher CHA Tournament seed
over the next month.
PARK, Pa. - Welcome back to in-game coverage of 2012-13 Penn State women's hockey
season. Insight and reaction will be
provided by GoPSUsports.com throughout the game, so check back often as the
Take a look back at the Penn State
(7-17-1) women's hockey contest with Princeton (7-12-2) from Tuesday, Jan. 29
at Greenberg Ice Arena. The Nittany Lions fell by a score of 3-0, but took some
bright spots from the power play and another test vs. a physical Princeton team.
Today's Game in 140 Characters: Offense
needs to get clicking...#PennState should continue tough D vs. #Princeton...Yoxheimer,
Desorcie, Gross line needs to set tone.
Leading Lines (Starting lineups)
Nittany Lions - RW- Gross, C- Desorcie, LW- Yoxheimer, D- Bateman, D- Jahnke,
Tigers- RW- Butler, C- Laing, LW- Butler,
D- Alleva, D- Figueroa, GK- Newell
1st Period: 16:09 - Penn State 0, Princeton
The Tigers nearly lit the lamp just 24 seconds into the game, but a high
sticking call disallowed the goal. It has been a lot of Princeton, so far, in
the game and Princeton has had a couple of quality scoring chances that Nicole
Paniccia has turned away, including one that hit the post. The defense is
really going to have to pick up the pace or Paniccia is going to have to be big
in net again for the Nittany Lions.
1st Period: 6:38 - Penn State 0, Princeton
Neither team has found their flow on either end, but Princeton has had a couple
more nice scoring opportunities. The Tigers own a 3-2 edge in shots, but
Paniccia has faced more pucks towards net than that. It is going to be the
first team that can sustain possession in the others zone that will have the
upper hand in this contest and Princeton has shown more of a knack for that
over the first 13 minutes.
1st Period: 4:28 - Penn State 0, Princeton
A shot through traffic slipped past Paniccia off of a faceoff in the Nittany
Lion zone. Corey Stearns won the faceoff and got the puck and Brianna Leahy
found the tape of Karen McDonald, whose shot got through traffic in front of
Paniccia and into the back of the net. Prior to that the Nittany Lions had a
scoring chance of their own with some traffic in front of the net, when Jordin
Pardoski ripped a shot from the blue line that was padded away by the Princeton
End of 1st
Period - Penn State 0, Princeton 1
It was an even period on the stat sheet, but Princeton had more scoring
opportunities in the opening 20 minutes. The Tigers had one goal disallowed by
a high stick just 24 seconds into the game and another shot ricochet off the
post before they lit the lamp. Pardoski and Sarah Wilkie each had nice scoring
opportunities late in the period, but neither got on net. Paniccia has been
solid in net, making five saves, but the Nittany Lions will need to control the
puck more in the second period if they want to get back into this game. The
Tigers won 11 of 17 faceoffs and controlled the puck for most of the first ten
minutes before PSU was able to get some offense going.
2nd Period: 19:21 - Penn State 0, Princeton
Princeton was denied a goal under a minute into the opening period, but Sally
Butler was not going to let a minute pass before the Tigers extended their lead
in the second period. Butler gathered the rebound in front of the net and found
an opening to put the visitors up by two goals. The recently stout Penn State
backline has given up their fair number of good scoring chances today.
2nd Period: 14:00 - Penn State 0, Princeton 2
Paniccia has kept this game at a two-goal deficit with some stellar play under
heavy fire from Princeton. The Nittany Lions have had some nice offensive
rushes against the Tigers, but the inability to connect on passes had limited their
opportunities. The shot count is 18-5 in favor of Princeton, but PSU has won
four of the seven faceoffs this period, which has helped to give them some consistency
on the ice.
2nd Period: 7:21 - Penn State 0, Princeton
Taylor Gross is going to sleep well tonight and it is only the second period. Wearing
the Captain's "C" on her chest, Gross has been all over the ice for the Nittany
Lions, but her effort needs a little help if the Lions are going to get back
into this game. It seems that everything the Lions get the puck deep in the PU
zone there's a misconnect and the rush begins the other way. The faceoff circle
continues to be controlled by PSU this half, with the Lions winning 9 of 16
bouts in the circle. The first power play of the game will go to Princeton as
Emily Laurenzi was called for hooking.
End of 2nd Period - Penn State 0, Princeton
A power play for each side netted no scoring, but Penn State logged four their seven
shots in the period with the player advantage. Shannon Yoxheimer had three of
the four shots on the power play, with one clanking off the post, but it was Paniccia
who continues to stand tall in net for the Blue and White. The junior made 13
saves in the second period to hold the Tigers lead to just two goals. We knew
coming into the game that Penn State's offense would have to account for at
least two goals to win, but now it faces a tall test if it wants to extend its
home ice winning streak. Penn State ended the period. Penn State won 11 of 23
faceoffs in the period, up from four of 11 in the opening frame.
3rd Period: 13:28 - Penn State 0, Princeton
The clock is not Penn States friend right now, as the Nittany Lions need to
make the best of their scoring chances over the final 13-plus minutes. No shots
in the third period for PSU, while Princeton has four shots. The Tigers have
moved the puck well in the Nittany Lion zone and Penn State has not been able
to counter with much of a rush.
3rd Period: 10:44 - Penn State 0, Princeton
Penn State had a chance to pull within one, but Kimberly Newell stoned the
initial shot and the follow. Gross took a shot from the wing, which Newell
saved, but couldn't control, and Yoxheimer had a hack at it in front, but Newell
skirted it away with her pad and eventually covered for a faceoff. After winning the faceoff, Princeton came
right down the ice and Molly Contini did what PSU couldn't, score on the rebound.
That goal made it a three goal game with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.
3rd Period: 5:00 - Penn State 0, Princeton
The Nittany Lions had their chance to get back into the game with a 5v3 power
play and they threw everything they had at Newell, but to no avail. Yoxheimer
had a shot that was saved, while Hannah Hoenshell's initial wrist shot was
saved and Laurenzi's rebound attempt was smothered by the Princeton keeper to
keep the Tigers lead at three goals. Penn State has been better in the offensive
zone in the third period, but PU keeps the pressure turned up on the other end,
FINAL - Penn State 0, Princeton 3
It just wasn't Penn State's night. The Nittany Lions nearly fell behind in the opening
minute of the game and Princeton controlled the puck for the majority of the
contest and tallied one goal in each period. Nicole Paniccia was a bright spot
again for PSU, regardless of the three goals allowed, as she made 27 saves.
The power play was impressive, even though the Lions couldn't come away with
any goals, as the team generated ten shots. Freshman Shannon Yoxheimer had
three shots on the first power play in the game, including a blast the glanced
off the post and went wide of the net.
The offensive pressure picked up throughout the game, with more shots taken as
the periods progressed. Even though no one lit the lamp for Penn State, the
Nittany Lions saw their persistence pay off against a very physical Princeton
team and clogged the middle of the ice, making breakouts and crisp passing
The next test comes this weekend when No. 7 Mercyhurst visits Greenberg Ice
Arena for a pair of games. The Lakers sit atop the College Hockey America
standings and is 19-5-1 entering the matchup with PSU.
Quick Change Press Conference Quotes
"I don't thing today was our day. That wasn't Penn State hockey. We are ready
to go hard this week and get better for this weekend vs. Mercyhurst. We just
have to put this behind us and get ready for Mercyhurst."
- Junior Nicole Paniccia
"We really had to use our strength tonight. They were taking away our breaks so
we really had to be tough out there tonight."
- Freshman Shannon Yoxheimer
"The power play was really good today. We had a lot of chances on the power play,
but it just wasn't our day. The puck bounces your way some days and today it didn't."
-Freshman Shannon Yoxheimer
"I think in a lot of ways it was a tale of two, or even three different hockey
games. I saw some good intensity and effort out of our girls...and that is our
motive moving forward. We need to improve out consistency as we move into the
final portion of our schedule."
- Head coach Josh Brandwene
"I am happy with the chances we had. We had some good chances on the power play
and controlled the puck nicely. We just have to get better at controlling the
- Head coach Josh Brandwene
"We are looking for more pushback after our opponents score. I wasn't thrilled
with our pushback immediately following the second goal, but I was happy with
the way we played out the second period."
- Head coach Josh Brandwene
"We were poised and had good puck movement. We had some good chances on the power
play. We worked on a lot of those things in practice this morning and it was great to see that our girls are
- Head coach Josh Brandwene
"We've made so much progress since October...I am so happy with our progress. We
want to be playing our best hockey at the end of the year going into the
playoffs. We are really looking forward to it. I want us to be aggressive and
be consistent. I want our players to have fun playing hockey."
- Head coach Josh Brandwene
What To Look For:
- The Nittany Lions will look to continue their stellar play on defense on
Tuesday vs. Princeton, but will look to the offense to ultimately win this
contest. Penn State has allowed just eight goals in their last four matches, but
has tallied just two goals in those contests.
- Freshman Shannon Yoxheimer continues to pace the squad in points (24) and
goals (12) during her rookie campaign, while sitting second on the team in
assists (12). Jill Holdcroft has tallied the second most goals on the team (8),
while junior captain Taylor Gross tops the team charts with 14 assists. Freshman
Hannah Hoenshell is third on the team with seven goals, playing in just 18 of the
team's 24 games.
- The two teams are comparative this season, not only in record but on the stat
sheet, as well. Penn State enters with a mark of 7-16-1, while Princeton is
6-12-2 overall. Both teams have allowed more goals than they have scored and
both have been sub-par on the power play this year. The Nittany Lions are
averaging more goals scored per game, 2.3-2.1, and allow fewer goals a game,
3.0-3.4. With two more games under their belt than the Tigers, Penn State still
has a decisive edge in total goals at 56-42.
- Penn State can really help themselves over
the final few weeks of the regular season and head into the College Hockey
America Tournament on a high note. The Lions currently sit in sixth in the CHA
with three points, but play Lindenwood (5th, 5 pts), Robert Morris (4th, 13
pts) and RIT (3rd, 14 pts) in the closing weeks. They will kick off their final
month of the year with a two-game series with Mercyhurst, the top ranked squad
in the CHA, next weekend at home.