Recently in Women's Hockey Category

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. 


By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Not only did Penn State (5-4-3) claim its first road series sweep in program history this past weekend, but the Nittany Lions also continued their offensive surge by scoring nine goals in just two games against Colgate (2-7-0).

Playing both games at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y., the Blue and White were the real stars in the two-game weekend series.

"
A total team effort," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "Great intensity. Great poise. Great focus. Really pleased with the effort this weekend."

The top line of Amy Petersen, Laura Bowman and Hannah Hoenshell scored seven of nine goals to lead Penn State's brushing of Colgate.

"
Their results speak directly to their process and their effort," Brandwene said in regards to his top line. "They're competitive people. They just continue to work hard and get better every day."

In Friday night's contest, Penn State used a four-goal second period to paste Colgate, 6-4. The top line totaled five goals, with Bowman and Hoenshell each scoring twice and Petersen scoring once.

Shannon Yoxheimer was another Nittany Lion to score in Friday's high scoring affair on a gorgeous move through three Raiders to find the back of the net.

"
Fantastic move," said Brandwene. "Fantastic burst of speed. She too and her line continue to get better every day. Their process is excellent, and they are seeing the results as well, and that's a great thing for our hockey team."

While offense was the focus in game one, Saturday's venue featured discipline on defense as the Nittany Lions squeezed Colgate, 3-1.

"Our decision-making on Saturday was outstanding, and that's something that we want to continue to build on," said Brandwene.

Trailing 1-0 after one period of play, the Blue and White used two-second period goals from Bowman to regain the lead. Then, an empty netter from Sarah Nielsen sealed the rinsing of the Raiders, 3-1.

The adjustments that Penn State made on defense after the first period allowed the Nittany Lions to find success in the final 40 minutes of play.

"The team did a great job of sticking with the game plan, maintaining focus on the process, and it was a terrific team effort," said Brandwene.

With 12 games under their belt, the Penn State freshmen continue to make strides on and off the ice. In the two weekend wins, first-year defenseman Bella Sutton blocked six shots, while fellow rookie Caitlin Reilly tallied an assist on Yoxheimer's goal in the Friday's game.

"As a group they continue to get better," said Brandwene. "They're very hard working, very coachable and their process continues to be excellent as well."

Since taking the head coaching reigns three years ago, Brandwene is very pleased with the progress his team has made since its inaugural Division I season in 2012.

"It is a great pleasure for me to watch the student-athletes in our program get rewarded for their hard work," said Brandwene. "I'm grateful every day for the opportunity to work with this fabulous group of student-athletes."

The Nittany Lions return home to practice this week before traveling to Rochester, N.Y. to face off against conference foe RIT on Friday and Saturday.

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Left winger Amy Petersen may don the number nine on the back of her Blue and White jersey, but it's the number eight that stands out through ten games played this season.

The sophomore from Minnetonka, Minn., has already netted eight goals (three power play goals) on the year to lead Penn State's offensive attack. 

"Our team as a whole puts a lot of work in the weight room and work really hard on conditioning and getting stronger," said Petersen. "A lot of that has helped me score more goals."

Prior to Penn State

Prior to Penn State, at Minnetonka High School, Petersen accumulated 70 goals and 118 assists over the course of four years playing on a team that earned four straight Lake Conference titles and won three straight Minnesota High School AA championships.

Despite scoring all of those goals in high school, Petersen says that she has never really been considered a goal scorer.

"
I actually haven't really [been known as a goal scorer]," said Petersen. "A lot of high school and even freshman year I was more of a playmaker, getting more assists and trying to set up my teammates."

Development of Goal-Scoring Mentality

As a freshman last year, Petersen assisted on ten Nittany Lion goals, but scored just five of her own.

The five-foot-four forward has already surpassed her freshman goal total by three. She's not quite sure what has changed over the past year, noting that some luck has certainly been involved, but that the coaching staff has helped immensely.

"
Well, I wasn't scoring at the end of last season, so I was talking with the coaches and telling them that I wanted to stop in front of the net more because a lot of the times I'd just fly by and swing to the corner," said Petersen. "By stopping in front, there are a lot of rebounds and garbage goal opportunities."

When you watch Petersen orchestrate offensive chances on the ice, it is sometimes hard to believe that she is only a sophomore. Her vision, speed and performance make her appear as an upperclassman.

"She's got a tremendous number of reps under her belt," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "She does a great job for us both with the puck and without it. She does great work on the power play and penalty kill. I'm really pleased with the effort that she puts in." 

Sixth Sense

Line mate familiarity has certainly catapulted Petersen to the top of the scoring sheet. Sophomore center Laura Bowman has played alongside Petersen since the two were little and right winger Hannah Hoenshell has meshed comfortably on the top line alongside the two Minnetonkans.

"Hannah and Laura have made a lot of great passes to me and given me chances to score," said Petersen. "The three of us have worked well together the last two years. We have a lot of chemistry between each other, and so we know where each other is going to be, which helps a ton."

Bowman has tallied two goals and seven assists, while Hoenshelll has added two more assists to round out Penn State's number one line.

According to Brandwene, his top line possesses an additional form of communication that makes them so difficult to stop.

"They have a sixth sense, silent communication piece that makes them incredibly effective," said Brandwene.

Looking Ahead

With eight goals and three assists already, Petersen doesn't expect to slow down and neither does her head coach.

"She's a great competitor," said Brandwene. "She's a great teammate. She loves this school. She loves this program. She's a great student as well and that's a fabulous thing."

However, only one thing is on Petersen's mind as she and her teammates look forward to a two-game road series against Colgate this upcoming weekend.

"We're trying to get goals for our team," said Petersen. "If the pucks in the back of the net we are all happy."



By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Penn State displayed a terrific response on special teams this past weekend against Syracuse as all three Nittany Lion goals ­were scored via the power play and the penalty-killing unit allowed just one Orange man advantage goal.

In its first CHA series of the season, Penn State (3-4-3, 0-1-1 CHA) fell to Syracuse (2-3-5, 1-0-1 CHA) on Friday night, 3-1, and tied on Saturday afternoon, 2-2.

"I'm really pleased with the overall effort," said head coach Josh Brandwene. "We got great play from both sides of special teams, power play and penalty kill. I love how we've responded to adversity on the road."

In Friday's contest Amy Petersen netted the team's first power play goal of the weekend. With assists from Laura Bowman and Bella Sutton, Petersen managed to even the score in the second period, before falling, 3-1.

Success on the power play continued into Saturday for the Nittany Lions as Bowman scored a special teams goal of her own to tie the tie the game in the first period, 1-1. This time around it was Petersen and Sutton with the assists.


After a Syracuse penalty with 4:20 left in the third period, Petersen notched her second power play goal of the weekend with assists by Bowman and Shannon Yoxheimer to tie the Orange, 2-2.

"It's great battles for loose pucks and maintaining zone possession time by the power play," said Brandwene. "Great communication and great vision seeing passing lanes and great poise, as well."

While Petersen pushes her goal total to eight on the season, as a team, the Nittany Lions converted on 43% (3-for-7) of their man-advantage opportunities against Syracuse.

"Certainly the success on the power play was big for us," said Brandwene. "I really, really feel good about the effort and response that we're getting. It's a total team effort out there for us."

The Penn State penalty-killing units played disciplined hockey, allowing just one Orange power play goal in six attempts.

"On the penalty kill, really good job with skating up ice and great job shutting down lanes," said Brandwene.

With such balanced play on both sides of special teams against Syracuse, Brandwene is certainly pleased with the development and progression of the power play and penalty kill so far this season.|

"It speaks to how coachable they are, and they deserve all the credit for the continued progress we are making on both sides of special teams," said Brandwene. "The continued attention to battling for every loose puck. Winning those 50/50 battles and just sustaining the intensity."

Notable first-year performances this weekend go to defenseman Bella Sutton who tallied two assists on the weekend and goaltender Hannah Ehresmann who stopped 50 shots in Friday's tie.

Having played ten games so far this season, Brandwene is happy with the adjustments and growth of the many freshmen.

"Our freshman class continues to grow," said Brandwene. "They learn. They work. They're willing to get better. I'm really appreciative of their efforts at the start of our season here."