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Jan. 26, 2013
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Syracuse scored three times in the first 11:29 and Penn State women's hockey fell 4-1 at Tennity Ice Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) scored a power play goal early in the second period and freshman Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.) made a career-high 51 saves to keep the Nittany Lions in the game.
Syracuse (14-11-1, 8-3-1 College Hockey America) maintained its hold on second place in the CHA with a dominating first 20 minutes of the game. Nicole Ferrara scored 3:04 into the game after a power play expired for the early lead.
Syracuse doubled the lead 1:52 later through Kaillie Goodnough on a scramble in front of the net. The Orange capped the scoring at 11:29 when Jacquie Greco cashed in on a power-play goal. SU tallied 22 shots to PSU's four attempts on net.
Penn State (7-16-1, 1-10-1 CHA) answered back early in the second period with Holdcroft's eighth goal of the season. The play was set up by Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) and Jess Desorcie (Westford, Vt.). Holdcroft shifts into first on the team for the most power play goals with her fourth of the season. Holfcroft's tally also broke a 202-minute scoreless streak against the Orange, who started their program in 2008-09.
Penn State held a solid run of play in the second, going toe-to-toe with the Orange as evidenced by a 5-5 deadlock in shots. Syracuse regained control of the period by registering the final eight shots in the frame.
The Nittany Lions again came out strong in the third and twice came within inches of making it a one-goal game. Yoxheimer had a wrister from the slot during a power play knocked away by Jenesica Drinkwater (12 saves).
Later, Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas) ripped a shot from the left wing that Drinkwater pushed behind her goal. Hoenshell collected the puck and attempted a wraparound shot, but Drinkwater made it across the crease to deny the crafty freshman.
That would be Penn State's last scoring opportunity as the Orange scored an empty-netter with 23.6 seconds left for the final 4-1 score line. Syracuse owned a 20-6 shot margin in the third.
Desorcie was Penn State's best center in the faceoff, going 7-4 and Yoxheimer went 3-2. Whitlinger's 51-save performance was her fourth game with 40 or more saves. Last game out she stopped 48 shots at Union on Jan. 11. Whitlinger also have a nice bounce back performance from the last time she faced Syracuse when the Orange tallied six goals on 44 shots.
The freshman netminder has been on a particular streak of late, saving 96.4 percent of the shots she has faced since a Nov. 30 appearance at Mercyhurst. During that six-game span, Whitlinger has a 1.55 goals-against average with just seven goals allowed in 194 shots.
Penn State has a quick turnaround when it hosts Princeton at Greenberg Ice Pavilion on Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m. as the Nittany Lions kick off a five-game home stand. All Penn State women's hockey games are free to attend.