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Jan. 31, 2014
(4-20-3, 1-11-1 CHA)
Pegula Ice Arena University Park, Pa. Attendance: 563
(12-12-5, 7-4-2 CHA)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's hockey fought with third-place RIT in a tightly-contested College Hockey America contest, finishing in a 2-2 deadlock Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena. Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.) was the star of the game with 34 saves, while Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) and Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.) scored for the Nittany Lions (4-20-3, 1-11-1 CHA).
"It was a fabulous 65-minute battle out there between two hockey teams," Head coach Josh Brandwene said afterward. "That's the kind of experience you want at this time of the year everyday moving forward."
RIT (12-2-5, 7-4-2 CHA), sixth in the nation for player play goals, capitalized on its first extra-player opportunity as Erin Zach redirected a Morgan Scoyne offering for a 1-0 lead at 13:17. The goal came with just 23 seconds remaining on the power play.
The Nittany Lions would nearly equalize on a Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) breakaway, but her forehand wrister clanged off the right post with 2:10 left in the period. Petersen tied things up when she poked home a rebounded shot by Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.). The goal was Petersen's third of the year and second one in as many games, coming with just 1:45 left in the frame. The play was set up well by Bowman winning the faceoff to Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas), who passed it up to the point to Jordin Pardoski (Rochester Hills, Mich) whose initial shot was saved by starting goaltender Ali Binnington (five saves).
While there wasn't any scoring in the second period, Whitlinger stood tall by making 18 saves and the Nittany Lions killed off two RIT power plays, allowing just three shots to reach frame.
Penn State took its only lead of the game on Yoxheimer's sixth goal of the year, snapping a nine-game scoring drought dating back to Nov. 30, just 2:41 into the third period. Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won a loose puck behind the net and swung it to an open Yoxheimer who made no mistake and beat reserve netminder Brooke Stoddart (13 saves).
The Nittany Lions controlled much of the play during the third stanza, earning an 8-5 edge in shots, but it was RIT who would strike back. Celeste Brown's shot 9:42 into the frame deflected off a Nittany Lion stick and fluttered over Whitlinger to knot things up at two apiece. The two teams would go scoreless over the final 10 minutes of the third in regulation.
In overtime, Penn State's fifth in a row at Pegula Ice Arena, RIT held a 2-0 edge in shots, but neither team had a serious scoring opportunity as PSU earned its third point of the CHA season. The series is still led by the Tigers at 7-0-2.
RIT led in shots 36-21, faceoff wins (33-31) and blocked shots (24-17). RIT's Brown was the leading point scorer on the night with a goal and an assist.
The two teams faceoff at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Pegula Ice Arena for Penn State's second annual Skate for the Cure game. All fans will be admitted free of charge for the special event as Penn State Pinks Out Pegula.
Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the rink and support the Nittany Lions who will also be sporting pink jerseys in support of THON and Pink Zone. Proceeds from a silent auction will benefit those two charities with great items from Penn State Athletics available for bidding.