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Feb. 2, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Despite another spirited effort, Penn State women's hockey fell 4-1 to No. 7 Mercyhurst on Saturday afternoon at Greenberg Ice Pavilion. Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) saved 46 shots, while Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) scored her ninth goal of the season.
After a scoreless first period that saw Mercyhurst (21-5-1, 12-2-0 CHA) with a slight 11-6 edge in shots over Penn State (7-19-1, 1-12-1 CHA), the Lakers' Shelby Bram scored 2:44 into the second. Christine Bestland had a great solo effort down the left wing and behind the net to find Bram streaking down the slot for the goal.
Bestland was a headache 13 minutes later when she stripped a Nittany Lion defender of the puck and beat Paniccia for a 2-0 lead with 4:31 left in the period.
In the third, Mercyhurst made it 3-0 on Vaila Higson's long-range effort, a fluttering shot that sneaked over Paniccia's shoulder 13:07 into the period. Five minutes later, Bestland capped a five-goal weekend when she took a Jenn Dingeldein 2-on-1 pass for the 4-0 lead.
Holdcroft scored her team-leading fifth power-play goal of the season with three seconds remaining in the game off a shot from Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) and a pass from Jordin Pardoski (Rochester Hills, Mich.).
For the weekend, Penn State was outscored 9-3 by the high flying, first-place Lakers. Next weekend's opponent Lindenwood was swept by Mercyhurst last weekend by a combined tally of 15-1. Lindenwood comes into next weeked's series on a fantastic high of three points after tying and beating RIT in Missouri. Today the Lions lost a lead with a minute left in the game, but scored with seven seconds left to win it 4-3 over the Tigers.