Nittany Lions Fall to No. 8 Mercyhurst, 4-0
Feb. 15, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's hockey bravely fought the No. 8 Mercyhurst Lakers all evening, but ultimately fell 4-0 Saturday night at Pegula Ice Arena. The two teams wrap up the series Sunday at 1 p.m. for Penn State's Senior Day.
The Nittany Lions (4-24-3, 1-15-1 CHA) did all they could to keep the streaking Lakers (20-7-3, 13-3-1 CHA) from their sixth straight win, but Mercyhurst was too powerful.
Christine Bestland put Mercyhurst ahead 9:04 into the game on a short-handed goal from Emily Janiga. Janiga picked off a Lion pass in Penn State's zone, rounded the goal and fed a skating Bestland for her 16th goal of the year. Prior to Bestland's goal, Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) nearly put the Nittany Lions ahead as her slapshot from the left-wing beat goaltender Angela Makela, but dinged the crossbar. Mercyhurst earned an 11-3 edge in shots in the opening frame with Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.) stopping 10 shots.
In the second, Mercyhurst capitalized on a pair of Penn State errors midway through the period to double then triple the lead 12:27 into the frame. Kaleigh Chippy put away a J'nai Mahadeo feed before Cicero made it 3-0 from a Chippy assist. Whitlinger had nine saves in the period.
The third frame was an evenly contested period with Mercyhurst only out-shooting Penn State 12-11. Penn State's best opportunities to score came on a 5-on-3 power play midway through where the Lions put give shots on frame, but Makela was there for all of them. Janiga would score her 15th goal of the year on the power-play, diving to slap a shot through Whitlinger's legs and wrap up the 4-0 game.
The Lakers went 1-for-4 on the power play with eight shots, while Penn State was 0-for-5 with five shots. Penn State held a 16-3 edge in blocked shots with Paige Jahnke (Oakdale, Minn.) and Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) pacing the Lions.
The series finale is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. as Penn State celebrates the careers of Lindsay Reihl (Cheshire, Conn.), Jenna Welch (Austin, Texas), Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.), Tess Weaver (Windber, Pa.) and Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.).