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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Natalie Heising (Maple Grove, Minn.) became the second freshman in program history to tally a hat trick as the Penn State women's hockey team defeated the Lindenwood Lions, 6-0, in the 2017-18 regular season finale Saturday afternoon at the Pegula Ice Arena.
"I think today was a really good performance by us, like all weekend was, but today being able to score goals, especially after scoring zero yesterday on 43 shots, that was a big relief," head coach Jeff Kampersal said. "I think it gives our players confidence going into Thursday that they know they can do it, not only against Lindenwood or anybody that we play, but I know that Lindenwood is a really well coached team. They battled us yesterday, they battled hard today, and we have another game five essentially coming up on Thursday for all the marbles basically, so we are looking forward to the opportunity to play them again."
The Penn State (9-14-11, 6-7-7 CHA) offense got things going at 8:58 into the game on a power play tally from Heising. On Heising's first goal of the afternoon, sophomores Brooke Madsen (Eagan, Minn.) and Katie McMillan (Minnetonka, Minn.) were credited with assists.
The Nittany Lions then used a pair of goals in the second period to extend their lead over Lindenwood (10-19-1, 8-12-0 CHA) to 3-0. During the second stanza, Heising picked up her second goal of the game at 1:22 and then sophomore Amanda McLeod (Okotoks, Alberta) netted her first goal of the season at 12:12. Freshmen Katie Rankin (Kanata, Ontario) and Sophie Slattery (Edina, Minn.) recorded assists on Heising's second goal, while seniors Bella Sutton (Shoreview, Minn.) and Irene Kiroplis (Georgetown, Ontario) tallied assists on McLeod's goal.
With a 3-0 lead in hand heading into the third period, Penn State rattled off three goals in the final frame to secure the 6-0 victory.
For the Blue & White offense in the third period, Heising completed the hat trick with a power play strike at 3:42, while Slattery completed her two-point day with a power play goal at 4:44, and then Meike Meilleur (Winnipeg, Manitoba) picked up her sixth goal of the year at 14:37.
On Heising's third goal, both Rankin and McMillan each recorded their second assist of the day and on Meilleur's goal, McMillan netted a career-best three-assist outing.
In net for the Nittany Lions, senior Hannah Ehresmann (Minnetonka, Minn.) made 15 saves for the shutout victory in her final game at the Pegula Ice Arena. For Lindenwood, Lauren Hennessey allowed three goals and made 17 saves in 32:12 of action and Sarah McGall allowed three goals and tallied 19 saves in 27:42 of play.
Penn State takes on Lindenwood in the first round of the CHA Tournament on March 1 with the time TBD. The CHA Tournament is held at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York. Penn State will be the No. 4 seed, while Lindenwood will be the No. 5 seed.
NOTES: Penn State leads the all-time series against Lindenwood, 12-11-3...Penn State outshot Lindenwood, 42-15...Penn State went 3-for-4 on the power play, while Lindenwood went 0-for-6...Penn State tied a program record for power play goals in game with three...Penn State has scored 22 power play goals this season, which ties the program record from 2014-15...Heising recorded her fourth game with at least two goals...Heising set the Penn State freshman record for goals in a season (17)...Heising is one goal shy of tying the program record for goals in a season (18 -- Laura Bowman -- 2016-17)...Heising tallied her first career hat trick and the seventh in program history...Heising is one of five Nittany Lions to record a hat trick in program history...McMillan set a career-best for points in a game (three) and assists in a game (three)...McMillan tied the PSU record for most assists in a game (three)...Rankin tied a career-best two-assist game...Ehresmann recorded her third shutout victory of the season.