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BUFFALO, N.Y. - The No. 4 seed Penn State women's hockey team scored twice within the final 8:22 of regulation to capture a 2-1 victory over the fifth-seeded Lindenwood Lions in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 College Hockey America Tournament Thursday at the HarborCenter.
"I thought that we were very fortunate to come out with a win," head coach Jeff Kampersal said. "I thought Lindenwood came out and played a lot harder for the first two periods. We started getting strange in terms of playing Penn State hockey; we weren't playing it. We were turning over the puck a lot, not being able to generate chances. Last week against Lindenwood we completely snuffed out any kind of scoring chances and then in the first two periods they had five legit chances and they only scored one. Hannah [Ehresmann] made some big saves and she really kept us in there during those first two periods.
In the third, we refocused and got a lot better. We still didn't get as many pucks to the net as we wanted to, but we had a big power play goal and then Natalie [Heising] came through big in the end there."
After a scoreless opening period of play, Lindenwood (10-20-1) took a 1-0 lead just 30 seconds into the second period on a goal from Sierra Burt. Lindenwood held its one-goal advantage until midway through the third period.
The Nittany Lions (10-14-11) knotted things up at 1-1 on a power play goal from Abby Welch (East Amherst, N.Y.) with 8:22 left in regulation. On the goal, Welch tipped the puck past Lindenwood netminder Jolene deBruyn on a Katie McMillan (Minnetonka, Minn.) shot attempt.
With the score still at 1-1, the Nittany Lions went to the penalty kill with 6:13 left on the clock, but Penn State was able to keep the Lindenwood power play in check.
Looking like the Nittany Lions were going to play their 16th overtime game of the season, freshman Natalie Heising (Maple Grove, Minn.) stepped up with 2:24 to go in regulation and netted the 18th goal of her rookie campaign. On Heising's go-ahead goal, Heising picked up the puck near the boards on the left side, moved up ice, and then put the puck past deBruyn from close-range.
Lindenwood was unable to record a shot attempt following Heising's tally, giving the Nittany Lions the 2-1 victory.
In net, senior Hannah Ehresmann (Minnetonka, Minn.) recorded 16 saves for her ninth win of the season, while deBruyn posted a 19-save outing for Lindenwood.
Penn State takes on No. 9, and top-seeded, Robert Morris in the first semifinal game on Friday, March 2. Puck drop is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the HarborCenter.
NOTES: Penn State leads the all-time series against Lindenwood, 13-11-3...Penn State outshot Lindenwood, 21-17...Penn State went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Lindenwood went 0-for-2...Penn State recorded its 23rd power play goal of the season, which is a program-best...Heising tied Laura Bowman for the Penn State record for goals in a season (18)...Penn State improves to 5-6 all-time in the CHA Tournament.