Resilient Lions' Season Ends at RIT, 3-2, in Overtime
March 2, 2013
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Penn State women's hockey team did its best to continue the 2012-13 season, but eventually fell to third-seeded RIT, 3-2 on Saturday at Ritter Arena. RIT (16-15-5) won the College Hockey America First Round series 2-0. Both games were decided by one goal.
Penn State (7-26-2) received goals from Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas), while goaltender Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) stood on her head with 56 saves. For her effort, Paniccia was recognized as the game's No. 1 star. RIT's Kim Schlattman ended the game 47 seconds into overtime to quell any thought of the Nittany Lion upset.
Penn State staked a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period when Gross knocked home a Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) offering. The goal was Gross's seventh of the year and third in the last six contests. For Yoxheimer, the assist was her 17th of the season, which led all Nittany Lions during the inaugural campaign.
RIT's Celeste Brown netted her ninth goal of the year with 5:15 remaining in the first period to tie the game. Coming out of the first intermission, RIT took the lead on a Jess Paton marker just 90 seconds into the second frame. RIT looked for more, but Paniccia made 21 saves and registered 36 in the first two periods.
Penn State wasted little time in the third period applying pressure on the RIT defense. A fight along the boards for the puck squirted loose to Birdie Shaw (Troy, Mich.) as she found a slashing Hoenshell in front of net. Hoenshell slotted the puck home 57 seconds into the third period, tying the game and breathing life into Penn State's upset hopes. Emily Laurenzi (Townsend, Del.) also earned an assist on the play.
The good vibes came to a halt 47 seconds into overtime as Schlattman released a bullet from the top of the slot and got it by Paniccia for the game-winner. In three overtime games, Penn State went 0-1-2. The Tigers won the season series from Penn State by a 5-0-1 mark.
Laurenzi was fantastic in the faceoff circle, winning 13-of-17 faceoffs, the only Nittany Lion to have a positive record on Saturday. In fact, Laurenzi won 13 of Penn State's 21 faceoffs as RIT held a 45-21 margin.
Both teams went scoreless on the power play, Penn State going 0-for-5 and RIT going 0-for-1. RIT's Ali Binnington made 17 saves for the Tigers, who move on to the CHA Semifinals on Friday, March 8 in Erie, Pa. RIT will face No. 2 seed Syracuse.
Penn State will have a lot to look forward to in its second season. PSU graduates one senior and welcomes in a strong newcomer class in the fall. The Nittany Lions open $90 million Pegula Ice Arena in September and host their first games in the new facility in October.