Lions Drop Home Opener to Syracuse, 4-0

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Nicole Paniccia made a career-high 53 saves on Saturday.

Nicole Paniccia made a career-high 53 saves on Saturday.

Oct. 13, 2012

Box Score |  Photo Gallery  | Highlights | Brandwene Press Conference | Paniccia Press Conference

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's hockey suffered a 4-0 loss to Syracuse in a College Hockey America matchup at Greenberg Ice Pavilion on Saturday night. Junior netminder Nicole Paniccia stopped a career-high 53 Orange efforts in the loss. The game marked the first home game in Penn State women's hockey history.

"Nicole was great today," Head coach Josh Brandwene said. "She's a great goalie and an even better person. I'm thrilled that she's here at Penn State."

After a rousing pre-game ceremony that featured Penn State women's hockey luminaries, acting director of athletics Dave Joyner dropped the first puck in Penn State's first home game. From there, Syracuse took center stage.

Penn State (1-2-0, 0-1-0 CHA) was unable to stem the offensive tide from Syracuse (1-2-0, 1-0-0 CHA) as the Orange notched its first win of the season. Syracuse mounted multiple offensive opportunities throughout the game rolling up a 28-3 shot advantage in the first period. Paniccia made 28 stops in the opening frame alone as the first period went scoreless.

Syracuse opened the scoring account on a Nicole Ferrara effort as she knocked home a bouncing puck in front of the net just 3:19 into the second period. Syracuse's Melissa Piacentini doubled the score less than four minutes later for a 2-0 line.

Penn State took its team timeout shortly after and regained the momentum for the rest of the period. Penn State had two breakaways, one by Birdie Shaw (Troy, Mich.) and another by Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) that were stopped by SU goaltender Jenesica Drinkwater (21 saves). On the Yoxheimer breakaway, she was taken down by Ferrara with a hook, but Penn State was unable to capitalize on the power play.

Syracuse regained the offensive play in the third period, making the score 3-0 by way of Shiann Darkangelo. Syracuse would add the fourth goal with just 46 seconds left to cap the victory.

The Orange out-shot Penn State 57-21 and both teams combined to go 0-for-11 on the power play. Defensively, Penn State forward Jenna Welch (Austin, Texas) steadied the Nittany Lions with five blocks. Paniccia's 53 saves eclipsed the 37 she made against Brown on Jan. 7, 2012 when she played for Connecticut.

Penn State and Syracuse will wrap up the two game set on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The game can be followed live on AmericaOneSports.com for live streaming and live stats on GameTracker. Admission to all Penn State home games is free.

--NITTANY LIONS--

 

 

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