Women's Hockey Trumps Union, 2-1
Oct. 19, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Nittany Lion women's hockey team used a late third-period goal from freshman Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.) to defeat a stingy Union squad Saturday afternoon at Pegula Ice Arena. Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.) stopped 20 shots and Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) scored her first goal of the season to pace Penn State.
The script in Saturday's game against Union (3-4-0) was much the same as Friday night's game with the two teams tied at one entering the third period. Union was unable to get past Whitlinger on a power play midway through the period. The sophomore from California turned away two power-play shots and 30 seconds after the penalty expired, Union's Kelly McGrath took an elbowing penalty.
A nice string of passes led to Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.) sliding a pass in front of net that got past Sara Nielsen (Edina, Minn.). The puck bounced off the boards to Jeanette Bateman (Greeley, Colo.) who rifled a shot off the pad of Lundberg where Bowman was able to clean up the game-winner. The assist for Petersen was her third of the year and Bateman notched her first point of the season.
In the final frantic 90 seconds, Union pulled Lundberg and Whitlinger lost her stick. Penn State was resilient, blocking passes and disrupting the Union onslaught. Whitlinger stopped a Maddy Norton attempt from distance as Penn State skated off with its first win at Pegula Ice Arena.
Penn State snapped its three-game losing skid with strong play from the outset, out-shooting the Dutchwomen 12-1 in the first period and tallying a 34-21 edge in shots for the game. The Nittany Lions had sustained pressure in Union's end for much of the frame, but Shenae Lundberg was strong in net, making 11 stops.
Nevertheless, the determined Lions found the back of the net when Holdcroft stripped a Dutchwoman defender and beat Lundberg with a deke to her right for the 1-0 lead 12:28 into the period.
The second period momentum swung Union's way when Jenna Welch (Austin, Texas) took a pair of consecutive minor penalties. The Dutchwomen, much like in Friday's game where they tallied two goals on two power-play shots, capitalized on the PSU miscue and struck from the stick of Courtney Turner. Her goal was set up by Bryanne Panchuck and Norton. Union held an 11-10 edge in shots, with Whitlinger saving 10 UC attempts.
Penn State went 1-for-3 on the power play with 10 shots recorded, while Union was 1-for-4 with seven shots on net. PSU dominated the faceoff circle going 39-20 in faceoffs. Nielsen led the charge with a 12-5 record, while Bowman was 10-4 and Emily Laurenzi (Townsend, Del.) was 8-5.
Penn State's win was the first in four tries against Union and the first victory over an ECAC Hockey squad in program history (1-8-0).
PSU returns to Pegula Ice Arena for a two-game series starting Saturday at 7 p.m. against New Hampshire. The series concludes Sunday at 2 p.m. against the Wildcats.