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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's hockey skated to a 2-2 tie with RIT on Friday night at Greenberg Ice Pavilion behind 59 saves from Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) and goals from Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) and Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.). The Nittany Lions earned their first College Hockey America point with the tie and were 89 seconds from a victory until RIT's Tenecia Hiller tied it up late to send the game to overtime.
Penn State (2-5-1, 0-3-1 CHA) opened the account nearly eight minutes into the first period on a Gross power play goal. Madison Smiddy (Grand Rapids, Mich.) set up the play from the left point and sent it down low to Yoxheimer who fed Gross as the junior captain beat RIT's Laura Chamberlain (21 saves).
Twenty-three seconds later, Yoxheimer and Gross teamed up again as the freshman batted home a loose puck in front of the net for a 2-0 lead. Jess Desorcie (Westford, Vt.) earned her fourth assist of the season on the play as well.
Shortly after, Penn State had a great chance to make it 3-0 as RIT (4-3-1, 1-2-1 CHA) took concurrent penalties for a 5-on-3 power play. The Nittany Lions weren't able to muster many chances as the Tigers killed the two-player advantage, which swung the momentum.
RIT cut the lead in half on a Celeste Brown power-play marker with 3:18 left in the period. Penn State killed off a brief 5-on-3 power play before Brown drilled a shot past Paniccia. Lindsay Grigg and Morgan Scoyne earned the assists on the pretty passing play.
RIT continued the offensive prowess in the second period, but had nothing to show for it. Paniccia made 18 saves, most of them in the opening 15 minutes. Penn State took over the battle from there and had two great chances to stretch the lead to two. Gross was stopped by Chamberlain on a point blank shot that was set up from the point and with 15 seconds left, Desorcie's breakaway opportunity required a talented glove save by Chamberlain.
Penn State absorbed more pressure in the third as the Tigers out-shot Penn State 26-9. It was on the 25th shot of the period that RIT scored. A loose puck on the power play came to Yoxheimer and she was unable to clear it as Hiller pounced and slid it off the post and in with one second remaining on the power play.
RIT held much of the play in overtime resulting in a 5-0 shot advantage. For the game, the Tigers out-shot PSU 61-23. On the power play, RIT went 2-for-5 with 17 shots and Penn State was 1-for-4 with four shots. Each team committed five penalties for 10 minutes.
RIT won the faceoff battle 40-32 with Kim Schlattman going 15-5. The Nittany Lions' Katie Zinn (Coquitlam, B.C.) went 7-5 in faceoffs.
The Nittany Lions return to Greenberg Ice Pavilion on Friday, Nov. 2 (7:30 p.m.) when they take on Sacred Heart. The Lions and Pioneers split a series last weekend. Admission to all Penn State women's hockey games is free.