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Nov. 3, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State women's hockey earned its first series sweep in program history, defeating Sacred Heart, 8-2, on Saturday afternoon at Greenberg Ice Pavilion. Eight different Nittany Lions tallied a goal with Jess Desorcie (Westford, Vt.), Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) notching three-point days. Yoxheimer scored a goal in her sixth consecutive game on Saturday.
"I think Kendra Rasmussen, Jenna Welch and Tess Weaver had an awesome weekend," Head coach Josh Brandwene said. "They certainly had an awesome game today, great games back-to-back. They got rewarded for it with a couple nice goals out there."
Penn State (4-5-1) and Sacred Heart (1-6-0) were deadlocked in a 1-1 game until Gross's second-period tally put PSU in front for good. Her third goal of the year was assisted by Desorcie and Yoxheimer after the latter two pegged shots at SHU goaltender Mandy Montgomery (56 saves). Yoxheimer opened the scoring in the first period from Desorcie, while SHU's Melissa Robbins scored 13 seconds into the second period.
Two minutes later at 8:29, Kendra Rasmussen (Sartell, Minn.) lit the lamp with a nifty display of stick handling that beat Montgomery. Her linemates, Jenna Welch (Austin, Texas) and Tess Weaver (Windber, Pa.) notched assists on the play, Weaver cashing in on her first points at the NCAA Division I level.
Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) got into the act 72 seconds later at 9:41 when she collected an SHU turnover on the boards, rushed to the center of the ice and scored her second goal of the weekend for a 4-1 margin.
The Pioneers wouldn't quit and Whitney Henderson tallied the weekend's first power-play goal from Catie Ladner and Meaghan Souza, cutting the lead to 4-2 with 6:06 remaining in the period. Penn State would bounce back as Desorcie scored her first Penn State goal after a Gross rebound came to her stick. Madison Smiddy (Grand Rapids, Mich.) set up the initial play for her fifth assist of the season.
"Overall, I'm really pleased with the effort out there today," Brandwene added. "I thought we learned a valuable lesson in the second period in terms of consistency, intensity and preparation coming out of the locker room. Credit Sacred Heart, they took it to us for a little bit and we really need to make some adjustments defensively, which we did in the third period."
The Nittany Lions would make it 6-2 a little over four minutes into the third period when Welch struck from the left wing after a Ramussen faceoff win. The goal was Welch's first for the Blue and White as Rasmussen was credited with her first collegiate assist. Rasmussen was most impressive in the faceoff circle, going 14-4. Emily Laurenzi (Townsend, Del.) went 14-5 as the Nittany Lions held a 54-25 advantage over the Pioneers.
Fourteen minutes later, Smiddy would score her first varsity goal, a bullet from the point on the power play with 1:53 remaining. Yoxheimer slid the puck to Gross, who found Smiddy up top on the right wing for the goal.
The 8-2 score line would come with eight seconds remaining in the game when Laurenzi tallied her first collegiate goal from Jeanette Bateman (Greeley, Colo.) and Paige Jahnke (Oakdale, Minn.). Jahnke held the puck at the point on the left wing, slid it across to Smiddy whose shot was saved by Montgomery, but Laurenzi knocked home the rebound.
Penn State held a commanding 64-25 lead in shots, out-shooting the Pioneers 130-43 for the weekend. In the first period alone for the two games was 46-6 (22-2, 24-4).
The eight goals and 12 assists set new Penn State records in the young program's history and the six-goal margin matches Friday's for largest winning margin. Goalie Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) made 23 saves, improving to 4-3-1 on the season.
On the power play, Penn State went 1-for-2 with eight shots, while Sacred Heart was 1-for-4 with six shots. Penn State was +30 on the afternoon with Bateman and Jahnke registering +4.
The Nittany Lions wrap up their six-game home stand next Saturday when they welcome Robert Morris to Greenberg Ice Pavilion on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. The CHA series wraps up on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. Both games will be streamed on AmericaOneSports with live stats through GoPSUsports.com GameTracker.