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Nov. 17, 2012
WENTZVILLE, Mo. - Penn State women's hockey earned another inaugural milestone on Saturday afternoon, defeating Lindenwood 3-2 for its first College Hockey America victory. Freshman forward Emily Laurenzi (Townsend, Del.) struck for the game-winning goal to complete a comeback at Lindenwood Ice Arena. Fellow classmate Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) and junior captain Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.) each notched their fourth goals of the season for the Nittany Lions. Freshman forward Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) had two assists to aid the Nittany Lion attack.
"I am tremendously proud of the effort and resilience our student-athletes showed today." Head coach Josh Brandwene said. "It was a total team effort at both ends of the ice."
Penn State (5-8-1, 1-6-1 CHA) found itself down twice to Lindenwood (1-11-0, 1-3-0 CHA) and each time fought back to knot the game. With 5:50 left in the third period in a 2-2 game, Laurenzi tucked home her second goal of the season as the Nittany Lions held off LU for the final portions of the game. Paige Jahnke (Oakdale, Minn.) and Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas) assisted on the power-play goal.
It was déjà vu early for the Nittany Lions as Lindenwood scored 2:43 into the contest on a Chelsea Witwicke even-strength goal from Alyssa West. Witwicke's goal was on the first shot of the game for Lindenwood and mirrored Friday's game where LU scored in the first 3:45 of each period.
Penalties would punish Lindenwood as the Lions committed four in the opening frame. Penn State capitalized on the fourth one, a Bret Lobreau holding call, as Holdcroft found the back of the net after a Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) effort 17:39 into the period. Jordin Pardoski (Rochester Hills, Mich.) was credited with an assist on the play. Penn State out-shot Lindenwood 12-5 in the period.
A fierce second period yielded no goals, but Lindenwood owned a 14-10 shot advantage. The Nittany Lions went 0-for-3 on the power play with four shots, while Lindenwood went 0-for-2 with one shot.
That scoreless frame set up a tense third period, which was fraught with power-play opportunities. Lindenwood finally broke the 1-1 tie on a power-play goal 6:50 into the period on an Alyssa West strike. Alison Wickenheiser and Witwicke assisted on the play. Thirty-seconds later, Gross brought the game level on another Yoxheimer assist, her second of the game, bringing the momentum back into Penn State's ice.
Yoxheimer registered her sixth and seventh assists of the year and leads the team in points with 17. Gross has 14 points this season, good for second on the team.
The Nittany Lions went 2-for-9 on the power play, a new program high for most power-play opportunities in a single game. Lindenwood was 1-for-5. Penn State narrowly won the faceoff battle, 34-32, as Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) posted a team-best 15-7 record.
For the game, Penn State out-shot Lindenwood, 33-30. A third of the Nittany Lion shots came off the stick of Gross, and six more came from Yoxheimer. Those two along with Sarah Wilkie (Ashby, Mass.) and Pardoski each registered a rating of plus-one.
Goaltender Nicole Paniccia allowed two goals and saved 28 shot to improve to 5-6-1, a new single-season high for her. She won four games during the 2011-12 campaign with UConn. Her counterpart, Nicole Hensley, stopped 30 shots, and took the loss, falling to 1-9-0.
Penn State takes this week off during Thanksgiving break and will return to the ice for practice on Monday, Nov. 26. The next Penn State game is at No. 4 Mercyhurst on Nov. 30 in Erie, Pa.