UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State women's hockey concludes its 2012-13 regular season at Keystone State rival Robert Morris on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (3 p.m.). The two-game series will be held at 84 Lumber Arena on Neville Island in suburban Pittsburgh. Both games will be streamed on AmericaOneSports.com for a fee.
PENN STATE (7-22-2, 1-15-2 CHA) at ROBERT MORRIS (11-14-3, 7-10-1 CHA) Games 32-33: Feb. 22-23, 2013 // 7 p.m. & 3 p.m. // 84 Lumber Arena // Neville Island, Pa.
VENUE: 84 Lumber Arena (1,200)
STREAMING COVERAGE: AmericaOneSports.com ($)
SERIES RECORD: 0-2-0
LAST MEETING: 11/11/12, RMU 4-1 (at University Park, Pa.)
NEXT SERIES: CHA First Round Series at RIT or Lindenwood, 3/1-3
Penn State heads to Robert Morris for final regular season series
Nittany Lions dropped both games at RIT last weekend
RMU is 2-11-1 in its last 14 games
Penn State lost both games to RMU in an October series at Greenberg Ice Pavilion
Nittany Lions will be the No. 6 seed in the CHA Tournament starting March 1
Freshmen have tallied 75 percent of the team's goals this season
SCOUTING THE COLONIALS
The season for Robert Morris (11-14-3, 7-10-1 CHA) has been a tale of two halves. RMU opened with a 9-3-2 overall mark and 5-1-0 in the CHA to top the conference. Since then, the Colonials have gone 2-11-1, falling to a tie for fourth with Lindenwood in conference with 15 points. Despite the struggles, one of the two wins was at No. 7 Mercyhurst, 4-2, on Feb. 8 before a 9-1 loss to the Lakers the next night. Then came a sweep at Lindenwood 3-2 (OT) and 4-2.
As a whole, the Colonials have struggled to find the back of the net, converting just 7.7 percent of their shots into goals. The Colonial attack is led by Rebecca Vint (14g, 15a) who has 29 points. The defense is anchored by goaltender Kristen DiCiocco who has a 2.40 GAA and a .914 save percentage. DiCiocco owns a 9-12-3 record with the team's lone shutout, which came in the season opener against Yale on Oct. 19.
LAST TIME VS. RMU
Robert Morris stormed by Penn State, 7-1, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2012 at Greenberg Ice Pavilion behind five Rebecca Vint goals, which tied an RMU record. Shannon Yoxheimer tallied a goal in her seventh-straight game in the loss, while Nicole Paniccia made 36 saves.
The next day, Penn State played gutsy, but fell 4-1. RMU raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, but Micayla Catanzariti with seven minutes left in the third period to cut the advantage to two. Moments later, Penn State nearly made it 3-2, but RMU goalie Delayne Brian made a big stop and the Colonials added an empty-netter for the final score line. Paniccia was excellent in net making 49 saves for Penn State.
CHA PLAYOFFS LOOMING
Three of the six seeds for the College Hockey America Tournamnet have been set. Mercyhurst clinched the regular season title and hosting the semifinals and finals, while Syracuse earned a bye and will be the second seed. Penn State will be the sixth seed and travel to RIT or Lindenwood. RIT is in the driver's seat for the third seed and needs just a point at Mercyhurst to clinch the spot, while Lindenwood needs RIT to lose both games and win both of its own games to earn third. Robert Morris can finish fourth or fifth depending on the results of this weekend.
The first round is a best-of-three series at the higher seed starting Friday, March 1. The winners of those two series will travel to Mercyhurst and round out the four-team semifinals and finals. The winner of the CHA does not earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Robert Morris is the defending CHA Tournament champion.
PENN STATE FEATURED ON BTN
On Thursday, Feb. 14, the Big Ten Network ran a five-minute feature on the Penn State women's hockey program. Produced and narrated by Kara Lentz, BTN cameras follows the team during its home-opening series against Syracuse and uses footage from Penn State's historic win over Vermont on Oct. 6. Head coach Josh Brandwene, junior captain Taylor Gross, junior goaltender Nicole Paniccia and freshman forward Shannon Yoxheimer recount their experiences through the beginning of the inaugural season.
LAST TIME OUT
Penn State struggled to find an offensive rhythm on Friday night, falling at RIT's Ritter Arena, 3-1, in a College Hockey America matchup on Friday, Feb. 15. Nicole Paniccia was called upon to make 42 saves, while junior captain Taylor Gross scored Penn State's lone goal in the third period.
On Saturday night, a barrage of second-period shots from RIT led to a comfortable three-goal margin as the Tigers defeated Penn State 4-0 at Ritter Arena. Paniccia did all she could, stopping 41 shots as PSU was more than doubled in shot attempts, 45-20.
LIONS MAKE FIRST TV APPEARANCES
Penn State women's hockey appeared on TV for the first time in program history at RIT on Feb. 15-16. Time Warner Cable Sports, channel 26 or channel 1026 in Central New York, broadcasted both games live from Ritter Arena.
As is expected with a brand new varsity program, there are many freshmen on the team--17 in all. All 17 freshmen have made an appearance on the ice this season and have accounted for 75.0% of the goals scored (48 of 64).
The rest of the game notes can be found in the PDF document.
PEGULA ICE ARENA ON SCHEDULE
Pegula Ice Arena, a $90 million state-of-the-art facility, will serve as the home of the Penn State hockey programs in 2012-13. As of Jan. 10, 2013, all the steel has been put in place for the project with installation of glass and some brick on the outside. Additionally, portions of the center-hung scoreboard have been assembled.
The building held its official topping off ceremony on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. Construction is set to conclude in time for the 2012-13 season as the building will open Sept. 5, 2013.