UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Sixth-seeded Penn State women's hockey is set to take part in its first College Hockey America Tournament beginning Friday at third-seeded RIT for a 2 p.m. faceoff. The best-of-three series continues on Saturday at RIT's Ritter Arena for another 2 p.m. faceoff. If the series reaches game three, RIT hosts again at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The series winner will move on to the CHA Semifinals March 8 in Erie, Pa. All games will be streamed live on AmericaOneSports.com.
PENN STATE (7-24-2) at RIT (14-15-5) CHA FIRST ROUND SERIES: March 1-3, 2013 // 2 p.m. // Ritter Arena // Rochester, N.Y.
VENUE: Frank Ritter Memorial Ice Arena (2,100)
STREAMING COVERAGE: AmericaOneSports.com ($)
SERIES RECORD: 0-3-1
LAST MEETING: 2/16/13, RIT 4-0 (at Rochester, N.Y.)
Penn State takes part in first CHA Tournament as the sixth seed
Nittany Lions travel to RIT for three-game series
Penn State dropped both games at Robert Morris last weekend
Nittany Lions fell twice at RIT two weekends ago
RIT owns a 3-0-1 mark against PSU this season
Freshmen have tallied 75 percent of the team's goals this season
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
RIT (14-15-5, 7-8-5 CHA) swept PSU two weeks ago and put up a valiant effort at Mercyhurst before falling, 4-1 and 5-2. In the second game, RIT led Mercyhurst 2-0, but gave up five unanswered goals.
The Tigers average 2.7 goals a game and allow 2.2 goals a game while outshooting opponents by an average of 6.4 shots a game. At forward, RIT is led by Tenecia Hiller (25 points), who has tallied 14 goals this season, half on the power play. The trio of Kourtney Kunichika (24 points), Ariane Yokoyama (23) and Kim Schlattman (22) rounds out the top four scorers.
In net, Ali Binnington has been remarkable, saving 92.5 percent of the shots she's faced with a 2.03 goals-against average. Her record this season is 9-9-4. Two weeks ago, Laura Chamberlain (5-6-1) won both games vs. Penn State.
LAST TIME VS. RIT
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.
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.
COLONIALS TAKE TWO FROM PSU
A lethal Robert Morris attack was too much to overcome as the Colonials scored four unanswered goals in a 4-1 win over Penn State Friday night (Feb. 22) at 84 Lumber Arena. Freshman Emily Laurenzi scored a first-period goal, while junior Nicole Paniccia made 59 saves.
The next day, Penn State closed out its first regular season with a 4-1 loss against Robert Morris. Shannon Yoxheimer scored for the 14th time this season, while Celine Whitlinger made 53 saves. Taylor Gross tallied her fifth goal of the season in the third period.
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 74.6% of the goals scored (50 of 67).
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.