Familiar Nittany Lions Set for Second Season
Oct. 1, 2013
Season Tickets Go On Sale Wednesday, Oct. 2 | 2013-14 Penn State Yearbook
Penn State women's hockey opens its season this Friday at Vermont
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion women's hockey team heads into year two with almost 99 percent of its scoring intact and all three of its shot-stoppers returning to the fold. If last year's inaugural season was about defying the odds, this season is about taking advantage of the opportunities given by a $90 million, state-of-the-art Pegula Ice Arena, the sparking home of Penn State Hockey.
Paniccia made 1,028 stops in her junior campaign to rank second in Division I, averaging 38.1 saves per game. Whitlinger appeared in 10 games and stopped nearly 94 percent of the shots on goal, averaging 37.7 saves per game. Brooke Meyer (Naperville, Ill.) returns for her sophomore season and provides depth at the position as she didn't allow a goal in 47 minutes of play in 2012-13.
Pardoski led all defenders with 10 points and 40 penalty minutes, while Jahnke helped on eight goals. Sarah Wilkie (Ashby, Mass.) saw significant time in 27 games, while Stephanie Walkom (Moon Township, Pa.) proved solid down the stretch, earning ice time and the team's most improve player award.
Madison Smiddy (Grand Rapids, Mich.) looks to reprise her 2012-13 campaign when she tallied seven points in 15 games with a plus-three rating. Joining the fold is freshman Kelly Seward (Williamsville, N.Y.) who is the tallest Nittany Lion blueliner at 5-9.
Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas) and Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.) add a scoring punch as the fourth- and fifth-best point getters last season. Hoenshell netted nine goals including the program's first hat trick last season, while Holdcroft was deadly on the power play, slotting home six tallies on the advantage en route to her 10 goals, which ranked second on the team.
Adding vital offensive depth are the likes of Emily Laurenzi (Townsend, Del.), Birdie Shaw (Troy, Mich.), Jenna Welch (Austin, Texas), Micayla Catanzariti (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Kendra Rasmussen (Sartell, Minn.) who combined for 17 goals, 18 assists and 35 points.
Rounding out the returning forward group are Tess Weaver (Windber, Pa.), Darby Kern (Venetia, Pa.), Katie Murphy (Novi, Mich.) and Cara Mendelson (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Weaver notched three points in 29 games, while Kern, the tallest player on the team at 5-11, earned a regular spot in the lineup midway through last season.
Three anticipated freshmen forwards--Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.), Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.) and Sarah Nielsen (Edina, Minn.)--will look to earn ice time this season. Petersen and Bowman teamed up for the past three Minnesota high school titles, while Nielsen led her Edina team to the finals twice.
The opening four games on the road see the Lions revisit Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse, site of the program's first games on the ice, on Oct. 4-5 and at Quinnipiac (Oct. 11-12).
Penn State returns to Hockey Valley to open Pegula Ice Arena with an eight-game home stand. Union (Oct. 18-19), New Hampshire (Oct. 26-27), Robert Morris (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) and Syracuse (Nov. 9-10) will be the first women's opponents on the Pegula ice.
A four-game road trip brings Penn State to CHA foes RIT (Nov. 15-16) and Lindenwood (Nov. 22-23) before the final home game of the fall semester against Maine (Nov. 30). Penn State's two games at NCAA Frozen Four semifinalist Mercyhurst (Dec. 6-7) close out the semester slate.
In the new year, Penn State travels to traditional Big Ten rival Ohio State (Jan. 3-4), which represents PSU's first games against a WCHA foe. A home series with Colgate (Jan. 10-11) precedes trips to Syracuse (Jan. 24-25) and Princeton (Jan. 28).
Penn State's regular season home schedule is capped with six straight against CHA teams: RIT (Jan. 31-Feb. 1), Lindenwood (Feb. 8-9) and Mercyhurst (Feb. 15-16). PSU's 2013-14 regular season concludes at Robert Morris (Feb. 21-22).
The CHA Tournament will follow the same format as last season's with all six teams qualifying. The top two teams will receive byes into the semifinals hosted by the No. 1 seed, while the bottom four teams will play a best-of-three series from Feb. 28 to March 2. The semifinals and final will take place March 7-8.