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Nov. 21, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Josh Brandwene of the Penn State women's ice hockey team has announced that 13 players will join the Nittany Lions for the 2012-13 season after signing a National Letter of Intent during the November early signing period. The inaugural class will join Penn State for its first-ever varsity season in 2012-13.
The signees include forwards Jeanette Bateman (Greeley, Colo.), Micayla Catanzariti (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas), Jill Holdcroft (Pennsylvania Furnace), Emily Laurenzi (Townsend, Del.), Birdie Shaw (Troy, Mich.), Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) and Katie Zinn (Coquitlam, B.C.); defenders Paige Jahnke (Oakdale, Minn.), Taylor McGee (Pearl River, N.Y.), Jordin Pardoski (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Sarah Wilkie (Ashby, Mass.); and goaltender Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.).
"We are very excited to welcome this inaugural recruiting class to Penn State and the Women's Hockey program," Brandwene said. "Less than six months ago, we set out to identify outstanding hockey players who demonstrate commitment to academic success and a team-first environment. This is a special group of enthusiastic student-athletes who will do a terrific job representing our program and establishing a positive culture for many years to come."
Penn State will join College Hockey America, along with Lindenwood, Mercyhurst, Niagara, Robert Morris and Syracuse, for the 2012-13 season and, in 2013-14, the Nittany Lions will open Pegula Ice Arena. The future home of Penn State Hockey, Pegula Ice Arena will be an approximate 200,000-square foot, 6,200-seat state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility located right on campus.
Jeanette Bateman (F Greeley, Colo. Colorado Select)
Member of the Colorado Select of the JWHL ... Named assistant captain and is the team's third leading scorer.
Brandwene on Bateman: "Jeanette possesses great hockey sense and puck distribution skills, and plays outstanding team defense. Her tremendous work ethic and attitude have helped her get to this level."
Micayla Catanzariti (F Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. Gilmour Academy (Ohio))
Member of the Gilmour Academy (Ohio) girls' prep hockey team ... Four-year member of the Anaheim Lady Ducks organization ... Helped lead team to third-place finishes at the 2009 and 2010 USA Hockey National Championships ... Two-year participant at USA Hockey's Select Player Development Camps (2010-11).
Brandwene on Catanzariti: "Micayla is a complete player in every sense of the word and is constant motion on the ice. She hustles, back checks, plays great team defense, produces offensively and has endless enthusiasm."
Hannah Hoenshell (F Plano, Texas Alliance Bulldogs)
Currently in her sixth season with the Alliance Bulldogs organization ... Through eight games in 2011-12, leads team in goals (11), assists (10) and points (21) ... Helped lead the U19 squad to the 2011 USA Hockey Tier II U19 National Championship and to a second-place finish in 2010 ... Registered 241 points (131g, 110a) from 2008-11 ... Four-year participant at USA Hockey's Select Player Development Camps (2007-10).
Brandwene on Hoenshell: "I'm very impressed with Hannah's offensive skills. She has great hands and on-ice vision and an excellent shot release. Her unwavering desire to be a part of the Penn State program is something that I'm very grateful for."
Jill Holdcroft (F Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa. Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U19)
Member of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U19 team and State College Area High School boys' varsity squad ... Currently ranks third on the Penguins with 20 points (10g, 10a).
Brandwene on Holdcroft: "Possibly the best female hockey player ever to come out of the State College area, Jill has always been a ferocious competitor giving 110% every shift. She has worked incredibly hard this summer and fall with very noticeable improvements in her skating and shot release, and that has played a big role in her success this year."
Paige Jahnke (D Oakdale, Minn. Roseville)
Four-year member at Roseville High School ... Helped lead team to the 2010 Upper Midwest High School Elite League and 2009 state championships ... Also played for the Minnesota Jr. Whitecaps.
Brandwene on Jahnke: "Paige is an incredibly mature and consistent two-way defender who plays well at both ends of the ice. She is very strong on her skates, makes great first outlet passes and will adjust incredibly well to the college game."
Emily Laurenzi (F Townsend, Del. National Sports Academy)
Currently in her fourth season with the National Sports Academy ... Recorded 214 points (56g, 152a) during first three seasons ... Was a three-time USA Hockey Select Player Development Camp participant ... Played youth hockey in the Delaware Junior Blue Hens hockey program, where Brandwene served as hockey director from 1996-2003.
Brandwene on Laurenzi: "It takes great courage to be first and courage is something that defines Emily. She was our first commitment and, as a player, she does all the little things necessary for our program to be successful. She is strong in the defensive zone, always back checks well and distributes the puck beautifully."
Taylor McGee (D Pearl River, N.Y. Connecticut Polar Bears)
Team captain at The Taft School (Conn.) ... Also a member of the Connecticut Polar Bears U19 squad.
Brandwene on McGee: "A multi-sport prep school athlete and student leader, Taylor possesses excellent passing skills, on-ice vision and a terrific sense for joining the rush. She compliments those skills well with excellent defending ability."
Jordin Pardoski (D Rochester Hill, Mich. Detroit Honeybaked)
Member of the Detroit Honeybaked U19 team.
Brandwene on Pardoski: "Jordin is a great on-ice communicator and terrific stay-at-home defender who covers the net and defends the rush superbly. She also adds an element of size and physicality to our lineup."
Birdie Shaw (F Troy, Mich. Detroit Honeybaked)
First-year member of the Detroit Honeybaked U19 girls' team ... Helped lead Detroit Belle Tire to the 2010 state championship ... Four-time participant at USA Hockey's Select Player Development Camps (2006-09) ... Named a 2008 all-star selection.
Brandwene on Shaw: "Birdie has a tremendous hockey IQ and an equal passion for Penn State and this program. She plays well at both ends of the ice, is an excellent playmaker and is equally strong in the corners."
Celine Whitlinger (G Garden Grove, Calif. Gilmour Academy (Ohio)
Member of the Gilmour Academy (Ohio) girls' prep hockey team ... Led Gilmour to the Ohio Flames Ignite the Ice Tournament championship with a shutout in the title game ... Participated in a USA Hockey Select Player Development Camp... Named a 2011 USA Hockey Girls' Select 16/17 All-Star ... Played with the Anaheim Lady Ducks organization.
Brandwene on Whitlinger: "Celine has terrific technique and is incredibly consistent in her positioning and work ethic. She is steady, cool under pressure and really steps up in big-game situations - truly great attributes in a goaltender."
Sarah Wilkie (D Ashby, Mass. Massachusetts Spitfires)
Member of the Massachusetts Spitfires U19 and The Williston Northampton School prep teams ... Team captain of Williston squad.
Brandwene on Wilkie: "A three-sport prep school athlete and student leader, Sarah has fantastic skating technique and athleticism to go along with superb puck movement and a knack for joining the play offensively."
Shannon Yoxheimer (F Jackson, Mich. North American Hockey Academy)
Member of the North American Hockey Academy White Team ... Also played for the Detroit Belle Tire (2008-10), Little Caesars (2006-08) and Honeybaked (2005-06) organizations.
Brandwene on Yoxheimer: "Shannon is an outstanding player out of the power forward mold. She's strong, fast, plays well at both ends of the ice and has an unbelievable shot release. She will be relied upon heavily at both ends of the ice."
Katie Zinn (F Coquitlam, B.C. Gilmour Academy (Ohio))
Member of the Gilmour Academy (Ohio) girls' prep hockey team ... Helped lead Gilmour to the Ohio Flames Ignite the Ice Tournament championship ... Played three seasons with the JWHL's Pacific Steelers ... Was team's leading scorer in 2010-11.
Brandwene on Zinn: "A top JWHL player prior to going to Gilmour Academy, Katie has phenomenal speed, on-ice vision, play making skills and scoring touch. "