Penn State Women’s Hockey Falls to Robert Morris, Loses Third Straight

Story posted November 1, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Garrett Ross

Despite an offensive rush in the third period, Penn State women’s hockey team dropped their third game in a row, bringing their record to 2-7-1.

The Nittany Lions opened up CHA conference play against the Robert Morris Colonials (8-2-0) at Pegula Ice Arena on Thursday. The Lions fell by a score of 4-0.

Robert Morris controlled much of the possession in the first period. Scoring chances for the Colonials were abundant early in the game, leading to 15 shots on goal, in the opening twenty minutes. 

On the other end, the Lions had trouble creating chances on offense, and were forced to play in their own defensive end for much of the game.

Senior goaltender Nicole Paniccia played strong between the pipes, earning the third star of the game, but could not hold off the potent Colonials’ attack.

“I was certainly really pleased with the way Nicole Paniccia played this evening,” head coach Josh Brandwene said. “She certainly gave us a chance, really through all three periods.”

Junior forward Katie Fergus capitalized on offense for RMU in the first period, slipping a shot past Paniccia just over two minutes into the game.

Despite allowing an early goal, Paniccia had confidence going forward.

“We’ve always been a team where if something doesn’t go our way like a goal, we can bounce right back,” Paniccia said. “It’s just something as a new program that we have to do.”

The Colonials were able to move the puck through the neutral zone, which opened up passing lanes and allowed them to push the puck into the Penn State zone.

The second period saw much of the same story for the Lions with RMU adding two goals from junior Rebecca Vint and freshman Maeve Garvey.

The Lions continued to skate hard through the second period and into the third, even though they fell behind by three goals. Paniccia attributed the team’s fight to the motto that they play by, “something to prove, nothing to lose.”

In the third period, RMU freshman Brittany Howard skated past Paniccia and scored the fourth and final goal of the game. All four of the Colonials’ goals came in front of the Penn State goaltender’s crease.

Each team got two power plays, yet both penalty kill units were able to squelch the opposing advantages.

“Our penalty kill has been awesome,” Paniccia said. “I’m really proud of my team for that, we’ve done really well.”

Brandwene also praised the penalty kill but emphasized that the team needs to work on “cleaning some things up defensively.”

The Colonials dominated the shot differential outshooting the Lions by 29. Penn State registered eight shots in the first two periods, but came alive in the third with ten shots on net.

Brandwene was pleased with the chances that his team was able to make, especially in the third period.

“We ended up getting a lot of shots blocked,” Brandwene said. “We made a nice adjustment with that in the third period and it made a big difference for us in the shot chart.”

Coach Brandwene and his team take on Robert Morris again on Friday, Nov. 1st. Brandwene and the team are looking to rebound against the Colonials.

“There’s certainly a lot more work to do, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to get back after it again tomorrow.”

Puck drop from Pegula Ice Arena is at 4 p.m. You can listen to live coverage on psucomradio.com.

Garrett Ross is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email garrettaross@gmail.com.