Penn State Women’s Hockey Squanders Late Chance, Falls to Lindenwood

Story posted February 9, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio by Michael Katz

A power play in the final two minutes was not enough to lift Penn State over visiting Lindenwood, as they fell to the Lions 2-1 in the first of a two game series.

Despite being outshot 15-11 in the first period, Lindenwood was able to take a two-goal lead into the first intermission.

The first goal came on a goal in front of the net from Lindenwood captain, Alyssa West. She was able to gain control of a shot off the side of the net by Carrie Atkinson, and put it past Penn State goalie Nicole Paniccia for the first score of the game.

After an interference call on Penn State’s Jenna Welch, Lindenwood was able to tally once again on the power play. The Nittany Lions penalty kill looked good early, but with 40 seconds left in the penalty, a blocked shot bounced right onto the stick of Caitlyn Post, and she was able to put the puck over the shoulder of Paniccia.

“We could have communicated a little better on the defensive end in the first period,” said Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene.

Penn State was able to slow down the momentum three minutes into the period. Jill Holdcroft sent a pass to Welch, who was sitting in front of the net. Welch was able to fire the puck past Lindenwood goaltender Nicole Hensley to put the Nittany Lions on the board. Penn

State was unable to tie the game on two power-play opportunities later in the period, tallying two shots total on the extra-man opportunities.
A different Penn State team came out in the third period, as they dominated the final frame, tallying 21 shots to Lindenwood’s four.

“We got a lot of chances tonight so I think that’s a big thing for us,” said Paniccia.

The Nittany Lions attacked from the start of the third period, with a sense of urgency not present in the first two periods. They controlled the puck in Lindenwood’s zone and fired shots in bunches.

Another interference penalty by Welch led to a Lindenwood power play, only to be followed 35 seconds later by a Katie Nokelby hooking penalty to force four-on-four play.

Laura Bowman had the best scoring chance on the four on four, but fanned on a shot next to the net.

With two minutes and six seconds remaining, Penn State received a golden opportunity when Nokelby was whistled for holding. Penn State had a six-on-four advantage, after pulling Paniccia. Despite controlling the puck in Lindenwood’s zone for the entire power play, they were not able to score. Hensley stopped all four Penn State shots on the power play. She finished the game with 45 saves.

“I’m proud of the way we played tonight and frustrated on behalf of my hockey team because they played so well,” said Brandwene.

The two teams finish their weekend series on Sunday.

“Tomorrow we’re ready to go, I think our locker room is a little more pissed off than usual. We wanted that game really bad and we’re going to come out flying tomorrow,” said Paniccia.

Michael Katz is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mak5672@psu.edu.