Robert Morris upsets Mercyhurst

Robert Morris 3, Mercyhurst 2

MOON TWP, Pa. – Three first-period goals by Robert Morris proved to be insurmountable on Saturday afternoon as the ninth-ranked Mercyhurst University women's hockey team dropped a 3-2 decision at the RMU Island Sports Center. The Lakers fell to 6-4-1 on the season and 1-1-0 overall in College Hockey America action. Robert Morris improved to 9-3-0 overall and 3-1-0 in the CHA.

The Colonials scored early and often in the opening twenty minutes against junior netminderAmanda Makela, who entered the game having allowed just two goals in her last five starts. Robert Morris scored three times on 13 shots against Makela and forced Mercyhurst head coach Michael Sisti to make a change after the opening period. 

The Colonials tallied two straight power-play goals by Katie Fergus and Rebecca Vint at the 1:14 and 3:26 marks respectively. Robert Morris' Kelsey Gunn finished the first period scoring at the 16:45 mark on an unassisted even-strength goal.

The goaltending change provided a bit of a spark for the Lakers as sophomore Julia DiTondorelieved Makela at the outset of the second period. Mercyhurst responded with a goal by sophomore Kathy Donohue just 1:13 into the middle frame. The power play tally was set up by sophomore Emily Janiga and senior Kaleigh Chippy.

Mercyhurst trailed 3-1 heading into the third period before Janiga scored nearly three minutes into the final period. Janiga's goal marked her 50th career point, after scoring 40 of those points as a rookie last season. Chippy and sophomore Jaclyn Arbour added the assists.

Sisti was able to pull DiTondo for an extra attacker in the waning seconds, but Mercyhurst was unable to get the equalizer against Robert Morris goaltender Jessica Dodds and the Colonials were able to hold off the Lakers' comeback bid.

Makela suffered the loss in net to drop to 6-4-1 on the season. The junior from Thunder Bay, Ontario still has a 1.73 goals against average and a .935 save percentage despite her early exit on Saturday. DiTondo relieved Makela for the final two periods and stopped all eight shots she faced. It was her first action of the season.

Dodds picked up the win for the Colonials after stopping 25 shots.

The game was marred by penalties, especially at the end of the contest when 77 minutes in penalties were handed out after the final buzzer. All told, the teams combined for 101 penalty minutes - 59 of those assessed to Mercyhurst. Robert Morris went 2-for-6 on the power play while the Lakers converted 1-of-4 opportunities.

The Lakers return to the Mercyhurst Ice Center for a weekend series against another conference rival, Syracuse University, on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16. Game times are set for 7:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. respectively.

Lindenwood 1, RIT 1

 ST. CHARLES, MO – Kolbee McCrea (Wawa, Ontario/Burlington Barracudas)scored a third period power-play goal, as the RIT women's hockey team (5-5-1, 1-0-1 CHA) skated to a 1-1 tie against host Lindenwood (0-10-2, 0-1-1 CHA) on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers are now riding a two-game unbeaten streak to open league play.

A second period goal by Lindenwood's Katie Erickson had the Tigers down heading into the third period, but McCrea was able to even things up early in the frame, and force overtime. Despite outshooting Lindenwood 45-22, RIT could only manage to push that one goal past Nicole Hensley who played a terrific game in net.

RIT goalkeeper Ali Binnington (Oakville, Ontario/Mississauga Chiefs) was just as impressive, only allowing one goal off the 22 shots she faced. She stopped 44-of-45 shots on the weekend.

RIT dominated early as they remained in the Lindenwood zone the majority of the first period and had several looks at a goal, closing out the period in a 0-0 tie with the Lions, with an 18-5 shots edge.

The TIgers picked up where they left off in the second period, providing heavy offensive pressure early and often. RIT had three solid shot attempts within the opening minutes of the period but terrific goaltending by Hensley kept the game scoreless. RIT remained in control as the period wore on, but an interference penalty with under six minutes remaining would prove costly as just minutes later Lindenwood's Erickson would score the first goal of the game to put the Lions up 1-0. That score would stand as the second period came to a close with RIT on a key power play.

As the third period began, RIT would get back to work offensively and with a 5-on-4 advantage from the carried over power play. Just 1:24 into the period RIT would even things up with the Lions as a McCrea shot would find back of the net to make it 1-1. Lindsay Grigg(Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Hornets) and Kourtney Kunichika (Fullerton, CA/LA Selects)assisted on the tally, McCrea's 48th of her collegiate career.

Despite earning several more power play opportunities through the remainder of the period, RIT couldn't quite get another goal by Hensley who kept the game tied up, to force overtime.

Neither team could put the puck in the back of the net a second time and the game would end in a 1-1 draw, the Tigers first tie of the season.

RIT is now 2-1-3 all-time against Lindenwood, as the two squads will face off again in January for a two game home series at Ritter Arena.

The Tigers are now 5-0-0 on Friday and 0-5-1 on Saturday this season.

RIT heads home next weekend for a two game series against conference foe Penn State. Game one gets underway on Friday at 7:05 p.m., with game two on Saturday afternnoon at 3 p.m. Friday night will be "white out" night at Ritter Arena, as the first 1,000 fans will receive a free white t-shirt sponsored by Jim Watters, RIT Vice President of Finance.
Syracuse 2, Penn State 1
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State women’s hockey team fought hard but fell 2-1 to Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) stopped 38 Syracuse attempts, while Jordin Pardoski (Rochester Hills, Mich.) scored her first goal of the year.
 
Syracuse (5-4-0, 1-0-0 CHA) opened the game with the first 12 shots, including a goal by Melissa Piacentini on a power play just 3:10 into the contest.
 
The Nittany Lions (2-8-1, 0-3-0 CHA) responded on a power play of its own at 17:30 when Pardoski knocked home her first goal of the season on a rebound from Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.). Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.) set up the play down the left wing entering the offensive zone.
 
The second period was more of the same by the Orange, owning a 15-3 edge in shots, but Paniccia was there for all 15 Syracuse attempts.
 
In the third, Piacentini put the Orange up once again as she sent home a rebound of Heather Schwarz’s saved shot for a 2-1 lead just 1:27 into the period.  Syracuse controlled much of the period until the later stages when Penn State went on a power play midway through the frame. The Nittany Lions went 1-for-2 on the player-advantage.
 
The final 90 seconds were frantic as Paniccia came out of net and the Nittany Lions put three shots on frame, but Syracuse netminder Kallie Billadeau was there for all of them. She finished the day with 17 saves. 
 
Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) topped the PSU list with five attempts on goal, while Kelly Seward (Williamsville, N.Y.) had four shots. Defensively, Lindsay Reihl(Cheshire, Conn.) blocked four shots and Jeanette Bateman (Greeley, Colo.) had three blocks.
 
Syracuse held a 40-17edge in shots for the game.  The Orange improved to 5-0-0 all-time against the Nittany Lions with two of the last three contests being decided by just one goal.
 
Penn State and Syracuse return to Pegula Ice Arena on Sunday afternoon for a 2 p.m. contest. Following the game, fans are invited to a free skating session on the ice. Free skate rental is also included.