CHA Recap: December 6, 2013

CHA Recap: December 6, 2013

Mercyhurst 7, Penn State 0

Erie, Pa. – A career-high 35 saves by junior goaltender Amanda Makela and a hat trick by senior Christine Bestland led the Mercyhurst University women's hockey team past Penn State University 7-0.

The Lakers shutout improved their overall record to 11-5-2 in the season and captured their fourth College Hockey America win of the season (4-2-1). Penn State fell to 3-14-2 overall and 1-8-0 in the CHA.

Goaltender Amanda Makela made 35 saves to mark her career-high saves as a Mercyhurst Laker. Makela was tested the majority of the time in the third period as she made 18 saves to improve to 10-5-2 in the season.

Mercyhurst started the contest scoring early and often as Mercyhurst had a 3-0 lead after the opening period. Senior Kaleigh Chippy broke open the Lakers lead at the 5:48 mark of the first. Senior Christie Cicero created the offensive momentum early on after passing the puck to sophomore Emily Janiga. Janiga gave the puck to Chippy at the goal line who took an odd angled shot behind the back of Nittany Lions netminder Celine Whitlinger.

Sophomore Jenna Dingeldein scored her third power-play goal of the season at the 12:08 mark to add her sixth goal of the season. Dingeldein made the score 2-0 after taking another odd angle shot against Whitlinger after she made the initial save but then the puck snuck through her backside. Junior Shelby Bram and freshman Jillian Skinner marked the assists.

With just a minute left in the opening period, senior Christine Bestland scored her first of three goals on an even-strength goal. Sophomore Emily Janiga added her second assist of the night and tenth of the season after she gave Bestland a pass at the right faceoff circle. Bestland then carried the puck across the front of Whitlinger through a defenseman and into the back of the net, making the score 3-0.

Chippy added her second goal of the contest just 43 seconds into the middle period to continue the Lakers offense. The power-play goal gave Chippy her sixth goal of the season and third power-play goal to lead the team with Dingeldein. Chippy shot the puck to the top left corner of the net. Junior Molly Byrne and Janiga added the assists.

Freshman Paige Horton extended the lead to 5-0 at the 8:08 mark of the second period and tallied her first career goal at Mercyhurst. Despite being even-strength, Mercyhurst kept the pressure keeping the puck deep in the offensive zone. Horton was standing at the points and was delivered a puck by Dingeldein. Horton then ripped a shot from the right side which slide just under the glove of Whitlinger. Bestland also added the assist.

Bestland concluded the scoring in the second at 11:47 to mark her ninth goal of the season. Janiga tallied the lone assist.

The end of the second was full of four-on-four action with Mercyhurst outshooting Penn State 16 to 9 for a two period total of 32 to 17. The Nittany Lions Shannon Yoxheimer led Penn State in shots and tested Makela to her glove side numerous times.

Only one goal was scored in the third period, which marked Bestland's third goal of the contest. The short-handed goal was tallied at the 15:22 mark after Skinner led Bestland from the offensive end. Bestland continues to be the only Mercyhurst Lakers with a short-handed goal as she has two in the season.

Whitlinger made 34 saves despite the loss as Mercyhurst attempted a total of 41 shots on net to Penn State's 35.

Heading into the series, Bestland was shy five points of a career 200 points at Mercyhurst. With a four-point game, Bestland is now just one point away from the milestone.

Janiga made a career-high four assists in a contest to contribute to the shutout. Chippy added two goals in the victory while Dingeldein had a goal and an assist and Skinner had a career-high two assists in a game.

Both teams are back in action at the Mercyhurst Ice Center on Saturday, December 7 at 2:00 p.m. The final home game before the holiday season will mark the Lakers annual "Pink the Rink". Mercyhurst will wear their pink jerseys to support the cause and sell the game-worn jerseys after the contest for $100. All gate money, jersey sales, and 50/50 funds will be donated to the Linked By Pink of Erie organization.

Courtesy Mercyhurst Athletic Communications


ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State women's hockey team fired 35 shots, but was unable to stop a potent Laker attack in a 7-0 loss at the Mercyhurst Ice Center Friday afternoon.

Mercyhurst (11-5-2, 4-2-1 CHA) struck first on a Kaleigh Chippy effort just 5:48 into the contest. The lead doubled a little over six minutes later with a Jenna Dingeldein goal at 12:08. The first-period scoring was capped by Christine Bestland as she put home a 4-on-4 tally with 56 seconds remaining. The Lakers out-shot Penn State, 16-8, in the opening frame.

The Mercyhurst onslaught continued in the second period's first minute as Chippy tallied a power-play goal just 43 ticks in. Paige Horton padded the lead 8:08 into the period before Bestland added her second goal of the game at 11:47 for a 6-0 advantage. MU led in shots 16-9 for a 32-17 edge through two periods.

The third period was not as lively for either team as Mercyhurst posted one goal as Bestland completed the hat trick with 4:38 remaining in the contest. Penn State owned an 18-9 edge in shots during the third period, but Amanda Makela (35 saves) was there for all the stops.

Despite the seven-goal disadvantage, Penn State showed itself much more offensive than in the four meetings with the Lakers last year. The Lakers out-shot Penn State 41-35, by far the fewest allowed by the Nittany Lions in series history and the most taken by PSU. Mercyhurst averaged 61.3 shots per game against the Nittany Lions, while Penn State mustered just 12.8 shots per game.

Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas) and Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) were Penn State's best weapons with eight and nine shots, respectively, the most by a Nittany Lion since Yoxheimer tallied eight against Lindenwood on Feb. 8, 2013.

Nittany Lion goaltender Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.) made 34 saves in net. Penn State earned a 36-31 margin in faceoff victories with Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.) owning a 12-4 record at the faceoff dot.

The two teams return to the ice to complete the two-game series on Saturday with a 2 p.m. opening faceoff at Mercyhurst Ice Center.

Courtesy Penn State Athletic Communications


Robert Morris 2, RIT 1

Pittsburgh, Pa.  – In a battle of College Hockey America's (CHA) top two teams, the Robert Morris University women's hockey team outlasted the RIT Tigers, 2-1.

With the victory, Robert Morris (15-3-1, 7-1-1 CHA) matches their win total from last season when they finished 15-15-3. The victory also extends the Colonials' season-high unbeaten streak to eight games, and moves their winning streak at 84 Lumber Arena to five games.

After shots from freshman forward Brittany Howard (St. Thomas, Ontario / Burlington Jr. Barracudas) and senior assistant captain Thea Imbrogno (Etobicoke, Ontario / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs) rang off the pipe, RMU would find the back of the net with a power play goal 7:12 into the first period. Senior captain Kristen Richards (Toronto, Ontario / Niagara University) carried the puck into the offensive zone and passed it off to Howard, and then the freshman fired a shot that was saved by RIT (9-8-1, 4-2-1 CHA) goaltender Ali Binnington. However, the rebound trickled to Imbrogno, who buried the puck for her seventh goal of the season.

The Tigers tied it up a little more than five minutes into the second period. Mackenzie Stone forced a turnover and passed it up the ice to Kourtney Kunichika. Kunichika skated down the ice to create a two-on-one advantage, and then passed it to Celeste Brown, who beat freshman goaltender Jessica Dodds (London, Ontario / London Jr. Devilettes) top-shelf.

With five minutes and change remaining in the period, the Colonials held a five-on-three advantage with Brittany St. James and Lindsay Grigg sharing a seat in the penalty box. Before the public address announcer could announce Grigg's penalty, Howard gathered a pass from Imbrogno and rifled a slap-shot that beat Binnington over her right shoulder. The goal was Howard's team-leading 11th of the season and also gave the freshman her ninth career multi-point performance.

RIT had its opportunities to tie it up again in the third period. Senior defenseman Kylie St. Louis (Windsor, Ontario / Southwest Wildcats) picked up an elbowing penalty 15 minutes into the final frame, giving the nation's tied for fourth best power play unit in goals scored a chance to notch another. However, the Tigers had a shot blocked from junior forward Rebecca Vint (Caldeon, Ontario / Brampton Junior Thunder) and another one saved by Dodds.

A holding penalty committed by freshman defenseman Mikaela Lowater (Thornhill, Ontario / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs) gave RIT their second power play of the period, but again they couldn't capitalize. Dodds made three saves on the penalty kill and Richards blocked a shot from Marissa Maugeri to keep the score at 2-1.

St. Louis returned to the box with 5:56 remaining in regulation after an interference call. However, after one shot, Howard drew a penalty in the RMU offensive zone to make it a 4-on-4. Dodds made another save with the teams at even-strength, then the Colonials almost put it away after St. Louis returned to the ice as Richards and junior forward Katie Fergus (Oakville, Ontario / Burlington Jr. Barracudas) each fired shots that challenged Binnington.

With 1:35 remaining in the period, the Tigers called a timeout to draw up a play in hopes of tying the game. However, Dodds stood tall to make one last save, and junior defenseman Kelsey Gunn (Smith Falls, Ontario / Niagara University) blocked a shot to seal the game.

RMU's penalty kill unit successfully defended four penalties and extended their streak to 26 straight kills. The Colonials haven't given up a power play goal since Nov. 15 against Lindenwood.

Dodds made 18 saves – including nine in the final 20 minutes – to improve her unbeaten record to 12-0-1.

Robert Morris returns to the ice tomorrow afternoon for the final time this semester. Puck drop for tomorrow's contest with RIT is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at 84 Lumber Arena.

Courtesy Robert Morris Athletic Communications 


MOON TOWNSHIP, PA – The RIT women's hockey team (9-8-1, 4-2-1 CHA) hung with CHA leader Robert Morris (15-3-1, 7-1-1 CHA) from start to finish, but two power play goals were the Tigers ultimate demise, as the Colonials handed RIT a 2-1 defeat. It was an impressive day for junior goaltender Ali Bininngton, who made 30 saves and did a terrific job of keeping the Tigers within striking distance throughout.

Celeste Brown (Great Falls, MT/National Sports Academy), would score the lone goal for the RIT early in the second period, with the Tigers trailing Robert Morris 1-0. It was Brown's sixth goal of the season. Kourtney Kunichika (Fullerton, CA/LA Selects) and MacKenzie Stone (Kars, Ontario/South Carleton)earned assists on the play, giving them their sixth, and third assists on the season, respectively.

In the opposing net, Jessica Dodds faced just 19 shots, saving 18 of them, on way to the Colonials win. She had help offensively from Brittany Howard and Thea Imbrogno who each scored.

The first period was all Robert Morris as the Tiger offense came out of the gate flat. Through the first five minutes of the game Robert Morris had outshot RIT 7-2 and were in control. The aggressiveness would pay off for the Colonials who cashed in just over two minutes later on a power play goal from Imbrogno to jump out to the early lead. The Tigers would start to slow down the Robert Morris attack and headed into the break down just 1-0.

The second period was just the opposite of the first as RIT came out aggresively on offense, earning a power play chance just 40 seconds into the period. The penalty was killed off but the Tigers stayed on the attack and just 5:22 into the period, Brown would knock in a goal from out in front, to knot it up at 1-1.

Later in the period RIT would fall victim to another costly penalty as this time a shot by Howard on a delayed RIT penalty found the back of the net and gave the Colonials a 2-1 lead after two.

RIT had their work cut out for them at the start of the third, and picked up their offense quite a bit looking to score. Despite a few good scoring chances byLindsay Grigg (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Hornets) and Caitlin Wallace (Brantford, Ontario/Assumption Collegiate) Robert Morris held tough and preserved their 2-1 lead.

In the closing minutes head coach Scott McDonald would pull Binnington to set up a 6-on-5, but could not get anything past Dobbs who sealed the Robert Morris 2-1 win.

The loss was the first time RIT has allowed two power play goals in a game since Oct. 19 against Colgate, a game they also lost by a 2-1 score.

RIT gets a shot at redemption tomorrow against Robert Morris, as they wrap up the two-game road series. The puck drops at 3 p.m. from 84 Lumber Arena.

Courtesy RIT Athletic Communications

Lindenwood 2, Syracuse 1

Lindenwood and Syracuse appeared headed into overtime at Tennity Ice Pavilion in Syracuse, N.Y. for the third straight season, but the Lady Lions power-play unit had other ideas. Lindenwood scored with 6.7 seconds remaining in the game for a 2-1 win over the Orange.

"It was a great team effort," said Lindenwood head coach Vince O'Mara. "Nicole (Hensley) really stood tall in goal, especially in the third period. She gave us a chance to win and the girls came through."

Syracuse appeared to have the advantage late in the game when the Lady Lions committed a penalty at the 17:17 mark of the third period. The Orange had five shots on goal on their power play but Hensley turned away every shot.

Nine seconds after Lindenwood returned to full strength, an Orange player was sent to the penalty box. Lindenwood won the faceoff and 28 seconds later, Katie Erickson scored the game-winner with an assist from Lyndsay Kirkham.

The only other goals in the game came in the second period. The Lady Lions scored first at the 9:01 mark when Kendra Broad added to her team-high in points with her four goal and ninth point of the season. Chelsea Witwicke was credited with an assist on the play. Later in the period, the Orange were on the power play and had an extra attacker to make it six-on-four. Caitlin Roach scored unassisted for Syracuse on the only goal Hensley would allow in the game.

Syracuse outshot Lindenwood 47-22, but it was just one-of-seven on the power play. The Lady Lions defense received 46 saves from Hensley and it blocked 18 shots, nine more than Syracuse.

Lindenwood and Syracuse will play game two of their series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. (central).

Courtesy Lindenwood Athletic Communications


SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Lindenwood (2-13-2, 2-5-1 CHA) notched a last-second goal to take a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse ice hockey team (7-8-2, 2-3-2 CHA) on Friday night at Tennity Ice Pavilion. SU outpaced the Lady Lions on offense, outshooting Lindenwood 47-22 including 24 shots on target in its third period efforts.

The Orange rallied to tie the game at the end of the second period and held Lindenwood to just six shots on goal in the third but the Lady Lions used a man-up opportunity to score with six seconds left in the game.

Syracuse scored its 17th man-up goal of the season. The Orange ranks second in College Hockey America on the power play. SU stopped four-of-five Lindenwood power play opportunities.

Jenesica Drinkwater stopped 20 shots in her first loss of the season (4-1-0). Nicole Hensley provided a strong presence in net for Lindenwood with 46 saves.

The Lady Lions opened scoring in the middle of the second period when Kendra Broad rebounded a shot past Drinkwater to take a 1-0 lead with 10:59 left in the period.

Syracuse was quick to tie the game and went into the second intermission even with Lindenwood. Larissa Martynuik started the scoring play behind the Orange net, bringing it out and passing to Jessica Sibley on the left side. Sibley fedCaitlin Roach on the right side of the ice and she brought it to the crease, sending it into the top of the net with 1:03 remaining in the second stanza.

The Orange pressured on offense throughout the third period, getting 36 total shots off including 24 on net and nine blocked by defenders. The Lady Lions totaled just eight shots throughout the period but it was their last shot, taken by Katie Erickson, that gave Lindenwood the 2-1 victory.

SU and Lindenwood face off again tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. in Tennity Ice Pavilion.

Courtesy Syracuse Athletic Communications