CHA Recap: December 7, 2013

CHA Recap: December 7, 2013

Mercyhurst 8, Penn State 0

ERIE, Pa. – Senior Christine Bestland collected her career 200th point in the 8-0 shutout over Penn State University on Saturday afternoon. The Lakers collected their fourth straight win in the shutout and improved to 12-5-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the College Hockey America Conference. Penn State fell to 3-14-2 overall and 1-9-0 in the CHA.

Bestland's 200th point came made her the fifth all-time to reach the milestone. She now has 200 points in 125 games played which ties her for the second quickest player to reach 200 in the program. The 200th point came from an assist on the second goal in the opening period. On the weekend, Bestland collected five points on three goals and two assists.

Mercyhurst opened up strong in the first period, scoring six goals, which Mercyhurst has been unable to accomplish at the Mercyhurst Ice Center since October 29, 2010. The last time the Lakers scored six goals was against Robert Morris in a 7-3 win after six goals in the first.

Sophomore Shelby Bram opened up the scoring just before the two minute mark into the contest. Senior Christie Cicero was awarded an assist after she passed the puck to freshman Jillian Skinner at the point. Skinner then took the initial shot towards Penn State's net, but Bram snuck the puck in between the legs of goaltender Nicole Paniccia.

Sophomore Emily Janiga added her only point of the night on the second goal at the 7:43 mark off of a rebound from Paniccia. Bestland added the assist for her 18th of the season and 200 career point after taking the initial shot, while junior Caroline Luczak was awarded the second assist for her first of the game and second of the season.

Less than a minute later, Mercyhurst struck again this time from senior Kaleigh Chippy. Cicero was in the action again, adding her second assist of the night at the 8:38 mark, gave Chippy a pass from the defensive end across the ice to Chippy for a breakaway. Chippy beat Paniccia with a move and lifted the puck easily to the top left corner of the net.

Another goal from Bram at the 11:25 mark, a blast from freshman Megan Whiddon to score her first collegiate goal at the 13:53 mark and Chippy with her second goal at the 14:44 mark extended the lead to 6-0 after the first 20:00 of regulation.

Throughout the first period, Mercyhurst outshot Penn State 25 to four. Three of Penn State's shots came from the only power-play opportunity that was awarded to the Nittany Lions in the first.

The second period was scoreless between both teams as Paniccia made just nine saves to her 19 in the previous period. Mercyhurst had two power-play opportunities and attempted just nine shots on net after a strong opening period.

Sophomore Jaclyn Arbour broke found a way past Paniccia after a scoreless second period to make the score 7-0. Sophomore J'nai Mahadeo attempted a powerful shot from the point after receiving a pass from Whiddon at the 3:18 mark but Arbour redirected the puck to throw off Paniccia and collected her second goal of the season.

Just before the end of the contest, Maggie Rothgery ended her scoring drought and completed the 8-0 win. Freshman Taylor Acurrsi started the play by wrapping the puck around the net, which Paniccia gave up another rebound for sophomore Hannah Bale to take a close shot which was also saved. Paniccia could not handle the third rebound however as Rothgery ended the play with the puck in the back of the net. Bale's assist marked her first collegiate point at Mercyhurst.

The Lakers came out strong again during the third as they attempted 19 shots on net to Penn State's 8. The Lakers captured 53 shots on net and with the 8-0 win collected their season-high 23 points against an opponent and a season-high eight goals scored with a high15 assists.

Sophomore Julia DiTondo collected her second career start and first career shutout as she improves to 2-0-0. DiTondo made a career high 18 saves and has improved to a .959 save percentage in the season and a 0.75 goals against average.

All told, Mercyhurst outscored Penn State 15 to nothing throughout the series and outshot them 84 to 54. Six different Lakers collected a career milestone and as a team matched a team-high six goals in the first period at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.

The event also marked the Lakers annual "Pink the Rink" event. This season, the Lakers teamed up with Erie's own "Linked by Pink" organization to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness. In honor of the event, Natalie Rutter dropped the ceremonial puck drop before the contest. The Lakers also sold their pink game-worn jerseys and donated the gate and 50/50 money to the "Linked By Pink" organization.

Mercyhurst completed the first half of the season with a record of 7-1-1 on their home ice. The Lakers travel to Lindenwood before the New Year on Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15 with both contests starting at 3:00 p.m.

Courtesy Mercyhurst Athletic Communications


ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State women's hockey team was unable to solve the 11-time CHA regular season champion Mercyhurst Lakers in an 8-0 loss Saturday afternoon at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.

The Lakers (12-5-2, 5-2-1 CHA) used six first-period goals to ease by the Nittany Lions (3-14-2, 1-9-0 CHA). Shelby Bram opened the account just 1:40 into the game for an early 1-0 lead. Mercyhurst would then add five goals in a span of 7:01 midway through the period that would stake an unsurmountable 6-0 lead. Emily Janiga, Kaleigh Chippy (2), Megan Widdon and Bram would score during that stretch as the Lakers owned a 25-4 margin in shots.

The Nittany Lions fought back in the second period, earning three power-play opportunities and firing off seven shots to MU's nine. Nevertheless, the two teams skated scoreless for the 20 minutes.

In the third frame, the Lakers concluded the scoring with a Jaclyn Arbour goal at 3:18 and a Maggie Rothgery tally at 17:48. Mercyhurst held a 53-19 margin in shots for the contest following a much more narrow 41-35 advantage in Friday's game.

Penn State goaltender Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) made 45 saves on 53 Mercyhurst shots. Of the 19 Nittany Lion shots, seven came off the stick of Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.), while Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.) led the team in blocks with three.

The Nittany Lions fell to 0-6-0 all-time in the series against the perennial conference champions. Penn State will take nearly a month off for finals and winter break before returning to the ice Jan. 3-4, 2014 against the Ohio State Buckeyes. That series takes place at the OSU Rink in Columbus.

Courtesy Penn State Athletic Communications


Syracuse 4, Lindenwood 1

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse ice hockey used a dominant overall performance to beat Lindenwood, 4-1 at the Tennity Ice Pavillion on Saturday afternoon. Four Orange provided two-point games to spearhead the offense as Nicole Ferrara andMargot Scharfe totaled a goal and assist each while Larissa Martyniuk and Caitlin Roach secured a pair of assists apiece.

"Our mental preparation was a lot better," head coach Paul Flanagan. "Today I think we outworked them and that's what set the tone was our work ethic."

Kallie Billadeau shut out Lindenwood over the opening two periods, recording 11 saves, to earn her fifth win of the season. Julie Bengis replaced Billadeau between the pipes at the start of the final period, providing nine saves while allowing one goal.

Syracuse controlled the faceoff circle during the opening period, winning 19-of-23 chances (82.6 percent) to help the team take a 1-0 lead into the first break.

With Lindenwood on the power play, the Orange used a short-handed goal to go in front. Jessica Sibley won a faceoff battle with Lindsay Kirkham before Kaillie Goodnough sent the puck into the offensive zone, forcing Lady Lions netminder Nicole Hensley to re-direct it away from Lindenwood's goal. Scharfe challenged Hensley at the crease, took possession and used a quick back-handed shot in front to record the tally with 8:32 remaining in the period.

Sibley doubled the Syracuse lead during the second period as the Orange outshot Lindenwood, 22-4 in on-target attempts during the frame to continue the home side's offensive dominance. Sibley stationed herself to the right side of the net during a power play chance and fired in a shot with 15:20 to play in the second following passes from Martyniuk and Roach.

The Orange extended its lead to 3-0 later in the second period when Ferrara netted her seventh goal of the season. Martyniuk fired a pass to Scharfe, who redirected the puck to Ferrara in front of the net. Ferrara shot over Hensley's right shoulder into the top-left corner at the 13:46 mark to push the lead to three.

Lindenwood ended the shutout when Alyssa West rebounded a hard shot from Katie Erickson that Bengis initially saved but the sophomore net minder was unable to prevent the second attempt from slipping past her. The Lady Lions cut the lead to 3-1 with 8:12 left in the game.

Syracuse capped scoring with an empty-net goal during the final minute of regulation. Melissa Piacentini skated into Lindenwood's end and kept an LU defender at bay to push the puck into the goal with 49 seconds left to play. Ferrara and Roach earned assists on the tally.

The Orange continues their season with a trip to the University of Vermont for 2 p.m. games on Saturday, Jan. 4 and Sunday, Jan. 5.

Courtesy Syracuse Athletic Communications


The Lindenwood women's hockey team fell in a 3-0 hole on Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y. and lost to the Orange by a 4-1 margin.

Syracuse jumped out to a big lead thanks to special teams play. In the first period, the Orange got on the board at the 11:28 mark with a shorthanded goal. Syracuse would add two more goals in the second period, including the first with a power-play score.

Lindenwood cracked the scoreboard midway through the third period with a power-play goal by Alyssa West. Katie Erickson assisted on that goal. Syracuse would score the final goal with an empty-net score in the final minute of the game.

Syracuse had a 48-21 advantage in shots. Both teams had one power-play goal , with Lindenwood having four chances and the Orange having just three.

Lindenwood returns home next week to face defending CHA Champion Mercyhurst for a two-game series on Saturday and Sunday.

Courtesy Lindenwood Athletic Communications


Robert Morris 4, RIT 2

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Robert Morris University women's hockey head coach Paul Colontino earned his 50th career win this afternoon as the Colonials defeated the RIT Tigers in College Hockey America (CHA) play, 4-2.

No. 10 Robert Morris (16-3-1, 8-1-1 CHA) extends its unbeaten streak to nine games and improves its winning streak at 84 Lumber Arena to six games. The Colonials also stayed undefeated on Saturdays (8-0-0) with the victory.

Both goaltenders faced plenty of shots in a scoreless first period. Making her sixth-straight start, freshman netminder Jessica Dodds (London, Ontario / London Jr. Devilettes) made 13 saves in the first 20 minutes, which is the second most the rookie has stopped in a period behind a 14-save third frame in a 3-2 win over Mercyhurst on Nov. 9. Both RMU and RIT (9-9-1, 4-3-1 CHA) earned two power plays in the period, but couldn't capitalize on the man advantage.

The Tigers struck first 2:06 into the second period. With senior captain Kristen Richards (Toronto, Ontario / Niagara University) in the penalty box for interference, Jess Paton gathered a pass from Marissa Maugeri across the crease and batted the puck behind Dodds. The power play goal was the first the Colonials had given up since Nov. 15 vs. Lindenwood, as they were 28-28 on the penalty kill since that game.

RMU would answer 52 seconds later with its own power play goal. Senior defenseman Anneline Lauziere (St. Thomas, Ontario / London Jr. Devilettes) passed it to Richards, and the forward would rifle a shot towards the net. Freshman forward Brittany Howard (St. Thomas, Ontario / Burlington Jr. Barracudas) stationed herself in front of the crease and got a stick on her linemate's shot, redirecting it past Tiger goaltender Ali Binnington for her 12th goal of the season. By finding the back of the net, Howard extended her goal streak to four straight games, and tallied a point for the fifth straight contest.

RIT took the lead again with 4:45 remaining in the period. Carly Payerl forced a turnover in her own offensive zone, then fired a shot over Dodds' shoulder to light the lamp.

However, the Colonials would draw even once more with a goal at the 17:37 mark of the frame. Similar to the Tigers' last goal, freshman forward Maeve Garvey (Oakville, Ontario / Burlington Jr. Barracudas) forced a turnover and then beat Binnington while skating all alone. The strike was Garvey's first since RMU's 4-0 win on Halloween at Penn State.

The score remained at 2-2 through the first half of the third period, but Garvey struck again with 9:24 remaining in regulation. Just like her previous goal, Garvey forced a turnover by cutting in front of a pass and rifled a shot past Binnington for her seventh goal of the season and the second multi-goal game of her career.

RMU didn't let up on the offensive pressure, as it held a 21-4 shot advantage through the final 20 minutes. With 19 seconds remaining in the game and Binnington pulled in favor of an extra skater, Richards stole the puck at the Colonial offensive blue line and buried it into the open net to set the final score.

Dodds finished off her first semester of college hockey with an unbeaten record of 13-0-1. The freshman stopped 27 of 29 shots.

The sweep of RIT was RMU's first since the 2007-08 season. The Colonials were 0-4-1 in their previous five meetings with the Tigers prior to this weekend.

Robert Morris enters Christmas break with their best first-half record in school history, surpassing the mark of 11-4-2 that was set by the 2011-12 team. The Colonials will return to action on Jan. 4 when they host St. Lawrence in a non-conference matchup. Puck drop for the game against the Saints is scheduled for7:05 p.m. at 84 Lumber Arena.

Courtesy Robert Morris Athletic Communications


MOON TOWNSHIP, PA – No. 10 Robert Morris (16-3-1, 8-1-1 CHA) scored two third period goals to snap a 2-2 tie and hand the RIT women's hockey team (9-9-1, 4-2-1 CHA) its second straight defeat, 4-2 at 84 Lumber Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers scored a pair of goals in the second period. Just two minutes into the frame, Jess Paton (Woodstock, Ontario/Waterloo K-W Rangers) scored on a perfect passing play on the power-play off an assist from Marissa Maugeri(Ajax, Ontario/Durham West Lightning). Later on Carly Payerl (Kitchener, Ontario/Waterloo K-W Rangers) would add a goal, her first of the season, off a shot from the slot.

As has become expected, Ali Binngington was excellent from start to finish, making 43 saves, tying her career high, on 46 total shots. She made a handful of terrific saves in crucial situations for the Tigers, keeping them close throughout.

Robert Morris forward Maeve Garvey scored two goals, including the game winner 10:36 into the third period that snapped a 2-2 tie. Brittany Howard also had a goal for the CHA leading Colonials, who also saw a solid performance in net from goaltender Jessica Dodds. Dodds made 27 saves on 29 total shots in the win. Kristen Richards put the game away with an empty-netter in the final seconds.

RIT came out far more aggressive than they were in game one the night before. Just six minutes in, the Tigers would earn the first power play of the game looking to get on the board first. The power play did not convert though, as three shots were fired on net before the Colonials killed it off.

Robert Morris went on their first power play about three minutes later and were much more active in the RIT zone firing six shots, which Binnington easly knocked away. Both teams would earn a second power play as the period continued but neither coud break through. After one the teams were locked in a 0-0 tie and RIT had outshot the Colonials 13-12.

The second period got off to a quick start for both teams with a Robert Morris penalty just 35 seconds in would send RIT on the power play. The Tigers would set up and move the puck well through the Colonial zone, but still couldn't quite get it through the defense. Finally with about 30 seconds remaining on the power play, RIT would cash in. Maugeri would send a beautiful cross pass to the back door side of the net where Paton gathered it and pushed past the pad of Dodds.

That goal ended a 28 straight penalty kill streak for Robert Morris dating back to Nov. 15 against Lindenwood.

The Tigers lead however, would be short lived as less than a minute later Robert Morris would answer with a goal of their own on a bullet of a shot from Howard at the top of the faceoff circle. Neither team could seem to take control as the period continued until under five minutes remained. Payerl took a shot from the slot that found the back of the net and gave RIT their second lead of the game 2-1. As the Tigers looked to close out the period with momentum on their side, the Colonials would tie the game on a partial breakaway by Garvey with only 2:23 remaining in the period. The teams went into the break tied up this time at 2-2.

Robert Morris came out firing in the third period putting a handful of shots on net and earning several power play chances. Eventually the pressure became too much for RIT as Garvey would take the puck herself and squeeze it past Binnington on a shot from the slot to give the Colonials a 3-2 lead.

In desperation RIT head coach Scott McDonald pulled Binnginton from goal to have a 6-on-5 advantage with 1:30 remaining in the game, only to see Robert Morris put the game out of reach with an empty net goal in the closing seconds to earn the 4-2 win.

The Tigers hung with Robert Morris for first two periods but in the end the Colonials deep offensive attack was just too much for RIT to handle as they were outshot by an astounding 17 shot margin, 21-4, in the third period.

RIT is now 4-4-1 all-time against Robert Morris and has dropped four of the last five games.

RIT closes out the 2013 portion of the schedule, as No. 6 Clarkson coming to town for the highly anticpiated Frozen Frontier game at Frontier Field at 12:05 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 14. Find our more information at

Courtesy RIT Athletic Communications