UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Nittany Lion women's hockey team continues its five-game home stand when No. 7 Mercyhurst enters Greenberg Ice Pavilion for a pair of games on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.). Both games will be streamed live on AmericaOneSports.com ($) and have live stats through GoPSUsports.com GameTracker.
Friday: Penn State hosts THON Night to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund in the fight against pediatric cancer. A silent auction will be held for a commemorative Reading Royals THON jersey and donations will be collected at the game. All proceeds go directly to THON.
Saturday: Penn State will hold a post-game autograph session following Saturday's game in the lobby of Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
ADMISSION & PARKING
Fans attending Tuesday's game are able to park for free in the surrounding Orange Lots C, F or G after 5 p.m. There are multiple events on campus Saturday and parking space may be limited. If the free lots are full, paid parking can be found in the Eisenhower Deck located on Eisenhower Road off Bigler Road. Parking is prohibited in the Nittany Apartments lots and there will not be shuttle service from Orange Lot H.
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (7-17-1, 1-10-1 CHA) vs. #7 MERCYHURST LAKERS (19-5-1, 10-2-0 CHA)
Games 26-27: Feb. 1-2, 2013 // 7 p.m. & 2 p.m. // Greenberg Ice Pavilion // University Park, Pa.
VENUE: Greenberg Ice Pavilion (1,300)
STREAMING COVERAGE: AmericaSportsOne.com
SERIES RECORD: 0-2-0
LAST MEETING: Dec. 1, 2012, Mercyhurst 7-1
NEXT SERIES: Feb. 8-9 vs. Lindenwood
• Penn State hosts its first ranked opponent this weekend vs. No. 7 Mercyhurst
• Nittany Lions fell to the Princeton Tigers, 3-0, on Tuesday
• Penn State has THON Night on Friday, raising money for the Four Diamonds Fund
• Mercyhurst is coming off a 4-0 loss at No. 5 Cornell on Tuesday
• The Lakers are 2-0-0 against Penn State this season
• PSU hosts Skate for the Cure on Friday, Feb. 8 vs. Lindenwood
THON NIGHT, SKATE FOR THE CURE ON TAP FOR NEXT TWO FRIDAYS
Penn State women's hockey will host two charity events in conjunction with games on the next two Fridays. The Nittany Lions will hold THON Night this Friday against No. 7 Mercyhurst (7 p.m.), while hosting Skate for the Cure on Friday, Feb. 8 against Lindenwood (2 p.m.).
The Nittany Lion women's hockey program will be collecting donations during its game against Mercyhurst this Friday at Greenberg Ice Pavilion. Aside from donations that fans can give, they can also bid on a special hockey jersey from the ECHL's Reading Royals. All proceeds from the auction will go directly to THON.
On Feb. 8, Penn State will take part in a conference-wide event for breast cancer awareness: Skate for the Cure. Penn State will collect funds at Greenberg Ice Pavilion for the 2 p.m. game against Lindenwood. The money raised for Skate for the Cure will benefit Penn State Milton S. Hershey Cancer Institute. Fans attending the game are also encouraged to wear pink.
SCOUTING THE LAKERS
Seventh-ranked Mercyhurst (19-5-1, 10-2-0 CHA) had its three-game winning streak snapped by No. 5 Cornell, 4-0, in Ithaca on Tuesday night. While the shot count was tight, 22-19 in favor of the Big Red, Laker goaltender Amanda Makela allowed three goals on 11 shots in the first period, giving way to Stephanie Ciampa. The Lakers also went 0-for-8 on the power play, registering seven shots.
Despite the setback, Mercyhurst is among the most powerful offenses in women's hockey. The Lakers rank third in the nation scoring 4.2 goals per game, while its defense allows only 1.6 goals a game.
Ciampa (11-1-0) and Makela (8-4-1) have split time in net with Ciampa posting better numbers (1.19 GAa, .945 save percentage). Makela has a 2.01 GAA and .915 save percentage). The defense has posted eight shutouts this season.
On offense, Christine Bestland is fourth in the nation in points per game (2.08) behind 15 goals and 37 assists in 25 games. Mercyhurst's leading scorer is freshman Emily Janiga with 17 goals and 17 assists. The Lakers boast nine skaters with double-digit points and four with double-digit goals.
LAST TIME VS. MERCYHURST
Penn State fell twice to the Lakers in Erie back on Nov. 30-Dec. 1 by scores of 5-0 and 7-1. Nicole Paniccia stopped 29 shots in the opener and Celine Whitlinger had 26 in the third period, allowing just one goal. Mercyhurst used five different scorers in the game, while Bestland notched three points as did Vaila Higston behind a goal and two assists.
The next day, Penn State took a surprising 1-0 lead thanks to Jess Desorcie on assists from Shannon Yoxheimer and Taylor Gross. The lead lasted four minutes and the teams went into the first intermission tied 1-1. The Lakers added two in the second period and capped the game with four tallies for the final 7-1 win. Paniccia was outstanding in net, thwarting 64 Laker attempts and setting a school record for saves in a game. MU's Jaclyn Arbour scored twice and Molly Byrne had three points to pace the Lakers.
LIONS FALL PREY TO TIGERS
Penn State skated against Princeton for the first time on Tuesday night (Jan. 29) and dropped a 3-0 decision at Greenberg Ice Pavilion. The Tigers tallied a goal in each period, while goaltender Nicole Paniccia made 27 saves for the Nittany Lions. Princeton out-shot Penn State 30-19 for the game.
Penn State and Mercyhurst have four common opponents this season, all their fellow CHA foes. PSU has gone 1-8-1 in those games, while Mercyhurst is 8-2-0.
As is expected with a brand new varsity program, there are many freshmen on the team--17 in all. All 17 freshmen have made an appearance on the ice this season and have accounted for 73.2% of the goals scored (41 of 55).
LIONS FALL IN SYRACUSE
Penn State dropped both games to Syracuse in its return to CHA play. In the Friday, Jan. 25 matchup, Nicole Paniccia's 45-save performance wasn't enough as a first-period Orange goal was the difference, 1-0. The next day, Celine Whitlinger had to stand tall in net, making 51 saves in a 4-1 loss to Syracuse. The Orange opened the game with three goals in the first 11:29, but Penn State outscored the Orange 1-0 until a last-minute empty-netter capped the scoring. Jill Holdcroft tallied her eighth of the year and her team-leading fourth power-play goal. Shannon Yoxheimer and Jess Desorcie fed the Holdcroft goal.
More game notes can be found here.