Women's hockey announces 2014-15 schedule

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State women's hockey team on Tuesday announced its 2014-15 schedule, which includes 16 home games at Pegula Ice Arena. Season three of the program opens at four-time national champion and 2013-14 NCAA Finalist Minnesota on Oct. 3.

"We have a great schedule," Head Coach Josh Brandwene said. "Our CHA circuit is always tough and we are excited to have multiple Big Ten opponents on our challenging non-conference slate. I'm counting the days until we get started and looking forward to seeing our veteran team accomplish big things next year."

The challenging slate is highlighted by eight opponents who earned PairWise consideration for the NCAA Tournament last season, including two tournament participants Minnesota and Mercyhurst. In all, the Nittany Lions will play 21 games against the 17 teams from last year's PairWise Rankings.

Penn State's third season as a varsity program begins with Minnesota on Friday, Oct. 3 at Ridder Arena. A two-game trip, the Nittany Lions conclude their time in Minnesota on Saturday, Oct. 4 against St. Cloud State. The meetings against the two schools will be the first in program history and will serve as a homecoming for the nine Nittany Lions who hail from Minnesota.

The Nittany Lions open the 2014-15 home season against Quinnipiac on Saturday, Oct. 11. The time for the opener is yet to be determined as the two-game series concludes Sunday, Oct. 12 with a 2 p.m. contest. The Bobcats are coming off a 22-6-9 campaign last season where they finished 8th in the PairWise.

A two-game road swing to Union (Oct. 17-18) is followed by a rare Sunday-Monday series at Pegula Ice Arena against Princeton on Oct. 26-27. The Sunday contest will commence at 7 p.m., while the finale is set for 4 p.m.

Three straight road trips to New York dot the November schedule as the Nittany Lions visit Syracuse (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) in their CHA opening-series, Colgate (Nov. 7-8) and RIT (Nov. 14-15). The defending CHA Champions, RIT opens the 4,500-seat Gene Polisseni Center this season.

Penn State hosts CHA foe Lindenwood in a pre-Thanksgiving tilt on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 21-22. The opener is set for 7 p.m. and the Saturday game facing off at 2 p.m.

The final CHA series of the first half of the season will take place at Robert Morris (Dec. 5-6) before Mercyhurst closes out 2014 at Pegula Ice Arena Dec. 12-13. That series will also have faceoffs at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m.

The Nittany Lions kick off 2015 by welcoming Ohio State to Hockey Valley for the first time in a two-game set Jan. 3-4. The first game time is yet to be determined, but the Sunday finale will see the puck drop at 2 p.m.

Following a week off from action, RIT comes to Pegula Ice Arena on the weekend of January 16-17. Game times will be announced in accordance with the Penn State men's hockey television schedule.

Penn State ventures to the Granite State for the first time Jan. 23-24 as the Nittany Lions tangle with the Wildcats of New Hampshire. Penn State then returns to Hockey Valley to host Syracuse Friday-Saturday, Jan. 30-31 a two-game series.

The Lions hit the road in back-to-back weeks at Lindenwood (Feb. 6-7) and Mercyhurst (Feb. 13-14) before returning home to entertain Robert Morris on the weekend of Feb. 20-21. Those six game times will be announced at a later date.

The CHA Tournament will deliver the first automatic bid in league history for the NCAA Tournament this winter. The six-team competition retains the same format of the past two seasons with the bottom four teams facing off in best-of-three-game series before facing the top two seeds in the semifinals hosted by the No. 1 seed.

The first-round series are slated for Feb. 27-March 1 at the No. 3 and 4 seeds, while the semifinals and final will take place at the No. 1 seed March 6-7.

Penn State prepares for its season-opening trip to Minnesota by hosting an exhibition game vs. Western Ontario on Friday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. following the Homecoming Parade.

Season tickets for Penn State's third varsity season went on sale Wednesday, May 14. Packages for the upcoming season at Pegula Ice Arena will remain the same price ($50) as last year.

The Nittany Lions will embark on their second season at Pegula Ice Arena with a 16-game regular-season slate. Purchases can be made over the phone (1-800-NITTANY) or by visiting the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.). A Nittany Lion Club donation is not required for season tickets and parking is complimentary to all games.

Leading scorers Hannah Hoenshell (Plano, Texas), Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.), Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) and Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.) look to lead Penn State offensively next season. Bowman was named to the All-CHA Rookie Team in 2013-14, while Yoxheimer earned the same honor during Penn State's inaugural season. The Nittany Lions return nine of their top 10 scorers from a season ago and over 80 percent of its total offense.

The Nittany Lions return nine of their top 10 scorers from a season ago and over 80 percent of its total offense. Goaltender Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.) will patrol the crease in her junior year. Whitlinger has a career .923 save percentage in 25 games for the Blue and White. 

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Last Updated May 30, 2014