Historic women's hockey season comes to a close

March 12, 2015

ERIE, Pa. -- Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.) made 32 saves to keep a tenacious Syracuse offense at bay, but the Penn State women’s hockey team fell, 2-0, in the program’s first College Hockey America (CHA) Tournament semifinal appearance on Friday.

The Nittany Lions finish the 2014-15 campaign with the best record in school history at 17-16-4, earning its highest CHA Tournament seed at No. 4. The most improved team in the NCAA from a year ago, the Blue and White set program marks for wins (17), power play goals (23) and shorthanded goals (3) during the season.

Twelve-and-a-half minutes into regulation, a hard hit on Kelly Seward (Williamsville, N.Y.) in the corner put Penn State on its third power play of the night after skating 5-on-3 for nearly a minute-and-a-half earlier in the period. One minute into the Nittany Lions’ player advantage, Allie Lacombe picked up the puck in center ice and threw it at Celine Whitlinger (Garden Grove, Calif.). The puck bounced off of the front of her shoulder and dropped behind her into the net for the 1-0 Syracuse lead.

Whitlinger made some crucial stops in the second period to keep it a one-goal game. She turned away 21 shots in the frame, quieting the Orange’s persistent offense, including a Syracuse attempt to double its lead. With 58 seconds left in the period, the Orange threw a shot on net and proceeded to clog up the crease. The Syracuse players at the net thought the puck crossed over the line, but the play went to a review and was deemed a no goal.

The Orange’s special teams doubled their lead early in the third period. 1:44 into the stanza, Jordin Pardoski (Rochester Hills, Mich.) was assessed a penalty for checking. A minute-and-a-half into the player advantage, Kaillie Goodnough gathered the puck at the blueline and sent a snipe from the high slot to the net. The puck took an awkward hop and went into the back of the net for the 2-0 score.

Whitlinger recorded 32 saves during the game and finishes her junior campaign with a 13-11-1 record. Jenn Gilligan improves to 11-12-9 for the Orange.

Syracuse out-shot Penn State by a 34-11 margin. Laura Bowman (Minnetonka, Minn.) took a team-best three shots for the Blue and White.

Huge blocks by the Nittany Lions limited the amount of pucks Whitlinger faced. The team blocked eight more shots than the Orange (18-10), led by Amy Petersen (Minnetonka, Minn.), Sarah Nielsen (Edina, Minn.) and Bella Sutton (Shoreview, Minn.) with three blocks each.

Penn State went 0-for-6 on the power play, while Syracuse was 1-for-5 with the player advantage.

The Nittany Lions won the battle in the faceoff circle, winning 26 puck drops to the Orange’s 24.

Last Updated March 12, 2015