PSU Women's Hockey vs. Lindenwood, Gough

Penn State forward Julie Gough (14) is chased by Lindenwood forward Megan Wagner (13) and defenseman Teagan Heaslip (18) during the Penn State women's hockey game on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 in University Park, Pa. Penn State defeated Lindenwood 4-1.

With every team having played at least two matches of conference play, the CHA regular season is starting to heat up in 2021-22.

Penn State currently sits atop the conference leaderboard four games into CHA play.

Here’s a look at how the other teams in the conference have started their seasons.

Penn State leads the way

The Nittany Lions are looking to repeat as CHA champions and have gotten off on the right foot to repeat.

After dropping its first conference game of the season against Mercyhurst, the blue and white has bounced back, winning its last three contests.

In those three games, Penn State has been dominant, finding the back of the net 12 times while only allowing four goals.

The Nittany Lions found themselves down two goals after two periods in game one against Lindenwood, but the offense came alive, scoring three goals in under three minutes and five goals in the third period to cap off a 5-3 victory.

Leading the charge offensively for the Nittany Lions is sophomore forward Kiara Zanon whose two goals and two assists earned her CHA Forward of the Week.

Another Penn State player also took home hardware this week as sophomore goalie Josie Bothun captured CHA Goalie of the Week.

Bothun allowed just four goals, stopping 34 shots in the two-game series.

The blue and white have a bye week this week and resume conference play next week against Syracuse on the road.

Syracuse starts strong

After opening its season 1-4-2, Syracuse has rebounded in a big way to start its run in the CHA regular season.

The Orange currently sit in second place with a record of 3-1-0.

A big factor for the turnaround can be credited to the play of senior forward Abby Moloughney, who has three goals and four assists for seven points in conference play.

Syracuse also has one of the best defenders in the conference in graduate student defender Jessica DiGirolamo.

DiGirolamo has scored a goal in all four conference games while adding three assists for seven points of her own.

Freshman forward Sarah Marchand recorded her first collegiate goal in the Orange’s 5-3 loss against Lindenwood and has tallied three goals and two assists in CHA play.

Both DiGirolamo and Marchand were honored this past week as CHA Defender and Rookie of the Week, respectively.

Syracuse is off this week and will take on the first-place Nittany Lions following its bye week.


Mercyhurst splits

The Lakers have played just two conference games thus far, splitting their series against Penn State.

The blue and green won the first game 4-3 but got shut out in Game 2 3-0.

Freshman forward Vanessa Upson caused serious problems for the Nittany Lion defenders in Game 1, tallying a goal and two assists. Mercyhurst had four different goal scorers in the victory.

The Lakers’ next series is against nonconference St. Lawrence, and they resume conference play next weekend going on the road to face RIT.

Lindenwood rebounds

After going 0-7 to start its season, Lindenwood picked up its first victory against Syracuse in game two of its series.

Junior forward Rachel Goff scored two goals in the victory.

Junior goalie Natalie Ferenc recorded a career-high 50 saves on Saturday against Penn State in her third start of the season, her second in conference play.

The Lions have two nonconference series against No. 9 Clarkson and Bemidji State before starting conference play back up against RIT at the start of December.

RIT struggles

The Tigers have struggled mightily this campaign, going 0-2 to start conference play and 0-12 overall.

The black and orange gave up 10 goals in two games in its series against Syracuse.

The one bright spot has been freshman defender Kyla Bear, who forced overtime with her first collegiate goal in RIT's opening CHA contest on Friday.

The Tigers take on Minnesota this weekend and resume CHA play when they clash with Mercyhurst next weekend.


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Alex Rocco is a women's hockey reporter for The Daily Collegian. He is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism.