Penn State women's hockey began its 2020-21 regular season with the start of its two-game home series against Lindenwood this Sunday at Pegula Ice Arena, and saw a spark of what the future holds for the program.
With the lead of its underclassmen and newcomers, the Nittany Lions’ shut out Lindenwood 3-0 on Sunday.
Penn State took the ice with domination in the first period, allowing none of Lindenwood’s nine shots behind the net, while managing to record six shots on goal of its own to end the period.
After the first points on board came from freshman Carrie Byrnes, the Nittany Lions then forced an immediate power-play goal by senior captain Natalie Heising with just under three minutes into the second period with assistance from junior Izzy Heminger and sophomore Mallory Uihlein to take a two point lead.
The persistence never stopped for Penn State.
Freshmen have first career days
Penn State started off with a strong start due to an impressive debut from Byrnes, scoring her first career goal off a power-play with 9:36 in the first period.
Byrnes' goal was assisted by freshman Jess Ciarrocchi and freshman Meave Connolly, who both received their first career points with the assist.
Byrnes, Ciarrocchi and Connolly continued to have a large impact in the game for Penn State totalling a combined seven shots on goal, across all three periods.
Sunday’s performance showed a small glimpse of what the Nittany Lions’ youth will have to contribute the rest of this season.
Lindenwood fails to keep pace
In the first period, Lindenwood came out slow—something that would impact its entire game against the Nittany Lions.
Lidenwood had a total of 21 shots on goal, along with losing multiple faceoffs throughout the game to give Penn State more of an advantage in front of the net.
The Nittany Lions defense held strong the rest of the period by holding down on Lindenwood’s seventeen shots on goal in the third period.
Penn State had 20 shots on goal the second period, with none hitting the back of the net.
Part of this primary struggle for Lindenwood resulted from a low contribution from its upperclassmen — forward Sierra Burt, forward Megan Wagner, and goalkeeper Annika Asplundh.
A final goal to cap off the first win
Lindenwood won the faceoff with just two minutes left in the game to have a shot on goal, but Penn State’s defense stopped the shot quickly as Lidenwood pulled its goalie with 90 seconds to play.
Penn State got the puck up to freshman forward Kiara Zanon and defender Heminger to assist Heising for an empty netter goal, gaining her two goals for the game.
This capped off Penn State’s first win of the season as it looks to rematch Lindenwood on Monday.