After a grueling 42 days, Penn State is back in the win column.
The Nittany Lions (4-7-4) defeated the Vermont Catamounts (5-6-5) by a score of 4-0 in their first game of the Windjammer Thanksgiving Classic on Friday afternoon.
Penn State’s last win came on Oct. 18 over Providence, and the team was riding a seven-game winless heading into Friday’s matchup in Burlington, VT.
With the win, the Nittany Lions will face No. 7 Clarkson on Saturday in the tournament final.
Below are some takeaways from Penn State’s holiday tournament win.
Freshman defender Mallory Uihlein had her way against the Catamounts’ defense, finishing the day with three assists.
The Edina, Minnesota product doubled her season assist totals, now having six in 15 appearances.
Uihlein’s single-game success characterizes the bright future for Penn State, as the team’s underclassmen have been outperforming preseason expectations.
The game was a one-score affair until the third period, when the Nittany Lions opened up the scoring with a three-goal period.
Freshman forward Julie Gough began the scoring in the period, followed by senior forward Abby Welch icing the game with two late-game goals.
Penn State has largely been unable to close out games this season, so the high-scoring final period is a welcome change for the struggling squad.
The first in more than a month, this win doesn’t just increase the team’s winning percentage.
The Nittany Lions won in convincing fashion, and now face the challenge of battling a nationally ranked program in Clarkson on Saturday.
For Penn State to win the neutral-site matchup, the team will likely need another dominating performance on the offensive front.
The Windjammer Thanksgiving Classic final will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday.