Through the two programs’ first eight meetings, No. 6 Mercyhurst had outscored Penn State 44-5, including a 23-1 composite last season. In the first series of this CHA season between the two squads, the Nittany Lions exacted some sweet revenge by earning a sweep on home ice by scores of 2-1 and 5-3.
On Friday, goaltender Celine Whitlinger was a wall in the PSU net while recording 36 saves, including 14 in the opening frame. Penn State took advantage of a couple of special-teams situations to grab a two-goal lead in the middle frame. While skating four-on-four, Laura Bowman set up Amy Peterson on a two-on-one rush. Peterson then fed Bella Sutton on a power play, and the freshman defenseman skated across the slot and fired a low shot that found its way out of the glove of Amanda Makela and inside of the post. The Lakers dominated the final stanza, holding a 15-2 shot advantage, but Emily Janiga’s goal with 2:36 remaining was all they could get by Whitlinger, and Penn State had its first points ever against the perennial boss of the CHA.
Mercyhurst came out with determination on Saturday, and grabbed a quick advantage on goals by Jenna Dingeldein and Janiga with less than four minutes elapsed. Bowman struck back immediately for the Nittany Lions, and Caitlin Reilly tied it up with a redirection in the second period. Hannah Bramm scored on a third-period power play to give the hosts their first lead of the day, but Janiga netted her third goal of the weekend to tie the game at 3-3 with less than 10 minutes left. However, with under two minutes to go, Bowman fired a shot that somehow crept under Makela and into the goal. Bowman completed her hat trick into an empty net just ahead of the final buzzer, with all three of her tallies being unassisted.
No. 9 Bemidji State also took a tumble on Saturday. The Beavers fell on the road to St. Cloud State, 3-0. Goalie Katie Fitzgerald posted a clean ledger by turning away all 34 shots. Amanda Arbogast opened the scoring halfway through the game, and Audrey Hanmer got loose short-handed to provide some insurance 20 minutes later. Lauren Hespenheide added the exclamation point into an empty net.
BSU took the series opener on Friday, 4-1. The Huskies took the first lead on a goal by Kelsey Saelens, but Hanna Moher forged a tie in the final minute of the opening period. She later added two helpers, as Kristin Huber, Ivana Bilic, and Madison Hutchinson struck for the Beavers. Brittni Mowat made 28 saves.
How the rest of the top 10 fared
Only two other ranked teams took to the ice, and a pair of Hockey East powers emerged unscathed.
No. 4 Boston University had its hands full with Providence, but held on for a 3-1 victory. Defenseman Shannon Stoneburgh netted her first goal of the year 2:37 into action, but Brooke Boquist knotted the score for the Friars a period later. Another Terriers’ veteran blue liner scored a timely goal when Shannon Doyle struck with just over a minute left before the second intermission to put BU back on top. Marie-Philip Poulin’s empty-net goal with four seconds remaining sent the Terriers into the break with a seven-game unbeaten streak.
No. 1 Boston College jumped on Dartmouth early and skated to a 6-1 win. Alex Carpenter had a goal and three assists, Haley Skarupa had three points, and Dana Trivigno hit the net twice. Katie Burt made 29 saves for the victors, who finished the semester as the country’s only undefeated team.
The Big Green also closed on a winning note by upending Vermont, 6-2. The Catamounts looked to be in great shape when they took a two-goal lead into the first intermission on power-play goals by Brittany Zuback and Amanda Pelkey, with 3:05 carrying over from a major penalty on Dartmouth. Instead, the Big Green rallied for three goals in each of the next two periods. Lindsey Allen scored the first, the last, and one in between for her hat trick. Laura Stacey, Karlee Odland, and Catherine Berghuis also tallied.
North Dakota swept RIT, 3-1 and 6-1. Amy Menke’s power-play goal with 2:40 remaining proved to be the winner on Friday. Josefine Jakobsen and Andrea Dalen each had a goal and an assist. Four first-period goals decided Saturday’s contest much earlier. Jakobsen scored twice, while Dalen had a goal and two assists.
Union hosted Maine in a series where only four goals total were scored. The Dutchwomen scored three of them to earn a series win. In the opener, Shenae Lundberg won a goaltending battle over Meghann Treacy by making 28 saves. Union’s Jessica Kaminsy broke the ice past the halfway mark of the final period, and Nicole Russel scored at 17:22 for the final marker in the Dutchwomen’s 2-0 triumph. Hailey Browne salvaged a 1-1 tie for Maine on Saturday when her second-period goal matched one by Kathryn Davis.