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UMass Foils Late Lady Ice Lions Chances, Hangs On to Sweep Series




The Lady Ice Lions fell to Massachusetts for a second consecutive time on Saturday afternoon after Friday's 3-0 defeat, by a 1-0 score in Amherst, MA. With the loss, Penn State is 4-2-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the ECWHL, while second-ranked and 2014 national runner-up UMass is now 5-2-0 and 3-0-0 in ECWHL games.

Former Lady Icer Paige Harrington, now on the Minutewomen bench and as she did Friday night, opened the scoring. This time around, instead of an individual effort, it was a blast off of an offensive faceoff win with 8:43 remaining in the second period. Michaela Tosone and Brittani Lanzilli earned assists on the tally.

Unlike Friday night though, the senior defenseman's goal also closed the scoring. It wasn't for lack of opportunity, though.

In the minute before the Harrington goal, both Katie Murphy and Geneva Wagoner tried sharp-angle shots down the right wing. Murphy's rattled both of UMass goalie Kasey Zegel's pads but stayed out, while Wagoner's hit a defenseman's skate to force an outstanding save.

The Lady Ice Lions finished 0-for-2 on the power play (and 0-for-7 over the two games), including an agonizing 1:30 of a 5-on-3 advantage midway through the third period after Tosone was sent off for hooking and Victoria Bortolussi followed for tripping. The latter was particularly frustrating, as Claire Gauthier had worked her way behind Bortolussi and was in alone after taking from Darby Kern, but the infraction destroyed the chance.

UMass managed to kill off the long advantage to hang on to the lead after Zegel - who finished with 41 saves in her second consecutive shutout - was able to save a laser from Anna Marcus, shortly after her rebound try of Cara Mendelson's shot went wide.

Penn State's next numerical advantage came in the last minute of play, with goalie Mary Kate Tonetti pulled for an extra attacker. The Lady Ice Lions swarmed, led by Wagoner, Murphy, Kern and Devon Fisk, but Zegel was again up to the challenge, including on a Murphy drive from the low slot set up by Wagoner.

Tonetti finished with 54 saves to continue her rock-solid start to the season. Her 1.50 goals against average and 0.955 save percentage both rank among the division leaders.

PSU will now have two weeks off before returning to action on November 2nd against Navy in Pegula Ice Arena. In the meantime, the first in-season ACHA Division 1 ranking of 2014-15 (which has a cut-off date of October 26th) will be crystallized, with the Lady Ice Lions hoping that they've made a firm case for advancement from their present position in eleventh.

Box Score


First Period
Scoring
None.
Penalties
None.
Second Period
Scoring
1. Massachusetts, Paige Harrington (Michaela Tosone, Brittani Lanzilli), 8:43.
Penalties
1. Massachusetts, Paige Harrington (2:00 body checking), 16:40.
Third Period
Scoring
None.
Penalties
2. Massachusetts, Michaela Tosone (2:00 roughing), 9:43; 3. Massachusetts, Victoria Bortolussi (2:00 tripping), 9:13.
Goaltending
Penn State: Mary Kate Tonetti: L, 54 saves/55 shots. Massachusetts: Kasey Zegel: W, 41 saves/41 shots.

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Tonetti Named ACHA Warrior Goaltender of the Month for September




ACHA Release

Senior goaltender Mary Kate Tonetti has been named the ACHA's first Warrior Goaltender of the Month for the 2014-15 season in its women's divisions, the association announced Friday evening.

The award includes the West Chester, PA native's performances during September, which saw Penn State off to a rousing start to its Division 1 era with a sweep at ECWHL rival Vermont on the 27th and 28th of the month. Over the two games, Tonetti posted a 2-0-0 record (including a shutout) while turning aside 44 of 48 shots (a 0.917 save percentage) and allowing 1.98 goals per game. PSU won the first game 3-0, then took the second 5-4 in overtime.

In the series with the Catamounts, Tonetti also extended a personal shutout streak to 184 minutes, 26 seconds before surrendering her first goal as a Lady Ice Lion. Over the entire season so far, she has a 3-1-0 record, a 1.59 goals against average, a 0.945 save percentage and a pair of shutouts.

Helping her case for recognition was the fact that the Lady Ice Lions' president is making a full-time return to the crease this season, after spending the last two primarily as a forward to help Penn State maintain a balanced roster.

The honor is Tonetti's second ACHA award, as she was also the Division 2 Off-Ice MVP for the 2012-13 season.

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Imperfect Day Ends Perfect Record as UMass Shuts Out Lady Ice Lions

Freshman Riley O'Connor stood out for the Lady Ice Lions Friday night



It was just one of those days.

Fresh off of struggle through New England's notorious traffic forcing an extremely tight window for a pregame meal and leading to a rink arrival nearly an hour later than planned, the Lady Ice Lions were unable to keep up with second-ranked Massachusetts, dropping a 3-0 decision Friday night in Amherst, MA.

The loss knocked Penn State down to 4-1-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the ECWHL. UMass, meanwhile, usurped PSU's first-place standings position with a 2-0-0 league mark as part of a 4-2-0 overall.

Paige Harrington - a standout senior defenseman who spent her freshman year as a Penn State teammate of five Lady Ice Lions - got the scoring started just 3:21 from the game's opening faceoff. On the play, UMass' Brittani Lanzilli got a stick on an errant clearing attempt, allowing Harrington to retrieve at center. From there, the 2013 World University Games bronze medalist did it all herself, weaving though the PSU coverage and popping a backhander past Mary Kate Tonetti.

That tally would stand as the only scoring in the contest well into the third period - although it wasn't for lack of opportunity, as the Lady Ice Lions drew three power plays by the end of the middle frame. The fourth, however, would help put the game out of reach thanks to another spectacular effort from another Minutewomen senior defenseman.

This time it was Caleigh LaBossiere, who burned the Penn State power play with speed straight down the middle for a shorthanded goal to make the count 2-0 with 15:53 left in the game. Ally Perdios would add another marker with 2:09 left to unofficially lock in the result.

PSU's power play finished 0-for-5, while Tonetti made 46 saves in defense of the Lady Ice Lions' cage. On the other end, Penn State fired 35 pucks on UMass' Kasey Zegel, but the UMass senior managed her first shutout of the season. Claire Gauthier, through a couple deflections, Katie Murphy and Riley O'Connor generated several unfulfilled chances for the away side when the game was in the balance.

The two teams will face off again on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in the Mullins Center's main arena, as the Lady Ice Lions look to rebound and take a hard-fought split home to Hockey Valley.

Box Score


First Period
Scoring
1. Massachusetts, Paige Harrington (Brittani Lanzilli), 16:39.
Penalties
1. Massachusetts, Bench (2:00 too many players, served by Erika Von Den Benken), 6:09.
Second Period
Scoring
None.
Penalties
2. Massachusetts, Mallory O'Brien (2:00 tripping), 17:55; 3. Penn State, Madison Smiddy (2:00 hooking), 17:33; 4. Massachusetts, Amanda Abromson (2:00 roughing), 13:07.
Third Period
Scoring
2. Massachusetts, Caleigh LaBossiere (unassisted), 15:53 (shorthanded); 3. Massachusetts, Ally Perdios (Amanda Abromson, Meghan Crosby), 2:09.
Penalties
5. Massachusetts, Jess Greenwood (2:00 body checking), 16:44; 6. Massachusetts, Michaela Tosone (2:00 hooking), 1:10.
Goaltending
Penn State: Mary Kate Tonetti: L, 46 saves/49 shots. Massachusetts: Kasey Zegel: W, 35 saves/35 shots.

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Schaffer, Badorrek, Saideh, Wagoner Assume 2014-15 Captaincies

Lady Ice Lions captains (left to right) Ashton Schaffer, Kim Badorrek, Jackie Saideh and Geneva Wagoner



Senior defensemen Ashton Schaffer and Kim Badorrek have been elected by their teammates as the Lady Ice Lions' captains for 2014-15, head coach Patrick Fung announced Friday. Additionally, junior forward Jackie Saideh and sophomore forward Geneva Wagoner will serve as alternate captains.

The quartet takes over for departed two-year captain Carly Szyszko, as well as alternate captain and fellow 2014 graduate Allie Rothman.

Schaffer, the only returning letter wearer from 2013-14 when she was an alternate captain, is well established in the team's leadership group. The Texan is also the club treasurer and is now in her fourth season as a rock solid defender noted for an ability to control the pace of games, and she was an integral part of a unit that allowed just 1.20 goals per game last season (and similarly, 1.25 per outing so far this season).

Although she only joined the team last year, Badorrek quickly became a leader in the locker room and also ate large minutes on PSU's elite blue line that gave up 22 percent fewer goals, on average, than the next best squad in the division one season ago. The Altoona, PA native and former Tier 1 player with Team Pittsburgh has scored a pair of goals in her career, one in the first collegiate game in Pegula Ice Arena history against Liberty and the other in a College Hockey East playoff win over Delaware.

Saideh, from Concord, MA, is the Women's Ice Hockey Club's vice president and also an essential top six forward who excels in puck retrieval and defensive duties. She's also proven capable of prolific goal scoring, potting a hat trick against Liberty on September 28, 2013 as well as go-ahead goals against both Michigan State and West Chester in 2013-14. Saideh also scored in each half of the Lady Ice Lions' sweep of Delaware last weekend, including Saturday night's game-winning goal.

Wagoner, the only underclassman of the group, emerged last year with team-high numbers in assists and game winning goals, while her assist, point and game-winning goal totals were also best among rookies in ACHA Division 2. The Lady Ice Lions' present top-line center excels in all aspects of the game, helping her earn first team ACHA All-American as well as the team's rookie of the year award last year, in addition to serving as an alternate to the 2013 U.S. National University Select team that competed at the World University Games.

Schaffer, Badorrek, Saideh and Wagoner will initiate their new letter-bearing jerseys with a key ECWHL series at second-ranked Massachusetts this weekend. Puck drops are set for 8:00 p.m. Friday night and 3:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

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