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WIHC Hosts Canned Food Drive and Hockey Skills Demonstration

Members of the Women's Ice Hockey Club with skills demonstration participants



On Monday, the Penn State Women's Ice Hockey Club furthered its status as one of the ACHA's best off-ice teams by hosting a dual canned food drive and skills demonstration at Pegula Ice Arena.

Cans were given to the State College Food Bank, which has distributed food and supplies to the needy throughout Centre County since 1982.

The team collected non-perishable food items, set for delivery to the State College Food Bank

Following the collection of cans, the Lady Ice Lions stepped on to the Pegula Community Rink to show and instruct their hockey skills to invited friends and the public, with the focus on slap shots and stickhandling.

Meghan Miller (right) coaches stickhandling technique with a demonstration attendee

It has been, of course, a fantastic year for the team off the ice, including its record-setting fundraising efforts in support of Penn State's IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (culminating in the ACHA's annual Community Playmaker award for team THON chair Kelly Watson). Five players (of eight eligible), including Watson, Riley O'Connor, Tarika Embar, Lucy Yeatman and Cassie Dunne were Academic All-Americans this year. The team collectively posted a 3.41 grade point average during the fall semester.

While never a driving force behind community service efforts, the events also have a chance of helping the WIHC. Both the canned food drive and the skills demonstration will be considered for classification purposes by Penn State's Club Sports Program. All PSU club teams are classified as A, B, or C, with teams rated as an A receiving a 10 percent boost to their budgeted allocation for the upcoming year.

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WIHC Announces Team Awards, Celebrates Season at Annual Banquet




The Penn State Women's Ice Hockey Club formally capped the 2016-17 season on Saturday afternoon with the team's postseason banquet, held at The Atherton Hotel in State College.

As always, the event was a light, casual affair, including a summation from head coach Patrick Fung, touching tributes to and from seniors Jordan Chiavacci, Darian DempseyAnna MarcusLucy Yeatman and Cassie Dunne, as well as the off-ice and locker room highlight video, formerly produced by 2016 graduate Nina Elia, but taken over this year by Marcus.

The "paper plate awards," a team tradition dating to the pre-2012 Lady Icers era, is always a highlight as well. The awards, quite literally, are drawn on paper plates with each player on the team receiving a high-school-yearbook-style "most likely" honor like "Most Likely to Become an Olympic Sprinter" (Tarika Embar), "Most Likely to Ask For an Autograph" (Julia DeRose) or "Most Likely to Dab" (Rachel Kapoian).

Fung announced the winners of the Lady Ice Lions' four formal annual awards, the first three of which were decided by a team vote.

Kelly Watson took the headlining honor as the Maurice H. Stroemel Most Valuable Player, capping what's been an award-heavy postseason for the junior captain. During the ECWHL playoffs in late Feburary, she was announced as an all-conference honorable mention selection, her second consecutive season receiving league recognition. More recently, the ACHA selected her as their annual Community Playmaker award winner, thanks largely to her record-breaking efforts as chairperson of the Women's Ice Hockey Club's fundraising efforts in support of Penn State's IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. Watson, whose six goals in ACHA play (part of seven overall) tied for 11th nationally among defensemen, was also an Academic All-American thanks to outstanding work in her biology major.

The Billie S. Willits Player's Player award, named for the long-time Lady Icers coach, general manager and faculty advisor, is given to the "player who best embodies success, honor, unity, team, family and leadership." Somewhat appropriately, it's only been won by those wearing a C or an A for the team, and this year proved no exception as alternate captains (and best friends) Marcus and Yeatman shared the honor. The pair are two of the Lady Ice Lions' most improved and hardest working players - both began their careers as Division 2 recruits and were playing heavy minutes and pivotal roles in Division 1 by their senior seasons. Arguably though, they were even more important off the ice: Yeatman has been the WIHC's treasurer for the last two years, while Marcus took on a leadership role in team fundraising activities, while each was a universally-respected, team-unifying leader within the locker room.

It's often said that a team's goaltender is the single most important player on the ice, so it would be hard to be more important than Kyle Rossi Rookie of the Year Meg Lydick, who played every available second in the crease for Penn State this past year. Lydick became the first PSU goalie to singlehandedly carry the load at the position over a whole season in recorded history (since 2002-03). Unsurprisingly given that reality, her 842 saves set a new team single-season record, while her 64 at Michigan State on January 21st are the single-game high mark in the post-2012 era. She collected her first career shutout with a 31-save effort against NCAA Division III Lebanon Valley College on February 4th.

Dina DuBac, as first announced in February, was formally presented as the winner of the team's Freshman Academic Achievement Award. DuBac posted a 3.53 grade point average in her first PSU semester to lead her class.

PENN STATE TEAM AWARDS (SINCE 2012)


Season
Maurice H. Stroemel
Most Valuable Player
Kyle Rossi
Rookie of the Year
2012-13
Katie Vaughan
Devon Fisk
Mandy Mortach
2013-14
Katie Vaughan
Devon Fisk
Geneva Wagoner
2014-15
Darby Kern
Riley O'Connor
2015-16
Darby Kern
Meghan Miller
2016-17
Kelly Watson
Meg Lydick

Season
Billie S. Willits
Player's Player
Freshman Academic
Achievement Award
2012-13
Carly Szyszko
Devon Fisk
2013-14
Carly Szyszko
Lucy Yeatman
2014-15
Jackie Saideh
Claire Gauthier
2015-16
Jackie Saideh
Rachel Cole
2016-17
Anna Marcus
Lucy Yeatman
Dina DuBac

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Penn State Collects Team-Record-Tying Five Academic All-Americans

Lucy Yeatman has been one of the team's top academic performers throughout her career



Seniors Lucy Yeatman and Cassie Dunne, along with juniors Riley O'Connor, Kelly Watson and Tarika Embar have been named ACHA Academic All-Americans for the 2016-17 season, the association has announced.

Eligibility for Academic All-American status requires that a player carry a 3.50 or better cumulative grade point average, as well as a junior or senior class standing. A total of 81 players in ACHA Division 1 met those criteria.

For Dunne, the accolade clinches her senior season's place as one of the most-honored campaigns in Penn State history. This year alone, the soon-to-graduate public relations major has won a major ACHA award and All-ECWHL first-team status along with, of course, her selection to the 2017 U.S. National University Team - which she captained to a bronze medal.

Watson has also received a couple other awards this season. The standout biology student was honored this week as the ACHA's Community Playmaker as well, and she was an ECWHL All-Conference honorable mention prior to that. The product of Binghamton, NY had a career-best five points in her last game, on February 26, 2017 against Northeastern.

Embar, a kinesiology major, also ended her year on a high, scoring in that Northeastern game as well as three weeks prior to that against NCAA Division III's Lebanon Valley College. The former Steel City Selects member is universally praised by her teammates as one of the squad's hardest workers and most improved players.

Yeatman, quite simply, is the type of player that justifies the existence of Academic All-American awards. She's been one of the team's strongest classroom performers throughout her career, as evidenced by her 3.91 average in a challenging mathematics/actuarial science curriculum. She has served the team as its treasurer for the past two seasons and posted the best point total of her three years in D1 as a senior.

As the team's soon-to-be president for 2017-18, O'Connor is also a vital part of the WIHC's off-ice operations. The biobehavioral health major, a former team rookie of the year and a two-time ECWHL all-league honoree, has been the Lady Ice Lions' top-line center on most occasions since early in her freshman year. Her 46 career points lead all active players and are third most in team history.

Penn State's five honorees are tied for fourth nationally, trailing only Massachusetts, Michigan State and Colorado. However, PSU's count came from a total of just eight eligible upperclassmen. It also ties for the most in a single season in school history, matching the five Academic All-Americans on the 2004-05 Lady Icers. Although the ACHA hands out academic awards rather sporadically (including not at all from 2012-13 through 2014-15), Penn State has always been one of D1's most academically-inclined teams, including a run of nine Academic All-Americans from 2009-10 through 2011-12.

ACHA DIVISION 1 ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS


Player
School
X
Player
School
Cassie Dunne
Penn State
Brittani Lanzilli
Massachusetts
Tarika Embar
Penn State
Amy Morin
Massachusetts
Riley O'Connor
Penn State
Joanna Olson
Massachusetts
Kelly Watson
Penn State
Michaela Tosone
Massachusetts
Lucy Yeatman
Penn State
Bethany Welch
Massachusetts
Sabrena Camp
Adrian
Rachael Booth
Miami
Alison Dungey
Adrian
Eliza Bourke
Miami
Paige Fuoco
Adrian
Ellen Chiligiris
Miami
Tara Wrbelis
Adrian
Karoline Inman
Michigan
Marisa Danos
Colorado
Ania Dow
Michigan
Renee Dreher
Colorado
Caroline Hurd
Michigan
Monica Patten
Colorado
Carolyn Andonian
Michigan
Caitlin Hanafee
Colorado
Anna Mondrusov
Michigan
Katelin Verploeg
Colorado
Elise Plancon
Michigan State
Kaye Sitterley
Colorado
Jenay DeCaussin
Michigan State
Leila Nichols
Colorado
Hannah Johnson
Michigan State
Ashley Chase
Colorado State
Kelsey Cross
Michigan State
Amanda Gacioch
Colorado State
Amanda Anderson
Michigan State
Hannah Samlowski
Colorado State
Olivia Lord
Michigan State
Jenny Deane
Davenport
Alexis Smith
Michigan State
Patsy Howe
Davenport
Malia Shimabukuro
Midland
Laken Kunz
Davenport
Alexandra Sharon
Ohio State
Megan Martin
Davenport
Kaitlin Berigan
Ohio State
Sydney Archuleta
Denver
Grace Danby
Ohio State
Kathleen Reiling
Denver
Caitlin McGuirl
Rhode Island
Sarah McDonald
Denver
Leah Hoder
Rhode Island
Jurky Jurkovich
Denver
Samantha Evans
Rhode Island
Corey Robison
Grand Valley State
Makaila Anderson
Robert Morris
Monika Reaume
Grand Valley State
Rebecca Dilley
Robert Morris
Lauren Allen
Grand Valley State
Mikayla Driscoll
Robert Morris
Karyn Schmaltz
Grand Valley State
Allyson Zachwieja
Robert Morris
Carrie Jickling
Liberty
Kaly Gonski
Vermont
Hayley Winker
LU-Belleville
Haley Grigel
Vermont
Jessica Moon
LU-Belleville
Lilly Henjes
Vermont
Amber Repke
LU-Belleville
Bethany Kelly
Vermont
Paige Young
LU-Belleville
Erin Turner
Vermont
Megan Lugar
LU-Belleville
Barbara Birrittella
Wisconsin
Pauline Ayer
Massachusetts
Nina Andersen
Wisconsin
Samantha Baturin
Massachusetts
Samantha Azuma
Wisconsin
Kelly Dolan
Massachusetts
Emma Bartholomew
Wisconsin
Bailey Ingalls
Massachusetts



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THON Efforts Land Watson ACHA's Community Playmaker Award




Defenseman Kelly Watson has been named ACHA Women's Division 1's 2016-17 Community Playmaker award winner, the association following the conclusion of the season at the 2017 national tournament in Columbus, OH.

The junior captain joins former Lady Icers standout Sara Chroman, the 2010-11 winner of the Community Playmaker award, and 2012-13 Off-Ice MVP Mary Kate Tonetti as Penn Staters who have won the ACHA's pair of one-player-per-year awards given primarily for activities away from the rink. Penn State is now the only school to win the Community Playmaker award twice, while PSU's Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League is now the only conference to win in four different seasons when adding in Stephanie Hyde of former ECWHL member SUNY Canton (2012-13) and Massachusetts' Sam Gouin (2013-14).

Watson helped the Women's Ice Hockey Club set a new team fundraising record in contributing towards Penn State's annual IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (commonly known as THON), which took place from February 17th through 19th this year. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, both in terms of volunteer count and money raised - including $10,045,478.44 at the 2017 event alone - and supports the fight against pediatric cancer through the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

She served as the WIHC's THON chair and coordinated a far-reaching fundraising campaign, including canning (on designated weekends, students travel to locations away from campus and seek donations), mailed solicitation letters, a Yankee Candle sale, a broad range of team-related THON merchandise and active use of a fundraising website on the team's digital platforms. The Binghamton, NY native is also responsible for managing the team's contact with a designated THON family, the Strayers, which includes 14-year-old cancer survivor Jared Strayer. The team sends Jared occasional gift baskets and notes.

The Lady Ice Lions are rarely in town for THON itself, as it typically falls on the same weekend as the ECWHL playoffs, but this year was an exception and the team fully embraced the increased opportunity to make a difference. Thanks to their fundraising efforts, Watson was eligible to dance at the event, a prestigious honor given THON's size and importance to the Penn State community.

Although not directly related to the award, Watson's hockey and academic performance certainly contributed by painting a picture of a well-rounded student-athlete to the voters. She wound up with six goals in ACHA games (seven overall) to tie with teammate Cassie Dunne for 11th nationally among defensemen. The All-ECWHL honorable mention selection also posted a 3.93 grade point average in her biology major during the fall semester.

Dunne, as an All-ECWHL first team selection, was one of 24 players nationally considered for All-American honors. A procedure change in ACHA Division 1 this season meant that only the six all-league first team players from D1's three conferences, plus six players from independent team Liberty (which was allowed to submit the same number of candidates as an entire conference for some reason), were eligible to be All-Americans. However, Minnesota's Becca Senden and Miami's Nicole Matthews (both World University Games teammates of Dunne's), as well as Adrian's Jess Harrison and Liberty's C.J. Tipping, were voted into the spots for defensemen on the first and second teams.

ACHA DIVISION 1 AWARD WINNERS


First Team
All-American
Second Team
All-American
Alison Dungey
Adrian
G
Amber Greene
Massachusetts
Maddie Wolsmann
Michigan State
F
Brittani Lanzilli
Massachusetts
Kaley Mooney
Miami
F
Carrie Jickling
Liberty
Kaillie Hardy
Adrian
F
Kathleen Ash
Colorado
Becca Senden
Minnesota
D
C.J. Tipping
Liberty
Nicole Matthews
Miami
D
Jess Harrison
Adrian


Zoe M. Harris Award
Player of the Year
Kaley Mooney
Miami
Coach of the Year
Brett Berger
Adrian
Community Playmaker
Kelly Watson
Penn State
Off-Ice MVP
Carrie Jickling
Liberty

ACHA DIVISION 1 COMMUNITY PLAYMAKERS


Year
Player
School
2009-10
Hope Fullum
Emily Moersdorf
Robert Morris
Ohio State
2010-11
Sara Chroman
Penn State
2011-12
Jessica Wood
Miami
2012-13
Stephanie Hyde
SUNY Canton
2013-14
Sam Gouin
Massachusetts
2014-15
Kelsey Brown
Colorado
2015-16
Ellyn Stanton
Adrian
2016-17
Kelly Watson
Penn State

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