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Fung Steps Down as Head Coach




Patrick Fung, the 2013-14 ACHA Women's Division 2 Coach of the Year and Penn State women's hockey's all-time leader in most coaching categories, including seasons, games, wins and ACHA National Tournament appearances, will not return in 2017-18, as he has accepted a position with the National Hockey League's New York Islanders.

STATEMENT FROM COACH FUNG

"I have spent weeks sorting a mix of emotions and excitement to best make a decision for my family and career, balancing an incredible opportunity against leaving a university and town we love, and hockey programs in which I have invested a great part of myself over the last 16 years.

I have accepted a position in the partnership between the New York Islanders and the Beijing Hockey Association to develop hockey players for the Chinese national program in anticipation of the 2022 Beijing Olympics. This appointment offers endless opportunities to work at a world-class NHL facility with coaches, staff and ownership in the world's best hockey league, unmatched coaching and training resources and an international opportunity in my family heritage. With the upcoming preseason games and efforts to grow the game in China, this quickly became a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we could not say no to.

Opportunities aside, it allows me to do what I love most - showing up at the rink every day and working with incredibly motivated hockey players to become better without excuses.

I want to thank Bernie Cassell and Chris Dey of the Islanders and the Beijing Hockey Association for offering this opportunity under such incredibly welcoming conditions, and Matt Bertani for his persistence with an old friend.

Thank you to Penn State, Penn State Club/Team Sports, Penn State Hockey and the countless coaches, players, support staff and volunteers over the last 16 years for giving me the home and avenue to grow as a hockey player, coach and person.

I also want to thank the current Women's Ice Hockey Club for solidifying my faith in the team's commitment to the game and striving for excellence on the ice and in the classroom. I've always said that the ability to commit to four years of this is not for everyone, and to those that can commit and keep up, you are destined for great things.

I am confident that the players who have returned to the team this year are the group that puts the final piece into rebuilding our program's identity, with an outstanding new freshman class, and a strong group of captains. Commit, give all of yourselves, find strength in the team, and dare to do what is necessary to be great, no matter how inconvenient it is."


Fung spent more than a decade and a half involved with Penn State as both a player and a coach, beginning with skating for the Ice Lions and legendary head coach Mo Stroemel, who would become his mentor and friend through his entire time at PSU.

He left for New York City following graduation, but returned to succeed Stroemel as the Ice Lions' head coach in 2004. In three seasons behind the bench of his old squad, he took PSU to the ACHA National Tournament each year while running up a superb record of 76-20-1. He also served as an assistant coach with both the Icers, Penn State's former ACHA Men's Division 1 team, and the Lady Icers. In the former role, under head coaches Joe Battista and Scott Balboni, Fung helped PSU earn six of its ACHA-record 21 consecutive national tournament bids, with national championship game appearances in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

It was the latter role that had more lasting impact, however, after Stroemel moved over to women's hockey in 2007, eventually bringing Fung with him.


With Stroemel and Fung on the staff, the Lady Icers went from their mid-decade woes of dangerously-low money, player and win totals to resuming their place as a respectable, competitive organization. Penn State returned to the ACHA National Tournament in 2009-10 and remained a national contender through Penn State hockey's structural shakeup in 2012. The 2011-12 squad won the ECHWL regular season championship and defeated NCAA Division I team Sacred Heart, as well as eventual ACHA national champion Northeastern.

Stroemel moved on after that season to join the staff of the newly-formed NCAA women's team at Penn State. Fung, meanwhile and with ACHA women's hockey's planned disappearance from the PSU landscape, was set to step away from things - until approached by former Lady Icers players seeking to reboot and continue the team's legacy, but also desperately in need of a coach.

Things certainly weren't easy during Fung's first year as a women's head coach. The team had to take what it could get in terms of ice time (minimal) and locker facilities (giant sheets draped from the rafters) while sharing the overcrowded, soon-to-be-closed Greenberg Ice Pavilion with several other teams and organizations. Penn State, in fact, did not play a single on-campus home game in 2012-13. Further complicating matters were attempts at scheduling late in the summer - the continued existence of the team was far from certain through most of the offseason - and a small roster.

Nevertheless, the re-christened Lady Ice Lions instantly became one of the top teams in ACHA Division 2, assembling a two-season record of 28-8-3 and consecutive appearances in the championship game at nationals. Along the way, Penn State defeated several of D2's top teams (notably, including then-defending national champion Wisconsin-Stout twice at the 2013 national tournament, once in double overtime) and won the 2013-14 College Hockey East regular season championship.

PSU returned to Division 1 in 2014-15, and filled the Lady Icers' familiar spot in the ECWHL, previously the team's conference from 2003 through 2012. Despite the uptick in competition, Fung's team kept winning.

The Lady Ice Lions' 17 wins that season were the fourth-best total ever by a Penn State team at the D1 level (and the most since 2006-07), and their invitation to the ACHA National Tournament marked three straight appearances overall, making Fung the only coach in PSU history to accomplish that feat. PSU's signature win in 2014-15 came on January 18, 2015 by a 4-3 count over top-ranked, defending national champion Miami. The victory snapped RedHawks unbeaten streaks of 31 games overall and 25 games at their home Goggin Ice Center.


Penn Staters also found great success individually during Fung's tenure. Five players have received All-American recognition eight times since 2012-13, most recently including Darby Kern, who became Penn State's second Division 1 first-teamer (and first since 2001-02) in 2014-15, then followed up with a second-team spot in 2015-16. Devon Fisk (2012-13 and 2013-14), Katie Vaughan (2012-13 and 2013-14), Mandy Mortach (2012-13) and Geneva Wagoner (2013-14) were also honored.

PSU is one of just two schools to have at least one player selected for every edition of the U.S. National University Women's Team, which has competed at the biennial World University Games tournament since 2011. Fung was a Lady Icers assistant when Vaughan, Denise Rohlik, Lindsay Reihl and Heather Rossi were on the 2011 squad, then the Lady Ice Lions' head coach for turns taken by Vaughan (2013), Madison Smiddy (2015) and Cassie Dunne (2017). Vaughan, the 2013 team's starting goalie, helped Team USA to a bronze medal in Trentino, Italy - the first modern-era medal won by any American squad - while Dunne captained the U.S. to a second bronze medal four years later in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

In addition to their podium finishes, Vaughan and Dunne both achieved an additional level of rare success. Vaughan became the first active ACHA player to win USA Hockey's Adult Player of the Year Award following the 2013-14 season, while Dunne recently signed with the National Women's Hockey League's Connecticut Whale, becoming just the third ACHA alumna to ink a deal in the first North American professional women's league to pay its players.

Fung's pupils have also proven notable off the ice. Thirteen of his players have met the qualifications for Academic All-American status, granted to upperclassmen who maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50, since the ACHA reinstated the honor in 2015-16. Two players have won national ACHA awards for their exploits outside of hockey, including Off-Ice MVP Mary Kate Tonetti in 2012-13 and Community Playmaker Kelly Watson in 2016-17. Watson chaired the team's record-breaking fundraising effort in support of Penn State's IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon last year.

A native of Hillsborough, NJ, Fung departs with an overall record of 57-55-8 as the Lady Ice Lions' head coach. He surpassed Stroemel as PSU's longest-tenured head coach in terms of both seasons and games last year, and jumped over Billie Willits, another of his mentors, to become the program's all-time winningest boss during the 2014-15 campaign.

Fung's ACHA Coaching Record:
Season Team Division W L T/OTL Pct.
2004-05
Penn State
Men's D2
26
7
0
0.788
2005-06
Penn State
Men's D2
26
6
0
0.813
2006-07
Penn State
Men's D2
24
7
1
0.766
2012-13
Penn State
Women's D2
9
4
1
0.679
2013-14
Penn State
Women's D2
19
4
2
0.800
2014-15
Penn State
Women's D1
17
8
2
0.667
2015-16
Penn State
Women's D1
5
20
2
0.222
2016-17
Penn State
Women's D1
7
19
1
0.278
Career
133
75
9
0.634

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Gettysburg College Transfer Emily Sheehan Joins Lady Ice Lions




The Lady Ice Lions have added to one of the best recruiting classes in program history with another late addition, junior transfer Emily Sheehan. She becomes PSU's first transfer who played sanctioned college games outside of the Penn State system since 2011-12.



EMILY SHEEHAN
Forward | Shoots Right | West Chester, PA | Gettysburg College

Prior to Penn State
Sheehan played for the ACHA Division 3 men's team at Gettysburg College in 2015-16 and 2016-17, helping the Bullets to third and fourth-place finishes in the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference's American South division. Prior to college, she skated for the Chester County Skating Club Cougars, a team notable for producing 2017 Lady Ice Lions graduate Lucy Yeatman. Sheehan's CCSC teams qualified for the Mid-Atlantic Women's Hockey Association's district championships for three consecutive seasons.

Personal
Emily Anne Sheehan was born on October 14, 1996 in West Chester, PA into a family that includes father John, a former hockey player at Fairfield University, as well as younger brother Michael and younger sister Claire. The English and political science double major - who plans to attend law school - was a Dean's List student at Gettysburg and, outside of hockey, is also a member of student organizations Ohana and College Republicans. Sheehan was an extremely accomplished softball player at her high school, Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, where she was a varsity starter and captain for three years. Her distinctions on the diamond included National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar-Athlete honors as a senior in 2014-15 and spots on the All-Main Line, Delaware County and Inter-Academic League teams.

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Penn State Adds Standout Defenseman Sydney Foy to Freshman Class




Penn State Lady Ice Lions coach Patrick Fung has announced the addition of Sydney Foy (Imperial, PA) to the Lady Ice Lions' 2017-18 freshman class, which now numbers seven in total.

"This is perhaps the best freshman class we've had in a while, not in size, but in substance," Fung previously said of the group as a whole. "They're tough, seasoned competitors. Several come from outstanding winning programs, but the common theme is that they're all extremely hard working and fearless hockey players. Every one of them is an academic standout and carries a diploma from an outstanding prep schools or a highly-ranked high schools."

"This class has the ability to rewrite most of our program records as a group."



SYDNEY FOY
Defense | Shoots Right | Imperial, PA | Steel City Selects 19U

Prior to Penn State
Foy played for the highly-regarded Steel City Selects program that is among the most successful in USA Hockey's Mid-American District at the Tier II level. Over the years, Foy helped Steel City to seven district titles and appearances at the USA Hockey National Championships, including two trips to the tournament semifinals. In 2016-17, her 19U team's defense play was particularly important to Steel City's usual nationals trip, with head coach Jeff Tindall describing Foy and blueline partner Ella Troy as "absolute warriors" and "really special players, who can play 45 minutes a game if you need them to." Foy also skated for her school team at West Allegheny High School, helping WA to a notable season in 2015-16: the Indians finished first in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League's Western Conference at the Class A level while reaching third in the state rankings, and won their first game in the Penguins Cup playoffs (the tournament for the western Pennsylvania championship) since 2012.

Personal
Sydney Marguerite Foy was born on March 3, 1999 in Toledo, OH to Paula Foy and has one brother, Bailey. She is a distinguished honors graduate of West Allegheny High School, where she was featured as a commencement speaker and also won the school's outstanding senior award for mathematics. Appropriately, given that latter honor, Foy plans on majoring in industrial engineering with the intent of going into engineering management after college.

Fung on Foy
"Sydney comes to us from the Steel City Selects, who have established themselves as one of the top Tier II programs in their district. We have a long line of players from SCS who, while not always their most celebrated, have always been high-character players who develop into difference makers, the backbone of our program. Sydney has an outstanding academic resume and despite opportunities to play NCAA Division III hockey, she chose school and career, enrolling in Penn State's top-ranked College of Engineering. She is a solid, all-situations defender who will be able to refine her game quickly to excel at this level."

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SHOWTIME! Dunne Signs Pro Deal With NWHL's Connecticut Whale

Cassie Dunne's appearance at a May NWHL free agent camp in Marlborough helped eventually land a contract



Lady Ice Lions graduate Cassie Dunne has signed a professional contract with the Connecticut Whale of the National Women's Hockey League for the 2017-18 season, the team and league announced on Thursday.

The deal, like all NWHL contracts, is for one season. Financial terms were not disclosed, as is also the case across the league.

"I am ecstatic to join the Whale for the 2017-18 season!" Dunne exclaimed. "This league gives me the chance to continue my passion while also providing me with the opportunity to be a part of something bigger - an organization that is committed to growing the game. This has always been important to me and I'm excited that I will be able to be a player in that growth and movement."

"I'm thrilled for Cassie," Penn State head coach Patrick Fung added. "She has worked extremely hard over her four years to get to this point. She's made incredible improvements each year, from being an undersized freshman out of Tier 2, to a seamless jump to ACHA Division 1, to captaining the national university team to a bronze medal in Kazakhstan."

"All of it comes from extreme drive, sweat and sometimes tears."

It's no exaggeration to rank Dunne's collegiate career among the finest in team history. The Wyndmoor, PA native arrived from the Princeton Tiger Lilies in 2013-14, and immediately added a new dimension to the team's defense group while helping the Lady Ice Lions to the 2014 ACHA Division 2 national championship game. PSU had a national-best 1.20 team goals against average despite playing nine games against the division's highest-scoring team (California) or against a past or future Zoe M. Harris Award winner (West Chester's Becky Dobson and North Dakota State's Kacie Johnson).

The team jumped to ACHA Division 1 during Dunne's sophomore year but didn't miss a beat in qualifying for the ACHA National Tournament, despite the uptick in competition.

She saved her best for last though, finishing second on Penn State in goal scoring as a senior, while setting program records in power play goals for both a single season and a career. Dunne, who was the club president and an alternate captain in 2016-17, earned ACHA Academic All-American status and ECWHL First Team All-Conference honors to cap the season, and was a finalist for ACHA All-American selection.

Even with all of that, her crowning achievement came in February, when she captained the U.S. National University Team to a bronze medal at the World University Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Despite entering the December, 2016 Team USA selection camp as a relative unknown, she quickly became a central part of the historic squad and earned the trust of the coaching staff, including head coach, former NWHL bench boss, and U.S. Olympic legend Shelley Looney.

Her well-known calling cards are speed and puck-moving ability with a nasty edge, but she's also demonstrated underrated abilities to fit just about anywhere in the lineup (she logged increasing numbers of shifts at forward as her career progressed), in just about any game situation (she specialized as a penalty killer on Team USA in addition to her power play exploits back home), and with just about any type of defense partner, from the very similar (Michigan State's Kelsey Jaeckle at World University Games) to the vastly different (Kim Badorrek '15, earlier in her career).

Dunne wrapped up her Penn State career this past spring as one of the team's most successful players ever

"There have been good days and bad ones, and it's been a pleasure watching Cassie grow as a hockey player, and more importantly as a person," Fung said. "Now it's time for her to get to work once again and make the most of this opportunity she's been blessed with. I can't wait to see this next chapter."

Dunne joins a Whale squad that has occasionally looked like one of the league's stronger teams over its first two seasons, but has also occasionally looked like the opposite. In 2015-16, Connecticut finished in second place with a 13-5-0 record but lost to the Buffalo Beauts in the league semifinals. Then, last year, the Whale finished 5-12-1 - winning just once in their last ten games after a 4-4-0 start - and ended up with another playoff semifinal loss, this time to the Boston Pride.

Ryan Equale, a player at the University of Connecticut in the 1990s who has spent most of his time since coaching youth hockey in the Nutmeg State, was named the Whale's third head coach in late June. With Equale's arrival well after the beginning of the NWHL's summer free agency period on May 1st, he needed to get up to speed quickly. One source of information was Hayley Moore, the Pride's former general manager and now the NWHL's deputy commissioner, who saw Dunne skate at the league's free agent camp in Marlborough, MA in May and recommended her to Equale.

Moore, incidentally and to bring the story full circle, played collegiately at Brown, where she was a teammate of Lady Ice Lion alumna and 2013-14 Dunne PSU teammate Elizabeth Denis from 2006 through 2008.

"It's been a long waiting game since I attended the NWHL Free Agent Camp in May and I can't express how excited I am that the wait is over," Dunne said. "I am raring to get started!"

This summer, without much fanfare, the Whale has assembled a very solid roster in line with Equale's stated goals of strong leadership and unity. They may have the NWHL's best goaltender in Sydney Rossman, a 2016 draft pick of the team who posted a 1.16 goals against average and a 0.938 save percentage in four years at Quinnipiac University. Rossman's college-turned-pro teammate, Kelly Babstock, is entering her third season with Connecticut and has averaged more than one point per game during her pro career so far.

Most of a stout blueline is back, including Sam Faber, Shannon Doyle and Cydney Roesler, while Anya Battaglino (one of the NWHL's most visible figures as head of the NWHL Players' Association) plays both forward and defense. Prior to Dunne, one the Whale's more recent signings was another player with ACHA connections: forward Stephanie Mock, who played NCAA hockey at Yale, but then moved to St. Louis following her 2015 graduation and became an assistant coach for Lindenwood-Belleville, which qualified for the ACHA National Tournament in both 2016 and 2017.

Dunne sees plenty of capability in her new teammates, which helped her decision to sign with the Whale.

"I can't wait to get to Connecticut and get to work with my teammates," she said. "After speaking with Coach Equale I think we will have a great locker room with a lot of potential, and the Whale has the ability to make huge strides this season."

"The sky's the limit and I'm ready to work for it!"

Dunne is the fourth women's player to play professionally after skating for Team USA at World University Games

The 2017-18 NWHL season gets underway on October 28th when the Whale hosts defending Isobel Cup champion Buffalo, and runs through March. One notable game on the team's schedule takes place on January 14th, again versus the Beauts, but played at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, PA, in what is now a Keystone State return for Dunne.

Penn State has been the ACHA's queen when it comes to placing players in the various North American women's professional leagues over the years. Andrea Lavelle, a 2002 PSU graduate, played for the Beatrice Aeros of the now-defunct National Women's Hockey League (unrelated to the current NWHL) during the 2002-03 season - the first known ACHA alumna to play professionally. Paige Harrington, set to begin her third NWHL season and first with the Boston Pride, played for the Lady Icers in 2011-12 before transferring to Massachusetts. With Dunne now added to the list, three former Penn State ACHA players have played in an incarnation of the NWHL or in the Canadian Women's Hockey League, while no other school can claim more than one player.

"This should show all players that opportunities and moments are there regardless of timing, stature, or whether you feel it's fair," Fung observed. "Commit and prepare yourself to earn it in those moments regardless."

Elsewhere, UMass has Harrington, of course, while Rhode Island graduate Kristen Levesque played for the CWHL's Boston Blades in 2016-17 and Lindenwood legend Kat Hannah (currently Lindenwood-Belleville's head coach) joined Lavelle in the original NWHL, with the Ottawa Raiders. Liberty's Sarah Stevenson was with the CWHL's Toronto Furies in 2015-16 and Hayley Williams, who attended both Miami and Robert Morris, played for the Buffalo Beauts in 2015-16 and the CWHL's Brampton Thunder in 2016-17.

Dunne, for her part, also considered the CWHL a viable option. She was drafted by the Boston Blades this past Sunday, and had tentatively scheduled a September tryout with the team. However, when weighing the certainty of an NWHL contract against the uncertainly involved with needing to try out in the CWHL, the decision to accept an NWHL deal if one was offered became evident.

Be sure to follow the next leg of Dunne's hockey career through the Whale's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as through the NWHL's website.

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