Smiddy's OT Bomb Lifts Penn State Over Northeastern Saturday Night

Madison Smiddy was the Lady Ice Lions' overtime hero on Saturday

Madison Smiddy's five-hole drive from left point with 4:20 left in overtime boosted the Lady Ice Lions to a relieving 2-1 victory over Northeastern Saturday night in Boston, MA's Matthews Arena.

For favored Penn State, which is now 8-3-0 overall and 5-3-0 in the ECWHL, Smiddy's goal was a massive and collective exhale moment, as the No. 12 squad hopes to make a statement ahead of the close of the ACHA's second ranking period on Sunday. A blemish - even a tie - against a Northeastern team that is now 4-8-0 overall and 2-7-0 in the ECWHL might dissuade voters from elevating the Lady Ice Lions into the top eight, the group of teams that will qualify for the ACHA National Tournament in March.

PSU dominated the game, particularly after a relatively even first period, ultimately outshooting the Huskies 48-19. Thanks to the heroics of NU standout goalie Anne-Marie Dion though, that discrepancy's impact on the scoreboard was slow in coming.

Darby Kern finally blew up the bagel factory with 1:49 left in the second period. Devon Fisk made it possible with a strong possession streak, patiently probing the offensive zone before settling on the left-wing corner, where she centered for Kern to finish.

While one goal is hardly an insurmountable lead, it very easily could have been safe for 21:49 behind the Lady Ice Lions' rock-solid defense paced throughout the game by Kim Badorrek and Cassie Dunne, in addition to the line of Kern, Katie Murphy and Fisk, which kept churning out scoring chances and close calls.

Kelsey Hickey, Northeastern's leading goal scorer, had other ideas. NU's club president, a native of Cranberry Township, PA, tied the contest 2:41 in the third period. Penn State outshot the Huskies 23-3 through the rest of regulation but could not dent Dion without 40 seconds beyond the customary 60 minutes.

Mary Kate Tonetti made 18 saves on the other end of the ice, none bigger than a perfectly-positioned mid-third period stop on Michelle Macchione, who stole the puck at the PSU line in a tied game and broke in alone.

There were just three penalties in the game, with Penn State killing off an early too many players on the ice call but coming up empty on two power play opportunities, including a cross checking call to NU's Suzanne Friedman with 7:12 left in the third period.

PSU has been to overtime twice this season, with both trips winding up successful - Kern scored an extra time marker on September 28th at Vermont to end a 5-4 victory over the Catamounts.

The Lady Ice Lions will go for the sweep of Northeastern in extremely short order, as the team will try to navigate the season's quickest game turnaround and be ready to go at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning in Matthews Arena - just 10 hours after Saturday's 9:30 p.m. start time.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Bench (2:00 too many players on the ice, served by Tarika Embar), 15:30.
Second Period
1. Penn State, Darby Kern (Devon Fisk), 1:49.
2. Northeastern, Katie Walsh (2:00 tripping), 16:35.
Third Period
2. Northeastern, Kelsey Hickey (Suzanne Friedman, Katie Walsh), 17:19
3. Northeastern, Suzanne Friedman (2:00 cross checking), 7:12.
3. Penn State, Madison Smiddy (Katie Murphy), 4:20.
Penn State: Mary Kate Tonetti: W, 18 saves/19 shots. Northeastern: Anne-Marie Dion: L, 46 saves/48 shots.

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Lady Ice Lions Ship Up to Boston to Battle ECWHL Rival Northeastern

What: No. 12 Penn State (7-3-0 overall, 4-3-0 Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League) visits Northeastern (4-7-0 overall, 2-6-0 Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League) for an ECWHL series

When: Saturday, November 22nd at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 23rd at 8:00 a.m.

Where: Matthews Arena; Boston, MA

Notable: The Lady Ice Lions complete their first pass through their five ECWHL opponents against the 2012 ACHA Division 1 national champs

Game Notes

Slippery Rocked: Last Friday, the Lady Ice Lions obliterated in-state rival Slippery Rock by a 15-3 count at Pegula Ice Arena. The game set team records for offensive output and margin of victory, while Darby Kern scored PSU's first-ever shorthanded goal. Most notably though, Tarika Embar, Emma Embar and Hannah Dier all scored their first collegiate goals (Tarika added a second for good measure), while Sumire Clevenger and Allyssa Long both played their first minutes in goal as Lady Ice Lions, with Clevenger starting and gaining the win. Penn State is now 4-0-0 all time against SRU, which plays in ACHA Division 2.

They Might Be Giants: The second ACHA ranking period ends on Sunday (with the poll results released next week), as Penn State looks to make a move into the top eight in order to qualify for the national championship tournament. Here's a look at each of the top 15, their season-to-date records in ACHA games, their results during this ranking period, and what they have on tap for this weekend.
  1. Miami (12-0-1 ACHA record): W 3-2 vs. Minnesota, W 5-0 vs. Massachusetts, W 15-0 vs. Denver, T 1-1 vs. Adrian, W 5-2 vs. Adrian. | This weekend: Two games vs. Liberty.
  2. Liberty (12-1-1): W 11-2 vs. Buffalo, W 11-0 vs. Buffalo, W 4-1 vs. Rhode Island, L 3-4 vs. Rhode Island. | This weekend: Two games at Miami.
  3. Massachusetts (12-4-0): W 4-1 vs. Colorado, L 0-5 vs. Miami, W 10-2 vs. Wisconsin, W 3-0 vs. Vermont, W 5-3 vs. Vermont. | This weekend: Idle.
  4. Rhode Island (6-3-0): W 3-1 vs. Penn State, L 2-3 vs. Penn State, L 1-4 at Liberty, W 4-3 at Liberty. | This weekend: Two games vs. Navy.
  5. Michigan (5-3-0): W 9-1 vs. Denver, L 2-5 vs. Colorado State, W 11-1 vs. Colorado. | This weekend: One game vs. Lindenwood-Belleville.
  6. Grand Valley State (7-1-1): L 1-5 vs. Michigan State, W 4-1 at Ohio State, W 4-1 at Ohio State, W 1-0 at Davenport, W 2-0 vs. Davenport. | This weekend: One game vs. Notre Dame.
  7. Michigan State (4-0-2): W 5-1 at Grand Valley State, T 0-0 at Adrian. | This weekend: One game at Davenport.
  8. Davenport (6-4-0): L 0-1 vs. Grand Valley State, L 0-2 at Grand Valley State. | This weekend: One game vs. Michigan State.
  9. Colorado State (7-1-2): W 4-3 vs. Lindenwood-Belleville, W 2-1 vs. Lindenwood-Belleville, W 5-1 vs. Wisconsin, W 5-2 vs. Michigan, T 1-1 vs. Minnesota. | This weekend: Idle.
  10. Robert Morris (8-4-0): W 6-0 at Midland, W 6-3 at Midland, W 3-1 vs. Colorado, W 5-1 vs. Colorado. | This weekend: Two games vs. Midland.
  11. Minnesota (7-1-1): L 2-3 vs. Miami, W 12-1 vs. Colorado, T 1-1 vs. Colorado State, W 10-2 vs. Midland, W 10-2 vs. Midland. | This weekend: Idle.
  12. Penn State (7-3-0): W 9-0 vs. Navy, L 1-3 at Rhode Island, W 3-2 at Rhode Island, W 15-3 vs. Slippery Rock. | This weekend: Two games at Northeastern.
  13. Vermont (2-7-1): L 0-3 at Massachusetts, L 3-5 at Massachusetts. | This weekend: Idle.
  14. Adrian (2-1-2): T 0-0 vs. Michigan State, W 3-1 vs. California (PA), W 4-0 vs. California (PA), T 1-1 at Miami, L 2-5 at Miami. | This weekend: Two games vs. Lindenwood-Belleville
  15. Colorado (2-11-1): L 1-5 vs. Lindenwood-Belleville, L 2-3 vs. Lindenwood-Belleville, L 1-4 vs. Massachusetts, L 1-12 vs. Minnesota, L 1-11 vs. Michigan, W 3-2 at Wisconsin, T 2-2 at Wisconsin, L 1-3 at Robert Morris, L 1-5 at Robert Morris. | This weekend: Idle.
With a road split against the fourth-ranked Rams, a team that subsequently earned a road split with number two Liberty (handing the Flames their first loss of the season in the process), the Lady Ice Lions have a very strong case to gain position next week.

Classic Barnstorming: This weekend, the Lady Ice Lions will play in one of the most historic arenas anywhere in the world. Northeastern's Matthews Arena (originally called Boston Arena) opened in 1910, making it the oldest indoor hockey arena still used for hockey. It was the original home of both the NHL's Boston Bruins, hosting that team from 1924 through 1928, and the World Hockey Association's New England Whalers (later the NHL's Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes franchise). It also housed the NBA's Boston Celtics from their inaugural 1946-47 season through 1954-55. In college hockey, the noted NCAA men's programs at Northeastern, Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, Tufts and the Wentworth Institute of Technology also began their lives in the barn.

Nifty Fifty: Saturday's contest marks the 50th in Lady Ice Lions history, dating to the team's founding for the 2012-13 season. Over the first 49 games, Penn State has posted a record of 35-11-3, in addition to accomplishments like the 2013-14 College Hockey East regular season title and back to back ACHA Division 2 championship game appearances in 2013 and 2014. Ashton Schaffer has played in all 49 Lady Ice Lions games (although she will break the string and miss numbers 50 and 51 this weekend), while Devon Fisk has played in 48, Jackie Saideh has been in 47, while Mary Kate Tonetti is next with 46. Tara Soukup and Nina Elia are the other two players who have been on the team's roster since day one, but Elia is studying abroad this semester and is stuck on 39 games as a result. Soukup has 37 games in with the team, missing 12 due to injury.

The Opponent

Name: Northeastern University
Nickname: Huskies
Location: Boston, MA

Series History: Tied, 0-0-0. While the Lady Ice Lions are facing Northeastern for the first time this weekend, the former Lady Icers program went 2-5-1 against the Huskies through it's final 2011-12 season.

About Northeastern: NU is the only ECWHL program that has ever won an ACHA national championship - and they have two, including in 2010 at the Division 2 level and in 2012 at the Division 1 level behind tourney MVP Chelsea Dietz in goal. The Huskies' first season in D1 was 2010-11, a year that saw the program's only ECWHL regular season and playoff championships - the latter standing as the first ever not won by Rhode Island, which captured the first seven league tournament crowns.

This year Northeastern has struggled relative to that standard with a 4-7-0 overall mark, including wins over Navy (twice, last weekend) and Division 2 squads Connecticut and New Hampshire. The losses haven't been entirely disastrous though, as NU has managed to stay within two goals of ECWHL frontrunners Massachusetts and URI. Michelle Macchione and Kelsey Hickey lead the way offensively for the Huskies, combining for 40 percent of the team's 25 goals this season. Meanwhile, four of goalie Anne Marie Dion's seven appearances have come against UMass or Rhode Island, but she still carries a 0.912 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average.

Trivia: While Penn State started as The Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania - the name of the university from 1855 through 1862 - Northeastern has an equally awkward original moniker upon its 1898 founding: the Evening Institute for Younger Men at the Huntington Avenue YMCA. Eighteen years later, after adding several programs (and day classes), it was rechristened as Northeastern College, before switching to Northeastern University in 1922.

Head Coach: Jeff Postera
Goals Scored Per Game: 2.27
Goals Allowed Per Game: 3.45

Team Website:

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Lady Ice Lions' Weekend Games at Northeastern Moved to Saturday-Sunday

Penn State's trip to Boston to face Northeastern has been adjusted from a Friday-Saturday series to an engagements on Saturday and Sunday, November 22nd and 23rd, in NU's Matthews Arena.

Game times remain as they were previously, with the first contest beginning at 9:30 p.m., followed by a quick turnaround for an 8:00 a.m. tilt on Sunday.

Following the pair of games, the Lady Ice Lions will enjoy Thanksgiving week off and will return to action with a fall-semester-closing pair of games at second-ranked Liberty on December 5th and 6th.

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Rookies Lead Charge as Lady Ice Lions Batter Slippery Rock, 15-3

Tarika Embar scored her first two Penn State goals Friday night

Some hockey games, especially ones ending with scores like 15-3, are entirely forgettable and devoid of significance. This was not one of them, however.

No fewer than three Lady Ice Lions - Tarika Embar, Emma Embar and Hannah Dier - scored their first collegiate goals, while goaltenders Sumire Clevenger and Allyssa Long saw their first action with the team, as Penn State shredded Slippery Rock Friday night in Pegula Ice Arena.

PSU climbed to 7-3-0 overall with the win, while SRU dropped to 3-5-0. Both squads retained their conference records of 4-3-0 and 3-3-0, respectively.

The home team wasted little time firing up the offense, as Katie Murphy sniped from the right circle, fed by Darby Kern, just 2:26 into the contest. Murphy added a second, with another Kern assist, 3:28 later. In between those tallies, Riley O'Connor scored twice, both resulting from takeaways and initial shots by linemate Claire Gauthier.

Cara Mendelson made the score 5-0 on one of her trademark rushes, snaking through the defense and fooling SRU tendy Gabrielle Reed.

Then the real fun got started.

Tarika Embar went next, notching PSU's sixth score with five minutes remaining in the first period and the first of the Pittsburgh native's career, set up by a Tara Soukup pass. Embar wouldn't wait long for her second, firing iron and in from the slot to make the score 10-1 in the middle period after Kern left the puck for her.

Between those two Tarika strikes, sister Emma also got in on the parade, powering a shot past Reed from the left wing circle off of a Mendelson helper for her first PSU goal and point. Kern and Madison Smiddy also added ginos, one late in the first and the other early in the second, to bulge the Lady Ice Lion advantage to nine midway through the game.

Dier became the third Penn Stater to score a first goal Friday night, as the sophomore from New Jersey took the puck down low in traffic from Geneva Wagoner and pushed it through.

Blasts from Kim Badorrek and Soukup (on the power play) - their firsts of the season, although certainly not the firsts of their careers - followed by Murphy completing a hat trick and a shorthanded effort by Kern closed out the PSU scoring.

On the other bench, Kristin Bielewicz was the lone bright spot for Slippery Rock, as she put in all three Rock goals. Generally, they served only as window dressing: the first, a drive from just inside the PSU line, didn't come until the scoreboard already read 5-0, and the SRU reprieve only lasted 17 seconds before Tarika Embar answered.

It was a historic game for the Lady Ice Lions on a few different fronts, including:
  • The aforementioned first career goals for both Embar sisters and Dier
  • The first career appearance in for Long, who made 14 saves on 16 shots over 28:46 of crease time
  • Junior Clevenger's first appearance for the Lady Ice Lions (she previously played with Penn State Brandywine's ACHA Division 3 men's team). In 31:14, the Strath Haven High School product stopped four of five shots faced to pick up her first career win
  • Penn State shattered its team record for most goals scored, which previously stood at nine (accomplished twice, most recently against Navy on November 2nd)
  • The 12-goal margin of victory is also a new team high, besting the nine-goal spread from that November 2nd Navy game
  • By collecting seven goals in the first period, PSU topped its previous mark of five, set most recently in the first period against Slippery Rock on November 22, 2013
  • Kern's third-period shorthanded goal to close the game's scoring was the first such marker in team history - Taylor Gross had the last two shorties by an ACHA women's player at Penn State with the Lady Icers program in 2011-12
It's undocumented, yet likely, that the match also broke the Lady Ice Lions' record for most records or firsts established in one evening.

Next weekend, Penn State will head to Boston and historic Matthews Arena to take on ECWHL rival Northeastern. Puck drops are at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, November 21st and 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 22nd. The team will then get the weekend after Thanksgiving off before closing the fall semester at Liberty on December 5th and 6th.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Katie Murphy (Darby Kern), 17:34; 2. Penn State, Riley O'Connor (Claire Gauthier), 15:13; 3. Penn State, Riley O'Connor (Claire Gauthier), 14:17; 4. Penn State, Katie Murphy (Darby Kern), 14:06; 5. Penn State, Cara Mendelson (unassisted), 6:50; 6. Slippery Rock, Kristin Bielewicz (unassisted), 5:19; 7. Penn State, Tarika Embar (Tara Soukup), 5:02; 8. Penn State, Darby Kern (Madison Smiddy), 2:59.
1. Penn State, Madison Smiddy (2:00 interference), 9:32.
Second Period
9. Penn State, Madison Smiddy (Devon Fisk), 17:49; 10. Penn State, Emma Embar (Cara Mendelson), 14:06; 11. Penn State, Tarika Embar (Darby Kern), 8:46; 12. Penn State, Hannah Dier (Geneva Wagoner), 6:35; 13. Penn State, Kim Badorrek (unassisted), 5:29.
Third Period
14. Slippery Rock, Kristin Bielewicz (Kelly Sheridan), 18:15 (power play); 15. Slippery Rock, Kristin Bielewicz (Chelsea Heath), 12:04; 16. Penn State, Tara Soukup (Taylor Nyman, Geneva Wagoner), 10:10 (power play); 17. Penn State, Katie Murphy (unassisted), 8:12; 18. Penn State, Darby Kern (unassisted), 5:26 (shorthanded).
2. Penn State, Ashton Schaffer (2:00 hooking), 19:02; 3. Slippery Rock, Morgan Jones (2:00 body checking), 10:47; 4. Penn State, Taylor Nyman (2:00 tripping), 5:42; 5. Slippery Rock, Lacey McCuean (2:00 interference), 3:07.
Penn State: Sumire Clevenger (31:14): W, 4 saves/5 shots; Allyssa Long (28:46): 14 saves/16 shots. Slippery Rock: Gabrielle Reed: L, 24 saves/39 shots.

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