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Lady Ice Lions Become Icy Assassins For Team-Building Competition




For the next couple weeks, Penn State and State College will be overrun with 17 assassins.

No need for alarm though - they'll only be armed with squirt guns and water balloons, and participating in the Lady Ice Lions' team-building game of Assassin.

The game itself is brilliant in its simplicity. Each player in the game is assigned another as a target (targets are known only to the person who needs the information), and will then attempt to locate and "kill" that target using their dihydrogen monoxide-based weapon of choice. Following a successful kill, the victorious player acquires the target of their now-eliminated opponent. Things proceed until there are two players left and one kills the other to capture the competition.

The chaos officially gets underway on Friday at 7:00 a.m.

There are additional rules, of course, to ensure the safety of participants and bystanders. Kills are not allowed inside any university or public building (including the target's place of work), nor are they permitted inside moving cars.

Handicapping a contest such as this is nearly impossible without context. Nina Elia has managed a kill shot on the ice in double overtime, but will that translate to dryland? Will Emma Embar's ROTC training help somehow? Goalies are known for their ability to see all corners of the ice in front of them, so will Mary Kate Tonetti, Aimee Little and Allyssa Long have a heightened awareness of their surroundings? What about Elizabeth Denis' combination of genius and veteran savvy?

We'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter - vote for your pick to win in our poll at the top of this page.

Stay tuned to the team's Twitter and Instagram accounts for updates as the game gets underway!

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Saideh Assumes Presidency as Lady Ice Lions Elect New Executive Board

Left to right: President Jackie Saideh, Vice President Cassie Dunne, Treasurer Lucy Yeatman



The Penn State Lady Ice Lions, following a successful 2014-15 campaign that saw a move up to ACHA Division 1, historic team and individual accomplishments and a trip to the ACHA National Tournament at the end, have elected their 2015-16 executive board.

President: Jackie Saideh
Vice President: Cassie Dunne
Treasurer: Lucy Yeatman
THON Chair: Hannah Dier

Saideh will ascend to the presidency through a team rule dictating that the vice president (her 2014-15 role) be a non-senior and become president during the following school year. On the ice, the alternate captain is well established as a team leader and noted for selflessness (the senior has played both defense and wing during her career), productive goal scoring (seven in 2014-15) and outstanding defensive ability. She succeeds the graduating Mary Kate Tonetti, who was president in 2012-13 in addition to this past season.

Dunne, a speedy, puck mover with an underrated physical edge, will move into Saideh's old spot and therefore will take the helm of the organization in 2016-17. She posted nine points this past season, including a career high-equaling three against Northeastern on January 31st, to rank second among the team's blueliners, and is also noted for an outgoing and enthusiastic personality.

As a high-achieving actuarial science major, Yeatman is well suited to take care of the Lady Ice Lions' dollars and cents in the role of treasurer, an office filled by Ashton Schaffer in 2014-15. She was also a lineup fixture, skating in 24 games and collecting an assist against Delaware on October 4th.

Formally, Dier also succeeds Tonetti as THON Chair, although she's already been integral to the Lady Ice Lions' contributions to the world's largest student-run philanthropy, which raised $13,026,653.23 to combat pediatric cancer this past February. In 2014-15, the New Jersey native was the chief liaison to the squad's THON family and also coordinated with both Yeatman and Dunne on fundraising efforts, work that helped the team take home the ACHA's monthly Gongshow Stars in the Community award in January.

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Kern Nabs ACHA All-American Honors After Division-Topping Season




Forward Darby Kern has been named a first team ACHA All-American, the association announced Friday at the national tournament.

For the junior from Venetia, PA, the honor is just the latest in a recent string of accolades, as Kern was previously named the Harrow/ACHA Player of the Month for January in addition to making the first All-Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League team.

In 22 pre-ACHA Tournament games (the period considered for the honor), Kern posted 32 goals and 55 points. The latter number was tops among all Division 1 players, while the former trailed only Liberty's Carrie Jickling, by one. She added a pair of goals and four assists in three games at nationals, finishing with an outstanding 15 points in PSU's ten contests this season against teams qualifying for the championships.

She becomes the 14th woman in Penn State history to receive ACHA All-American recognition, including past and present Lady Ice Lions Carly Szyszko (2010-11 honorable mention), Devon Fisk (2012-13 honorable mention, 2013-14 second team), Katie Vaughan (2012-13 honorable mention, 2013-14 first team), Mandy Mortach (2012-13 honorable mention) and Geneva Wagoner (2013-14 first team). Kern, however, is just the second PSU player to be tabbed for the first team in the ACHA's top division,

Obviously, given her lofty stature on the ACHA's scoring charts, she was also a candidate for the Zoe M. Harris Award, given to the women's player of the year in each division. However, she lost out to Miami's Hayley Williams, who also won the 2013-14 edition while playing for Robert Morris. Williams was one of a whopping ten first or second team All-Americans coming from Lady Ice Lions opponents (the only exclusions are Kern and Michigan's Kalli Bates), a list that includes 2011-12 Lady Icers player Paige Harrington, who has spent the last three seasons at Massachusetts.

Here are the full ACHA Division 1 All-American teams:

First Team
All-American
Second Team
All-American
Chantal Lischynski
Liberty
G
Emalee Wills
Miami
Darby Kern
Penn State
F
Katie Augustine
Miami
Carrie Jickling
Liberty
F
Sarah Stevenson
Liberty
Hayley Williams
Miami
F
Rachael Booth
Miami
Paige Harrington
Massachusetts
D
Kalli Bates
Michigan
Caleigh LaBossiere
Massachusetts
D
Morgan McGrath
Miami


Zoe M. Harris Award
Player of the Year
Hayley Williams
Miami

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Lady Ice Lions Tied Down in a Pool, Season Ends With Draw Against GVSU

Claire Gauthier scored twice in the season-ending draw



The heartbreak of losing consecutive championship games at the ACHA Division 2 level in 2013 and 2014 has been replaced by a slightly different but equally-strong emotion: frustration.

The reason for it is quite obvious.

After three blown third-period leads against the second, fourth and fifth ranked teams in the ACHA produced three overtime games, a loss and two ties, the Lady Ice Lions have been bounced from the ACHA National Tournament. The final blow came through a 3-3 tie with Grand Valley State on Friday afternoon that PSU needed to win to advance to the semifinals.

Instead, it will be the Lakers joining Liberty in the ACHA's final four on Saturday out of Penn State's Pool B. They'll take on Miami and Adrian, respectively, for the right to advance to Sunday's title game.

By and large, one reason why the Lady Ice Lions were unable to advance was GVSU's ability to trap, jam the neutral zone by any means necessary, and convert mistakes and other opportunities into scoring chances. The first part of that plan worked to perfection in a slogging opening period that saw just 11 total shots between the teams, while the second came about when Kristin Iannuzzi banked in a try from the bottom of the left circle during an early-second period power play.

PSU did manage to build more speed in transition as the second period proceeded, and also flexed its special teams muscles. Midway through the frame, and with Alisha Day serving a checking penalty for taking Taylor Nyman hard to the wall at center, Darby Kern ripped a drive from her power play station at the left point. The shot proceeded through heavy traffic and was ultimately deflected through by Claire Gauthier, the freshman's eighth goal of the year.

Another quick exchange of goals closed the middle 20 minutes. Penn State went first this time, with Kern doing the honors by cleaning up on a Cara Mendelson rebound, after Riley O'Connor created a neutral-zone turnover to set up her Pittsburgh-area native linemates. Kendra Myers pulled the score back even at 2-2 on a soft 2-on-1 opportunity, with Day feeding the World University Games selection.

That latter goal was a bit of payback for Myers, who had been stoned by Mary Kate Tonetti's glove on a shorthanded breakaway chance roughly ten minutes earlier. Tonetti finished with 27 saves including that one. Part of an eventful second half of the game for her included battling through an injury sustained during a pileup early in the third period that left her down on the ice for several minutes.

Just two minutes after that incident, the Lady Ice Lions grabbed a second Gauthier-deflected power play goal on a to forge back ahead. This time, the initial shooter was Katie Murphy from the right circle. GVSU, once again, had a quick answer though, as the Lakers forecheck generated a puck out to Corey Robison, who fired in from center point through traffic.

From there, the obvious happened. Penn State, needing a win to advance, desperately tried to push forward while Grand Valley, needing only a tie, went back to what they do best. The latter proved more effective, as PSU mustered little through the last half of the third period and the five-minute overtime other than a partial breakaway by Kern in the last minute of regulation that couldn't produce a clean shot.

The Lady Ice Lions close 2014-15 at 17-8-2 and ranked seventh in the country, an incredible first season at the ACHA Division 1 level. The 0.667 win percentage is the second best produced by a Penn State team in D1 since the ACHA began sanctioning women's hockey in 2000-01, trailing only 2001-02's third place team that went 22-7-1. The nationals appearance was PSU's seventh overall in D1, but first since 2010 and only the third since 2004. Along the way, the team pulled off big wins like toppling top-ranked defending national champion Miami for the first time in 31 RedHawks games and defeating Rhode Island for just the third time in 40 games between the two schools since both URI and the Lady Icers joined the ECWHL in 2003-04 (several of the graduating seniors were a part of one of the other wins, in 2011-12).

Several individual award winners were also part of the mix headlined by Kern, who became Penn State's second-ever first-team ACHA All-American in D1, following only Andrea Lavelle in 2001-02, and was also January's Harrow/ACHA Player of the Month. Tonetti (Warrior Goaltender of the Month, twice), Ashton Schaffer (Great Skate Sportsmanship Award) and O'Connor (Sher-Wood Freshman Spotlight) also captured ACHA monthly awards. Kern, Tonetti, Mendelson, Murphy, Devon Fisk and Madison Smiddy each received all-ECWHL recognition.

So maybe, as much as it hurts right now, frustration is the wrong emotion. It might take days, or even weeks, to get there, but pride probably works a little better.

Box Score


First Period
Scoring
None.
Penalties
1. Grand Valley State, Allison Lowe (2:00 high sticking), 5:05; 2. Penn State, Madison Smiddy (2:00 interference), 0:22.
Second Period
Scoring
1. Grand Valley State, Kristin Iannuzzi (Katie Danto), 18:40 (power play); 2. Penn State, Claire Gauthier (Darby Kern), 12:59 (power play); 3. Penn State, Darby Kern (Riley O'Connor, Cara Mendelson), 2:31; 4. Grand Valley State, Kendra Myers (Alisha Day), 0:31.
Penalties
3. Grand Valley State, Alisha Day (2:00 body checking), 13:42; 4. Grand Valley State, Lauren Iavasile (2:00 roughing), 10:55; 5. Penn State, Devon Fisk (2:00 body checking), 6:59.
Third Period
Scoring
5. Penn State, Claire Gauthier (Katie Murphy, Darby Kern), 14:31 (power play); 6. Grand Valley State, Corey Robison (unassisted), 8:51.
Penalties
6. Grand Valley State, Frankie Wojtylo (2:00 body checking), 15:00; 7. Penn State, Madison Smiddy (2:00 cross checking), 4:45.
Overtime
Scoring
None.
Penalties
None.
Goaltending
Penn State: Mary Kate Tonetti: T, 27 saves/30 shots. Grand Valley State: Taylor Watson: T, 14 saves/17 shots.

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