PSU Cracks Cal, Improves to 3-1

Devon Fisk (left) and Geneva Wagoner (right) supplied Penn State's scoring on Saturday

The Women's Ice Hockey Club finally found the formula to beating California (PA) - the only team Penn State had ever lost to while never beating - Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 victory at the Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, PA. Devon Fisk scored twice sandwiching a Geneva Wagoner goal to boost PSU to 3-1-0 overall and 1-1-0 in College Hockey East. Cal dropped to identical 3-1-0 and 1-1-0 records with the loss.

In stark contrast to Penn State's 1-0 defeat in the front half of the CHE-opening series Friday night, the WIHC was able to stretch the Vulcans vertically right from puck drop on Saturday, keeping them from clogging the middle of the zone and blocking a disproportionate number of Lion shot attempts. The first payoff came just 2:50 in, when Wagoner carried from the defensive zone wide down left wing before centering for Fisk, who beat Cal goalie Maria Sciacca for the lead.

A second goal followed in short order. On the play, Fisk circled with the puck, eventually leaving it for Cassie Dunne just inside the line. The freshman from Wyndmoor, PA fired towards the net, where a well-positioned Wagoner was able to get a stick to it for the deflection home. Dunne's assist on the marker was her first collegiate point.

The nature of the game meant that goaltender Katie Vaughan faced several shots of heightened difficulty, particularly during a Vulcans surge bridging the first and second periods, but the senior repeatedly delivered clutch stops to keep PSU up by a pair. Another coast-to-coast effort from Wagoner that resulted in a shot off the pipe helped reverse the ice early in the second period, as did a cross checking call to Cal's Megan Cooper at the 7:59 mark.

Although the resulting power play came up empty, the continued momentum helped produce a 3-0 lead on another transition goal. With four minutes left in the middle period, Fisk carried into the zone and found Mary Kate Tonetti in the slot. She then proceeded towards the net, where she was able to collect and pot the garbage from Tonetti's initial shot.

The third period was far from an ideal closeout, although it ultimately got the job done. Friday hero Kelsey DeNardo spoiled Vaughan's shutout bid and got the Vulcans on the board with 13:27 remaining by being the first to locate a loose puck near the post to the goalie's right.

That tally gained weight a few minutes later when Tonetti was sent off first for hooking, then for interference only one minute after exiting the penalty box - the latter call coming after she was injured behind the play and collided with a player attempting to get to the bench. Wagoner joined Tonetti in the bin on a disputed tripping minor with five minutes remaining to give Cal 3:22 of power play time, including 38 seconds of a 5-on-3. However, penalty killers Fisk, Carly Szyszko, Ashton Schaffer and Tara Soukup, among others, answered the bell as they had all weekend and kept the situation from snowballing, helping to secure the win.

Next up, Penn State will return home to the Pegula Ice Arena community rink to face a strong Michigan State squad. The first game is slated for Saturday, October 19th at 8:00 p.m. with a rematch at 9:00 the next morning.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Devon Fisk (Mary Kate Tonetti), 2:50; 2. Penn State, Geneva Wagoner (Mary Kate Tonetti, Cassie Dunne), 6:20.
1. California, Michelle Daley (2:00 tripping), 7:55; 2. Penn State, Tara Soukup (2:00 interference), 9:42; 3. California, Michelle Daley (2:00 hooking), 16:11.
Second Period
3. Penn State, Devon Fisk (Geneva Wagoner, Mary Kate Tonetti), 12:50.
4. California, Megan Cooper (2:00 cross checking), 7:59; 5. California, Megan Cooper (2:00 unsportsmanlike conduct); 6. Penn State, Tara Soukup (2:00 tripping), 16:47.
Third Period
4. California, Kelsey DeNardo (Margo Laboon), 3:33.
7. Penn State, Mary Kate Tonetti (2:00 hooking), 7:02; 8. Penn State, Mary Kate Tonetti (2:00 interference), 10:18; 9. Penn State, Geneva Wagoner (2:00 tripping), 11:40; 10. Penn State, Geneva Wagoner (2:00 cross checking), 14:31; 11. California, Hayley D'Hondt (2:00 roughing), 14:31.
Penn State: Katie Vaughan: W, 18 saves/19 shots. California: Maria Sciacca (50:40): L, 18 saves/21 shots.