Varsity Victory: PSU Edges Spartans

Penn State and Michigan State face off in the Pegula Ice Arena varsity rink

In their first-ever go on the big stage, Pegula Ice Arena's varsity arena, the Women's Ice Hockey Club didn't disappoint.

Elizabeth Denis scored a second-period power play marker to erase an early 1-0 deficit, and Jackie Saideh added another on the advantage early in the third as Penn State improved to 4-1-0 (while remaining 1-1-0 in College Hockey East) with a 2-1 triumph over Michigan State on Saturday night.

After trading chances for much of the first period - including one power play each way - the Spartans drew first blood when some quick puck movement between Tia Redmond and Dana Ovsjannikova resulted in an Ovsjannikova shot that Karli Foss was able to deposit past a sprawled Katie Vaughan after an initial save. PSU looked to answer through Geneva Wagoner, Devon Fisk and Carly Szyszko, each of whom had grade A chances as the period progressed, but MSU goalie Hannah Johnson held strong.

Penn State finally evened things up early in the second period after Szyszko's effort down right wing drew a hooking call to Samantha Stefani. On the ensuing power play, Elizabeth Denis was able to walk from the circle down to the low slot, where she fired home to knot the contest. The game noticeably slowed down for the remainder of the middle stanza as the teams combined for just eight shots over the 17 minutes, although one that didn't count on that total was an Allie Rothman blast that pinged iron with about three minutes left.

Another visit to the bin for Stefani, this time for tripping just four seconds into the third spelled disaster for the Spartans. During the infraction, Wagoner started the game's decisive play with a sneaky wraparound try. Johnson was able to lock down the post to her right, but the rebound kicked out to Saideh on the opposite side for the bury.

The tallies for Denis and Saideh were the first two power play goals for Penn State on the young season. That success was matched by the penalty kill, which stifled a pair of Spartan attempts on the advantage to remain spotless in 2013-14.

Michigan State certainly didn't go quietly after the WIHC gained the lead, but their third period territorial advantage was negated by the defense, which limited MSU's quality shot attempts and Vaughan, who stopped the five that got to her as the game wound down. The closing stretch continued a trend of dominant D, as PSU has only allowed three goals in five games this year.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. in the Pegula Ice Arena Community Rink as PSU looks to start the campaign with five wins in six attempts.

Box Score

First Period
1. Michigan State, Karli Foss (Dana Ovsjannikova, Tia Redmond), 10:16.
1. Michigan State, Bench (2:00 too many players on the ice), 5:09; 2. Penn State, Tara Soukup (2:00 tripping), 6:56.
Second Period
2. Penn State, Elizabeth Denis (unassisted), 3:24 (power play).
3. Michigan State, Samantha Stefani (2:00 hooking), 2:59; 4. Penn State, Kim Badorrek (2:00 roughing), 7:47.
Third Period
 3. Penn State, Jackie Saideh (Geneva Wagoner), 1:42 (power play).
 5. Michigan State, Samantha Stefani (2:00 tripping), 0:04.
Penn State: Katie Vaughan: W, 20 saves/21 shots. Michigan State: Hannah Johnson(49:50): L, 16 saves/18 shots.