Fateful Penalty Kill Balances Fisk's Pair, Dooms WIHC in 5-2 Loss to Cal

Devon Fisk netted both of PSU's goals on Friday

Sophomore forward Devon Fisk scored twice, but so did Cal's Megan Cooper during a lengthy second-period power play, as the Vulcans (14-3-3 overall, 6-2-1 College Hockey East) downed Penn State (12-2-2 overall, 7-2-2 College Hockey East) 5-2 Friday night to snap the WIHC's 12-game unbeaten streak.

With the result, the Vulcans moved within three points of PSU in the CHE title chase and gained the season series edge as the two rivals also jockey for the first seed in ACHA Division 2's East Region. Cal has two games in hand within the conference, placing a great deal of weight on the back half of the series, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday in Pegula Ice Arena's varsity rink.

The decisive goals Friday were scored during a 5:59 Vulcans power play that began when Cassie Dunne was sent off for cross checking five minutes into the middle frame, with the score tied 1-1. Just under one minute later, an altercation developed in front of PSU goaltender Katie Vaughan, between Tara Soukup and Cal's Dana Bowersox. The two exchanged blows, and both were given fighting majors and game misconducts, but Soukup got an extra five minutes for facemasking. While penalty killers Elizabeth Denis, Allie Rothman and Kim Badorrek initially fought off the resulting 5-on-3, Cooper scored twice before the end of the CU advantage to give her team the lead for good at 3-1.

Melissa Heisler gave Cal a 1-0 lead at the first intermission, after Lauren Lehman threw the puck to her near the blue paint off of the right wing boards. Fisk replied to level the contest early in the second period when she rifled home Anna Marcus' feed from the high slot, after Geneva Wagoner helped Fisk work the play up ice.

The Vulcans then went ahead on the pair of Cooper goals, but Fisk scored her second with 1:42 left to get the WIHC back within one heading to the third period, this time with Wagoner collecting the sole assist.

The comeback remained incomplete however, despite a 28-27 PSU shot advantage, as Kelsey DeNardo pushed the deficit to 4-2 midway through the third, and Lehman added a late breakaway as insurance.

Saturday's rematch of the physical and penalty-filled affair, in addition to its role in deciding the CHE and ACHA D2 East Region races, is Penn State's Senior Day. The careers of a spectacular class - including Badorrek, Denis, Rothman, Vaughan and Carly Szyszko - will be celebrated prior to puck drop.

Box Score

First Period
1. California, Melissa Heisler (Lauren Lehman), 15:24.
1. Penn State, Carly Szyszko (2:00 holding), 4:49; 2. California, Hayley D'Hondt (2:00 tripping), 16:56.
Second Period
2. Penn State, Devon Fisk (Anna Marcus), 3:57; 3. California, Megan Cooper (Margo Laboon), 8:46 (power play); 4. California, Megan Cooper (Kelsey DeNardo, Melissa Heisler), 10:18 (power play); 5. Penn State, Devon Fisk (Geneva Wagoner), 15:18.
3. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (2:00 cross checking), 4:56; 4. Penn State, Tara Soukup (5:00 fighting), 5:55; 5. Penn State, Tara Soukup (5:00 facemasking), 5:55; 6. Penn State, Tara Soukup (game misconduct), 5:55; 7. California, Dana Bowersox (5:00 fighting), 5:55; 8. California, Dana Bowersox (game misconduct), 5:55; 9. California, Hayley D'Hondt (2:00 body checking), 11:05; 10. California, Michelle Daley (2:00 cross checking), 12:15.
Third Period
6. California, Kelsey DeNardo (unassisted), 10:29; 7. California, Lauren Lehman (Hayley D'Hondt), 15:06.
11. California, Megan Cooper (2:00 tripping), 12:03.
Penn State: Katie Vaughan (50:10): L, 22 saves/27 shots. California: Maria Sciacca: W, 26 saves/28 shots.