Penn State, West Chester Trade PPGs, Settle For 1-1 Draw in Series Opener

Carly Szyszko scored her ninth goal of the season on Saturday

Carly Szyszko's power play goal and Katie Vaughan's 30 saves were enough to secure an important road point for the Women's Ice Hockey Club, but not enough to gain a second in a 1-1 tie with West Chester Saturday afternoon at Ice Line in West Chester, PA.

The draw makes Penn State 11-1-2 overall and 6-1-2 College Hockey East, while West Chester is now 6-7-1 overall and 3-3-1 in College Hockey East.

In a game characterized by stretches of dominance from each team, a fair bit of post-winter break rust, the usual chippiness of a rivalry and great goaltending, offense was generally tough to come by throughout. Szyszko, however, broke a scoreless deadlock with 1:59 remaining in the opening period.

The senior captain did more than just score, though - she also drew the Virlen Reyes trip that sent PSU to the advantage 58 seconds earlier. From there, a Kim Badorrek blast from the point found traffic in front, where Nina Elia was able to work the puck across to Szyszko at the right side of the net. The native of nearby Bensalem, PA then maneuvered to the front and was able to deposit past a fallen Aly Golia in the Golden Rams' crease.

For much of the rest of the game, the narrow lead looked as if it might be enough, as a sharp Vaughan made several difficult stops, and the defense in front kept her clean the rest of the time, limiting WCU to 13 shots during the second and third periods.

However, after a limited number of whistles over the opening 40 minutes, overlapping penalties midway through the third period proved decisive in the outcome. The first was a tripping call to West Chester's Danielle Speroff, a missed opportunity to extend the lead. Seven seconds before Speroff was to exit the box, Devon Fisk was whistled for interference. Strong work from PSU's penalty killers nearly wiped that one off the board as well, but just before the infraction's expiration, Miranda Stueve fired through from the high slot to tie the game with 7:22 remaining.

Penn State found another gear after the goal, but couldn't dent Golia through the remainder of regulation or overtime. WCU had chances as well, mostly due to a Cassie Dunne hooking penalty in the extra period, but more great shorthanded effort from the likes of Fisk, Geneva Wagoner, Ashton Schaffer and Allie Rothman helped get the match to the finish line on schedule.

The two teams will meet again to close the series Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m., PSU's last conference away game of the regular season.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Carly Szyszko (Tara Soukup, Kim Badorrek), 15:01 (power play).
1. West Chester, Virlen Reyes (2:00 tripping), 14:03.
Second Period
2. Penn State, Ashton Schaffer (2:00 interference), 13:16.
Third Period
2. West Chester, Miranda Stueve (Colleen Tweedy), 9:38 (power play).
3. West Chester, Danielle Speroff (2:00 tripping), 5:51; 4. Penn State, Devon Fisk (2:00 interference), 7:44.
5. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (2:00 hooking), 2:15.
Penn State: Katie Vaughan: T, 30 saves/31 shots. West Chester: Aly Golia: T, 26 saves/27 shots.