Déjà Dev: Fisk's Spectacular GWG Tops Alaska For Second Straight Year

Devon Fisk scored bookend goals, Alex Warren-Caldwell scored her first at Penn State and Tara Soukup added a pair of assists as the Women's Ice Hockey Club opened the ACHA National Tournament with a victory over Alaska for the second consecutive year - this time by a 3-2 score in Newark, DE on Thursday.

The victory puts a vital two points in the PSU bank on the first day of the nationals, as the WIHC matched Pool A rival North Dakota State's 7-1 win over Delaware earlier in the day. Penn State will close out the group stage with a pair of games on Friday - Delaware at 8:45 a.m. and NDSU at 6:00 p.m. - hoping to finish among the best two teams of the four and advance to Saturday's semifinals.

Just 26 seconds into the third period, Fisk ripped the puck away from the Nanooks' Allye Brode, stepped around a defender, and beat goaltender Katrina Lydon for the eventual winner and a 3-1 lead. The goal, save for some ice location specifics, was remarkably similar to the sophomore's decisive tally in a 2-1 triumph over UAF to open PSU's run at the 2013 tourney.

It wasn't always a smooth road to that point. In fact, the match couldn't have started much worse for the WIHC.

A sluggish first period saw Ashton Schaffer take a tripping penalty just 1:32 from puck drop, and Alaska's Shawna Jusczak punished the infraction by putting back a Brittany Stahle rebound to boost the Nanooks into a lead that would hold up through the opening 17 minutes despite an 8-6 Penn State shooting advantage.

As with her third-period goal, Fisk wasted no time out of the locker room in finding the back of the net to open the middle frame to pull PSU back even. Forty-eight seconds in, she took a pass from Soukup and swung to the right side before dragging and firing through. Ten minutes later, Alex Warren-Caldwell scored to give the WIHC the lead for good. The mid-season addition from Massachusetts received another Soukup feed and walked unfettered into the slot before calmly burying.

All three goals proved necessary when - just 1:55 after Fisk's second - UAF's Cayla Wiita scorched a one-timer past senior goalie Katie Vaughan, assisted by Rackell Kowalchuk.

Vaughan finished with 18 saves behind a sound effort from her defense, including several key stops down the stretch as PSU clung to the slimmest of leads to improve to 16-3-2 overall and 2-0-0 in the all-time series with the Nanooks.

Box Score

First Period
1. Alaska, Shawna Jusczak (Brittany Stahle), 2:29 (power play).
1. Penn State, Ashton Schaffer (2:00 tripping), 1:32.
Second Period
2. Penn State, Devon Fisk (Tara Soukup), 0:48; 3. Penn State, Alex Warren-Caldwell (Tara Soukup), 10:53.
2. Penn State, Devon Fisk (2:00 slashing), 7:36.
Third Period
4. Penn State, Devon Fisk (unassisted), 0:26; 5. Alaska, Cayla Wiita (Rackell Kowalchuk), 2:21.
Penn State: Katie Vaughan: W, 18 saves/20 shots. Alaska: Katrina Lydon: L, 16 saves/19 shots.