Sudden Victory: Kern, Fisk Light Up UVM, PSU Survives 5-4 in OT

Devon Fisk scored three times and added an assist

It wasn't easy, but the Lady Ice Lions will take it.

Darby Kern capped off a dominant start to an overtime period with a third-chance goal from the left wing circle, her second tally of the game (along with two assists), as Penn State (2-0-0, 2-0-0 ECWHL) survived a persistent Vermont (0-2-0, 0-2-0 ECWHL) team to win 5-4 in Burlington, VT Sunday afternoon and sweep the season-opening series.

Before Kern's heroics, though, the match played out as a scoring duel between two of the ACHA's top guns.

PSU's Devon Fisk - a Division 2 All-American and the team's leading point getter for the last two years - went first, boosting the Lady Ice Lions to a 2-0 lead after the first period. On each, Geneva Wagoner played an integral role, first freeing the puck behind the UVM cage for Fisk to retrieve and fire through from a sharp left-side angle with 13:52 left in the frame. Seven minutes later, Wagoner's shot generated a rebound for Fisk to deposit from nearly the same spot, but on the right side.

Vermont's Emily Ford, the eighth best goal scorer in Division 1 last season, then did her best to spoil Penn State's show. She buried twice in the first 3:40 of the second period to tie things up, one goal coming on a spectacular individual effort, the other a more conventional snipe from above the left faceoff dot after circling the zone.

Ford's goals snapped the shutout streak of senior goalie Mary Kate Tonetti, who went 184:26 over three-plus games before allowing her first puck through as a Lady Ice Lion.

Fisk replied by finishing a hat trick one quarter of the period later, a goal that would foreshadow Kern's winner, as it followed up close calls by a defenseman (Kim Badorrek) and a linemate (Kern). The latter pushed Penn State's lead back to a pair with 6:12 left in the period by shoveling home a backhand following Madison Smiddy's end-to-end rush.

Vermont stuck around, however, with Ford finishing her own hat trick just before intermission on a back-door feed from Erin McDonald. She then added a fourth to tie the game with 5:49 remaining in regulation.

Fortunately, it was all just prelude. PSU sprung to life from there, carrying the play through the rest of the third period, then needing only 1:05 of extra time on top of that for Kern to end it.

So the goal tally contest ultimately went to Ford over Fisk, 4-3. But the game went to Penn State, thanks to Fisk having more helpful friends - the more important element to hockey, after all.

The Lady Ice Lions return to Pegula Ice Arena next weekend to open their home schedule against former conference rival Delaware. Puck drops are set for Saturday at 9:00 p.m. and Sunday at 12:45 p.m.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Devon Fisk (unassisted), 13:52; 2. Penn State, Devon Fisk (Geneva Wagoner, Darby Kern), 7:30.
1. Penn State, Sam Siciliano (2:00 hooking), 4:15.
Second Period
3. Vermont, Emily Ford (unassisted), 17:34; 4. Vermont, Emily Ford (Carly Tashman), 16:20; 5. Penn State, Devon Fisk (Darby Kern, Kim Badorrek), 11:59; 6. Penn State, Darby Kern (Madison Smiddy), 6:12; 7. Vermont, Emily Ford (Erin McDonald), 1:06.
Third Period
8. Vermont, Emily Ford (Erin Bourne, Erin McDonald), 5:49.
9. Penn State, Darby Kern (Geneva Wagoner, Devon Fisk), 3:55.
Penn State: Mary Kate Tonetti (61:05): W, 21 saves/25 shots. Vermont: Rosie Gluck (61:05): L, 35 saves/40 shots.

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