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Former CHE Rival Delaware Set to Open Pegula Ice Arena for 2014-15
What: Penn State (2-0-0 overall, 2-0-0 Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League) hosts ACHA Division 2's Delaware (2-2-0 overall) in a non-conference series
When: Saturday, October 4th at 9:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 5th at 12:45 p.m.
Where: Pegula Ice Arena; University Park, PA
Notable: Penn State makes its 2014-15 Pegula Ice Arena debut against a border-state rival
Flying (Through) V: The Lady Ice Lions played Penn State's first ACHA Division 1 games since the 2011-12 season last weekend and more or less picked up right where things left off, by sweeping Vermont 3-0 and 5-4 in overtime (the Lady Icers' last regular season games three years ago were also a sweep of Vermont). Junior Darby Kern was fantastic, scoring four goals (including Sunday's overtime winner) and adding three assists for the two games. The goals were the first of her collegiate career, after being held off the board in 18 games over two seasons with PSU's NCAA team. Linemate Devon Fisk added three and two, while Geneva Wagoner, who centers the duo, had a pair of helpers.
Rivalry Redux: While Delaware now comes to town as a non-conference opponent, last season, both Penn State and UD were members of Division 2 league College Hockey East (along with California and West Chester). The teams met four times during the regular season, then in the CHE playoffs, and once more for good measure at nationals, with PSU getting the better of the Blue Hens 5-0-1. The eight total meetings, counting this weekend's two games, will tie Delaware with Cal as the Lady Ice Lions' most frequent opponents. Additionally, all eight meetings have come in the last 21 Penn State games.
Does Ashley Play Too: Senior goaltender Mary Kate Tonetti is back between the pipes this season after spending the previous two at forward. However, she dipped her toes in the blue frozen water for one weekend last season, while regular goalie Katie Vaughan was in Italy with the U.S. National University Select Team for the World University Games tournament. On December 7th and 8th, 2013, she posted a combined 38 saves in a dual shutout of the Blue Hens, by 6-0 and 4-0 scores. Fisk, Wagoner, Lucy Yeatman, Elizabeth Denis, Anna Marcus, Taylor Nyman and Carly Szyszko all scored in the series.
Home Debut: Penn State is playing its first games of 2014-15 at Pegula Ice Arena, a venue in which the team enjoyed a great deal of success during last year's inaugural campaign. The Lady Ice Lions were 8-1-0 at the corner of University and Curtin, including the aforementioned sweep of the Blue Hens. PSU has played three other home games in its history, all at Galactic Ice in Altoona, PA and all wins, for an overall home record of 11-1-0.
Name: University of Delaware
Nickname: Fightin' Blue Hens
Location: Newark, DE
Series History: Penn State leads, 5-0-1. Each meeting between the teams before now took place during the 2013-14 season, as CHE opponents. After UD managed to steal a tie from the first contest, during a November, 2013 series in Newark, the Lady Ice Lions won the last five. Tonetti's shutouts powered a PSU sweep at Pegula Ice Arena three weeks after that away set, while Fisk's power play goal with 4:14 remaining was the winner in a CHE playoff semifinal matchup on February 21st. At the ACHA National Tournament (hosted by Delaware) on March 14th, Tara Soukup, Wagoner and Fisk each scored in support of Vaughan's 11-save shutout.
About Delaware: The Blue Hens are at a pivotal point in their history. Previously an ACHA Division 2 power (as recently as 2011-12, they were the third place team at the ACHA National Tournament, with goalie Brie Scolaro winning the Zoe M. Harris Award as player of the year), UD has fallen on hard times over the last couple years. New head coach Jesse McNulty is attempting to re-ignite the program, a process that includes a move up to Division 1 for next season. So far this year, the Hens have blown out non-ACHA team Pennsylvania, been blown out by Penn State's ECWHL rival Rhode Island and traded overtime wins with D2's Connecticut. Sarah Ehrlich is once again expected to carry the load in goal, while defenseman Alexx Good was a second-team All-American pick as a freshman last year. Junior Sarah Berkley had points on three of UD's four goals last weekend, including the OT winner against UConn on Friday.
Trivia: In addition to hosting Blue Hens men's and women's hockey, Delaware's Fred Rust and Gold Arenas are well known as a figure skating factory. Olympians Tara Lipinski (who won gold at the 1998 Nagano games), Johnny Weir, Kimmie Meissner and many other notables have trained at UD.
Head Coach: Jesse McNulty (first season)
Goals Scored Per Game: 3.00
Goals Allowed Per Game: 3.00
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Posted by Kyle Rossi