UMass Foils Late Lady Ice Lions Chances, Hangs On to Sweep Series

The Lady Ice Lions fell to Massachusetts for a second consecutive time on Saturday afternoon after Friday's 3-0 defeat, by a 1-0 score in Amherst, MA. With the loss, Penn State is 4-2-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the ECWHL, while second-ranked and 2014 national runner-up UMass is now 5-2-0 and 3-0-0 in ECWHL games.

Former Lady Icer Paige Harrington, now on the Minutewomen bench and as she did Friday night, opened the scoring. This time around, instead of an individual effort, it was a blast off of an offensive faceoff win with 8:43 remaining in the second period. Michaela Tosone and Brittani Lanzilli earned assists on the tally.

Unlike Friday night though, the senior defenseman's goal also closed the scoring. It wasn't for lack of opportunity, though.

In the minute before the Harrington goal, both Katie Murphy and Geneva Wagoner tried sharp-angle shots down the right wing. Murphy's rattled both of UMass goalie Kasey Zegel's pads but stayed out, while Wagoner's hit a defenseman's skate to force an outstanding save.

The Lady Ice Lions finished 0-for-2 on the power play (and 0-for-7 over the two games), including an agonizing 1:30 of a 5-on-3 advantage midway through the third period after Tosone was sent off for hooking and Victoria Bortolussi followed for tripping. The latter was particularly frustrating, as Claire Gauthier had worked her way behind Bortolussi and was in alone after taking from Darby Kern, but the infraction destroyed the chance.

UMass managed to kill off the long advantage to hang on to the lead after Zegel - who finished with 41 saves in her second consecutive shutout - was able to save a laser from Anna Marcus, shortly after her rebound try of Cara Mendelson's shot went wide.

Penn State's next numerical advantage came in the last minute of play, with goalie Mary Kate Tonetti pulled for an extra attacker. The Lady Ice Lions swarmed, led by Wagoner, Murphy, Kern and Devon Fisk, but Zegel was again up to the challenge, including on a Murphy drive from the low slot set up by Wagoner.

Tonetti finished with 54 saves to continue her rock-solid start to the season. Her 1.50 goals against average and 0.955 save percentage both rank among the division leaders.

PSU will now have two weeks off before returning to action on November 2nd against Navy in Pegula Ice Arena. In the meantime, the first in-season ACHA Division 1 ranking of 2014-15 (which has a cut-off date of October 26th) will be crystallized, with the Lady Ice Lions hoping that they've made a firm case for advancement from their present position in eleventh.

Box Score

First Period
Second Period
1. Massachusetts, Paige Harrington (Michaela Tosone, Brittani Lanzilli), 8:43.
1. Massachusetts, Paige Harrington (2:00 body checking), 16:40.
Third Period
2. Massachusetts, Michaela Tosone (2:00 roughing), 9:43; 3. Massachusetts, Victoria Bortolussi (2:00 tripping), 9:13.
Penn State: Mary Kate Tonetti: L, 54 saves/55 shots. Massachusetts: Kasey Zegel: W, 41 saves/41 shots.

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