Smiddy's OT Bomb Lifts Penn State Over Northeastern Saturday Night

Madison Smiddy was the Lady Ice Lions' overtime hero on Saturday

Madison Smiddy's five-hole drive from left point with 4:20 left in overtime boosted the Lady Ice Lions to a relieving 2-1 victory over Northeastern Saturday night in Boston, MA's Matthews Arena.

For favored Penn State, which is now 8-3-0 overall and 5-3-0 in the ECWHL, Smiddy's goal was a massive and collective exhale moment, as the No. 12 squad hopes to make a statement ahead of the close of the ACHA's second ranking period on Sunday. A blemish - even a tie - against a Northeastern team that is now 4-8-0 overall and 2-7-0 in the ECWHL might dissuade voters from elevating the Lady Ice Lions into the top eight, the group of teams that will qualify for the ACHA National Tournament in March.

PSU dominated the game, particularly after a relatively even first period, ultimately outshooting the Huskies 48-19. Thanks to the heroics of NU standout goalie Anne-Marie Dion though, that discrepancy's impact on the scoreboard was slow in coming.

Darby Kern finally blew up the bagel factory with 1:49 left in the second period. Devon Fisk made it possible with a strong possession streak, patiently probing the offensive zone before settling on the left-wing corner, where she centered for Kern to finish.

While one goal is hardly an insurmountable lead, it very easily could have been safe for 21:49 behind the Lady Ice Lions' rock-solid defense paced throughout the game by Kim Badorrek and Cassie Dunne, in addition to the line of Kern, Katie Murphy and Fisk, which kept churning out scoring chances and close calls.

Kelsey Hickey, Northeastern's leading goal scorer, had other ideas. NU's club president, a native of Cranberry Township, PA, tied the contest 2:41 in the third period. Penn State outshot the Huskies 23-3 through the rest of regulation but could not dent Dion without 40 seconds beyond the customary 60 minutes.

Mary Kate Tonetti made 18 saves on the other end of the ice, none bigger than a perfectly-positioned mid-third period stop on Michelle Macchione, who stole the puck at the PSU line in a tied game and broke in alone.

There were just three penalties in the game, with Penn State killing off an early too many players on the ice call but coming up empty on two power play opportunities, including a cross checking call to NU's Suzanne Friedman with 7:12 left in the third period.

PSU has been to overtime twice this season, with both trips winding up successful - Kern scored an extra time marker on September 28th at Vermont to end a 5-4 victory over the Catamounts.

The Lady Ice Lions will go for the sweep of Northeastern in extremely short order, as the team will try to navigate the season's quickest game turnaround and be ready to go at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning in Matthews Arena - just 10 hours after Saturday's 9:30 p.m. start time.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Bench (2:00 too many players on the ice, served by Tarika Embar), 15:30.
Second Period
1. Penn State, Darby Kern (Devon Fisk), 1:49.
2. Northeastern, Katie Walsh (2:00 tripping), 16:35.
Third Period
2. Northeastern, Kelsey Hickey (Suzanne Friedman, Katie Walsh), 17:19
3. Northeastern, Suzanne Friedman (2:00 cross checking), 7:12.
3. Penn State, Madison Smiddy (Katie Murphy), 4:20.
Penn State: Mary Kate Tonetti: W, 18 saves/19 shots. Northeastern: Anne-Marie Dion: L, 46 saves/48 shots.

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