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Exceptional Lady Ice Lions Seniors to be Recognized Saturday Night

2014-15 Lady Ice Lions seniors Ashton Schaffer, Madison Smiddy, Taylor Nyman, Mary Kate Tonetti, Katie Murphy, Kim Badorrek and Cara Mendelson



Quite simply, the Lady Ice Lions' 2014-15 senior class will forever be among the most notable in team history as, along with last year's graduates, the group was responsible for keeping ACHA women's hockey at Penn State alive and thriving after the previous Lady Icers program was moved to NCAA status in 2012.

Consider the following:
  • Despite a lightly-scheduled inaugural Lady Ice Lions season in 2012-13 and games remaining this year, PSU's ACHA teams have won 53 times from 2011-12 through 2014-15, the best four-year total since 2001-02 through 2004-05.
  • Penn State qualified for the ACHA Division 2 National Tournament in 2013 and 2014, the school's first consecutive trips to an ACHA tourney since a run of four straight from 2001 through 2004. The Lady Ice Lions are presently in strong contention to qualify for Division 1 nationals this year for only PSU's third time at that level since 2004.
  • In both 2013 and 2014, the Lady Ice Lions finished as ACHA runners-up, the highest-ever national finish by any Penn State women's hockey team.
  • Six of the current seniors were freshmen on the Lady Icers team that won the Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League regular season championship in 2011-12, PSU's only ECWHL regular season or playoff championship in ten seasons as a league member (2003-2012, 2014-present).
  • That title and the 2013-14 College Hockey East regular season crown are two of the seven conference championships in Penn State's ACHA history.
All of that on-ice success has come in addition to the grueling behind-the-scenes work associated with starting a new team and developing off-ice structures, work recognized by Penn State's club sports program through awards like Most Improved Club in 2012-13 and Outstanding Women's Club for Organizational Excellence last year.

In other words, in three short years, this senior class has played a central role in building a program arguably better than the one that departed, and any success the team experiences going forward will largely be as a result of its efforts.

Here is a bit more on each of the group - seven players and one coach - individually, including comments by head coach Patrick Fung.

The seniors will be honored on Saturday night at 7:00 in Pegula Ice Arena, prior to Penn State's game against Northeastern.


Kim Badorrek was a massive recruiting success for the 2013-14 season, entering the program not as an untested freshman, but as an instant team leader with Tier 1 credentials. She’s been a standout defenseman on a standout defense, playing in all situations and keeping the Lady Ice Lions among the nation’s stingiest teams over the last two years. Badorrek’s shot from the point is among the roster’s best and often leads to deflection and rebound goals – including one by Carly Szyszko on last year’s senior night that clinched a win over California (PA) and the College Hockey East regular season championship. Three weeks later, she scored the opening tally in a CHE playoff win over Delaware to go along with a score in the first intercollegiate game in Pegula Ice Arena history against Liberty on September 27, 2013 and another this season versus Slippery Rock.

Coach Fung: “Although her contributions as a member of a very experienced and talented D group have been notable, that is overshadowed perhaps by her presence in the locker room. On a large team where personalities, backgrounds and talent level have varied greatly from day one, it takes a special person to be able to steady the boat, bring people together, yet remain focused on success as a team.”

Career Statistics

Season
GPGAPts.PPSHPIMGW
2013-14
23
2
2
4
0
0
6
0
2014-15
18
1
5
6
0
0
4
0
Career
41
3
7
10
0
0
10
0




2012-13 Academic All-Big Ten

A mid-season transfer from NCAA Division III Connecticut College as a freshman, Jess Desorcie electrified the Lady Icers with 19 goals in just 14 games over the back half of 2011-12 – including three in a pair of late-season takedowns of eventual ACHA national champion Northeastern. Desorcie then joined Penn State’s varsity team for its first two campaigns, serving as the Nittany Lions’ top-line center for most of 2012-13 and finishing as the squad’s third-leading scorer. Her point total that year included a pair of assists on October 6, 2012 as Penn State won its first-ever NCAA game, 5-3 at Vermont.

Coach Fung: “Jess is an extremely high hockey IQ player who came to PSU with a significant hockey pedigree and was instrumental in the early years of our NCAA program. Due to scholarship restrictions, she was unable to play this season, but instead of hanging up the skates, she wanted to remain on a team and contribute, so coaching became her path. She has been invaluable at practice day in and day out, and her willingness to share her background has been critical to the team's rise after jumping up to the ACHA Division 1 level.”

Career Statistics
(2012-13 and 2013-14 with Penn State's NCAA team)

Season
GPGAPts.PPSHPIMGW
2011-12 (CC)
7
2
4
6
0
0
6
0
2011-12 (PSU)
16
19
5
24
3
0
10
3
2012-13
34
5
13
18
0
0
12
0
2013-14
34
1
1
2
0
0
6
0
ACHA Career
16
19
5
24
3
0
10
3
NCAA Career
75
8
18
26
0
0
24
0




2012-13 Academic All-Big Ten
2013-14 Academic All-College Hockey America

Cara Mendelson has made a highly-successful return to the ACHA this year after spending the previous two with Penn State’s varsity team. A defenseman by trade, Mendelson began playing forward as the season has progressed, where her skill and athleticism have balanced the Lady Ice Lions’ attack. The transition paid off immediately, as she went on a run of seven goals in nine outings beginning in November. She spent her rookie season as a lynchpin of a Lady Icers defense that repeatedly showed well against top teams. Despite playing 11 times against NCAA competition, Penn State only allowed 2.43 goals per game.

Coach Fung: “Cara is a great locker room presence – she has an upbeat and infectious personality that just makes you believe great things can happen, and it'll be a great time getting there. She's played both forward and defense this season, showing her versatility and has made us most dangerous as a team up front, seemingly only scoring goals at big moments in games.”

Career Statistics
(2012-13 and 2013-14 with Penn State's NCAA team)

Season
GPGAPts.PPSHPIMGW
2011-12
26
1
3
4
0
0
2
0
2012-13
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2013-14
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2014-15
18
8
6
14
0
1
2
2
ACHA Career
44
9
9
18
0
1
4
2
NCAA Career
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0




After a freshman year with the Lady Icers and two seasons with Penn State’s varsity team (including suiting up for the first NCAA women’s hockey game ever played in University Park), Katie Murphy joined the Lady Ice Lions this season to close her collegiate career. The fleet-footed Honeybaked product has added no-nonsense leadership and a spotless all-around game to the squad, and her seven goals are tied for PSU’s third best so far in 2014-15. Two of those stood as game winners, including in Murphy’s first career hat trick on November 14, 2014 against Slippery Rock.

Coach Fung: “Murph is a fiery, relentless competitor who often doesn't get credit for performing the intangibles of the game at an extremely high level. Whether it be winning faceoffs, checking an opponent's top line, or outstanding work on the penalty kill, a win for us usually involves a lot of work by Murph that doesn't go on a scoresheet, but are my mind, of utmost value to any coach who expects to win games. Easily one of the fastest players in the country, odd man rushes are a rarity when she's on the ice due to her tireless backcheck.”

Career Statistics
(2012-13 and 2013-14 with Penn State's NCAA team)

Season
GPGAPts.PPSHPIMGW
2011-12
26
1
4
5
1
0
16
0
2012-13
13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2013-14
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2014-15
18
7
4
11
0
0
6
2
ACHA Career
44
8
8
16
1
0
22
2
NCAA Career
13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0




Tough to play against, with a penchant for getting under opponents’ skin, Taylor Nyman has been an integral part of the Lady Ice Lions’ checking lines since joining the team in January 2013 and a chief reason why Penn State enjoyed luxurious depth in Division 2 and remains well balanced in this first Division 1 season. She’s been known to chip in timely offense as well, including an assist on the winner in an upset of defending national champion Wisconsin-Stout at the ACHA National Tournament on March 8, 2013 and a snipe moments after stepping on to the ice for the first time on December 8, 2013 that would hold up as the decider against Delaware.

Coach Fung: “Taylor is a player who came back to playing hockey after some time off while attending a branch campus. She contributed immediately at the Division 2 level in 2012-13 and last season. After the move up to Division 1 was announced, Taylor worked very hard to prepare herself physically for the jump and has continued to develop her game throughout the season. She's playing her best hockey now at the twilight of her career and her line's contributions over the last month have been a major factor in the team's climb up the rankings.”

Career Statistics

Season
GPGAPts.PPSHPIMGW
2012-13
8
1
3
4
0
0
8
0
2013-14
25
2
6
8
0
0
4
1
2014-15
18
1
2
3
0
0
2
0
Career
51
4
11
15
0
0
14
1




Long after she graduates, Ashton Schaffer will be remembered as one of the most dependable players to suit up at Penn State. A founding member of the Women’s Ice Hockey Club in 2012-13, Schaffer became the only person to suit up for each of the team’s first 49 games and has missed a mere two contests over the last three seasons. The November 2014 winner of the ACHA’s Great Skate Sportsmanship Award has been a centerpiece blueliner playing big minutes as the Lady Ice Lions have posted stellar team season goals against averages of 1.42, 1.19 and 1.98 so far this year.

Coach Fung: “The only returning captain from last season, Ashton has been a staple in my defensive group since day one. She is a great example of a stay at home defenseman who plays a steady, quiet game; and only gets noticed when she comes up with a shot block or great defensive play. Ashton is another big piece of our strong defensive core this year and has also been a huge contributor to our outstanding penalty kill. Of note also is her ability to play against every team's top line and power plays and perform her duties with minimal penalty minutes.”

Career Statistics

Season
GPGAPts.PPSHPIMGW
2011-12
14
0
2
2
0
0
0
0
2012-13
14
0
4
4
0
0
12
0
2013-14
25
2
4
6
0
0
14
0
2014-15
16
1
2
3
0
0
8
1
Career
69
3
12
15
0
0
34
1




2011-12 Lady Icers Rookie of the Year
2013-14 Academic All-College Hockey America
2015 U.S. National University Team Selection

Madison Smiddy’s value as a Penn State blueliner has now been demonstrated on three different teams. She was one of the Lady Icers’ best at the position as a freshman, then played on the Nittany Lions’ NCAA team for two seasons and carried a points per game average 58 percent better than any other defenseman on the squad during that period. This year, Smiddy’s two bombs were crucial to the Lady Ice Lions’ upset of defending national champion Miami on January 18th.

Coach Fung: “Smiddy brings a skill set on both sides of the puck that is hard to come by in defensemen and a commodity at any level of the game. A stout defender with outstanding skating ability and offensive upside, she has been a major reason for our success this year on both the power play and penalty kill. She will contribute greatly to the U.S. National University Team's success at the World University Games and be a huge contributor the rest of the way for us.”

Career Statistics
(2012-13 and 2013-14 with Penn State's NCAA team)

Season
GPGAPts.PPSHPIMGW
2011-12
26
5
5
10
4
0
28
1
2012-13
15
1
6
7
1
0
10
0
2013-14
5
0
1
1
0
0
2
0
2014-15
18
4
4
8
1
0
14
2
ACHA Career
44
9
9
18
5
0
42
3
NCAA Career
20
1
7
8
1
0
12
0




2012-13 ACHA Off-Ice MVP

Lifelong goalie Mary Kate Tonetti performed well in two seasons at forward to selflessly balance out a thin roster – 18 points in 37 games during 2012-13 and 2013-14 – but has dominated in her full-time crease return this year. The ACHA’s September 2014 Warrior Goaltender of the Month rates among Division 1’s stats leaders and will finish among PSU’s career best in most categories (her save percentage is already tops) despite only half of a career’s work at the position.

Coach Fung: “Before any on-ice accolades, Mary Kate deserves full credit for keeping the program alive three years ago after the former team was elevated to NCAA status. After being told she would not be on that team, she managed to assemble a team and rope me into coaching in three months’ time. She made a huge sacrifice for two seasons by playing forward for the first time because the team needed the bodies. MK is an athletic, explosive goaltender who has taken ACHA Division 1 by storm this year with her play. Her strongest attribute is her desire to compete and no-quit attitude, which I believe as a coach is the single quality you want in your goalie before anything else.”

Career Goaltending Statistics

Season
GPMin.Rec.GAASOSASVSV%
2011-12
3
153:08
1-1-0
3.13
1
70
62
0.886
2013-14
2
102:00
2-0-0
0.00
2
38
38
1.000
2014-15
16
967:50
11-5-0
1.80
4
526
497
0.945
Career
21
1222:58
14-6-0
1.81
7
634
597
0.941

Career Scoring Statistics

Season
GPGAPts.PPSHPIMGW
2012-13
14
2
5
7
0
0
6
0
2013-14
23
4
7
11
0
0
12
2
Career
44
6
12
18
0
0
18
2

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