PSU Gives Northeastern Senioritis - and Junioritis - in 11-1 Shellacking

Devon Fisk, Katie Murphy and Darby Kern dominated the Huskies Saturday night

On an evening to honor a special, one-of-a-kind Lady Ice Lions senior class, next year's seniors showed that they aren't exactly terrible either.

Junior Darby Kern scored four times and added an assist, while classmate Devon Fisk went for three and one as the Lady Ice Lions obliterated Northeastern 11-1 Saturday night in Pegula Ice Arena Saturday night to improve to 14-6-0 overall and 9-4-0 in the Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League.

In stark contrast to Friday's slow start against Navy - and two one-goal victories when PSU visited Northeastern back in November - the Lady Ice Lions were energized by a pregame ceremony for eight of their number and put the contest out of reach quickly and decisively during a 7:57 stretch of the first period, exploding to an insurmountable lead.

Kern got things started, as she took a transitional feed down the middle from Cara Mendelson and beat NU's Kim Pfeifle. In short order, Katie Murphy made it 2-0 on a Mendelson rebound from Kern's centering help, Fisk initiated her nightly tab on a trademark solo effort, Cassie Dunne slipped one through Pfeifle from center point, and Kern notched her second thanks in part of Mendelson's third assist of the opening frame.

5-0 after one. Game over, thanks for coming.

Of course, the last 40 minutes of the game are mandatory regardless of what happened in the first 20. And Penn State took full advantage of that fact.

Kern finished a natural hat trick in the second period, first potting a centering feed after Fisk rushed down the right wing, then stealing on the forecheck and slipping the puck though Pfeifle's five hole.

That would spell the end for the Huskies' starting goalie, as backup Ariadne Rowe would take the crease after the second intermission.

Rowe didn't fare any better though, as PSU beat the Californian four times on eight shots, including twice by Fisk, who slammed one home from Riley O'Connor's offensive faceoff win and finished her trifecta with a second unassisted goal. O'Connor added one herself on a filthy dangle to the inside of the defense off of Dunne's pass, and Murphy closed the Lady Ice Lions barrage thanks in part to Tarika Embar, who collected her first collegiate assist on the play.

In the win, Kern equaled a team record with her four goals, a mark first set by both Fisk and Mandy Mortach on December 9, 2012 against Slippery Rock. The Peters Township High School graduate's five point night also thrust her squarely into the middle of the national scoring races. Kern has 23 goals this season, just two behind ACHA Division 1 leader Makaila Anderson of Robert Morris while her 41 points are tied for third place and five behind Miami's Hayley Williams.

On the team level, the Lady Ice Lions recorded just their third-ever double-digit scoring total and first-ever instance of accomplishing the feat in consecutive games.

Although two juniors accounted for eight of the 11 goals, the seniors certainly were far from invisible on their night (save for one, defenseman Madison Smiddy, who is away from the squad preparing to compete in the World University Games next week). Goaltender Mary Kate Tonetti turned aside 19 shots, only to see her shutout bid spoiled with 3:21 left in the game by Estelle Ip. Mendelson, as mentioned, assisted on three of PSU's first five goals, while Murphy (her new center for the evening) went for a pair of goals. Ashton Schaffer chipped in an assist, while she and fellow co-captain Kim Badorrek provided their understated but sublime shutdown efforts on defense. Checking liner Taylor Nyman was also a part of an effort that limited the Huskies to eight shots over the final two periods of the game, despite the Lady Ice Lions' comfortable lead.

Penn State will close its series with Northeastern - and the 2014-15 regular season - on Sunday morning at 10:00 in Pegula Ice Arena. After that, the team will enjoy two weekends off before the ECWHL playoffs begin on February 20th in Kingston, RI.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Darby Kern (Cara Mendelson), 15:14; 2. Penn State, Katie Murphy (Cara Mendelson, Darby Kern), 11:53; 3. Penn State, Devon Fisk (unassisted), 10:22; 4. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (Anna Marcus), 8:23 5. Penn State, Darby Kern (Cara Mendelson, Cassie Dunne), 7:17.
Second Period
6. Penn State, Darby Kern (Devon Fisk, Ashton Schaffer), 7:40; 7. Penn State, Darby Kern (unassisted), 5:16.
Third Period
8. Penn State, Devon Fisk (Riley O'Connor), 17:43; 9. Penn State, Riley O'Connor (Cassie Dunne, Claire Gauthier), 12:38; 10. Penn State, Devon Fisk (unassisted), 12:09; 11. Penn State, Katie Murphy (Tarika Embar), 8:42; 12. Northeastern, Estelle Ip (Kat So), 3:21.
Penn State: Mary Kate Tonetti: W, 19 saves/20 shots. Northeastern: Kim Pfeifle: L, 18 saves/25 shots; Ariadne Rowe (20:00 3rd): 4 saves/8 shots.

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