|Darby Kern (left) and UMass' Meredith Gallagher will collide to open 2015-16|
The Penn State Lady Ice Lions will begin the 2015-16 season, the team's second in ACHA Division 1 and the Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League, in a familiar location: Massachusetts, to take on hosting UMass and Northeastern.
Two games against the Minutewomen are scheduled for Friday, October 9th and Saturday, October 10th. Following the second tilt, the team will head east to historic Matthews Arena in Boston to battle the NU Huskies on Sunday, October 11th.
All three game times are still to be determined.
Against the 2013-14 ACHA runners-up and 2014-15 ECWHL regular season and playoff champions, Penn State went 1-3-1 last year. The advantage enjoyed by coach Bill Wright's squad in the season series came from an October, 2014 sweep at the Mullins Center by 3-0 and 1-0 counts. The teams then traded overtime decisions at Pegula Ice Arena to open the spring semester, with a Cara Mendelson strike on January 10th answered by UMass' Amy Morin the next day. Given the latter results, the 3-3 draw from the teams' meeting at the ACHA National Tournament on March 5th (featuring two more Mendelson goals) was less than surprising.
Things were a little smoother against Northeastern, to the tune of 4-0-0 - although the Huskies held the Lady Ice Lions to a pair of one-goal decisions in Boston last November, including one requiring a Madison Smiddy overtime bomb. Two regular-season-closing home games, however, ended in routs by a combined 17-2 count. Darby Kern and Devon Fisk led the way in that series, with Kern scoring an incredible seven times among her nine points, and Fisk adding four tallies of her own.
The Minutewomen finished 2014-15 with a 24-8-1 overall mark and the aforementioned conference titles and visit to nationals. Northeastern was 5-18-0, with their season ending in a victory over Navy in the fifth-place game of the ECWHL playoffs.
Stay tuned to psuwihc.com, as well as the Lady Ice Lions' Twitter and Instagram accounts, for the upcoming release of the full season schedule, as well as other exciting news, as the offseason winds down.
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