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Lady Ice Lions Prepare for Dogfight with Visit to No. 3 Adrian

Kelly Watson has a trio of assists so far this season



No. 7 Penn State (0-2-1/0-2-1 ECWHL) vs.
No. 3 Adrian (4-2-0/4-2-0 CCWHA)
When
Saturday, October 24th at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 25th at 2:00 p.m.
Where
Arrington Ice Arena
Adrian, MI
The Lead
Following a disappointing opening weekend, the Lady Ice Lions will try to get back on track against a brutally-tough Adrian squad.
Live Video
Adrian College TV (via YouTube)

Game Notes

No One Team Should Have All That Power: During an otherwise tough opening weekend from October 9th through 11th, one bright spot for the Lady Ice Lions was the team's power play, which converted on a superb five of its eight opportunities against Massachusetts and Northeastern. That number is particularly impressive in the context of PSU's performance on the advantage each of the last two seasons: in both 2013-14 and 2014-15, eight power play goals were scored over the entire season, in 52 and 64 attempts (respectively). Freshman Meghan Miller leads the way with two scores on the advantage, while Darby Kern, Riley O'Connor and Ashton Schaffer have one each.

Rated Rookies: Miller, along with her three total goals, wasn't the only freshman who provided tremendous impact two weeks ago, as a whopping five others (plus new-to-the-team junior Jordan Chiavacci) have now dressed for their first Penn State games. Caitlin Costello headlined the group by seamlessly stepping into 2015 graduate Cara Mendelson's old right wing spot alongside Kern and O'Connor and posting seven points, good for second on the squad so far. Liz Tuorinsky and Madison Dwyer are holding down key defense roles, and Rachel Cole and Sophie Paolizzi have both impressed as smart and coachable players with plenty of upside. Darian Dempsey, not quite a rookie but still a player with only six more Lady Ice Lions games in than most of the freshmen, collected her first career point two Sundays ago against Northeastern, an assist of a Devon Fisk goal.

Feel the Kern: On the other end of her collegiate career, senior Kern picked up right where she left off a year ago. The 2014-15 national scoring leader, All-American and Zoe M. Harris Award finalist has tallied five goals and 12 points in the three games so far. That dozen has her tied for fifth in ACHA Division 1 scoring, although every player tied with or ahead of the Venetia, PA native has played at least two additional games. UMass' Brittani Lanzilli is the current leader with 13 goals and 19 points in five games.

No Fear of the Unknown: This weekend's series will be the first-ever meeting between Adrian and any Penn State team, as the Bulldogs have never faced the 2012-present Lady Ice Lions team or the 1996-2012 Lady Icers team. In the current team's lifespan, that situation - a completely new opponent - has come up eight times, with the blue and white side managing a 6-1-1 record.
  • PSU 1 at Michigan State (D2) 0 (October 13, 2012): Fisk supplied the game's only goal in the Lady Ice Lions' third-ever game, which was enough support for Katie Vaughan's 13-save shutout
  • PSU 9 at Navy 1 (January 13, 2013): Taylor Nyman connected for a goal and two assists in her debut with the team, while Mandy Mortach had four goals and two assists
  • PSU 2 vs. Alaska 1 (March 7, 2013): Fisk and Allie Rothman scored as the Lady Ice Lions stunned the West Region's top seed at the ACHA National Tournament in Ashburn, VA after barely sneaking into the field as the East Region's final seed
  • PSU 3 vs. Wisconsin-Stout 1 (March 8, 2013): The next day, an arguably bigger upset was the order as two Mortach goals and 34 Vaughan saves felled the defending ACHA Division 2 national champs
  • PSU 3 vs. North Dakota State 3 (March 8, 2013): With the previous two results already clinching a spot in 2013's semifinals, the expected back-and-forth, nothing-to-lose game followed with a potent Bison team
  • PSU 6 vs. Liberty (D2) 0 (September 27, 2013): In the first intercollegiate hockey game in Pegula Ice Arena history, the Lady Ice Lions shredded LU's D2 squad behind two Geneva Wagoner goals and one from Kim Badorrek
  • PSU 0 vs. Iowa State 1 (March 16, 2014): The sole defeat on the list came at the worst possible time - the ACHA championship game in Newark, DE - as ISU's Millie Luedtke scored on the power play with 7:21 remaining to take the crown
  • PSU 4 at Miami 3 (January 18, 2015): Two Madison Smiddy goals - including the winner on a 5-on-3 with 3:16 left - topped the defending ACHA Division 1 national champs, who entered the game with a 31-game unbeaten streak spanning 359 days
After this weekend, the Lady Ice Lions will face at least two more first-timers in the forms of Colorado, an opponent during the January 15th-18th trip to Lynchburg, VA, and Davenport, which visits Pegula Ice Arena on January 28th.

The Opponent

Name: Adrian College
Nickname: Bulldogs
Location: Adrian, MI

Series History: Tied, 0-0-0.

About Adrian: The Bulldogs, despite only being established in 2012, have already developed into one of the nation's best programs. AC made its ACHA National Tournament debut in 2014, and followed that up last season with an even deeper run, to the semifinals, as part of a 16-8-3 overall record. This year Adrian has its sights set on a title with the inaugural team freshmen now the senior leadership, and so far they haven't disappointed in building a 4-2-0 record entirely against teams ranked in the ACHA's top 12. An opening sweep of No. 12 Robert Morris gave way to a split with No. 8 Michigan and, most recently and most impressively, a split with No. 1 Miami last weekend. The 1-0 AC victory on Sunday, thanks to Jesse Rushing's third period power play goal, was the first shutout of the mighty RedHawks in a 73-game stretch. Goalie Alison Dungey and her 32 saves also had a lot to do with the result, while dynamic freshman Nicole Paradis has led a balanced attack with five goals and seven points.

Trivia: Adrian, possibly more than any school in the country, is defined by hockey despite an enrollment of only about 1,650 students. Literally 10 percent of that number - 165 - is rostered with one of the school's six hockey teams. In addition to nationally-contending ACHA Division 1 women's and men's teams, AC has women's and men's NCAA Division III teams and a pair of ACHA Division 3 men's teams. One of those D3 men's teams, the gold squad, won national titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Head Coach: Brett Berger
Goals Scored Per Game: 2.83
Goals Allowed Per Game: 1.67

Team Website:
http://adrianbulldogs.com/sports/c-hockey-w/index

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