UMass Doubles Up Lady Ice Lions in Season Opener, 10-5

Caitlin Costello was one of two Lady Ice Lions to score her first career goal on Friday

"It's a long season" is not a refrain often heard from teams that win their opening game, but that doesn't make it any less true. Which certainly is fantastic news for the Lady Ice Lions following what will likely end up as a blip in the big picture of how 2015-16 ultimately plays out.

Massachusetts' Brittani Lanzilli scored four times and added two assists as her Minutewomen topped Penn State 10-5 in the Lady Ice Lions' season opener. UMass, which had two weekends of game action under its belt coming in, climbed to 4-0-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League.

Optics aside, however, PSU acquitted themselves quite well for long stretches of the contest. After UMass jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first nine minutes of the first period, and with Vicki Bortolussi off on a tripping call with 8:53 to go, freshman forward Meghan Miller jammed home her first career goal from a scrum in front to pull the squad back within two. Exactly four minutes later, Claire Gauthier found a streaking Darby Kern, and 2014-15's national scoring leader fired past Bethany Welch to trim things to 4-3. The left wing from Venetia, PA finished with that goal, a rebound bury that made the score 2-1 early on, and assists on each of the team's other three markers.

Courtney Sullivan answered quickly for the home side to widen the deficit back to two at the first intermission, but five minutes into the second period, Caitlin Costello joined Miller in opening her collegiate goal scoring account (she actually notched her first point by assisting the Miller goal). On the play, Riley O'Connor found her fellow redhead on the right side, and the former New Jersey Rocket picked the top corner on Welch.

At that moment, with the score 5-4 midway through regulation and despite the contest's early struggles (not to mention the struggles of getting to the rink through Connecticut's notorious traffic), it seemed as if the whole ball of wax was back in play.

It didn't last, however. O'Connor added her own tally in the waning moments of the game, but not until after UMass grabbed five unanswered to balloon the score out to 10-4. In the run that effectively ended the game, Ally Perdios, Lanzilli, Katy Turner, Sullivan and Michaela Tosone all scored. Tosone added a pair of assists to the effort, while Ally Perdios (the third member of UMass' top line with Lanzilli and Tosone) also had a 1-2-3 line.

The two teams will meet again to close out the series on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. before Penn State heads east to Boston to face Northeastern on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Box Score

First Period
1. Massachusetts, Jessica Greenwood (Michaela Tosone), 19:10; 2. Massachusetts, Brittani Lanzilli (unassisted), 17:15; 3. Penn State, Darby Kern (Riley O'Connor), 16:38; 4. Massachusetts, Brittani Lanzilli (unassisted), 13:49; 5. Massachusetts, Brittani Lanzilli (Michaela Tosone, Ally Perdios), 11:10; 6. Penn State, Meghan Miller (Caitlin Costello, Darby Kern), 8:53 (power play); 7. Penn State, Darby Kern (Claire Gauthier), 4:53; 8. Massachusetts, Courtney Sullivan (Katy Turner), 3:17.
1. Massachusetts, Vicki Bortolussi (2:00 tripping), 9:13; 2. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 tripping), 8:39.
Second Period
9. Penn State, Caitlin Costello (Riley O'Connor, Darby Kern), 15:16; 10. Massachusetts, Ally Perdios (Brittani Lanzilli), 7:03; 11. Massachusetts, Brittani Lanzilli (Jessica Greenwood), 1:48.
3. Massachusetts, Meredith Gallagher (2:00 slashing), 10:05; 4. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 boarding), 4:22.
Third Period
12. Massachusetts, Katy Turner (Tatum Schulz), 18:58; 13. Massachusetts, Courtney Sullivan (Erika Von Den Benken), 13:10; 14. Massachusetts, Michaela Tosone (Ally Perdios, Brittani Lanzilli), 3:30 (power play); 15. Penn State, Riley O'Connor (Darby Kern), 2:32.
5. Penn State, Darian Dempsey (2:00 tripping), 5:26.
Penn State: Sumire Clevenger: L, 43 saves/53 shots. Massachusetts: Bethany Welch: W, 24 saves/29 shots.

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