DiFilippo's Hat Trick Rams Rhode Island Ahead of Lady Ice Lions, 5-2

Liz Tuorinsky scored her first collegiate goal in the loss. Photo: Allyssa Long

Rhode Island's Alisha DiFilippo scored three times, while Janessa Courtney and Monica Darby each added a goal and an assist as URI topped the Lady Ice Lions 5-2 Friday night in Pegula Ice Arena.

Despite the final scoreline, the game felt like something of a missed opportunity, as fifteenth-ranked Penn State, now 2-5-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League, found itself in a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes despite being outshot 23-11 by a strong, hard-working visiting squad.

DiFilippo got her team's offense started early, scoring a pretty transition goal from Courtney just 1:35 into the game, as the URI standout worked around the Penn State defense and went bar and in on Aimee Little. Liz Tuorinsky had a reply late in the frame, scoring her first career goal with her trademark heavy shot from just inside the line, set up by Riley O'Connor.

The unlikely goal trade was in effect once again in the second period, this time with the Lady Ice Lions' outstanding power play going first, with Brenna Callahan off on a tripping call in the last four minutes of the stanza. Caitlin Costello, 19 seconds from the penalty's expiration, finished her seventh tally in front after Darby Kern deftly slid the puck over to her in tight quarters. Meghan Miller got the secondary assist on the play, to help PSU's power play improve to 7-for-15 this year.

Rhody answered less than a minute later on DiFilippo's second, an unassisted marker after the puck took an awkward bounce off of the end boards and was misplayed. That goal, in hindsight, effectively foreshadowed the remainder of the contest.

Courtney, Darby and DiFilippo all scored in the third period to help the No. 5 Rams, now 8-4-2 overall and a first-place-worthy 7-1-1 in the ECWHL pull away for a solid result, with the latter finishing her trifecta with 14 seconds remaining in the game on her team's 39th shot. Courtney's score came just 12 seconds into a Tuorinsky checking call, part of a 1-for-3 Rhode Island power play effort. Callahan assisted both the first and last goals of the period to join her three teammates in notching a multi-point evening.

The teams will meet again to close the series on Saturday evening at 9:00 p.m. in Pegula Ice Arena, the last game for the Lady Ice Lions before the second in-season ACHA ranking of 2015-16 is released in the week following November 22nd.

Box Score

First Period
1. Rhode Island, Alisha DiFilippo (Janessa Courtney), 18:25; 2. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (Riley O'Connor), 0:29.
1. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 cross checking), 4:48.
Second Period
3. Penn State, Caitlin Costello (Darby Kern, Meghan Miller), 3:45 (power play); 4. Rhode Island, Alisha DiFilippo (unassisted), 2:51.
2. Rhode Island, Brenna Callahan (2:00 tripping), 5:26.
Third Period
5. Rhode Island, Janessa Courtney (Brenna Callahan, Monica Darby), 13:43 (power play); 6. Rhode Island, Monica Darby (Lexie Stefekos, Casey McCormick), 5:25; 7. Rhode Island, Alisha DiFilippo (Sydney Collins, Brenna Callahan), 0:14.
3. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 body checking), 13:55; 4. Rhode Island, Casey McCormick (2:00 hooking), 12:40; 5. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (2:00 body checking), 10:51.
Penn State: Aimee Little: L, 34 saves/39 shots. Rhode Island: Katelyn Bucior: W, 15 saves, 17 shots.

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