First Blood: Penn State Routs Northeastern 5-0 for Initial Win

Ashton Schaffer collected two assists on Saturday

Caitlin Costello scored twice, while Riley O'Connor, Meghan Miller and Lucy Yeatman added solo goals, as the Lady Ice Lions routed Northeastern 5-0 in this season's Pegula Ice Arena opener on Saturday evening.

For a re-focused Penn State squad, the victory carried quite a bit of added significance: a much-needed first after an 0-4-1 start to 2015-16. The updated 1-4-1 mark for 15th-ranked PSU includes 1-2-1 within the Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League. Northeastern is now 1-7-2 overall and 0-6-2 in the ECWHL.

O'Connor got things started quickly - four minutes from puck drop - when she slipped the rebound of a Liz Tuorinsky blast through the legs of NU goalie Kim Pfeifle. The tally was the third this season for the sophomore Princeton Tiger Lilies alumna who scored nine times as a rookie.

The PSU advantage doubled roughly 10 minutes later when Miller drove the middle of the ice in transition. She then deposited a spot-perfect centering feed from Devon Fisk off of the senior's right wing spot.

Newly-minted ACHA/Sher-wood Freshman Spotlight winner Costello took up the offensive slack from there, as PSU continued to gradually build an insurmountable margin.

The redheaded red liner unleashed her typically-strong shot and typically-strong ability to find open ice on the Huskies midway through the second period, beating Pfeifle cleanly from the right-wing circle. Cassie Dunne fed her for the play's only assist. Costello added a second goal - her sixth of the season, taking over the early team lead - in an O'Connor-like fashion, with Ashton Schaffer serving in Tuorinsky's role and generating a fat rebound from the point.

Schaffer added a second assist in the final minute of the tilt when her shot glanced off of Yeatman's leg and in to crystallize the final count. The marker was the first for Yeatman, the club's treasurer who occasionally is asked to answer rapid-fire arithmetic problems in the locker room, since December 7, 2013 against Delaware.

Hanna Scanlon, in her Penn State debut, was spectacular in making 26 saves for her first collegiate win and first collegiate shutout. Her efforts were crucial to a Lady Ice Lions penalty kill that was a spotless 3-for-3 on the day. Northeastern did not take a penalty during the contest.

The two teams will have a quick turnaround, meeting again at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning to close out the series.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Riley O'Connor (Liz Tuorinsky), 15:51; 2. Penn State, Meghan Miller (Devon Fisk), 5:26.
1. Penn State, Jackie Saideh (2:00 tripping), 2:52.
Second Period
3. Penn State, Caitlin Costello (Cassie Dunne), 9:48.
2. Penn State, Tarika Embar (2:00 tripping), 5:26.
Third Period
4. Penn State, Caitlin Costello (Ashton Schaffer), 15:17; 5. Penn State, Lucy Yeatman (Ashton Schaffer, Devon Fisk), 0:47.
3. Penn State, Madison Dwyer (2:00 body checking), 14:19.
Penn State: Hanna Scanlon: W, 26 saves/26 shots. Northeastern: Kim Pfeifle: L, 32 saves, 37 shots.

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