Northeastern Feels the Kern as Penn State Completes Sweep, 5-0

Darby Kern continuted her habit of shredding Northeastern on Sunday

For Northeastern, Sunday morning at Pegula Ice Arena must have felt like summer programming on NHL Network, which typically involves ad nauseum re-airs of games people have seen before.

Instead of the previous season's Stanley Cup Playoffs though, the games in question took place on January 31st and February 1st. In that series, Darby Kern scored seven times (and added a pair of assists) to thrust herself into the ACHA's national scoring lead as Penn State swept the Huskies.

Nine months later, more of the same was on the table, as the senior from Venetia, PA buried four times to help the Lady Ice Lions complete another sweep of NU, by a 5-0 count identical to Saturday's series opener.

Fifteenth-ranked PSU is now 2-4-1 overall and 2-2-1 in ECWHL play - although certainly headed in the right direction now after an 0-4-1 start - while Northeastern is 0-7-2 and 1-8-2.

Kern fired up her squad's offensive engine early and often, first finding twine 4:38 from the start of the game with a beautiful tip of a Jackie Saideh shot.

Goal number two for number 14 was midway through the 60 minutes, during a Katie Walsh tripping penalty, a play that saw Kern's trademark power move off of the left wing to the front of the net. The tally gave Penn State a 1-for-3 line on the advantage for the contest, which boosted the season total to a stellar 6-of-13.

It seems like a ridiculous statement to make after someone scores twice in half of a game, but it's arguable that Kern actually elevated her game after the second goal, dominating the ice in every zone when her line was on the rest of the way. With 13:25 left in the final frame, the hat trick was completed after a nifty dangle between both Northeastern defensemen, and the fourth came six game minutes later with help from Riley O'Connor and Cassie Dunne.

Dunne also scored the Lady Ice Lions' 2-0 goal early in the second period for her first marker of the season and also helped kill her team's only penalty, a second-period roughing minor tagged to Caitlin Costello.

Another highlight was Hanna Scanlon, who made her second start in goal both of the weekend and of her collegiate career and retained her spotless stat line. It was certainly easier to pull off than Saturday's 26-save effort, as PSU outshot NU 45-13 on Sunday, but nevertheless, the former Hershey Jr. Bear is now a 2013 Mary Kate Tonetti-like 2-0-0 with a pair of shutouts.

Penn State boosted a couple impressive marks with the win, one bizarre and one less so: the team is now 18-2-0 all-time in Pegula Ice Arena and 21-2-0 in all home games, and 13-1-0 in games that start before noon (8-0-0 if it starts at 10:00 a.m. or earlier).

A short week (even shorter once the inevitable post-8:30 a.m. start time naps are taken) is now set to follow before PSU defends Pegula Ice Arena once again, versus ECWHL powerhouse Rhode Island on Friday and Saturday. Game times are set for 10:15 p.m. on both nights.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Darby Kern (Jackie Saideh), 15:22.
Second Period
2. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (Devon Fisk), 18:40; 3. Penn State, Darby Kern (Liz Tuorinsky), 8:56 (power play).
1. Penn State, Caitlin Costello (2:00 roughing), 16:26; 2. Northeastern, Katie Walsh (2:00 tripping), 10:00.
Third Period
4. Penn State, Darby Kern (unassisted), 13:25; 5. Penn State, Darby Kern (Riley O'Connor, Cassie Dunne), 7:37.
3. Northeastern, Katie Walsh (2:00 tripping), 11:00; 4. Northeastern, Katie Walsh (2:00 tripping), 1:48.
Penn State: Hanna Scanlon: W, 13 saves/13 shots. Northeastern: Kim Pfeifle: L, 40 saves, 45 shots.

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