Consolation Station: URI Dumps Lady Ice Lions From ECWHLs Again

Sydney Collins and company pushed the Lady Ice Lions out of the ECWHL playoffs

The Lady Ice Lions' ECWHL semifinal meeting with Rhode Island is not a difficult one to analyze. It was too much Sydney Collins, too much Kiki Levesque, too much Monica Darby, too much Janessa Courtney, too much Brenna Callahan, too much Abbey Torres, too much Rhode Island.

Result: 7-0 Rams, as Rhody advanced to tomorrow's title game against Massachusetts, which defeated Vermont 2-1 in the day's first semifinal. Penn State, for its part, suffered a similar kick in the face to one experienced last year - a decisive loss to URI in the semis, followed by an early-morning consolation meeting with Vermont. Last year's third-place game ended 4-1 in the Lady Ice Lions' favor, while this year's will be decided at 9:30 Sunday morning at UMass' Mullins Center.

The contest will end Penn State's 2015-16 season, as selection to the ACHA National Tournament dropped off the team's goals list some time ago.

Against Rhody, Collins and linemate Darby both starred as the game slowly pulled out of reach. With 8:13 left in the opening period, the former got things started with a clean snipe off of a won offensive draw by the latter. Darby became the finisher two and a half minutes later from the doorstep, off of a centering feed from Collins.

Those two goals made it a rough-but-still-attainable 2-0 after the first period, however the Rams kept pounding.

Early in the second period, Levesque made it 3-0. Collins fed her behind the goal line, after which she curled out to high in the left wing circle and fired home.

Collins finished a run of points on the first four URI goals in rather spectacular two-way fashion. With roughly seven minutes left in that middle frame, she broke up a Penn State 2-on-1 involving Riley O'Connor and Darian Dempsey by intercepting a pass on the backcheck, then headed up the ice to both start and finish the play on offense. Levesque and Courtney collected assists on the tally.

The final period was more of the same, with Caitlin McGuirl (parked in front, from Darby), Brenna Callahan (a power play blast from right point) and Darby (in the last minute of play, on Levesque's fourth assist and again on the advantage) rounding out the scoring.

Allyssa Long, although burdened with an unspectacular stat line, was very good in the Penn State goal in making 43 saves, certainly playing well enough to give her team a win on other days. Torres shut out the blue and white for the second time this season on 20 saves, none better than one early in the third period where she got her blocker down to deny an O'Connor follow up on Darby Kern, who had dangled three on the way in to her initial shot.

Box Score

First Period
1. Rhode Island, Sydney Collins (Monica Darby), 8:13; 2. Rhode Island, Monica Darby (Sydney Collins, Kiki Levesque), 5:53.
1. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 slashing), 15:57.
Second Period
3. Rhode Island, Kiki Levesque (Sydney Collins, Jackie Keable), 15:47; 4. Rhode Island, Sydney Collins (Kiki Levesque, Janessa Courtney), 7:12.
2. Penn State, Darby Kern (2:00 tripping), 19:55.
Third Period
5. Rhode Island, Caitlin McGuirl (Janessa Courtney, Monica Darby), 13:07; 6. Rhode Island, Brenna Callahan (Kiki Levesque), 6:49 (power play); 7. Rhode Island, Monica Darby (Kiki Levesque), 0:46 (power play).
3. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 cross checking), 7:05; 4. Rhode Island, Janessa Courtney (2:00 tripping), 5:24; 5. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (2:00 cross checking), 0:55.
Penn State: Allyssa Long: L, 43 saves/50 shots. Rhode Island: Abbey Torres: W, 20 saves/20 shots.

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