Northeastbound and Down: PSU Opens Weekend Trip with Win

Jackie Saideh rifled home three goals on Friday night

Jackie Saideh scored her second career hat trick in support of Allyssa Long's first career shutout, as the Lady Ice Lions defeated Northeastern 5-0 on Friday night in Boston.

It was the sort of coldly efficient effort the Lady Ice Lions have sought all season. And while Northeastern, now 1-14-3 overall (against PSU's 4-14-2), certainly isn't headed for a national title, it's certainly worth noting that the last time Penn State visited Matthews Arena, in October, the Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead en route to a 6-6 tie.

Long certainly wasn't tested nearly as aggressively as she has been in previous starts - a list that includes top-five teams Massachusetts and Liberty - but still made 15 saves in clocking in a well-deserved milestone in her second-ever win.

Her backing goals (notably, the biggest number she's ever received) began early, six minutes from the opening faceoff, with Darby Kern hitting Saideh in front with a beautiful feed and a subsequent bury past Northeastern standout Anne Marie Dion. Kern added a goal early in the third period on the steal and swoop that has become something of a trademark to position her at 94 career points.

Saideh tends to score in bunches. Her first collegiate goals, in fact, came via hat trick, against Liberty's ACHA Division 2 team on September 28, 2013. Four of her seven goals last season came in PSU's last five regular-season games, and both of her scores in 2015-16 entering Friday night have come within the last four weekends.

So it probably shouldn't have been all that surprising when, despite a career line of 15 total snipes over four years, Saideh blew up.

Her second gave PSU a 2-0 lead with 11:20 left in the middle period. Off of a sustained pressure sequence, Claire Gauthier intercepted an outlet pass behind the goalline. The Massachusetts native then fought through the take-back effort of the passer before centering for fellow Bay Stater Saideh in the slot.

The senior captain completed her hat trick with five minutes left in the contest, on a jam play more typical of her output. Gauthier and Riley O'Connor were also involved in the rugby scrum in front of Dion and gained assists on the play. Eighty-four seconds against Saideh's middle goal, Cassie Dunne potted her second of the year on a harmless-looking wrister from the right side.

Although Penn State's top six - dubbed the Red Line and Blue Line, for the color of their practice jerseys - provided that stats, the Purple and Green Lines, including Tarika Embar, Rachel Cole, Nina Elia, Sophie Paolizzi and Lucy Yeatman, all produced strong efforts, allowing the visitors to flex their depth muscle as the match proceeded.

There were just three total penalties called in the contest, with PSU killing calls to Dunne and Liz Tuorinsky. The power play came up empty on Sarah Deslandes' trip of Kern.

The team will look to continue a successful weekend at No. 7 Rhode Island, with two games at URI's Bradford R. Boss Arena to close things out. Puck drop on Saturday is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., with Sunday's game following at 11:00 a.m.

Box Score

First Period
1. Penn State, Jackie Saideh (Darby Kern), 13:59.
1. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 body checking), 16:17.
Second Period
2. Penn State, Jackie Saideh (Claire Gauthier), 11:20; 3. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (Anna Marcus), 9:56.
Third Period
4. Penn State, Darby Kern (unassisted), 16:00; 5. Penn State, Jackie Saideh (Riley O'Connor, Claire Gauthier).
2. Northeastern, Sarah Deslandes (2:00 tripping), 15:50; 3. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (2:00 tripping), 13:18.
Penn State: Allyssa Long: W. Northeastern: Anne Marie Dion: L.

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