Well Dunne: Overtime Strike Helps Penn State Salvage Split with UVM

Cassie Dunne's overtime strike deliver Penn State's first win

There's an easy, sometimes overused narrative in hockey that takes many forms, but essentially describes how vastly different efforts can yield similar results, while bemoaning the unfairness of it all. And after a game Friday where Penn State was badly outshot but managed to hang in until the end, Saturday morning's contest, for most of the game, seemed either just or unjust, depending on perspective. Despite a much better effort from the blue and white, a somewhat unsatisfying tie looked like a probable outcome into the last two minutes of overtime.

Enter Cassie Dunne.

The senior alternate captain struck late in overtime and on the power play, boosting the Lady Ice Lions to a 2-1 victory that helped salvage a season-opening split at Vermont, in a game played at Collins Perley Sports & Fitness in St. Albans, VT.

With UVM's Haley Grigel serving a too many players call to the Catamounts, Dunne occupied her usual spot high on the left side of the zone. She then passed across to Liz Tuorinsky - a feed that was deflected by the Vermont kill, very nearly leading to disaster. The pass, though, had enough on it to find the blue jersey, and Tuorinsky subsequently returned to Dunne, who wheeled into the high slot and fired through the five hole of Meghan King for the win.

The goal came from a nearly identical spot as a previous game-winning tally by Dunne at Vermont, on September 27, 2014. That goal was a bit less dramatic however, standing as PSU's first goal of the season in an eventual 3-0 win.

As on Friday, Vermont struck first, through left winger Lucy Bisselle. After a failed Penn State clearing attempt, Alex Celia collected the turnover at the line then found Bisselle, who had all kinds of time and space down low to pick a corner with PSU caught in the middle of vacating the zone. The score, coincidentally, came with 1:23 left in the first period, the same amount of time remaining in overtime when Dunne scored.

If it's possible to show an team identity two games into a season, the Lady Ice Lions' might include resilience. So far in 2016-17, PSU has faced three deficits and has erased two of them.

The second came thanks to Kelly Watson, on a play that started with a shot on goal by Kate Lombardozzi. Lombardozzi's drive, midway through regulation time, created a massive scramble in front of King including both Meghan Miller and Lucy Yeatman - and also including, momentarily, a puck on the goalline, cleared by Celia. Yeatman, however, managed to kick the puck out to Watson, who buried through the remaining confusion from the left circle.

Shots on goal were not recorded for the game, although even without precise measurement, it was clear than freshman goalie Meg Lydick checked in with another outstanding effort to improve her record to 1-1-0 while dropping her goals against average under two. King, an All-ECWHL pick last season, dropped to 0-1-0 in her first action of the season.

Despite being crisp and dangerous throughout, Penn State's power play came up empty in three opportunities before Dunne's winner on the fourth. On the other side, PSU killed all three of its infractions.

The Lady Ice Lions will enjoy next weekend off, but return to action for this season's home-opening series on October 14th and 15th against defending ECWHL champion and fifth-ranked Massachusetts. Puck drops are set at 10:15 p.m. for the series opener at Pegula Ice Arena and 5:30 p.m. for the second game, which will take place at Galactic Ice in Altoona, PA.

Box Score

First Period
1. Vermont, Lucy Bisselle (unassisted), 1:23
1. Vermont, Lilly Henjes (2:00 hooking), 10:44; 2. Vermont, Kaly Gonski (2:00 hooking), 4:53.
Second Period
2. Penn State, Kelly Watson (Lucy Yeatman), 7:55.
3. Vermont, Alex Celia (2:00 body checking), 13:45; 4. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 interference), 2:46.
Third Period
5. Penn State, Kate Lombardozzi (2:00 hooking), 19:10; 6. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (2:00 body checking), 10:15.
3. Penn State, Cassie Dunne (Liz Tuorinsky), 1:23 (power play).
7. Vermont, Bench (2:00 too many players, served by Haley Grigel), 2:37.
Penn State: Meg Lydick: W; Vermont: Meghan King: L.

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