Just in Time: Cole's First Boosts Penn State Past Northeastern

Rachel Cole's first career goal came at the right time on Sunday

Time is an elusive commodity sometimes.

There are cases, of course, where one can have too much of it, as was the case on Saturday afternoon when the Penn State Women's Ice Hockey Club spent a few hours wandering the Holyoke Mall ahead of a game with Massachusetts.

More often, though, the relevant complaint is a lack of time. That could translate in the form of time to sleep, and the Lady Ice Lions certainly didn't have a ton of that with a 7:30 a.m. ice slot at Northeastern's Matthews Arena. Or it could simply be an arrivial at that arena roughly 20 minutes before the warmup skate, thanks to the doors being locked before then. Or, possibly even more drastically, it could mean 17-minute periods and 12-minute intermissions for the game between Penn State at the Huskies, a compression made by home team with the support of the officials, who cited ice conditions as a reason for shortening the game by nine minutes.

Those types of circumstances tend to lead to sloppiness in a number of endeavors, including hockey. But, while it was far from a perfect effort, Penn State managed to grit out a 2-1 win over Northeastern to head into the Thanksgiving break at 3-7-0 in the ECWHL and 3-9-0 overall.

Rachel Cole played the hero on Sunday morning, scoring on the power play with time - there's that word again - running out and overtime possibly looming. With 4:40 remaining in the third period of a 1-1 game, she deflected a Liz Tuorinsky shot past NU goalie Tessa Griffin for the final margin.

It was the first collegiate goal for Cole, an extremely intelligent product of the Steel City Selects program, whose play so far this year had probably earned her more than one goal in a more just world.

On the other end of things, the goal was a rare dent for Griffin, who was stellar all morning in turning aside 46 of PSU's 48 shots. Twenty-three of those saves came during a furious opening period that saw the Huskies get on the board first, just 2:29 into the game, through Hannah Travers, on a nice backdoor feed from Katie Spengler. Travers and Spengler were central to most efforts managed by the light-rostered-but-ready Huskies all game long.

Tuorinsky, though, had a answer just a few minutes later.

Following a dominant shift by Penn State's purple line - featuring Sophie Paolizzi, Rachel Kapoian and Lucy Yeatman - Kapoian found Tuorinsky inside the blue line where the animal science major wound and fired one of her trademark blasts all the way through.

That bit of offense, combined with the Cole score of course, proved just enough to take a surprisingly physical contest that was nevertheless light on whistles for it until the latter half of the game. Penn State finished 1-for-2 on the power play, while Northeastern was 0-for-1.

Penn State will now have the luxury of time once again, as the team breaks up for the Thanksgiving holiday this week before returning to game action against rival Rhode Island on December 9th and 10th. The scheduled time for each contest is 9:00 p.m. from Pegula Ice Arena.

Box Score

First Period
1. Northeastern, Hannah Travers (Katie Spengler), 14:31; 2. Penn State, Liz Tuorinsky (Rachel Kapoian, Lucy Yeatman), 11:01.
Second Period
1. Northeastern, Cory LeBlanc (2:00 tripping), 0:03.
Third Period
3. Penn State, Rachel Cole (Meghan Miller, Liz Tuorinsky), 4:40 (power play).
2. Northeastern, Allison Feinberg (2:00 tripping), 9:56; 3. Penn State, Rachel Kapoian (2:00 tripping), 9:56; 4. Penn State, Riley O'Connor (2:00 hooking), 8:10; 5. Northeastern, Christina Grassie (2:00 body checking), 5:04.
Penn State: Meg Lydick: W, 12 saves/13 shots; Northeastern: Tessa Griffin: L, 46 saves/48 shots.

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