Penn State Drowned by Mercyhurst to Open Weekend Series

Katelyn Trask had, arguably, Penn State's best scoring chance on Saturday

Despite a 42-28 shooting advantage, and numerous opportunities probably worth more than a single shot, the streak survives: the Penn State Lady Ice Lions once again failed to find the back of the net on Saturday afternoon in Erie, PA, stretching the squad's goal-free drought to an even 304 minutes.

The Mercyhurst Lakers had no such issue, however, and skated away with a 5-0 victory to open the intrastate weekend set and drop the visitors to 0-5-0 this season.

The contest's tenor was decidedly different from the bulk of the team-worst span, which came against ultra-talented Miami and Liberty squads. Unlike in those affairs, the opposing goalie - Lakers freshman Katie Hill - was largely responsible for keeping PSU off the board. Hill, a product of the Steel City Selects program that also developed Penn Staters Tarika Embar, Rachel Cole and Syd Foy, denied all 42 shots she faced for her first collegiate shutout.

One of the 42 was a semi-miraculous diving stop of a second-period Katelyn Trask backside rebound try, where Trask saw the 75 percent of the net she was staring at closed off to 0 percent just in time. Sarah McGillicuddy, Riley O'Connor, Erin Bonner and Crosby Deliman also generated prime chances ranging from shorthanded breakaways to low-slot one-timers, but Hill was up to the task each time.

Mercyhurst, on the other hand, was able to capitalize on their best looks. Hayley VandePol got the scoring underway just 3:53 after the opening puck drop. On the play, Megan Young won a puck battle in the right-wing corner and centered for VandePol, who was left all alone in the slot and fired past Emma Shannon.

The Lakers' next two goals came off of the stick of Meghan Roche, who proved extremely dangerous in transition, even when outnumbered by the defense. The first came less than three minutes after the VandePol tally and produced a 2-0 score at the first intermission, while the second bulged the MU advantage to three with 7:20 remaining in the second period.

Roche's linemate, Frangelica Bautz, closed out the scoring with a pair of third-period goals. The first was another flowing effort off of Maddy Kessy's feed, while the second was a quick shot after a cleanly-won faceoff by Roche.

Shannon wound up with 23 saves for the game. Neither team connected on the two power play chances given to each side, with Penn State's first penalty kill, midway through the first period, standing as one of the team's most dangerous shorthanded chances in recent history.

The teams will close the non-sanctioned series, which doesn't count towards ACHA statistics tabulations or rankings consideration, on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.

Box Score

First Period
1. Mercyhurst, Hayley VandePol (Megan Young), 16:07; 2. Mercyhurst, Meghan Roche (Hayley VandePol), 13:11.
1. Mercyhurst, Megan Young (2:00 tripping), 12:17; 2. Penn State, Crosby Deliman (2:00 hooking), 9:44; 3. Mercyhurst, Frangelica Bautz (2:00 cross checking), 0:10.
Second Period
3. Mercyhurst, Meghan Roche (unassisted), 7:20.
4. Penn State, Rachel Kapoian (2:00 tripping), 2:15.
Third Period
4. Mercyhurst, Frangelica Bautz (Maddy Kessy, Kenlee Scott), 13:08; 5. Mercyhurst, Frangelica Bautz (Meghan Roche), 7:34.
Penn State: Emma Shannon: L, 23 saves/28 shots. Mercyhurst: Katie Hill: W, 42 saves/42 shots.

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