Special Teams Play Costs Penn State in Defeat Against Michigan

Emma Shannon made 35 saves in a strong showing

A strong early showing from the Penn State Lady Ice Lions was undone by special teams failures in the game's pivotal moments, as PSU dropped its second UMass Showcase contest to Michigan by a 4-1 count on Saturday afternoon.

Following a scoreless first period and an evenly-played first segment of the second period, Kate Lombardozzi and Rachel Kapoian took consecutive hooking calls with 7:20 and 5:52 remaining in the frame, respectively. The Wolverines power play then went to work on a stat line that would close at three goals in four attempts.

During the Lombardozzi penalty, Grace Nardiello opened the scoring with a fastball from the right point through traffic in front, off of a passing play from Mady McEachern and Jenna Trubiano. Shannon Murphy ended the Kapoian punishment prematurely with a tight-angle shot from the left side, following up her own initial attempt.

Murphy is the younger sister of former Lady Ice Lion Katie Murphy '15, a key member of PSU's 2011-12 ECWHL regular season championship team and its 2014-15 ACHA National Tournament squad.         

Defenseman Lia Harrington drove home Michigan's third power play goal from the circle after a turnover, which effectively closed doubt on the game's outcome at 4-0 with 8:44 remaining in the contest. Jacqui Wachol scored UM's sole 5-on-5 goal from the doorstep seven minutes prior to that.

Penn State had plenty of opportunities to equal, or even better, UM's power play output. The Lady Ice Lions went to the advantage five times - four after calls to Harrington. However, it wasn't until the final try, after an injury-causing Harrington body check to Rachel Cole, that Katelyn Trask was able to ruin Bailey Hamill's shutout with 23 seconds remaining in the game.

Hamill closed with 21 saves on 22 Lady Ice Lion shots. On the opposite end, Emma Shannon turned in the best outing of her young career so far with 35 saves.

PSU will close out the showcase weekend on Sunday morning with a 7:00 a.m. matchup with No. 1 Liberty.

Box Score

First Period
1. Michigan, Jenna Trubiano, (2:00 roughing), 10:31; 2. Penn State, Riley O'Connor (2:00 roughing), 10:31; 3. Michigan, Lia Harrington (2:00 body checking), 8:54.
Second Period
1. Michigan, Grace Nardiello (Mady McEachern, Jenna Trubiano), 6:45 (power play); 2. Michigan, Shannon Murphy (unassisted), 4:57 (power play).
4. Michigan, Lia Harrington (2:00 cross checking), 17:16; 5. Penn State, Kate Lombardozzi (2:00 hooking), 7:20; 6. Penn State, Rachel Kapoian (2:00 hooking), 5:52; 7. Michigan, Lia Harrington (2:00 body checking), 1:16.
Third Period
3. Michigan, Jacqui Wachol (Megan Kerr, Jenna Trubiano), 15:01; 4. Michigan, Lia Harrington (unassisted), 8:44 (power play); 5. Penn State, Katelyn Trask (unassisted), 0:23 (power play).
8. Penn State, Katelyn Trask (2:00 hooking), 9:38; 9. Penn State, Meghan Miller (2:00 slashing), 4:42; 10. Michigan, Hannah Hamilton (2:00 holding), 3:58; 11. Michigan, Lia Harrington (2:00 body checking), 2:07.
Penn State: Emma Shannon: L, 35 saves/39 shots. Michigan: Bailey Hamill: W, 21 saves/22 shots.

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