PREVIEW: Robert Morris women’s hockey travels to State College to take on #8 Penn State

Women%27s+hockey+will+look+to+take+care+of+business+against+Penn+State+this+weekend.+Photo+Credit%3A+Nathan+Breisinger

Women’s hockey will look to take care of business against Penn State this weekend. Photo Credit: Nathan Breisinger

By Cameron Macariola, Contributor

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.– The Robert Morris women’s hockey team (9-3-1, 9-3-1 CHA) is looking to unseat the top dogs in the CHA and possibly be ranked after this weekend as they take on #8 Penn State (9-1-2, 9-1-2 CHA). Pegula Ice Arena is the site of this battle where Penn State has been dominant as they are 5-0-1 on the season when defending their ice.

Recapping RMU

On Tuesday, the Colonials saw their five-game win streak snapped as they suffered a 4-2 loss at the hands of Mercyhurst (4-4-1, 4-4-1 CHA). It seems like the Mercyhurst Ice Center has been kryptonite to the Colonials as both the men’s and the women’s teams have not been able to sneak away with a win in Erie. On Tuesday the Colonials started slow and gave up the game’s first goal less than five minutes after puck drop. However, the Colonials have been great all season at getting it right back because shortly after, Anjelica Diffendal scored to tie the game at one.

The Colonials didn’t stop there as they capitalized on the power play when Emily Curlett put the puck in the back of the net. This may have been the last good thing to the Colonials for the rest of their day because with just 28 seconds remaining until intermission the Lakers scored to tie the game.

This wasn’t the only late goal the Colonials would give up, because just before the end of the second period, the Lakers took the lead. One key factor that led Mercyhurst to the victory over the Colonials is the penalty trouble the Colonials had, they gave Mercyhurst six power-plays. Fortunately for the Colonials, they killed them all off but shortly after killing the sixth penalty, the Lakers got their insurance goal. With all the penalties the Colonials took they could not generate offense to start a comeback.

Scouting PSU

Penn State is coming off of a game they’d like to have back as well. The Nittany Lions took on Lindenwood (2-7-1, 2-7-1 CHA) last weekend and won easily in game one by a score of 6-2. The Nittany Lions must have used all their offensive abilities up in game one because game two was a different story. Lindenwood gave all that the #8 team in the nation could handle as they took the Nittany Lions to overtime and managed to finish the game in a draw at 2-2, only the third blemish on the Penn State record.

Players to Watch

Lexi Templeman (RMU) – Templeman needs to be a key contributor if the Colonials look to pass the Nittany Lions in the standings. She’s currently tied for the team lead in points and leads the Colonials in goals, and with the “C” on her jersey, she needs to step up to defeat one of the Colonials’ toughest opponents.

Michaela Boyle (RMU) – Boyle’s Tuesday game was one of her worst games, if not the worst game for her this season. She took three penalties on the day and finished -1. Boyle has not had the season she has hoped for but this is her chance to grab the bull by the horns and help the Colonials beat Penn State.

Jessica Adolfsson (PSU) – The last time RMU saw Penn State they also saw a lot of Adolfsson. She had an assist on the game-winning goal in the first game and followed that up with a two-goal game. Look for the Nittany Lions to stay atop the CHA if she has another one of those performances.

Kiara Zanon (PSU) – Kiara Zanon may terrorize the Colonials these next few years as this freshman is making her presence known. She has 16 points in her 12 games played and is leading the way for the Nittany Lions. RMU must shut her down if they want to pass Penn State.

Prediction

These two games are going to be fun to watch. Both teams know these games are for the lead in the CHA and could be a CHA finals preview. Colonials look to even out the series as Penn State won both games in their last meetings. Look for these games to be high scoring and hard-fought to the end. I believe this series splits with Penn State winning game one 4-3, and the Colonials coming back and stepping up and beating Penn State in game two by a score of 3-2. I can see both of these games going past 60 minutes, plus who doesn’t like a little bit of suspense.