Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON –– Katie Rankin seized the lead for the Penn State Nittany Lions (4-7-4, 0-3-1 CHA) in the second period as they blanked the Vermont Catamounts (5-6-5, 2-5-3 HEAW) 4-0 in the Windjammer Classic on Friday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
“We are simply not sharp right now,” said head coach Jim Plumer. “We have to find a way to get back to the hockey we were playing earlier this season.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Catamounts and Nittany Lions skated to a scoreless opening first period despite Vermont having a 7-4 shot advantage. Blanka Škodová (27 saves) made a pair of timely saves on the penalty kill in the opening frame.
Rankin opened the scoring at the midway point of the second period when she buried a rebound for her second goal of the season. Natalie Heising fired the initial shot and Mallory Uihlein was credited with the secondary assist.
Penn State scored twice early in the third period on goals by Julie Gough and Abby Welch. Gough jumped out of the penalty box and caught a pass by Brooke Madsen before scoring on a breakaway. Five minutes later, Welch buried a rebound to go up by three.
Vermont had several chances on a pair of power plays in the final frame as the Cats attemped to tie the game. Sara Levesque tested Chantal Burke (20 saves) when she wired a slap shot from the blue line that rang off the post.
Welch added an empty-net goal with 4:18 left in regulation. Rene Gangarosa and Uihlein assisted on the insurance goal.
The Windjammer Classic continues on Saturday (Nov. 30) at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Vermont will be playing in the consolation game against Minnesota State at 1 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets for the second day of the Windjammer Classic through UVMAthletics.com/Tickets or at the Gutterson Fieldhouse box office on gameday.