Women’s hockey announces inaugural varsity schedule
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State women’s hockey team will drop the puck on its inaugural varsity season on Oct. 6 against Vermont as part of a challenging 33-game slate, head coach Josh Brandwene announced Thursday (June 7).
Following their opening weekend against Vermont (Oct. 6-7), the Nittany Lions will play their first-ever home and conference series Oct. 13-14 when Syracuse visits Happy Valley. Penn State and the Orange will face off at Greenberg Ice Pavilion at 7 p.m. Saturday night before playing a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.
In 2012-13, the Nittany Lions will play a 20-game conference schedule as a member of the six-team College Hockey America. Penn State will face off against Lindenwood, perennial NCAA tournament participant Mercyhurst, RIT, Robert Morris and Syracuse a total of four times each, with two games both at home and on the road.
Penn State will also face off against ECAC Hockey members St. Lawrence, which appeared in the 2012 NCAA tournament, and Princeton, as well as Hockey East foe Vermont and Division I independent Sacred Heart. In all, the Nittany Lions will play 15 home games.
"I am very pleased with our 2012-13 schedule. The ongoing program-building process continues to go fabulously, and we look forward to dropping the puck on varsity play in four months," said Brandwene. "Along with our challenging conference schedule, we are looking forward to some very tough out-of-conference tests."
In conference action, Penn State will also welcome RIT (Oct. 25-26), which captured the 2012 NCAA Division III national championship, and Robert Morris (Nov. 10-11), which won the 2012 CHA tournament title, as part of a season-long six-game homestand, as well as Mercyhurst (Feb. 1-2) and Lindenwood (Feb. 8-9).
In addition, Penn State will travel to Lindenwood (Nov. 16-17), Mercyhurst (Nov. 30, Dec. 1) and Syracuse (Jan. 25-26) before ending the regular season against RIT (Feb. 15-16) and Robert Morris (Feb. 22-23) in consecutive weekends.
"We are very excited to be competing in league play right away this season," said Brandwene. "The opportunity to face excellent competition will serve to accelerate the growth and development of our young team, not only this season, but also in years to come."
As part of their non-conference slate, the Nittany Lions will visit Sacred Heart Oct. 19-20 before welcoming the Pioneers to Happy Valley Nov. 2-3. Penn State will also visit St. Lawrence (Dec. 7-8) and Union (Jan. 11-12), while hosting NCAA Division III Chatham (Jan. 4-5) and Princeton (Jan. 29).
Following the regular season, all six conference members will compete in the CHA tournament. The best-of-three first-round series, which will begin March 1, will feature the No. 3 seed hosting the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed welcoming the No. 5 seed. The top two seeds, which will receive first-round byes, will await the advancing teams at the home of the regular-season champion for the semifinals and final March 8-9