UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Freshman netminder Celine Whitlinger’s (Garden Grove, Calif.) career night at St. Lawrence on Friday (Dec. 7) translated into her first collegiate honor: College Hockey America Rookie of the Week. Whitlinger earned Penn State’s second CHA Rookie of the Week this season.
Whitlinger made stop after stop on Friday as the Nittany Lions looked to upset established St. Lawrence. The California native posted 45 saves in all as Penn State fell 3-1. St. Lawrence went to the NCAA Tournament this past season and is among the best teams in the ECAC Hockey.
Whitlinger shut out the Saints in the first frame with 14 saves, upping her total per period by one with 15 in the second and 16 in the third. The Nittany Lions were down 2-1 before a last-minute empty-net goal sealed the win for the Saints.
Her performance on Friday was remarkable given it was Whitlinger’s first start since an Oct. 14 contest vs. Syracuse. Whitlinger was last week at then-No. 4 Mercyhurst, making 28 saves in a period of play and yielding just a goal. In the last 79:35 of game play, Whitlinger has 71 saves with just three goals against (.959 save percentage).
Penn State’s last CHA Rookie of the Week was Micayla Catanzariti (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) on Oct. 8. Last week, freshman Shannon Yoxheimer (Jackson, Mich.) was named CHA’s Rookie of the Month for November and was named Player of the Week on Oct. 22.
The Nittany Lions return to action in the New Year, hosting Chatham Jan. 4-5 for a two-game set at Greenberg Ice Pavilion.