Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata
Rules of the Game

Ice hockey is a winter indoor team sport, played on a rectangular sheet of ice with rounded corners.  Most rinks in North America, including Penn State’s Pegula Ice Arena, are 200 ft. long by 85 ft. wide, with a 3 ½ to 4 ft. wall (boards) surrounding the ice surface (international and Olympic rinks are 100 feet wide).  A red line divides the rink in half, and two blue lines separate the rink into 3 zones.  The area between the blue lines is the neutral zone, the 2 remaining zones are referred to in terms relative to each team, so that one team’s offensive (or attacking zone) is the other’s defensive zone.  The object of the game is to score a goal by forcing the “puck” (a disk of frozen, vulcanized rubber) completely across the goal line that the opposing goalie protects. Goals are usually the result of a skater shooting the puck with his stick, but often the puck will carom off of the stick or body of another player (on either team) before crossing the goal line (deliberately kicking or hitting the puck into the goal does NOT count as a goal).

Each team may place 6 players on the ice, usually 5 “skaters” plus a goalie.  When a player commits a penalty, he is removed from the ice for 2 minutes (minor penalty), or, in more serious situations, 5 minutes (major penalty) and sits in the “penalty box” (sometimes players from both teams are penalized concurrently).  When a player is penalized his team must play “short-handed” for the duration of a 2-minute penalty or until the opposing team scores.  When a 5-minute penalty is enforced, the short-handed team remains so for the duration of the penalty, regardless of how many goals are scored by the opposition.  For ten minute penalties and longer (misconduct/game misconduct), teams do not skate shorthanded unless there is a 2-minute or 5-minute penalty associated with the misconduct.  Fighting is not allowed in college hockey; players penalized for fighting must miss the next game that the team plays.

When a team is trailing late in the game, it often removes its goalkeeper and puts an extra skater on the ice.

Games consist of three 20-minute periods.  If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, a 5-minute overtime period is played with each team at full strength (unless one or more penalties are in effect); the team that scores first wins. If the overtime period is scoreless, the game ends in a tie.  Under conference rules or the mutual consent of both teams, overtime periods may be played with only 4 skaters per team, and if the overtime period is scoreless, a shootout may take place.  In post-season tournaments, all overtime periods are 20-minutes long, and play continues until the first team scores.

The same rules apply to both the men’s and women’s game, with the exception of checking (that is, making an intentional effort to run into an opposing player to dislodge or gain control of the puck from that player); in the women’s game, checking is not permitted.

Penn State Women’s Ice Hockey History

The Penn State “Lady Icers” began play as a Divisioin I team in the club-level American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) in 2000.  The team qualified for the ACHA national tournament 6 times, and reached the final four in the 2002 season.

On Sept. 17, 2010, Terry and Kim Pegula announced a gift of $88 million dollars (the largest single gift ever made to Penn State) to build a new hockey arena and support both a men’s and a women’s NCAA Division I hockey team.  Josh Brandwene, a former player for Penn State’s men’s club team (the “Icers”) and one of 3 Penn Staters in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Hall of Fame, was selected as the first varsity coach.

Upon attaining varsity status for the 2012-13 season, the women’s team joined College Hockey America (CHA), a conference comprised of Lindenwood, Mercyhurst, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Robert Morris (of Pennsylvania), and Syracuse.  The team won its opening game, 5-3, on the road against an established Vermont team on October 6, 2012; after falling behind 1-0, freshman Shannon Yoxhiemer scored the first goal in women’s varsity hockey history.  The first home game (at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion), a 4-0 loss to Syracuse, was played on October 16.  The team finally gained its first home win on November 2 with a 6-0 victory over Sacred Heart.  The Nittany Lions finished with 7-26-2 record, and Yoxheimer was named to the Conference’s All-Rookie Team. 

The team moved into the newly opened Pegula Ice Arena for the 2013-2014 season. The team finished with a 4-29-3 record (1-19-1 in conference) and lost to RIT in the first game of the CHA playoffs.  Laura Bowman was named to the CHA All-Rookie team.  

Coach Josh Brandewene took a leave of absence from his duties in January, 2016, and eventually left the program.  Dean Jackson replaced Brandwene as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2016-17 season; the team ended the season with a 9-21-5 record (8-11-2 in CHA play), losing 2-1 to RIT in the opening round of the CHA Tournament.  Senior Laura Bowman became the first Nittany Lion to amass 100 career points, and the first to be named to the All-Conference 1st team.  For the 4th straight season, Penn State won the CHA Team Sportsmanship Award, signifying the team taking the fewest penalty minutes (154) during 20 regular season Conferences games.

In June, Jeff Kampersel was named the new head coach.  Kampersel coached the last 15 seasons at Princeton (previous home of PSU men’s coach Guy Gadowsky), where his teams amassed 327 victories.


Penn State continued improvoing in the 2018-2019 season, finishing with a 13-14-9 record (6-9-5 in the CHA).  Once again the Lions won their opening round game of the CHA Tournament (over RIT, 4-1), and then losing in the semi-final round (again to Robert Morris, 2-1).  Forward Natalie Heising, 2018 CHA Freshman of the Year, earned 1st team All-Conference honors, while defender Jenna Brenneman and goalkeeper Kelsey Crow made the 2nd team.  Following the season, defender Jessica Adolfsson was named to the Swedish National Team roster for the Women’s World Championships  



Laura Bowman (2014-17)

2017 1st Team All-CHA
1st PSU player with 100 career points
2017 2nd Team CoSIDA Academic All-American
2015, 2016 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar
2014 CHA Student-Athlete of the Year



CHA Best Defensive Forward – Micayla Catazariti (co-winner, 2016).

1st Team All-CHA – Laura Bowman (2017),  Kelsey Crow (2018), Natalie Heising (2019).

CHA rookie of the Year- Natalie Heising (2018)

  • No labels