Penn State Wins First Game of Season, Despite Penalties

Story posted November 29, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Jacob Cheris

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State defeated the Lindenwood Lions 3-0 for its first win of the season.

This was the first time that Penn State played with its young team. The Nittany Lions have nine freshmen, and head coach Jeff Kampersal had high praise for his freshman class. He also emphasized that this was a great team win.

“They bring a lot of enthusiasm and energy like they’re hockey players,” Kampersal said. “They spend a lot of time at the rink trying to improve their skill, and they love to play.”

Freshman goaltender Josie Bothun notched her first career win and shutout stopping all 23 Lindenwood shots.

“It was emotional because I missed having that game feeling so much, and it didn’t even hit me until this morning that I was playing a hockey game,” Bothun said.

The Penn State defense was also very good, blocking 15 shots, which made Bothun’s job a little easier. The defense also did a good job of breaking up odd-man rushes.

“I read them, and they read me, and I try to use my voice as much as possible,” Bothun said. “I told Mal [Uihlein] going into the third that I’m a very vocal goalie, so I try to use my voice as much as I possibly can, and they try to communicate with me as much as they possibly can.”

It was not a clean game, however, as it was filled with penalties. The two teams combined for 11 penalties, and each had three in the first period. As a result, Penn State scored two power-play goals, including one from freshman Carrie Byrnes, who notched the first goal of the game and her first as Nittany Lion. This ended up being the game-deciding goal.

“At first I was really nervous, but then when I got my first shift under my belt, I was just communicating with my linemates, and they made it easier,” Byrnes said.

Byrnes is also looking to improve her speed for tomorrow's matchup. Her goal was a backhand shot in front of the net.

The second goal of the game was also on the power play from captain Natalie Heising, who also had the empty net goal to seal the deal.

Penn State played a complete game, firing pucks on net with 41 shots on goal, playing sound defensively, and getting steller goaltending. The Nittany Lions hope to carry that momentum in tomorrow's game at Pegula Ice Arena at 2 p.m.

 

Jacob Cheris is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jacobcheris19@gmail.com.