Series Preview: Penn State Women’s Hockey vs. RIT
No. 12 Penn State was hot throughout December. The Nittany Lions look to remain that way to start off the new year in their series against RIT towards the end of this week.
Penn State has won five straight games, contributing to its record of 15-8-1.
The blue and white are coming off a series sweep against the LIU Sharks where goaltender Josie Bothun put up a stellar performance in both games. In the combined outings, she stopped 36-of-40 shots faced, resulting in her 13th and 14th wins this season. Bothum has dominated all season with a .915 GAA, one of the best in the league.
On offense, Izzy Heminger tallied her fourth straight multi-point game of the year with two assists, and Penn State showered LIU goaltender Tindra Holm with 49 shots in the second game of the series.
Tessa Janecke also put forth an impressive showing with two goals and three assists across the weekend as she continues her award-winning season. To round out 2022, Janecke was named the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) women’s hockey National Rookie of the Month for December. She is the third Penn State player to win a national player of the month award after Kiara Zanon and Josie Bothun in 2020 and 2021.
RIT hasn’t had the same success as the Nittany Lions as of late, losing 15 straight games, resulting in a mere 2-19-0 record on the season and 0-6-0 record in the CHA. The Tigers fell 3-0 in their most recent loss to St. Thomas, despite a 31-save night for goaltender Sarah Coe. RIT has especially struggled on the road with 16 losses. Coe hasn’t been helped by a lackluster offense. In the series against St. Thomas, the Tigers only scored one goal while their opponent tallied eight.
A losing season has been a trend for the Tigers in recent years. They haven’t mustered more than two wins in a season since the 2019-2020 when they went 12-19-4.
This week, the two teams will face off for the 50th time. The Nittany Lions have historically gotten the better of RIT, winning 28 of the games and going 7-1-2 in the last 10 matchups. Most recently, Penn State bested the Tigers with a 2-0 win on Feb. 19, 2022.
Bothun will enter the game on Friday as the blue and white’s leader in goaltender games played after overtaking Hannah Ehresmann who played for Penn State from 2014-2018. The Nittany Lions are also coming into the game as an offensive powerhouse, ranking fifth in the nation in goals scored after their dominant sweep against LIU.
Friday’s puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. start on Saturday in Pegula Ice Arena.
Cailey Thalman is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.