No. 12 Penn State Exorcizes Its Demons By Defeating Syracuse
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State women's hockey came back into CHA play on a mission, defeating the Syracuse Orange 4-0 with a strong all-around performance.
Heading into the game, Penn State was 5-30-8 all-time against Syracuse, and got four of its five wins against the Orange just in the past few seasons.
“Syracuse and Mercyhurst are teams that have been in our way for the past five years,” coach Jeff Kampersal said. “It was good to get the W in the fashion that we did.”
Since both teams came back into CHA play, the first period was a back and forth affair with goaltenders Josie Bothun of Penn State and Arielle DeSmet of Syracuse making big time saves.
In the middle of the first, Penn State took a penalty, giving a strong Syracuse power play the chance to strike first. However, Josie Bothun did not budge, saving all four shots on that power play.
“Josie is awesome,” Kampersal said. “She’s really good on the penalty kill.”
With just under a minute to go in the first, Penn State’s Kiara Zanon was able to find the back of the net off a cross-ice feed from Olivia Wallin to put the Nittany Lions up one.
The first period ended with Penn State up by one, but that didn’t stop Zanon from continuing to help her team out as she found Izzy Heminger late in the second period to double Penn State’s lead.
Zanon wouldn’t stop there as just twenty seconds later, she found Alyssa Machado in the slot and put Penn State up by three. Zanon has been transitioning to the wing throughout the season, which proved to be successful as Zanon finished with three points.
“I think as a winger you’re a little less involved in the D zone,” Zanon said. “So it’s really fun. I think you can get some more offense from flying into the zone.”
Penn State didn’t stop itsscoring there, as in the third period, a Syracuse turnover right in front of DeSmet landed right on the tape of Tessa Janecke’s stick as she hammered home her team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Even with a couple of late chances for the Orange, Bothun stayed strong to keep her shutout intact, giving the Nittany Lions the 4-0 win.
“I thought we really had control of the game,” Kampersal said. “We were able to possess the puck for most of it.”
Penn State improves to 12-8-1 on the season and 4-1-0 in conference play while Syracuse drops to 7-10-1 on the season and suffers its first loss in conference play. These two will clash once again Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
Tim Rogers is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.