Penn State Ties Robert Morris to End Series
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Nittany Lions, coming off one of their worst losses on the season, were able to come away with the tie against Robert Morris, 2-2, on Saturday at Pegula Ice Arena.
“I thought they played really really well,” head coach Jeff Kampersal said. “Robert Morris is obviously a pretty solid team. They’re well coached, but we battled in there.”
Penn State was given a power play early on in the game and were able to capitalize off of it, with a goal scored by freshman Jessica Adolfsson.
The power play helped out the Nittany Lions today in a big way, as they went 2-3 on power play opportunities.
“Honestly it has been a huge competition with power plays, so we have three power play units and it’s just been a huge competition like who can score in practice,” Penn State junior Abby Welch said. “In a way I think that’s the best thing for this team is competing against each other but for each other. You’re not necessarily competing against each other, but you’re pushing one another to do better.”
After the first goal by Penn State, Robert Morris answered in the second period with a power-play goal of their own by Amber Rennie.
The defenses on both ends really stepped up for the rest of that second period to keep it at a 1-1 tie entering into the third.
“The defense who struggled to bring the puck out yesterday did a much better job breaking off through the middle and again pinning down the [offense] and taking care of your business in the [defensive] end,” Kampersal said.
Robert Morris came out firing in the third period and were rewarded early with the only even strength goal of the game by Lexi Templeman to give them a 2-1 lead.
About three minutes after the go-ahead goal from Robert Morris, Penn State junior Abby Welch scored the second power-play goal of the day for the Nittany Lions to tie the score again at 2-2.
“Honestly it was a group effort with everyone,” Welch said. “We broke out the puck really well and then [Slattery] did a really good job of beating the girl off the boards, and I was just kinda there and she had a nice pass to me and thankfully I got it through.”
With the game tied at the end of regulation, Penn State and Robert Morris went into a five-minute overtime where neither could really find a good look at the net.
Towards the end of the overtime Penn State junior Brooke Madsen thought she had a break-away attempt but was stopped by the Robert Morris defender. Kampersal and the Nittany Lion bench thought there should have been a penalty called on the play.
“I thought it was an egregious non-call,” Kampersal said. “From [referee’s] angle I think the player blocked his view and the other referee was at an angle where he couldn’t see it.”
The Nittany Lions junior goalie Jenna Brenneman received the start in net today after a down performance yesterday, where she was pulled in the third period. Brenneman recorded 20 saves off of 22 shots.
“Jenna is probably like one of the biggest keys on this team,” Welch said. “Everyone can count on her to make huge saves. She’s very sound in net; she doesn’t make big, huge motions when she makes saves which makes me feel very comfortable.”
The Nittany Lions take on Mercyhurst in a two-game series at Pegula Ice Arena next Friday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. and on Senior Day Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m.
Michael Daher is a junior broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email email@example.com.