Penn State women’s hockey upsets Wisconsin for opening night win
No. 14 Penn State knocked off No. 3 Wisconsin in the first women’s college hockey game of the season.
Nittany Lion coach Jeff Kampersal said it was one of the biggest wins during his time at Penn State.
“I’ve coached a lot of years and this is one of the most special wins,” Kampersal said.
Kampersal added that the Badgers “took it to [the blue and white],” when it played in Madison, Wisconsin, a few years back and is proud of the improvement the team has made in that time.
In the opening minutes of the tilt, the Nittany Lions dominated with numerous high-danger chances. They were eventually rewarded with a power play.
However, Penn State failed to capitalize on the opportunity. Instead, Wisconsin’s Casey O’Brien slammed home the opening goal off a feed from Lacey Eden.
The Badgers were able to take advantage of an odd-woman rush with most of the Nittany Lion players in the Wisconsin zone. Eden and O’Brien were able to execute an unorthodox 2-on-1 opportunity for the first goal.
That tally would hold until about midway through the second period when freshman Tessa Janecke came flying in on the nearside wing to beat Wisconsin goaltender Cami Kronish and tie the game up.
Just seconds after her first collegiate goal the freshman would take a penalty and send Wisconsin on its first power play of the new season.
Penn State would kill off that penalty and get right back down to business in the offensive zone. Kiara Zanon would slam in Penn State’s second goal of the night with about eight minutes to play in the middle frame.
However, once again the blue and white committed a penalty just seconds after scoring a goal, a trend that happened three times.
Despite the numerous penalties, Penn State was able to stay resilient going 5/5 on the penalty kill.
Junior goaltender and second star of the night Josie Bothun said “all in” is one of the team’s new sayings when it comes to blocking shots and sticking together in situations like the penalty kill.
In the third period, the Nittany Lions buckled down. The freshman Janecke made another big mark on her debut day, scoring her second goal of the night.
Janeckie capitalized off a Badger turnover and buried the chance top-shelf for a Nittany Lion power play goal.
Penn State would ride the adrenaline wave to hold off Wisconsin for the win.
Coach Kampersal credited his team’s readiness with their emphasis on culture.
“Since the last game last season, players have worked incredibly hard on culture and what they want to accomplish this year,” Kampersal said.
It was a statement win for Penn State, but they will look to add an exclamation point tomorrow night when they face Wisconsin again in the series finale.
Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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