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No. 14 Penn State Women’s Hockey Defeats No. 3 Wisconsin 4-1

No. 14 Penn State (1-0-0) defeated No. 3 Wisconsin (0-1-0) 4-1 in thrilling fashion to open up its season on Thursday at Pegula Ice Arena.

After going down 1-0 on a Wisconsin shorthanded goal, Penn State rallied to score four unanswered goals in the second and third periods. Tessa Janecke, who was named the CHA preseason Rookie of the Year, scored two of those goals.

How It Happened

Kiara Zanon and Olivia Wallin started on Penn State’s first line alongside Eleri Mackay, the senior transfer from Colgate. Meanwhile, Izzy Heminger and freshman Kendall Butze were given the nod on the top defensive pairing.

Both teams were back-and-forth to begin the game. Wisconsin started with a dangerous two-on-one scoring chance after a turnover, but goaltender Josie Bothun quickly put the Badger attack to rest. The Nittany Lions seized momentum and took multiple shots on goal, but they were repeatedly denied by Wisconsin goaltender Cami Kronish.

Penn State took the first power play of the game after forward Maddie Wheeler got booked for tripping. However, Wisconsin’s Casey O’Brien responded by scoring a short-handed two-on-one goal to make it 1-0 for the Badgers at 14:17 in the first period.

Penn State had several impressive chances during the remainder of the period, but couldn’t get it done against Kronish and Wisconsin’s defense. The Nittany Lions outshot the Badgers 10-8, but Wisconsin’s five blocked shots made the difference in the opening slate.

Wisconsin went on the power play to begin the second period, with freshman Tessa Janecke booked for body checking. Penn State killed it, with Bothun making an incredible save against a one-timer.

Then, at 8:08 in the period, Janecke sniped the puck into the back of the net to equalize the game 1-1. The CHA preseason Rookie of the Year had made her mark in her collegiate debut.

Once again, Janecke took a penalty, this time for tripping. Bothun’s talent was on full display, with multiple saves to successfully kill the penalty.

Janecke came out of the box like a heat-seeking missile, stealing the puck and setting up a two-on-one, which Kronish barely stopped.

Then, with Penn State having full momentum, Zanon tapped the puck into the Wisconsin net at 11:57 in the second period to give the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead, its first of the game.

Oddly enough, Karley Garcia took a penalty immediately after Penn State grabbed the lead for its second consecutive penalty right after a goal was scored. Penn State kept Wisconsin at bay once again. The second period ended with Penn State up 2-1.

Things were contentious to begin the third period. Wisconsin took a penalty to start, then immediately took another for cross-checking. Penn State took full advantage of its power play, with Janecke finding the back of the net for the second time of the night at 6:32 in the third period to make it 3-1 Penn State.

Penn State continued to outplay Wisconsin throughout the period. Everything was in sync, with the offense getting multiple scoring chances and Bothun remaining solid in goal.

Wisconsin pulled Kronish, and Julie Gough scored an empty-netter to make it 4-1 Penn State with less than one minute remaining in regulation. Penn State upset a heavyweight to begin its season, defeating Wisconsin 4-1.

Takeaways

  • Tessa Janecke was incredible in her debut. Aside from scoring twice, the CHA preseason Rookie of the Year continuously made her mark on the game by flying to the puck multiple times, setting up dangerous scoring chances more than once.
  • Josie Bothun was outstanding in Penn State’s victory. The junior netminder stopped 27 shots against a menacing Wisconsin offense.
  • Although Penn State won, giving up a shorthanded goal is unacceptable. That will not fly in future matchups, especially against teams of Wisconsin’s caliber.

What’s Next

Penn State and Wisconsin will finish the series tomorrow on Friday, September 23 with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a sophomore majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which can be both difficult and rewarding. If you want to debate anything about sports with him, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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