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No. 11 Penn State Women’s Hockey Wins One In Series Against No. 14 Boston College

No. 11 Penn State women’s hockey (3-4-1) won one game and tied the second one in its series against No. 14 Boston College (3-2-1) in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Winning the first game 3-2, the Nittany Lions hung on to their lead after a late surge and gave coach Jeff Kampersal his 400th career win. In game two, the Nittany Lions also had a two-goal night from freshman Tessa Janecke in a 2-2 overtime tie in a game where Boston College goalie Abigail Levy stood tall against an onslaught of quality shots.

Game One

To start the series, captain Kiara Zanon scored early in the first period on a silky breakaway dangle coming off of an unsettled neutral zone possession for the Eagles.

Boston College played an aggressive forecheck from the onset of the game but the discipline and patience of the Nittany Lions allowed them entrance to the offensive zone throughout the period. Once in the zone, the offense found the open skater on multiple occasions, leading to the second goal in the contest from Karley Garcia, which was her first of the season.

To end the first period, Zanon had another opportunity to punish Boston College on the break, this time being cut down in front of the net on a hooking penalty, sending Penn State to the intermission with a power play and a lead.

The Nittany Lions struggled on the advantage, as they faced the sixth-best penalty kill in Division I hockey and were unable to create meaningful opportunities. To end a second period in which Penn State controlled most of the puck, Maddy Christian found fellow freshman Leah Stecker in the low slot for a one-time finish and a 3-0 lead into the third.

The Boston College Eagles mounted a comeback in the third period by playing physical, possession-minded hockey, forcing most efforts from Penn State into the wall where the pinned puck created opportunities for confusion upon its exit from the pile. Maintaining a clean sheet well into the third period, junior net-minder Josie Bothun was bested by Hockey East Player of the Week Hannah Bilka on a defensive mistake turned disaster in the slot.

The Nittany Lions were granted opportunities for insurance goals on the power play after chippy play led to the Eagles’ second kill of the night but again were unable to generate open shots. Immediately following the kill, Boston College found Kate Ham cherry picking on the clear for a breakaway goal. After a tense minute of 5-on-6 defense when Bothun turned away chance after chance, the Nittany Lions survived for a 3-2 victory and their first win in program history against the Eagles.

Game Two

Hoping to repeat the result from the day prior, the Nittany Lions led the charge early and netted a goal early in the first, only for it to be called back off of the skate of Eleri MacKay in a controversial call. The rest of the first period went back and forth with no team gaining an edge, sending the game into the intermission scoreless.

In the second period, the Nittany Lions found themselves on the penalty kill and thwarted Boston College at every step of its attack. A turnover turned break for Penn State led to a two-on-one advantage and a shorthanded goal for freshman Tessa Janecke.

Penn State was unable to maintain the lead for long, as Boston College defenseman Alexie Guay tied the game at one apiece off a fast break opportunity of her own.

Not to be outdone, Janecke doubled down with two minutes left in the second period, slotting another goal past graduate goaltender Abigail Levi. This goal was the result of constant pressure by the Nittany Lions’ offense, not allowing Boston College a line change for a whole minute and a half of play and creating an uncontested shot on a fatigued and bunched up Eagles’ defense that could not clear the puck.

Halfway into the third period, Boston College knotted the game up at 2-2 off of a goal from forward Abby Newhook and pressed its advantage, testing Bothun again and again. Both goalies finished regulation with incredible saves in a back-and-forth period and pushed the game into overtime.

Overtime, while scoreless, was an offensive exhibition from Penn State. The Nittany Lions proved adept at creating the odd-man rush, and Boston College had to call upon Levy to make outstanding saves throughout the period. And make outstanding saves she did, turning away every shot and ending the game with a tie

Takeaways

  • Junior goalie Josie Bothun started her 62nd straight game for the Nittany Lions, saving 23 of 25 shots in game one and 26 of 28 shots in game two. She provided Penn State with consistent play that helped it escape Massachusetts with no losses.
  • Coach Jeff Kampersal earned his 400th career win and the first win over Boston College in team history on Friday night. Kampersal, who has led Penn State since 2017, now owns a 400-322-94 record in his coaching career.
  • Tessa Janecke posted her second multi-goal game of her freshman season and also served as a vital playmaker in both games. Janecke has been a crucial part of Penn State’s squad so far this season.
  • Penn State was unable to convert on any of its four power plays of the series. In order to experience continued and consistent success, it’s power play woes will need to be fixed up.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions return to Happy Valley to play a two-game home series against Franklin Pierce beginning on Sunday, October 22, at Pegula Ice Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

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About the Author

Jack Scott

Jack is a sophomore aerospace engineer from Pittsburgh, PA. Sometimes, he enjoys the misunderstanding of his friends and family that Penn State Club Ski Racing may be a D1 sport and usually won't correct them. Jack is way too into Thundercat for his own good. Follow him on Twitter @joscottIV and Instagram @jackscott._iv

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