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No. 10 Penn State Women’s Hockey Flattens Lindenwood, Advances To CHA Tournament Final

Penn State women’s hockey (26-8-2) completed its sweep of Lindenwood (5-27-0) in the inaugural round of the CHA Tournament. Following Friday’s victory, the Nittany Lions had to finish off Lindenwood fast in order to the final next weekend.

Penn State quickly put the pressure on Lindenwood early but struggled to find the back of the net. A powerplay goal by Kendall Butze opened up the scoring and it did not stop until the final buzzer. On the other side of the ice, Josie Bothun was a brick wall as always, maintaining a shutout until the final three minutes of the game.

How It Happened

Coach Kampersal decided to make a change to his starting bunch, opting for Tessa Janecke’s line with Eleri MacKay and Julie Gough, along with Lyndie Lobdell and Karley Garcia. Josie Bothun once again started in net for the Nittany Lions, while Natalie Ferenc got the start for Lindenwood.

The Nittany Lions kept the puck in the offensive zone for much of the first period, crashing the net and generating a multitude of scoring opportunities that they were unable to cash in on.

Lindenwood gifted Penn State three powerplays in the first period, with the first coming at the one minute mark after a too many players on the ice call.

After a successful penalty kill, Lindenwood’s Sarah Davies got called for a cross check and put Penn State back on the advantage. This time, Kendall Butze broke through and put the Nittany Lions on the board.

Penn State continued to dominate time of possession and total shots before another Lindenwood penalty put them on another power play. Kiara Zanon collected a rebound and netted a power play goal, her 25th goal of the season with just over three minutes left in the period.

Seconds later, Lexi Bedier fired a shot that trickled between the blockers of Ferenc, giving the Nittany Lions a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period.

After outshooting Lindenwood 28-4 in the first, the Nittany Lions returned from the break with the same intensity. It took only five minutes for Penn State to break through for the first time in the second period, on the heels of a Janecke goal and a beautiful assist from Izzy Heminger.

Penn State’s penalty kill was brought out after a hooking call on Heminger but the Nittany Lions were able to routinely kill the penalty and allowed only two shots before getting back to full strength.

With just a minute left in the period, Penn State converted again when Alyssa Machado capitalized on a long rebound, and the Nittany Lions headed to the final frame with a 5-0 lead.

Just 11 seconds into the third period, Janecke scored her second goal after finding the puck at center ice and skating through the defense for a one-on-one with Ferenc.

Janecke wasn’t finished though, as she completed just the second postseason hat trick in Penn State history after beating Ferenc again not five minutes later.

Penn State’s only misstep of the day came with three minutes left in the game when Sydney Rarick was able to sneak the puck by Bothun, making the final score 7-1.

Takeaways

  • Tessa Janecke is heating up at the right time for the Nittany Lions. The Team USA forward slowed down in the last few weeks of the regular season, but she showed up in a big way this weekend, tallying 6 points in the series on three goals and three assists.
  • The Nittany Lions have momentum on their side going into the CHA tournament final, having not lost a game since November 25.

Whats Next?

The Nittany Lions will be back in action for the CHA tournament championship game against the winner of the semifinal matchup between No. 2 Mercyhurst and No. 3 Syracuse. The final will be held on March 4 in Pegula Ice Arena.

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About the Author

CJ Doebler

CJ is a junior double majoring in broadcast journalism and finance. He is from Northumberland, Pa, just east of State College. CJ is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan, but chooses to ignore the Pirates' existence. For the occasional random retweet and/or bad take, follow @CDoebler on Twitter. All complaints can be sent to [email protected].

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