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No. 10 Penn State Women’s Hockey Eliminated From NCAA Tournament In 3-2 Triple Overtime Loss To Quinnipiac

No. 10 Penn State women’s hockey (27-9-2) made its NCAA Tournament debut when it took on No. 8 Quinnipiac (31-9-0) Thursday night in the first round.

The game lasted three overtimes, with the winning goal coming in the 110th minute from Quinnipiac, thus eliminating the Nittany Lions from the tournament.

How It Happened

Nittany Lions head coach Jeff Kampersal started the reliable junior Josie Bothun in net for the Nittany Lions, while Quinnipiac gave Logan Angers the start in goal.

The Nittany Lions got off to a fiery start, dominating the first five minutes of play and limiting Quinnipiac to just one shot. The Penn State offense crashed the net multiple times but was not able to find the back of the net early.

Quinnipiac struck first when a Penn State pass was intercepted in the defensive zone by Quinnipiac’s Shay Maloney who skated into the slot and beat Bothun on the high side, crippling Penn State’s early momentum.

The next few minutes belonged to Quinnipiac as it answered Penn State’s offensive run opportunities with a run of its own. Bothun made sure the game stayed close by stringing together five saves before Penn State took hold of the puck and was able to settle into the game once again.

Despite long shifts and tired bodies, the Nittany Lions managed to hold off Quinnipiac while taking a few high-percentage shots of their own. Despite Nittany Lion pressure, Angers remained perfect through one and the Nittany Lions skated into the second period down 1-0.

Shorter shifts were a key point in Penn State’s game plan during the period of long change, especially with sustained offensive pressure from Quinnipiac.

Janecke was called for bodychecking with three minutes gone in the second period and Quinnipiac went to the power play. Penn State put together a flawless penalty kill with the best scoring chance for either team coming on a shorthanded two-on-one for Penn State that was saved by Angers.

Much of the second period proved to be a goaltenders matchup, with both goalies making tremendous saves on great offensive chances.

The Nittany Lions finally broke through late in the second period after Olivia Wallin and Kiara Zanon skated into a two-on-one. After a pass around a sprawled-out defender, Zanon beat Angers to tie the game at one apiece.

Not thirty seconds later, Penn State was sent to the power play after a tripping call on Quinnipiac. Penn State cashed in on the advantage after a deflection by Olivia Wallin found the back of the net and gave the Nittany Lions their first lead of the game.

After the goal, it was smooth sailing for the remainder of the second period for the Nittany Lions. The only scare came on a loose rebound off of Bothun who made a spectacular save on the put-back to keep the game at 2-1 as the second period expired.

The third period got off to a very slow start as neither team was able to produce any scoring chances and both teams iced the puck multiple times.

Quinnipiac went on the advantage once more after Penn State was called for too many players on the ice. Bothun quickly became the star of the successful penalty kill after making a save on what looked like a certain goal for Quinnipiac.

After nearly 14 minutes of defensive domination on both sides, Bothun, having lost both her blocker and her stick, was unable to stop a wrister from Kate Reilly that knotted the game at two with six minutes left.

In what ended up being the best chance for Penn State late in the period, Tessa Janecke broke out in a one-on-one in the offensive zone and was tripped up by a Quinnipiac defender. The referees, reluctant to make a call all night long, did not call the trip and the teams played on.

Goaltenders continued to reign supreme late in the third and the teams headed to a full strength, sudden death overtime.

The first overtime proved to be an extremely fast-paced and tight period of hockey. Both teams played suffocating defense through much of the period, causing scoring chances to be extremely rare.

Quinnipiac was able to find its footing right around the ten-minute mark in the period, keeping the puck in the offensive zone for two straight minutes. Bothun continued her stellar play and kept the Nittany Lion’s season alive during the Quinnipiac onslaught.

Penn State struggled to mount any offense at all but managed to survive the first overtime on the heels of exceptional defensive play.

Four periods of hockey wasn’t enough to separate the two teams, and both teams headed to a much-needed intermission after a first overtime that had minimal stoppages.

Each team traded blows fairly evenly in the second overtime period, but goaltenders and defense continued to run the show.

Tired legs and fatigue started to set in for both teams, which slowed the game down and allowed offenses to set up and create scoring chances.

After an altercation behind Penn State’s net with three minutes left in the second overtime period, both teams were penalized for roughing and went to a four-on-four. No chances came out of the four-on-four and the teams headed to an unprecedented third overtime.

After 110 minutes of action, Quinnipiac’s Madison Chandler snuck the puck just inside the outstretched arm of Bothun, ending Penn State’s historic season.

Takeaways

  • Josie Bothun had an extraordinary game. The junior goalie registered 55 saves in the loss.
  • The Nittany Lions are in good hands, freshmen Tessa Janecke and Kendall Butze are two returning stars, and the Nittany Lions will be happy to have their help in building the program over the next three years.
  • The Penn State women’s hockey team should be incredibly proud of the way the 2022-23 campaign went. The team is comprised of multiple award winners and all-team selections who brought Penn State its first CHA Tournament championship along with its first NCAA tournament berth. A marathon game like Thursdays was a fitting, albeit extremely disappointing end to a great season.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will head back to State College and enjoy some much-needed rest over the offseason before returning to competition this September.

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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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