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Nittany Lions Taking Positives from Syracuse Series

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By Brian McLaughlin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK - The Nittany Lions fell twice to Syracuse this weekend losing 3-2 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday, both in overtime.

Megan Quinn found the back of the net for the winner in the series opener, and Savannah Rennie converted on a breakaway chance to seal the victory in the second matchup. 

"Our kids played hard and it's disheartening too lose twice in that way. We put ourselves in position to get in to overtime and we played with a lot of heart and played hard," head coach Jeff Kampersal said. "We didn't generate enough chances, we had flurries at times in overtime and we made some nice plays but made a bad read. But we have to learn how to win." 

Hannah Ehresmann was a force in the net all weekend for the Nittany Lions notching 35 and 32 saves in each game respectively.  

"She's (Ehresmann) played great all year from day one to know and she is the primary reason we are able to stay in these games and be one of the better teams in the country defensively," Kampersal said.

The second game of the series was Penn State's Skate for the Cure game, drawing the third-largest crowd in the history of women's ice hockey at Pegula Ice Arena with 1,387 fans in attendance. 

"That (crowd) was amazing. Hopefully they come back because we do have a good group and we will get better and it will be a better product for them to watch," Kampersal said.

On the ice Penn State's special teams dominated on Saturday, not allowing one goal on five power play opportunities for the Orange. The Nittany Lions were able to score on one power play chance of their own, but only went 1-for-6 on the day. 

"I just try to tell them stay in lanes because they are a talented group." Kampersal said. "It was a weird kind of game but we stepped up in those occasions, but we can't put ourselves in them in the first place."

The season has been full of close matchups for Penn State including now 12 games going to overtime. In Kampersal's first season at the helm of the program, the team is still trying to get over the hump in these close games.

"We have had eight ties and I think three losses and an overtime win, and just catching a break and getting a positive feeling going," Kampersal said. We go to Robert Morris which is a tough task, we looked tired and that trip to Lindenwood was a tough epic task for us. Our kids looked like they were running on empty and we've got to figure out a way to stay in shape and get some rest."

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