Recently in Women's Hockey Category

12905687.jpeg

By Patrick Anglin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The sound of pads crashing into the glass. The sight of skates in the air as players fly across the ice. This was the scene for most of the weekend at Pegula Ice Arena. Penn State faced a great opposition this weekend, with the reigning national champions No. 2 Clarkson coming to town. The Nittany Lions were not fazed however, able to stand strong and match their opponent's physicality.

 

Head Coach Jeff Kampersal acknowledged the fact that Clarkson was a top-tier program, but credited his players for stepping up to the challenge.

 

"They're a big physical team, really good on the wall and with their 50/50 battles," Kampersal said. "I thought we were ready for them."

 

Both teams played extremely tough throughout the weekend series, showcasing some of the strengths for each respective program. Over the course of the weekend, Penn State got off 31 shot attempts and goalie Daniela Paniccia recorded 47 saves.

 

Clarkson was victorious on both Friday night and Saturday night, with a score of 2-0 in both games. However, there were still many bright spots for the Lions to recognize as they move forward, and many signs of improvement to build upon for future growth.

 

"Everything we practiced, we followed through on," Kampersal said. "I'm proud of our players, I thought they did a great job. Everybody played tough."

 

Kampersal has made it clear what kind of effort and attitude he wants from all of his players. The team is living by the mantra that it's better to be feared.

 

"We want to be really hard to play against, we want to be physical." Kampersal said. "I want teams to know that when they play Penn State, they're going to have to grind to beat us"

 

Kampersal's first season at Penn State is all about competing and creating a culture for the team moving forwards. This includes providing some of the younger players on the team, whom he believes are ready, with extended playing time.

 

"Our freshman... are special players," Kampersal said. "The players we have in the lineup are really coachable, they work hard. When we had Madsen, Heising, Rankin and together on the ice in the last five minutes, we had some offense open up for us." He added that the lines may change a bit in the future, but he likes what he sees from every player that gets an opportunity to play.

 

While the young players show great potential for this season and the future of the program, Kampersal reminded the media that their success wouldn't be possible without strong play and leadership from the older players.

 

"Bella, Crow, and Hardy are great captains and leaders". Kampersal said. He credits the strong leadership from the upperclassmen and the comradery among the players one as of the team's greatest strengths.

 

Senior captain Bella Sutton takes great pride in the effort given by the younger players. She and her fellow upperclassmen are leading by example, and trying to pass on some positive qualities and a strong mindset.

 

"The newbies as a whole are seeing a lot of playing time... we believe in them," Sutton said. "We want them and we need them to be our best players at some times. We want them to step up to the challenge."

 

Both the young and old Nittany Lions will look to step up to that challenge as the season goes on.

12901676.jpeg

By Patrick Anglin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Two is better than one, or at least that's how the timeless adage goes. That simple phrase applies to many things in life, including the current goalie situation for the women's hockey team. Why have one talented goalie, when you can have two, both ready to dominate at a minute's notice. That's the current situation for Penn State with goalies Hannah Ehressman and Daniela Paniccia.

 

Senior Hannah Ehressman has spent her last three years at Penn State perfecting her craft, but success in hockey is nothing new to her. Before stepping foot on a college campus, she was already a two-time state champion in hockey at Minnetonka High School in her hometown of Minnetonka, Minnesota. Outside of school, she played three years for the Minnesota Junior Whitecaps and spent two years as a player in the Minnesota Girls' elite league.

 

As soon as she arrived and began her career at Penn State, the accolades began to pile up, including a CHA Rookie of the Week Award and multiple CHA Goalie of the Week Awards. Her achievements don't stop on the ice, as she is proven to be very well-rounded with her success in the classroom. The accounting major has been a member of the CHA All-Academic team her first three years at school, and a member of the Big Ten All-Academic team the past two years, including a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar award.

 

Ehressman's recipe for success in all mediums of life is simple.

 

"It takes a lot of hard work... and being the best you're asked to," she said.

 

For sophomore Daniela Paniccia, Penn State hockey runs in the family; her older sister Nicole was a goalie for the school from 2012-2014. Before she came to Penn State, Paniccia played three seasons for the Oakville Junior Hornets. She is ranked second all-time in the Providence Women's Hockey League with a whopping 14 shutouts.

 

Her career at Penn State has been just as spectacular, earning various accolades through her freshman year. She has earned CHA Rookie of the Week honors, CHA Goalie of the week honors multiple times, and CHA Goalie of the Month for her performance last October. Academically, the liberal arts major is a great success, earning CHA All-Academic honors last year.

 

Paniccia acknowledges her wide range of accomplishments, but consistently remains humble.

 

"It's always nice to have the accolades, but it's a team effort." Paniccia said. "Those things can't be done without a strong team behind it."

 

Head coach Jeff Kampersal is the one of the biggest fans of the 1-2 punch that the Nittany Lions pack at goalie. He is never concerned about any drop off in performance when Paniccia steps on the ice for Ehressman.

 

"When she's in, she doesn't miss a beat... She's played great for four periods now, and she's only getting better." Kampersal said about his sophomore goalie. When asked about what it's like to see the two players push each other he added, "It's great to see some good, healthy competition on our team."

 

Both goalies have spent time competing on the ice this season. 

 

Ehressman has played great hockey in the first two weeks of the season. In the first two games against Minnesota Duluth, she earned 60 total saves, including a 38 save performance in the second game. She earned CHA Goalie of the Week honors for her performance. In the third game of the season, played against Union, Ehressman recorded 11 saves, before Paniccia finished out the weekend.

 

Whenever Paniccia is needed, she's always ready to step up for her teammates. She came into game three at the start of the third period after getting zero shots in warmups beforehand. Of course, it didn't matter, as she didn't miss a beat. She kept Union off the board and recorded four saves. She then started the entirety of game four and picked up right where she left off the game before, recording 20 saves, including in the overtime period. She earned the CHA Goalie of the Week award for her efforts.

 

Having two hard-working, top-tier goalies is an enviable position to be in. No matter who's in goal for the Nittany Lions come game day, there will be widespread confidence that they have the defensive advantage.

12890750.jpeg

By Patrick Anglin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions notched their first win of the season in Friday night's matchup with a 3-1 victory over Union. On Saturday, the Lions and Dutchwomen finished with one goal each to end in a tie, moving Penn State to 1-2-1 on the season.

 

During the week, the team stressed the importance of getting the offense going and putting more shots on goal. It seems as if their offensive work in practice paid off, as they put up 37 shots with three goals on Friday night. The first goal of the game, and on the season for the Nittany Lions, was a shorthanded goal from senior forward Chrsti Vetter during the second period (4:42).

 

"Honestly it wasn't anything I saw, it's what I didn't see." Vetter said about her goal to the media after the game with a wide smile. "I didn't see a defender, so I said 'okay let's go!'"

 

Other goals for the Nittany Lions came from junior forward Meike Meilleur in the second (8:14) and freshman forward Shea Nelson in the third (8:35). Nelson's goal was her first career goal at Penn State.

 

Head coach Jeff Kampersal was thoroughly satisfied with his teams' performance.

 

"It was nice to get a puck past another goalie for a change." Kampersal said. "The good sign is that we haven't given up many easy shots, and that's a sign of suffocating defense."

 

A point of concern was the amount of penalties called on the day, with four for each team, but Kampersal brushed off any worry.

 

"We played pretty clean... In the East they end up calling more than in the West, but it's good practice for us," he explained. "We haven't practiced it too much but to see our team have success on the kill is great."

 

Defense was a main focus of the game after letting up too many shots in the previous weekend, and they succeeded in locking their opponent down, limiting Union to only 16 shots on Friday night.

 

The second game of the series proved to be a much more physical battle, with Union in the penalty only two minutes into the game. The Nittany Lions were able to continue their offensive aggressiveness, totaling 28 shots on the day, opposed to Union's 21.

 

Union's only goal of the day came on a power play during the 2nd (9:30), but the Nittany Lions immediately picked up the intensity and were able to fire back with a goal by freshman forward Katie Rankin. Rankin spoke to the media on Wednesday about contributing as a freshman, and she was able to make a large one with her equalizing goal, the first of her career, that would secure the tie.

 

"It's a pretty incredible feeling." Rankin told the media after the game. "I've been thinking about it for a while, and I had a lot of opportunities. It was a special one for me."

 

"Our focus needs to be shooting from everywhere." senior captain Bella Sutton said on what the team needs to improve upon moving forwards. "We have a lot of chances, but we need to work on burying them."

 

Coach Kampersal entered his post-game press conference Saturday with his son, who was smiling brightly and flashing a balloon sword. While his son was enthusiastic, Kampersal voiced the need to keep improving. 

 

"A little frustrated, I thought we played well for 40 of the 65," he said. "I think we thought it was going to be easy, and it wasn't. We have a lot to work on."

 

The Nittany Lions have a week to prepare and keep working for another home series next week at Pegula, against the Clarkson Golden Knights. Clarkson is 3-0-1 on the season and are led by head coach Matt Desrosiers. 

12886248.jpeg

By: Patrick Anglin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- There is a certain buzz throughout Pegula Ice Arena leading up to the first home game of the season for the Nittany Lions. Players and coaches seem to be working with extra intensity, looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd.

New head coach Jeff Kampersal started his media session Wednesday complementing Penn State's culture and the beautiful ice arena.

"I love the pride the Penn State community has. Pegula seems like it is a really special place," he said heading into the team's home opening weekend series vs. Union.  "It will be even more special once I can make my own memories with this team, hopefully starting this weekend." 

Kampersal is excited to play in front of the home crowd, and hopes that the team performs to the best of its abilities. The team is hoping the attendance and atmosphere grows even more in this coming year. A big part of playing any sport is the energy of the home crowd, and the team wants to make sure that they give the fans a memorable experience. 

"We know that we need to be able to generate some offense. We want to score goals, get the horn blowing, and get people in the crowd involved," Kampersal said.  "We want to be an exciting brand of hockey, and of course a winning brand as well. There is always good hockey being played, but spectators want to see shots and goals."

Kampersal is certain that the on-ice product come Friday night is one that will make all members of the Penn State community swell with pride. When asked about the direction he wants to take the program, he was all smiles and full of confidence in his team, emitting genuine belief that his team is fully prepared to make the next step. 

"We can be a top program, it's right there for us."

The coaches aren't the only ones looking forward to the home-opener; there's a certain buzz and excitement in the locker room as well. Senior goalie Hannah Ehresmann, who was honored with the CHA Goalie of the Week Award last weekend for her stellar 60-save two-game stretch, is certainly making an effort to appreciate the upcoming moment.

"It's always special playing any game at home, especially since Pegula is so amazing." Ehresmann detailed in her media session, with joy in her expression. "But it's even more special to me, as it's my last first-game of the season." Always focused on the team first though, the senior made it a point to add: "We need the team to treat it like any other game." 

When asked what the team needs to do to earn some wins this weekend, her answer was simple. "We need to stick to our game plan. Continue getting shots on net. Our work ethic was always there, which is the key to winning hockey games."

As a senior, Ehresmann has experienced the excitement and fun of playing at home before, but for the incoming freshman class, it will be a new experience entirely. Just thinking about stepping out onto the ice in front of the home crowd gets freshman forward Katie Rankin pumped up.

"I can't even imagine what the game is going to feel like," said Rankin, who posted four shot attempts last weekend in the games against Minnesota Duluth. "I'm excited to just have the opportunity. Come game time, everyone will be pumped up, and we want to set the tone for the rest of the year. I think it's going to be something very special." 

When asked if the offense learned from last weekend, where they were held scoreless in both games, Rankin seemed confident that things would turn around for them.

"We've worked on generating offensive opportunities in practice and we need to do that in the games this weekend," she said.  "We need to start better. It's all about having that go-hard mentality throughout the entire game." 

From the top down, it seems as if the entire team is on the same page. They have set the goal to keep a fiery intensity for the entire duration of their games, and to generate some exciting offense. It's safe to say that the future is bright for this team. Led by an innovative new coach, this young group of female athletes is ready to bring Penn State women's hockey to the next level, and they intend to make sure that all the fans crowded into Pegula enjoy every second of it. 

After two tough-fought matchups on the road at No. 5 Minnesota Duluth, the Penn State Women's Hockey team prepares for its home-opening weekend at Pegula Arena against Union NY. Puck-drop is set for 6:00 p.m. for Friday night's matchup and 3:00 p.m. for Saturday, as the Nittany Lions set their sights on getting their first win of the season and opening at home with a statement performance.

12871034.jpeg

By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Oftentimes, the non-conference portion of a team's schedule allows some room for growth. It's early in the season, and most teams are still trying to figure out their lines and rotations before they get into the meat of their schedule.

That is not the case for the Penn State women's hockey team, who opens up on the road at No. 5 Minnesota Duluth this weekend. The Nittany Lions have never been a team to shy away from a challenge, and the opening weekend test will serve as a benchmark to see just how far this team has come entering its sixth year as an NCAA Division I program. 

"It's one of those things that we have to come out fast and hard and strong," junior defenseman Kelsey Crow said. "We have a lot of new freshmen, so if we can come out of that weekend executing what we want to execute, that's a strong start." 

The Nittany Lions have seven new freshmen on campus this year, to go along with 17 returning players from last season. They have big shoes to fill, as the team must replace its top two goal scorers from last year in Amy Petersen and Laura Bowman.

In goal, Penn State returns both Hannah Ehresmann and Daniela Paniccia from a season ago, as well as adding new faces in Cam Leonard and Chantal Burke. 

Perhaps the most notable addition has been head coach Jeff Kampersal, who spent 21 years as the head coach at Princeton. Kampersal is the second head coach in Penn State history after helping the Tigers to two NCAA Tournaments and two Ivy League championships (2006, 2016) during his tenure there. 

One of Kampersal's main points has been to get the team to bond together this offseason, and, while they haven't necessarily had a lot of time to do so, they are certainly taking advantage of the opportunities they have. 

"There's a ping pong table in the locker room, and people are always over there playing ping pong," Kampersal said. "Even though it's more of a fun nature, they're competing hard. Hopefully that competition level carries over to the ice." 

Kampersal has noticed his team's excitement as the first game approaches, and he's hoping that energy is something they can sustain throughout the entire season on and off the ice.

"In the locker room now, there's a lot of heart and soul and a lot of kids that just love to play hockey. That's what we're hoping to bring out, hopefully that joy for them to come to the rink every day." 

A program like Penn State has its perks, with the success of the athletic department allowing for top facilities like Pegula Ice Arena, a high-quality venue not seen very often elsewhere in college hockey.

"The resources here are crazy, and we're trying to teach them to be grateful for everything they have," Kampersal said. 

Kampersal also wants to reinvent the culture at Penn State, bringing his own blue collar mindset over from his experience at Princeton.

 "We want to be really tough to play against and we want to be the best-shaped team," he said.  "That's going to be our brand; being tenacious and conditioned." 

The Nittany Lions have set their goals high, shooting for a CHA championship this season, and they all know that starts with a strong showing in the opening weeks against this tricky non-conference slate. 

Turning the corner for a program starts in practice, where Penn State has been working hard in a couple areas to make sure its firing on all cylinders this weekend.

"It starts with work ethic, we've been skating hard in practice all offseason," senior forward Aly Hardy said. 

"Our passing game has definitely improved for sure. If someone makes a mistake, we're not going to make it again," Crow said. "We see it, we understand it, we fix it." 

Puck drop on Friday is scheduled at 8 p.m. in Duluth. Saturday's game will begin at 4 p.m. The home slate begins next weekend with a visit from Union.

VIDEO: One-on-one with Jeff Kampersal

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It has been a little more than a month since Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour announced that Jeff Kampersal would take the reins of the Nittany Lion women's hockey team as the second head coach in program history.

Since his arrival on campus, Kampersal has been hard at work, securing his staff and of course, hitting the road recruiting. 

Catch up with Kampersal for a closer look at what fans can expect to see in Pegula Ice Arena this year as well as a snapshot of what's to come for the Nittany Lions in terms of his coaching philosophy and what matters most.

 

12487535.jpeg

By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - The regular season has come to a close, and now it's crunch time. Every play counts, and the Nittany Lions are getting into peak shape for the upcoming CHA tournament.

The single elimination format can be tricky for some, but the Nittany Lions are used to pressure and taking things one game at a time. It's something they've been doing all season and it doesn't change now.

"Preparation is no different, I think it's always important to keep everything familiar," interim head coach Dean Jackson said. "We're just doing what we do on a day-to-day basis."

There is, however, a bit more swagger in the locker room considering the team had a strong showing the last two weeks against Robert Morris and Syracuse, the top two teams in the conference. Every game matters, and it's almost like a fresh start for this team that has battled back from its share of adversity. 

"It's exciting. It keeps everyone upbeat and keeps everyone focused," Jackson said. "Everyone knows at this point of the season, it's a do-or-die mentality and it's amazing how teams really rise to the occasion when it's that circumstance."

Penn State finished conference play with 18 points, earning the No. 4 seed in the tournament. They will take on No. 5 RIT in the first round on Thursday, a team they have had some success against this season. 

The Nittany Lions swept RIT early on the road before earning a win and a tie at Pegula Ice Arena. In the tie, Penn State trailed by four goals in the third period before mounting a serious rally to force overtime and eventually a draw.

"When we played them up there [at RIT], we played a real solid weekend, we played some really good hockey," Jackson said. "In the second half when we saw them, we played really well in the first game. In the second game, they got out on us early but it was tremendous to see us bounce back and score four goals in 20 minutes."

With a win over RIT, the Nittany Lions would face No. 1 Robert Morris or No. 2 Syracuse in the semifinals, No. 3 Mercyhurst and No. 6 Lindenwood round out the bracket. 

This year's tournament will once again be held at the HARBORCENTER in Buffalo, the site of last year's CHA tournament as well. The Nittany Lions reached the semifinals of that event, losing in heartbreaking fashion to Syracuse in triple-overtime. 

"That's important, it's familiar," Jackson said. "When you start getting into venues where there's no experience there, we don't know what it's like. It takes a settling in period, trying to get acclimated. Fortunately, we've been up there before, so there's no real curveballs being thrown at us in the facility."

Puck drop is set for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against RIT. Should the Nittany Lions win, their second game will be some time Friday afternoon against Robert Morris, with a berth in Saturday's championship game at stake. The winner of the tournament will receive the CHA's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which begins the following week.

12476722.jpeg

By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - Senior weekend has come and gone, and the Nittany Lions find themselves in a similar position to where they were one week ago. They showed growth and improvement from the first to second game, but were ultimately unable to come away with a victory against Syracuse, dropping a 5-1 decision on Friday night and a 2-0 result Saturday.

On Friday, Penn State was never able to find an offensive rhythm, being outshot by the Orange, 29-17. The lone Penn State goal came from senior forward Amy Petersen early in the third period to cut the lead to 2-1 at that point. Laura Bowman and Bella Sutton picked up the assists. 

For Bowman, the assist was her 32nd point of the season, giving her the Penn State record for points in a single season.

Ultimately, the Nittany Lions were not able to mount the comeback.

"We just needed to buckle down," interim coach Dean Jackson said. "[Our defensive zone] is something we've been very solid with in the last month or so. A couple of mishaps here and there, and they capitalized. We clean up that, we don't give up the goals that we gave up today."

Not to be forgotten Friday night was the senior ceremony postgame, as Petersen, Bowman, Kelly Seward and Sarah Nielsen were honored for all they have contributed to the Penn State program in their four years on the team. 

That senior group led a strong effort Saturday, only surrendering two goals while limiting Syracuse to 23 shots. One of the two goals cannot be blamed on the defense, as it was an empty-netter late in the third period.

"Defense is something we wanted to focus on," Jackson said. "We brought it to the attention of the team postgame yesterday and then again today in the post-video session with the team. That was something we had been really strong at in the last little while and we wanted to make a point to get back to it."

Hannah Ehresmann put in a great effort in goal for Penn State as well, stopping 21 shots and only allowing one goal. She kept the Lions in the game, but in the end, they weren't able to put enough together on the offensive end to come out with a victory. 

"I thought we played extremely well, it's just one unfortunate event that got us down," Jackson said. "We had some opportunities and we executed the game plan really well. Give their goaltender credit, she made some big saves when we had those opportunities." 

The weekend's results, coupled with Mercyhurst's sweep at RIT, cement the Nittany Lions into the No. 4 seed in the upcoming CHA tournament. They will play No. 5 RIT on Thursday with an opportunity to face top overall seed Robert Morris if they beat the Tigers. 

The arrival of the tournament means a reset of sorts, as the only thing that matters from here on out is winning hockey games. If you win, you get to keep playing. 

"There are still a lot of positives. It's a reminder that we have an opportunity to play in the playoffs in this one game elimination. Anything can happen and we're in good shape," Jackson said. 

The first game of the tournament will be on Thursday at the HARBORCENTER in Buffalo. The time of the game is yet to be announced.

12467124.jpeg

By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - A lifetime of hard work. An eternity of practice and workouts. Four years donning the blue and white uniform.

One series.

That's all that remains at Pegula Ice Arena as four seniors will say farewell this weekend to the building in which they made so many memories.

"My favorite hockey-related memory is when we swept Mercyhurst," forward Laura Bowman said. "They were ranked No. 6 and we swept them." 

"Not hockey related, we got back from a road trip and we made it to the fourth quarter of the Ohio State (football) game," forward Amy Petersen said. "So that was pretty cool to be a part of since that's just a Penn State thing." 

Bowman and Petersen are joined by forward Sarah Nielsen and defenseman Kelly Seward to round out the senior class, a class that has won 42 games in its time at Penn State, the most in the brief history of the Division I hockey program. 

"They've been an instrumental part of building this program for the past four seasons," interim head coach Dean Jackson said. "They're definitely going to leave their mark. They made a big impact academically, athletically, and throughout their four years the program has achieved some firsts in statistical categories. They're all a big part of that." 

The last few weeks of a season can always be hectic, especially for those about to move on from the program, but the players are doing their best to not focus on the senior festivities surrounding this series. They want all attention on their play. 

"I haven't thought about [senior day] on my own, only when other people mention it to me," Seward said. "Especially with the last couple of weekends, the team has been playing really good and hockey has been the focus." 

This series is huge in terms of momentum for the Nittany Lions, as they come off an impressive split at No. 8 Robert Morris last weekend, and have won three of the last four. Syracuse comes in comfortably in second place in the CHA, and a good showing from Penn State will certainly give them some confidence headed into the CHA tournament next weekend in Buffalo. 

"Playing them right before playoffs, it just makes us want to beat them that much more when it comes to playoffs," Nielsen said. "I love it."

Penn State currently sits a point behind Mercyhurst for third place heading into the final regular season weekend. 

More than anything though, the seniors want to go out on a positive note, understanding the opportunity they have at hand and how important it is to them to finish the job.

"We're excited for the whole weekend," Bowman said. "I think we're most excited for the game since last time we played them, we had a few girls out. This time, we have a lot of them back. We're excited to show them what we have."

"They're going to be a team that plays 200 feet, they work extremely hard," Jackson said. "They're a quick team and they compete. It's going to be a lot of similarities to what we saw last week in Robert Morris, and we're certainly up to the task." 

Don't miss the last chance to see the Nittany Lions at Pegula until the fall. The series begins today at 4:30 p.m. and concludes tomorrow at 2 p.m. Senior recognition will be held after the conclusion of tonight's game.

12445376.jpeg

By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - We hear it all the time in sports. It's not how you start; it's how you finish. While it may be an old saying, it certainly applies to this year's Penn State women's hockey team.

The Nittany Lions' regular season concludes with series at No. 8 Robert Morris and home against Syracuse, currently the top two teams in the CHA.

Coming off a sweep at Lindenwood last week, these series give the Lions a chance to see how they match up with the competition.

"It gives us a lot more confidence," sophomore defenseman Kelsey Crow said. "Going into these next two weekends, we're going to come out much harder and we're going to stick to our game plans and stick to what we're doing best."

With the CHA tournament less than three weeks away, the next couple weeks will be telling of how the Nittany Lions will fare in Buffalo.

They are currently slotted as the No. 3 seed and, pending a win over one of the bottom teams in the conference, they would face either Robert Morris or Syracuse in the second round and presumably the other in the championship game if they advance. 

"You want to play these teams at the end of the season," interim coach Dean Jackson said. "It gets you really prepared for that playoff, that one-game elimination. To play No. 1 and 2 really sets the tone and gets our team in the mindset of that playoff format right now."

"It really gets us in the mindset that this is playoff hockey and this is what it's going to be like," freshman forward Brooke Madsen said. "We need to come out hard every shift."

As far as this weekend against Robert Morris is concerned, the Nittany Lions are continuing to trust the process and hope to ride that momentum from the aforementioned sweep. 

"It's a pretty consistent theme for us, just be disciplined within our systems," Jackson said. "We just want to continue to keep it simple but with pace that's going to be difficult to play against. We believe that what we have in place is difficult for our opponent to counter. When you have confidence in that as well, it makes a big difference." 

Penn State also has to be smart on the offensive end, considering Robert Morris goalie Jessica Dodds is one of the best in the CHA, sporting a .922 save percentage.

"With her or anyone else, I don't think it's any mystery," Jackson said. "You want to play percentages. You have to shoot the puck to score goals. We want to get pucks on net, force her to make a save, and control some rebounds under pressure." 

The Nittany Lions are looking for a bit of redemption as well, letting the two games earlier in the season against Robert Morris slip away from them at Pegula thanks to strong performances from forwards Brittany Howard and Jaycee Gebhard. 

"They're a well-coached team, every player is a threat," Crow said. "It's not like we can take a shift off. Even though we probably want to focus on them, we're not going to change what we do because of them." 

"We just have to come out faster and stronger than them and limit their time with the puck in the offensive zone," Madsen said.

The series at Robert Morris begins tonight at 7 p.m. and concludes tomorrow at 3 p.m. The Nittany Lions are currently one point ahead of fourth-place Mercyhurst in the standings.

@GOPSUSPORTS

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago
 
PSECU OPEN / CLOSE

SCHEDULE/EVENTS