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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - As the season draws closer to a conclusion, we take a look back at some of the bright spots that have shined throughout the year. One of those top performers on the women's hockey team this year is sophomore forward Meike Meilleur, who has stepped into a prominent role in 2017. 

After not netting a goal in her first season with the Nittany Lions, Meilleur has consistently stepped up in big moments for the team in 2016-17.  She has tallied six goals so far in her sophomore season to go along with four assists.

"I think [the key] is coming back here and knowing the ropes," Meilleur said. "Every year, the girls go as a team and you get a lot of help from the coaches. I think it's just building on confidence and overall in practice getting better every day."

The second time around is almost always a time for vast improvements, as student-athletes are past the adjustment period and can now focus on bettering every aspect of their craft. A second year of experience also helps to solidify that sense of familiarity within a program in order to take that next step in development.

"It's a lot better, coming back and knowing the 'dos and don'ts' of everything," Meilleur said. "Knowing what you're expected of, coming to the rink and just trying to get better every year."

Teammates and coaches are taking notice as well, as Meilleur has started to find her groove, which has significantly increased her confidence.

"She's really grown a lot this year, she's become a little goal scorer," senior forward Amy Petersen said. "That's great, we need that on this team. She's really found her role on the team and I think she's going to have a great next couple of years here."

"Meike is having a great year, certainly someone you can rely upon for sure," interim head coach Dean Jackson said. "It's good that she's having a breakout year, but that's what you expect of your players. Each year, it's another year of development and experience."

Jackson also touched on the second year as being one without as many questions as the players settle into every aspect of the college game.

"When you come back in your second year in particular, there's no mystery as to who your opponent is going to be, what the speed of the college game is going to be, what the environment is going to be like," he said.  "There's a lot of familiarity there so it allows you to be comfortable within the confines of that game, that weekend." 

Meilleur and the rest of the Nittany Lions have a critical stretch of six games coming up before the CHA tournament, including four away from Pegula Ice Arena. As they prepare for the final stretch, the message is simple: Keep grinding.

"We're just sticking to the basics, getting back to our game plan," Meilleur said. "We'll fine-tune everything and we're very excited. We've got a lot going for us this week."

The Nittany Lions also took advantage of having last week off in order to have that little extra rest and recuperation time as the last stretch is so vital.

"There's definitely a jump in their step," Jackson said. "It's always going to be a fun and exciting time when you have that break. It doesn't matter what level you're at, when you have that break, it gives you an opportunity to take a step back and take some of that pressure off." 

Play resumes this weekend as Penn State travels to Missouri to take on Lindenwood Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

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By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - To say five months of college hockey can take a toll on the body and mind would be an understatement. Having to be your best at all times and going out to battle twice a week begins to leave its mark after a while.

Luckily for the Nittany Lions, they have a chance to step back this week as they prepare for their final six games of the regular season. The bye week give the team an opportunity to recuperate and get set for that final push towards the conference tournament.

"We really took advantage of this opportunity to continue the flow and the pace that we've been working with all year," interim head coach Dean Jackson said. "It's an opportunity to continue to work on our game plan moving forward." 

The coaching staff took the time to work on the specifics during the off week, working with the players on skills such as trying to play the puck out of the defensive zone. 

"It's certainly a skill. A lot of times our opponents are going to pinch us so we need to protect [the puck] and pull off the wall, because that's a space that's going to be open. That's where you're going to make your play," Jackson said. 

Abby Welch was the player working on the drill during press time, but it's something several players on the team have gone through over the past few days.

As far as consistency is concerned, the team hasn't let up at all in practice, trying to maintain their high level of performance that they have done so far throughout the season. This week is seen as a time to really focus in on the team's goals and gear up for the final stretch.

"We're not really doing anything different than what we've done in the past," Jackson said. "We'd like to enjoy our time out here for sure. Obviously with a purpose, whether it's defensive zone aspects, offensive zone, neutral zone and scoring drills. Every week, we always focus on certain points so this week wasn't any different. There's a consistent theme throughout this week as there has been on weeks of games. The big thing is to keep the message positive and keep it flowing, we still want to make sure they are enjoying their time on the ice."

While the team is enjoying its time on the ice, the group will still be goal-oriented.  

"We still have some goals that we've had previous to the break," Jackson added. "This gives us an opportunity to continue working on the little aspects of our game that will make a difference. What we want to do is be prepared for every opponent that we have coming up. We definitely want to make a big run in the playoffs. When you get to the playoffs, anything can happen. Whatever happened in the regular season doesn't apply, so it's a lot of fun."

Four of the last six games are on the road, including trips to Lindenwood and Robert Morris. The Nittany Lions host Syracuse on Feb. 24 and 25 before the conference tournament begins on Mar. 2.

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By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - Three weeks ago, when asked about her personal goals, senior Laura Bowman talked about wanting to make it to 100 points. In the third period of Saturday's game, that became a reality as Bowman tallied her most significant point on an assist to Amy Peterson.

 Bowman had two assists in the game and is the first player in Penn State history to cross the century mark in points.

"Honestly, when it happened, I didn't realize it," Bowman said. "I knew I hit 99, but then when I hit the 100 I kind of forgot about it. Amy had such a great shot. I just threw it in front of the net and she bounced it off the post and in. I was just so happy that we were getting closer and closer to them." 

Despite Bowman's achievement, the Lions came up just a little short, losing a hard-fought 4-3 decision to the Mercyhurst Lakers. Bowman remained positive after the game, keeping her mind focused on the road ahead.

"There's a lot of hockey left, I think this team only has up to look. I think we're going to do some great things later this season and I'm going to expect some big things from everyone else too," she said.  

The result didn't come without drama, as the Nittany Lions erased a two-goal deficit early in the game and had multiple quality chances to tie the score in the third period. 

With just about seven minutes remaining, Bowman found Petersen on a centering pass to the weak side which led to a wide open shot on net that was thwarted by the glove of the Mercyhurst goalie at full extension. Not long after, a shot from the point clanked off the goalpost, one of several Penn State shots that drew iron throughout the game.

"They're game-changers," interim coach Dean Jackson said. "I think today we hit four or five posts. Give the goalie credit [on Peterson shot], she made a terrific save. Amy got a lot of wood on it and it was a rocket to the weak side. Those ones sting. You feel as if you've got it and then you just feel like you literally got robbed. But we kept going and that's excited. We didn't fold and we kept pushing." 

"It's frustrating, but it's also good to see that we're getting chances and pucks on net and really testing the goalie," Bowman said. "Yesterday, we weren't really getting that many chances, but today seeing those was really helpful. I think that our team is resilient enough to be able to handle that."

Plenty of resiliency was present at Pegula Ice Arena in the stands, as the annual Skate for the Cure game not only helped raise funds, but also recognize some of the breast cancer survivors in the crowd. The largest crowd of the season (990) welcomed the survivors with a loud ovation and made the entire afternoon very enjoyable. 

"It's always great, I love our pink game," Bowman said. "We always have such a great crowd and it's awesome to see everyone support such a great cause and we really love skating for a great cause in front of that many people." 

"That was fantastic," Jackson said. "I've only been here since the beginning of the season but that was definitely the largest crowd that I've seen. You could see the enthusiasm that they had so it was really nice to see them engaged and involved." 

Saturday also served as the final postgame skate opportunity, giving the large crowd a chance to interact with some of the players while having some fun.

The same could not be said for Friday night's game, as the Nittany Lions fell in a 6-0 defeat in the first game of the series.

"It wasn't the prettiest of games for 60 minutes," Jackson said. "Certainly a penalty-filled game and when that happens, there's no flow to the game. It's tough to build any type of momentum." 

Ten penalties in total were called on Penn State, equating to an entire period of playing with a man down. 

"We've got to move our feet, we've got to be in the right positions," Jackson said. "We've got to anticipate the plays. When we get caught out of position and don't move our feet, that's when the sticks come out for the hooks and trips and interference."

The Nittany Lions are off next weekend before starting a four-game road trip consisting of visits to Lindenwood and Robert Morris in back-to-back weeks.

As always, it's time for the Nittany Lions to keep looking forward.

"It's always difficult to walk away from a weekend 0-2," Jackson said. "I think yesterday we definitely didn't deserve that, but I think today we played well enough to be on the other side of the column. There are certainly some things we need to clean up and I'm really looking forward to tackling Monday."

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