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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State women’s hockey team erased a two-goal deficit in the third period, but fell to the Syracuse Orange in overtime, 3-2, in a College Hockey America (CHA) contest Friday night at the Pegula Ice Arena.
“It’s definitely a heartbreaking loss,” head coach Jeff Kampersal said. “I thought we played a decent first period. I thought we were really soft in the second and then the third period we played Penn State hockey. We were tenacious, we were all over them. We had a great chance on a 2-on-1 in overtime. I made a bad decision in overtime as a coach. I feel like I let our team down today and in the Lindenwood game as well. I went against my gut a couple times and it came back and hurt us.”
Following Friday’s game, Penn State falls to 6-10-8 on the year and 3-4-4 in CHA play, while Syracuse improves to 7-14-2 in 2017-18 and 6-4-1 in CHA action.
The Orange built a two-goal lead during a three-minute span in the second period. For Syracuse, Jessica DiGirolamo and Emma Polaski scored at 12:41 and 15:41, respectively.
Trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes of play, junior Meike Meilleur (Winnipeg, Manitoba) netted her first two-goal outing to send the contest into overtime tied at two goals apiece.
On her first goal of the evening at 6:12, sophomore defenseman Kate Rydland (Eden Prairie, Minn.) played the puck to Meilleur from the Nittany Lion end of the ice. With the puck, Meilleur entered the Syracuse zone and beat netminder Abbey Miller for her fourth goal of the season.
With 4:29 to go in regulation, Meilleur beat Miller once again to knot things up at 2-2. On the game-tying goal, Irene Kiroplis (Georgetown, Ontario) picked off a pass in the neutral zone before bringing the puck into the Syracuse zone. Once in the Syracuse zone, Kiroplis found Meilleur who then redirected the puck into the upper-left corner of the net.
In the extra session, Megan Quinn lifted Syracuse to the victory at 3:06 as she fired a shot that was deflected into the back of the Penn State net.
In net, senior Hannah Ehresmann (Minnetonka, Minn.) finished the game with 35 saves, while Miller tallied a 29-save outing for the Orange.
The two teams close out the series Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Pegula Ice Arena. Saturday’s game is Penn State’s annual Skate for the Cure game. Fans that wear pink will receive free admission and the Nittany Lions will also be hosting a free post-game skate for fans in attendance.
NOTES: Syracuse leads the all-time series against Penn State, 20-1-4…Syracuse outshot Penn State, 38-31…Syracuse went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Penn State went 0-for-4…The Nittany Lions set a single-season program record with their 11th overtime game this year.