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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women’s hockey team started its 2017-18 home schedule with a series opening 3-1 win over the Union Dutchwomen on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Pegula Ice Arena to give head coach Jeff Kampersal his first victory at Penn State.
“I thought our team, for three games has started off the first ten minutes of each game a little slow,” said Kampersal. “We need to try and fix our starts, but once they kick it into gear, they play with a lot of heart and soul.”
After a scoreless first period, the Nittany Lions found the net first when senior Christi Vetter (Lakeville, Minn.) blocked a shot on the penalty kill and took the puck the length of the ice to beat Amelia Murray with the backhand for her first goal of the year.
“It was finally nice to get a puck by another goalie,” Kampersal said. “Vetter made a nice play there, a good block, a nice move on that breakaway and that relieved some pressure a little bit.”
This was quickly answered when Union’s Arianna Kosakowski evened the score with a powerplay goal.
The scoring in the second period didn’t end there as junior Meike Meilleur (Winnipeg, Manitoba) wristed home a pass from Abby Welch (East Amherst, N.Y.) from behind the net to give Penn State a lead heading into the second intermission.
In the third period, freshman Shea Nelson (Evanston, Ill.) poked the puck out of a scrum in front of the net to give Penn State some insurance down the stretch to record her first-career goal.
The Nittany Lions featured two netminders on Friday as senior Hannah Ehresmann (Minnetonka, Minn.) started the game and played in the first two periods. Ehresmann recorded 11 saves and turned away a threat late in the second period as she flashed the leather on back-to-back Union chances.
Sophomore Daniela Paniccia (Oakville, Ontario) closed the game out in net, playing the final period and turning away all four Union shots.
Union’s Amelia Murray went all 60 minutes in net for the Dutchwomen and recorded 34 saves while allowing three Penn State goals.
The Nittany Lions and Union will face off again on Saturday afternoon to close out the Blue and White’s first home series of the year. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. at Pegula Ice Arena.
NOTES: Penn State leads the all-time series against Union, 6-4-1… Penn State outshot Union, 37-16… Penn State netted a shorthanded goal while Union scored the game’s only power play goal… Freshman Shea Nelson recorded her first career goal and point as a Nittany Lion… Sophie Slattery recorded her first career point, assisting on Meike Meilleur’s second period goal… Katie Rankin recorded her first career point, assisting on Shea Nelson’s third period goal… The victory gave head coach Jeff Kampersal his first career victory as Penn State’s head coach.