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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's hockey team begins its sixth season as a varsity program with a trip to No. 5 Minnesota Duluth this weekend. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, Sept. 29, and 4 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn.
Both games will be streamed via www.nchc.tv, but fans must have an account to view the stream. Fans can also follow along with live stats on GoPSUsports.com.
The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs enter the 2017-18 season ranked No. 5 in both major polls.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 25-7-5 season and a record of 19-5-4 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action.
The 2016-17 season came to a close for Minnesota Duluth with a 1-0 loss to Minnesota in the NCAA Quarterfinals
SERIES HISTORY VS. UMD
This is first meeting between the two programs.
THE STATE OF HOCKEY
Nine Nittany Lions call Minnesota aka “The State of Hockey” home.
Kelsey Crow, Hannah Ehresmann, Natalie Heising, Brooke Madsen, Katie McMillan, Kate Rydland, Sophie Slattery, Bella Sutton, and Christi Vetter represent Minnesota on the 2017-18 Penn State women’s hockey roster.
PENN STATE VS. RANKED TEAMS
In their first five seasons as a varsity program, the Penn State Nittany Lions have not fared well against ranked teams.
Heading into the 2017-18 season, Penn State has a record of 4-21-1 against ranked foes.
Along with the seven freshmen, the Penn State women’s hockey program welcomes three new faces to Hockey Valley.
Jeff Kampersal brings more than 20 years of experience as a head coach to Hockey Valley.
Prior to joining the Nittany Lions during the summer of 2017, Coach Kampersal was the head coach of the Princeton Tigers for 21 seasons. During his tenure at Princeton, Coach Kampersal tallied a record of 327-261-58.
Heading into the 2017-18 season, Kampersal ranks fifth in career victories among active women’s hockey coaches with 327, a total that ranks No. 7 all-time.
Seven members of the Penn State women’s hockey program were named All-American Scholars for the 2016-17 season, as announced by American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).
HEISING WINS GOLD
Nittany Lion Natalie Heising and the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team defeated Canada, 3-1, to capture its third-straight IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship on Jan. 14, 2017.
Heising, a forward from Maple Grove, Minn., was named one of Team USA’s three top players of the tournament.
After finishing fourth in the 2016-17 College Hockey America (CHA) regular season standings, the Penn State women’s hockey team was selected fourth in the 2017-18 CHA preseason poll.
Penn State returns 17 letterwinners to the team for the 2017-18 season, including a pair of College Hockey America (CHA) All-Rookie Team honorees.
Madsen, a forward, played in all 35 games and netted 21 points (7g, 14a). Madsen’s season was highlighted with a three-assist outing in an 8-1 victory at Union (10/7).
On the blueline, McMillan recorded 11 points on four goals and seven assists in 35 games played.
Sutton holds program records for goals by a defenseman (13) and points by a defenseman (40). She also ranks second in assists by a defenseman with 27.
On the power-play, Sutton ranks fourth all-time in points (23), fourth in goals (nine), and tied for third in assists (14).
Crow, a junior defenseman, served as an alternate captain last season and she ranks sixth all-time at PSU in points by a defenseman with 12.
Hardy, a senior forward, has played in 71 games and tallied 10 points on three goals and seven assists. Off the ice, Hardy serves as the vice president for the Penn State Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB).
THE 2017-18 SLATE
Penn State is slated to play 34 contests during the 2017-18 regular season, which includes 15 games at the Pegula Ice Arena.
The 2017-18 regular season is highlighted by a trip to Minnesota Duluth (Sept. 29-30), hosting defending NCAA Champion Clarkson (Oct. 13-14), two series against Robert Morris (Oct. 28-29 & Jan. 26-27), a trip to Ohio State (Jan. 5-6), and hosting Princeton (Jan. 30).
The Nittany Lions open their home slate on Oct. 6-7 when they host the Union Dutchwomen for a weekend series at the Pegula Ice Arena