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By Tom Shively, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - Many teams view the non-conference portion of their schedule as a chance to test themselves to see how they stack up against tougher opposition before conference play. For Penn State, this statement holds especially true, as the Nittany Lions (1-4-1) have faced no shortage of tests in the early stretch of their schedule.
After opening the season on the road in consecutive weeks, including a trip to No. 5 Clarkson, the Nittany Lions returned home to Pegula Ice Arena only to find perennial national powerhouse Boston University (3-1-1) waiting in the wings.
On Friday night, the Nittany Lions and Terriers played to a 3-3 overtime tie as the teams traded goals throughout most of the game. Penn State struck first and led 1-0 after the end of the first period, but the Terriers struck twice early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.
Penn State answered six minutes later with a goal from Laura Bowman to tie the game.
"They responded beautifully," head coach Josh Brandwene said. "BU got those two goals to start the second period and credit to our leadership and credit to the whole team for really righting the ship and going back to being aggressive again."
Amy Petersen gave the Nittany Lions the lead in the third period on her fourth goal of the season, a breakaway opportunity in which she found the top left corner of the net.
"I saw the net was open," Petersen said. "I was like 'I'll go for it' and it worked out well."
A late goal from the Terriers leveled the score, but the Nittany Lions overall were satisfied with the effort.
"I think it was really fun," junior Bella Sutton said. "It's really cool when you know that they in the past have been a ranked team and a really good team. So coming into the game it was definitely a lot of fun and we had a lot of fans."
"We executed our game plan how we wanted," Petersen said. "So I think we're really focusing on our game and the results will happen. We're really just going to stick to our game plan and get ready to come back."
Saturday's game was not as kind to the Nittany Lions, as they suffered a 7-2 defeat.
"It was a day of skating uphill," Brandwene said. "When you get yourself down a little bit, you see what kind of hockey team you have and I was really pleased with the response, especially in the second period. We had great scoring chances; sometimes they fall and sometimes they don't."
BU jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first four minutes of the game. Aly Hardy had the early goal for the Nittany Lions.
"We just poked it out and Brooke [Madsen] was driving," Hardy said. "She cut across and that's what we worked on during practice. She drew the defense with her, passed it to me and I just shot far side."
Penn State was trailing 3-1 when Abby Welch netted her first career goal as a Nittany Lion from just inside the blue line.
"There was a power play and the goalie came out," Welch said. "I took a slap shot and I was so happy it went in. I think it changed a little bit of our momentum."
Welch was the fifth Nittany Lion to score in the series, and she was excited to score her first career goal.
"Every game I've had so many opportunities. Now that it's out of the way," Welch said. "I'm just so relieved."
Penn State resumes play next weekend at Connecticut before opening conference play at RIT on Oct. 27.