Penn State upsets Wisconsin in women’s ice hockey

Janecke sparked four unanswered goals as Nittany Lions stymie the Badgers

UNIVERSITY PARK — Tessa Janecke scored twice and added a late assist to give No. 14 Penn State its first victory over a top-5 ranked team in program history, as the Nittany Lions defeated No. 2/3 Wisconsin, 4-1, Thursday night inside Pegula Ice Arena.

“Since last season, the players have worked incredibly hard on culture and what they want to accomplish this year,” said head coach Jeff Kampersal. “Focus on core values, habits, and championship evidence. It’s not going to go perfectly for us all season, but this is a great start.”


Wisconsin struck first as Casey O’Brien put one in the back of the net on a shorthanded rush beating goaltender Josie Bothun after a collision with a teammate caused the puck to slip under her pad with 14:17 left in the first period.

Penn State grabbed the equalizer at the 8:08 mark of the second period as Janecke sniped a shot from the right circle past the blocker of Badger netminder Cami Kronish and inside the far post.

The Nittany Lions weren’t finished and secured the 2-1 lead just under three minutes later as senior Eleri MacKay found Kiara Zanon on the near post with a back door feed at the 11:57 mark for the eventual game-winning goal.

Janecke notched her second tally of the night after intercepting a clearing attempt from the far half wall and ripped a wrister past the blocker of Kronish during the power-play at 6:32 of the third period.

Julie Gough capped the scoring as she slotted home the empty netter on a breakaway after receiving a pass from Kendall Butze at 19:24 of the third.


Bothun stopped 27 shots including nine over five penalty kills to post a .964 save percentage and improve to 1-0-0 on the year.


This is Penn State’s highest-ranked win in its 11-year history.

Penn State earned its first win as a program against Wisconsin improving to 1-2-0. This is only the second time a CHA team has defeated the Badgers (50-2-0).

This marks just the second regular season non-conference loss for Wisconsin since 2009.

Five Nittany Lions scored their first points in Blue and White tonight; freshman Tessa Janecke scored a goal in the second period assisted by transfer Courtney Correia and freshman Katelyn Roberts, followed by transfer Eleri MacKay and freshman Kendall Butze earning assists on separate goals.

Zanon tallied her 70th career point (24G, 46A) in the second period, while also earning her seventh game-winning goal, moving into a tie with Amy Petersen ’17 for fourth in program history.

Janecke posted three points (2G, 1A) in her Penn State debut. She also led the team in blocked shots with 5.

Penn State had 22 blocked shots as a team to just six for Wisconsin.

Penn State went 1-for-4 on the power play and was a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.


Q: Obviously a lot went right, but what stood out to you the most?

A: We didn’t give Wisconsin a lot of time and space. Then if we did, we had huge blocked shots. Those blocked shots are huge momentum changes. The confidence goes crazy, and it energizes our players.

Q: What’s it like to start the season off with a statement win over the No. 3 team in the country?

A: It’s awesome. I’ve been coaching for a lot of years, and this is one of the most special wins, just for the amount of work and things they put in to get here. Obviously, Wisconsin’s an amazing program. We went there three or four years ago to Madison, and they took it to us. So, just the progress that the program’s managed to get to now is special.

Q: What was the message to your team after being down 1-0 at the break?

A: I told them that I thought that the first goal was unfortunate, but I thought we played really well. We had a lot of really good opportunities. If we play the same way, hopefully, we get more chances to score. Historically, the second period isn’t our best period. But I thought despite taking penalties, I thought it was a really good second period. Not only getting the two goals but holding them off for the first five minutes. We were weathering the storm and we didn’t cave.


Both teams return to Pegula Ice Arena to close out the series with a 7 p.m. puck drop tomorrow night.


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