For the first time in program history, Penn State women’s hockey sits atop the CHA.
Following a 5-0 win over RIT on Friday, Jeff Kampersal’s Nittany Lions have captured their first CHA regular season championship. It’s the first championship of any kind for the women’s hockey program, which was founded as a Division I programonly nine years ago.
This season has been historic for the Nittany Lions, as it marked the first time they were ranked in program history. Penn State also went nearly perfect at Pegula Ice Arena, finishing with a home record of 9-0-1.
Players like freshman Kiara Zanon, who has the third-most points in the nation, have helped catapult the Nittany Lions into the national spotlight. Freshman goaltender Josie Bothun now holds the record for most wins in a season by a Penn State goalie with 14 and is currently one of the best in the country. Natalie Heising, Julie Gough, Olivia Wallin and Jess Ciarrocchi are just some of the other players that have been instrumental to Penn State’s success this season.
The work for Penn State isn’t done. The Nittany Lions still have three more regular season games before entering the CHA Tournament as the No. 1 seed. That tournament will take place as a single-elimination competition in Erie from March 4-6. As the top seed, Penn State will be given an automatic spot in the semifinals.
Winning the CHA regular-season title also almost guarantees the Nittany Lions will be taking part in the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history.