In the thickness of it

UNIVERSITY PARK. PENNSYLVANIA- The Penn State Nittany Lions find themselves on a winning streak for the first time this season as they roll into the home ice rink in CHA rival Syracuse for a two-game streak. The two ACH favorites are expected to put on quite a show as they battle for the top spot in the conference standings.

While it’s not a playoff series for the Nittany Lions so early in the season, it does feel like a winning contest or coming home. Two wins against Syracuse would give Penn State confidence and a comfortable margin in the standings.

That said, the head coach Jeff Kampersal doesn’t want to measure this streak by winning or not winning. Instead, he wants to see his team come out with a constant 60 minute effort.

“We emphasized that these are important games, we’re not really talking about winning or not winning, we just want effort which is important.” Kampersal said: “During the week off we trained hard for three days and the training before the weekend wasn’t great, and we can’t do it. So we’re focusing on some really good ones. efforts, the kind of effort that we had in the second game. “

While a resilient Nittany Lions side weathered the storm on tough starts, Kampersal are looking to turn the tide this weekend against Syracuse and start every game strong. He incorporated new drills and games into the practices that seek to bring energy to start the match.

“We try to have small games and start training with small, competitive games right away. The first five minutes we make them fight, and then we dot competitive situations throughout training. also, ”Kampersal said.

Second-year defender Lyndie Lobdell is also looking for a quicker start against Syracuse this weekend.

“Preparation is everything, I personally find myself very vocal before games and I have a lot of energy and I’m that crazy fireball,” Lobdell said. “I’m going to try to postpone it on Friday like any other day, but a little more because the performances haven’t been the same in every game.”

A player who has found his rhythm lately is ophomore forward Kiara Zanon. She has been particularly good against Orange in the past. Last season, she had six points, two goals and four assists in five games played. Syracuse will be looking to minimize its impact on the game, especially with how dominant it has been in recent times.

“For Kiara the teams are always going to be very physical with her, Lindenwood is always super physical, rolls her to the bench, gives her an extra blow behind the game,” Kampersal said. “She just needs to have that physical mental toughness that she showed in sophomore crossing the league a few times… she knows exactly what to expect.”

This season, Zanon has registered five goals and nine assists for 14 points, which ranks her second on the team behind her teammate. Nathalie Heising.

Of course, it’s not lost on the Nittany Lions that their season ended last year against Syracuse in the CHA tournament. So it’s no surprise that many players are using it as motivation this weekend.

“To me it’s not animosity, but it’s definitely a motivator that I think about,” Lobdell said. “And the fact that we’re the first with them, I’m just really motivated to play them in general.”

Kampersal added: “The fact that we’re both top right now is more relevant to us… this game, I think there are some good lessons to be learned. We went off the slopes. They scored one. accidentally goal early and it took us a while to get back on track. This last period against Syracuse we did well and hopefully it will continue until Friday night. “

Syracuse won’t be the only stop for the Nittany Lions as Penn State takes advantage of its Thanksgiving break. They are also expected to participate in the D1 tournament in DC against a very competitive team from Minnesota Duluth (4-4-0) and second place from Ohio State (10-2-0).

These matches will be played on November 26 at 4:30 p.m. and November 27 at 5:30 p.m.

It will be a long road trip for the Blues and Whites, a journey that will test the determination and identity they have sought all year. However, Lobdell isn’t worried about the time spent on the road and believes it could help the team come closer.

“I’ve always loved traveling. It kind of reminds me of what I’ve always done. We always go to places for tournaments. We never stayed at home. It’s really like playing Pegula but the team love it, it’s fun to be on the bus and around each other all the time. “

The Nittany Lions look set for one of the toughest times of their season. Their next four games of the season could decide how the season goes at Penn State.

The Bleu et Blancs will look to maintain their streak of three consecutive victories against Syracuse on Friday, November 18 at 7 p.m. and Saturday November 19 at 3 p.m.

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