The Penn States women’s hockey program has only been in existence for eight years, but in his three seasons leading the Nittany Lions, coach Jeff Kampersal has helped Penn State after 13 consecutive seasons.
Now that he is entering his fourth year at University Park, Kampersal will have a larger number of keepers at his disposal.
The 2019/20 edition of the Nittany Lions featured only two available goalkeepers for much of the season after Jenna Brenneman went down with a seasonal injury after two games.
Brenneman is now healthy and back in the mix, with two returners and two new netminders added to the teams.
While the future for the 2020-2021 season continues to add up, here’s a look at this year’s goalkeepers.
Brenneman is entering her third season at University Park after starting her collegiate career as a Clarkson Golden Knight. She was the position group leader throughout her time in Happy Valley as she tops Penn States goals with an average of 1.70.
Brenneman is also second in program history with a save percentage of .928. As long as she can return to her pre-injury form, Brenneman will receive most of the starts in the net for the Nittany Lions.
Whether Brenneman can repeat her great performances from past seasons is another question, but with the Eagan, Minn. Native to Net, the Nittany Lions have always had a chance to fight.
When Brenneman went down with an injury early last season, Chantal Burke filled her skates with ease.
Burke set a one-season record in Penn State with seven shutouts in the 2019-2020 season, and her savings rate of .935 is also the best in Penn State program history.
Now a senior, Burke will compete directly with Brenneman for starts at goalkeeper.
While Burkes’ 2019-20 season speaks for itself, it’s worth keeping an eye out for whether Burke or Brenneman emerges as the incumbent starter for the upcoming season.
Cam Leonard, who entered her junior season for red shirts, likely as the third goalkeeper, played a backup role last year when Brenneman went down with an injury.
However, Leonard also only built up a .826 save percentage in her time on the ice in the 2019-2020 season. Unless she can bring that savings rate down to the low .900s, Leonard Brenneman or Burke is unlikely to jump on the depth chart.
But if Brenneman isn’t ready to leave at the start of the year, Leonard’s experience from last season could prove invaluable.
Josie Bothun, the first of two new freshmen to the program, is also a native of Minnesota, as is Brenneman, except Bothun has experience playing with both men and women.
In her high school in the suburbs of Twin Cities, Bothun played her first two years for the girls varsity program and the boys varsity program her junior and senior seasons.
Bothun led the girls’ team to two conference titles, a section championship and a state tournament. In the 2017-18 season, she recorded a storage percentage of .952 and shut out the opposition 17 times.
While she has experience playing against both boys and girls in high school, Bothun will likely have to wait in turn behind Brenneman, Burke and Leonard for at least a season before she can see how her skills compare to the other collegiate. hockey players for women.
Another new freshman as part of Kampersals’ most recent recruiting class, Annie Spring has played for AAA youth hockey club Chicago Mission for the past three seasons.
During her time with the mission, Spring recorded 43 shutouts and won three state titles in Illinois.
She also won the 2018 U16 USA Hockey Tier 1 national championship and a bronze medal the following year at the 2019 U19 USA Hockey Tier 1 national tournament. In the coming years, Spring and Bothun will probably have to fight it out in practice to see who starts in the net for Kampersal.
While Spring or Bothun is unlikely to see the ice this season, these practices could pay dividends at the start of their respective careers for whoever gets the bulk of the net opportunity for the rest of their collegiate careers.
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