skip navigation

Kaz Watch: Tessa Janecke uses National Team Experience to Grow at Penn State

03/11/2024, 6:15pm MDT
By Dan Scifo

The sophomore forward led the CHA in scoring this season.

Penn State sophomore forward Tessa Janecke shoots the puck in her Penn State white and navy uniform.

An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey. The 2024 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner will be announced on March 23 in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four in Durham, New Hampshire. The 2024 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Show will be broadcast live from the Whittemore Center Arena Lobby beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network.

Penn State sophomore forward Tessa Janecke used multiple stints with the U.S. Women’s National Team to learn from some of the best hockey players in the world?

Those invaluable experiences have allowed Janecke to blossom into one of the best college hockey players in the country.

For the first time, Janecke, a native of Orangeville, Illinois, was named a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award — presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.

“It’s obviously the award for the best player in college hockey, but it’s also about what you can do outside of the rink, being the most well-rounded person and academically, too,” Janecke said. 

Janecke enjoyed a dominant College Hockey America season, finishing as the league’s Player and Forward of the Year, in addition to earning First Team All-CHA honors. Janecke ended the regular season as the CHA scoring champion after finishing with 17 goals and a career-high 53 points. During a breakout freshman season, Janecke scored 22 goals and 47 points, but she improved upon that as a sophomore this year. 

Patty Kaz: Tessa Janecke (School: Penn State, Class: Sophomore Position: Forward, Hometown: Orangeville, Ill., Statistics: 53 points in 37 games - 17G, 36A)

“It’s definitely a cool award, but it’s also reflective on your team and how successful you were this year,” Janecke said. “It’s a nice award, but it’s something I think I should be able to do, especially playing on a team like this.”

This season, Janecke also became the fastest player in program history to reach 100 career points. She accomplished the feat with a goal against RIT in the second game of the CHA tournament semifinals.

“It was cool, for sure,” she said. “I didn’t want to get too high or too low about it, but it was nice and it’s not something that you do alone.”

The sophomore star could feel her game grow during her second season at Penn State.

“It’s been a good jump for me this year from last year … even just the mindset going into games and how you deal with pressure and that sort of aspect,” she said. “You just adjust and find new ways to play and go about your preparation to figure out what works for you. Obviously, playing [with Team USA] helps with the physicality, how to think quicker and find other ways to score.”

Janecke has competed for Team USA on four different occasions in two years at Penn State. She was a part of the gold-medal winning U.S. team at last year’s Women’s World Championship.

“It was obviously an unreal feeling, especially that being my first one,” Janecke said. “There’s not a feeling to describe it. Just grateful to be on a team like that and getting to win a championship with those people was special.”

Janecke was also named to the Rivalry Series roster on three different occasions, playing for the U.S. in parts of the last two series. 

The U.S. went 3-3 with Janecke on the roster, but the experience was more than wins and losses for the Penn State standout.

“It’s what you learn off the ice from those experiences that’s the most significant … just who they are as people, what they do on the ice, how they prepare and their mindset of consistency,” she said. “I thought it went well this year.”

Janecke was invited to the U.S. Women’s National Team Evaluation Camp, which will take place at the end of the month in Lake Placid, New York. The final U.S. roster will be named at the conclusion of the camp and will compete at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Utica, New York, this April.

“You’re always definitely nervous to perform well, but I was more comfortable with who I was as a player and how I fit in at that level,” Janecke said. “There are always things you can take away regardless of how the camp goes.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

More Kaz News

Junior forward Abbey Murphy taps the gloves of her teammates after scoring in her white and maroon Minnesota jersey.

Tag(s): Home  Kaz Watch  News