No. 19 Penn State men’s hockey (5-7-0, 2-4-0) squared off against No. 6 Notre Dame (8-3-1, 4-0-0) in South Bend on Saturday night. Both teams came into the game tied for fifth in Division I hockey with 3.73 goals per game, but this game was surprisingly low-scoring. The Nittany Lions could not break through, ultimately dropping the game 1-0.
How It Happened
The opening five minutes of the first period came and went with a flurry of shots, but no goals to show for it. The Nittany Lions came out firing and so did the Irish, as both sides wracked up 10 shots at the midway point in the opening period.
The Nittany Lions’ penalty kill – which is currently last in the Big Ten – was called into action with 7:47 remaining in the period, but Penn State was able to keep the Big Ten’s best power play squad off of the scoreboard. Again, with 3:59 to go in the period, Andrew Sturtz was booked for goalie interference which put Notre Dame back on the power play. Once again, the Nittany Lions stood strong defensively.
The two sides went into the first intermission scoreless despite a whole lot of offense.
3:37 into the second period, a Notre Dame penalty put the Nittany Lions on the power play. A strong offensive possession didn’t ultimately yield a goal, though, as the home team did just enough to keep Penn State from scoring.
Peyton Jones came up huge on another Notre Dame power play later in the period, doing his part to keep the Irish scoreless. Shortly after the penalty kill, however, Bo Brauer gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead with 5:48 remaining in the second period. Brauer was the first man to a loose puck in front of goal after it bounced around in front of goal.
Penn State went on the power play after Notre Dame’s Hellickson was called for a slash (his third penalty of the evening) with under two minutes remaining. The second period ended without a Penn State goal, so the Nittany Lions went into the intermission trailing 1-0.
The Irish really looked confident to begin the final period. Although they didn’t score in the opening minutes, they certainly exerted control over the game and controlled possession for the most part.
As the period wore on, however, Penn State really started pouring on the pressure as chance after chance came its way. Ultimately, strong defense where it mattered most from the Irish kept the visitors off of the scoreboard. With 8:19 left in the game, Notre Dame’s Pierce Crawford was booked for slashing, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t capitalize once again.
Cale Morris had a very strong game in goal for Notre Dame, and the blocking of the Irish defense made a Penn State goal seem unlikely. Guy Gadowski pulled Jones from goal with about 1:45 remaining to give his team a 6-5 advantage, but Penn State still couldn’t break through.
Player of the Game
Peyton Jones | Sophomore | Goalie
Peyton Jones had a fantastic game in net, holding a high-powered Notre Dame attack to just one goal. Jones kept the Irish 0-3 on the power play, coming up with some huge saves in the process.
The Nittany Lions will head to Glendale, Arizona to take on Arizona State on Friday, November 17 at 10 p.m.