Notre Dame Defeats Penn State Hockey In 7-4 Thriller
Tons of quick goals, costly penalties, and a roaring sell-out crowd acted as the perfect catalysts to Penn State hockey’s White Out game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. To no surprise, the play-by-play action on the ice didn’t disappoint, providing spectators with an incredibly exciting (and nerve-racking) game.
It’s important to note that the Irish are a very good team. They’re not ranked, but treating them like an unranked team is a reckless service. Penn State was an unfortunate victim to their impressive showing, letting the Irish dominate the scoreboard for most of the game. But the Nittany Lions didn’t let this setback discourage them. A hopeful comeback sprouted late in the second period, bringing Pegula back to life. However, it merely acted as a false hope and wasn’t enough to lift Penn State to a victory.
How It Happened
The opening period’s game play was fast and totally one-sided. Notre Dame consistently made the most of turnovers inside Penn State’s zone and tons of high-percentage scoring opportunities were a product of that. Notre Dame’s Thomas DiPauli was first to score, capitalizing off a redirect at the 7:26 minute mark. Penn State managed to answer three minutes later with a score of its own by forward Dylan Richard. The theme on the opposite side of the puck for Notre Dame, however, was the surplus of penalties the team committed. Penn State did a fantastic job staying out of the sin bin completely, while the Irish might as well had been paying rent. The Nittany Lions also did a good job of using that theme to their advantage, scoring all of their goals off power plays. Two more goals by the Irish led them into intermission with a 3-1 lead though, and Penn State entered the locker room seemingly deflated.
The second period by far was the most fun to watch. Frustration from Penn State (and its home crowd) boiled to the surface in several obvious no-call penalties by Notre Dame. Two notable ones were a no-call interference penalty, taking away a potential goal for the Nittany Lions, and a no-call for cross-checking, erasing any possible offensive zone setup and progression at the point. These two instances could have completely shifted the momentum away from the Irish, but alas, nothing came of them. The biggest takeaway from this period was hustle. Notre Dame clearly out-played the Lions. This fact is strange due to Penn State being known for its speed, but Notre Dame ran circles around the Nittany Lions all game, controlling possession with close to 15 minutes of time with the puck. The Irish recorded two more goals to bolster their lead to 5-1 and build up worry for Gadowsky’s guys. But through tense play, Penn State’s grinders did manage to cause turnovers, and those powerful checks lead to a decent amount of scoring opportunities. The Nittany Lions just failed to capitalize on most of them, clearly frustrating forwards David Glen, David Goodwin, and Andrew Sturtz. But at the 12:54 mark, Penn State’s Alec Marsh, who had a dynamic performance, brought his team back to within three. Five minutes later, Dylan Richard recorded his second goal of the night, erupting the home crowd, and boosting Lions to a two-goal deficit heading into period three.
The final period was chaotic. A wide-open opportunity allowed Notre Dame’s Mario Lucia to silence the crowd with an early third period goal. That goal was closely followed by another minutes later, giving the Irish a commanding 7-3 lead. These scores sucked the life out of the energy that the Nittany Lions built at the end of the second period, forcing Guy Gadowsky to bring in his (tiny) freshman goalie Chris Funkey. Penn State’s Alec Marsh did manage to answer with another goal of his own, but it wasn’t enough to pull off a victory.
Player Of The Game
Break out freshman forward Alec Marsh impressed the likes of everyone tonight in his prolific two-goal performance. In the post-game presser, Gadowsky praised Marsh’s play, saying that “He [Marsh] showed that he’s a good fit with Glen and Goodwin, and he certainly earned those two goals.” Expect Marsh to be utilized in a higher scoring-heavy role as the season moves onward.
- Penn State plays well when it’s under a ton of pressure to do so, though it really needs to work on puck safety and control.
- Alec Marsh proved himself a solid goal-scorer, and will most likely be kept on the same line with Glen and Goodwin.
- Guy Gadowsky isn’t afraid to take risks and pull his goalie really early in the third period when his team is desperate for goals.
- Chris Funkey was impressive in his first start as a Nittany Lion, but expect Penn State to continue to substitute its goalies pretty frequently; Gadowsky voiced he’ll start Eamon McAdam against Notre Dame tomorrow as evidence.
The Nittany Lions look to get revenge on their loss to Notre Dame as game two of the series is back in Pegula Ice Arena tomorrow, October 17 at 3 p.m.