No. 9 Penn State Hockey Routs No. 5 Notre Dame 9-1 On Teddy Bear Toss Night
Mark this one down as a statement win, folks.
No. 9 Penn State men’s hockey (11-5-1, 3-4-1 Big Ten) closed out its series with No. 5 Notre Dame (11-5-1, 5-3-0 Big Ten) with an emphatic 9-1 victory on Saturday night.
Alex Limoges, Kevin Kerr, Sam Sternschein, Alec Marsh, Chase Berger, Nikita Pavlychev, and Evan Barratt scored for Penn State as it chased star goalie Cale Morris out of the net. Berger became the third 100-point scorer in program history with an assist in the second period.
Peyton Jones wasn’t all that busy on the other end of the ice, making 26 saves in the victory.
How It Happened
Notre Dame got off to an early start in tonight’s game when Cam Morrison tipped a beautiful Cal Burke pass beyond Peyton Jones with 16:25 left in the first period. The Nittany Lions quickly responded through Alex Limoges, who buried a shorthanded goal less than two minutes after the opener.
Limoges beat Cale Morris with a gorgeous move on the breakaway to score his ninth goal of the season, and he followed that up with his 10th goal of the year later in the first. Evan Barratt fired a shot low on Morris, who parried the puck right onto Limoges’ stick.
Kevin Kerr fired his first goal of the season past Cale Morris later on in the first — his wrister from the point found a way past the goalie and extended Penn State’s lead to 3-1 with 3:33 to play in the first. Limoges and Barratt each picked up assists on the play, giving both players three points on the evening.
Penn State got off to an ideal start in the second period — Sam Sternschein cashed in on the power play after a picture-perfect feed by Chase Berger to extend his team’s lead to 4-1. Berger and Brandon Biro picked up the assists on the play, which came with 14:55 to play in the second period.
The rout was officially on when Alec Marsh buried a great pass from Brandon Biro on a 2-on-1 rush. The team’s lead was extended to 5-1 after the goal, and Chase Berger picked up his 100th point as a Nittany Lion on the play.
Berger continued his milestone night with a beautiful goal on the power play. He stretched his team’s lead to 6-1 by finding the smallest hole through St. Cyr and roofing a wrist shot from the bottom of the circle.
Nikita Pavlychev scored midway through the third period to put the cherry on top of tonight’s game. He made a power move to the net, and slid the puck across his body underneath St. Cyr to extend his team’s lead to 7-1.
Alec Marsh scored his second of the game with 3:18 left in the third, and Evan Barratt added another with 85 seconds left for good measure to cap off a complete team win against an elite hockey program.
- Congratulations are in order for team captain Chase Berger, who scored his 100th NCAA point with the secondary assist on Alec Marsh’s second-period goal. Berger joined David Goodwin and Andrew Sturtz as the only players in program history to cross the century mark, and he added a beauty of a goal and another assist for good measure.
- What a response by Evan Barratt and Alex Limoges tonight. The two sophomores were shut out for the first time in a long time last night, but they each recorded three points in the first period of tonight’s game. Elite players bounce back after tough games, and these two are clearly stars at this level.
- The second period of both games in this series was crucial to the outcomes, and the Nittany Lions dominated the middle frame tonight. They scored three goals and chased Cale Morris out of the net just 24 hours after the Fighting Irish scored three second-period goals.
- Make no mistake about it: This is a signature win for Penn State. This is Guy Gadowsky’s first victory over Notre Dame since it became the seventh member of the Big Ten hockey conference, and the team snapped a four-game winless skid in the process.
The Nittany Lions will close out the first half of their season in an NHL rink with a game against Princeton. The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. on December 15 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
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