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Penn State Men’s Hockey Drops Heartbreaker To No. 13 Notre Dame 4-2

Penn State men’s hockey (12-9-0, 3-8-0 Big Ten) was defeated by No. 13 Notre Dame (14-6-0, 7-4-0-2-1 Big Ten) by a score of 4-2.

Notre Dame took a 3-2 lead late in the third period off a play that should have been blown dead when the puck hit the netting above the glass, but the officials upheld the goal. It ended up being too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome, leading to a tough loss.

How It Happened

Guy Gadowsky went with Oskar Autio in goal and his signature defensemen to start the game.

The first period didn’t have much action until about midway through when Notre Dame generated a cluster of solid chances, but Autio kept all of them out of the net. As the ice started to tilt in favor of the Fighting Irish, Zach Plucinski took a tripping penalty at 10:50 of the first period, sending Penn State to its first power play that Notre Dame killed off.

The best chance, for either team, in the first period came when Notre Dame generated a 2-on-1 chance with about five minutes left, but Autio made two spectacular saves with the right pad to keep Notre Dame off the board. The first period ended in a scoreless tie with the Fighting Irish leading 14-9 in shots on goal.

Notre Dame started the second period on a high note when Max Ellis scored a goal from the right side of the crease just 37 seconds into the frame, giving the Fighting Irish a 1-0 lead. Things got worse for the Nittany Lions, as Carson Dyck took a penalty for kneeing at 3:01 of the period to give the Fighting Irish their first power play of the game. It didn’t take long for them to capitalize, as Grant Silianoff batted the puck out of mid-air to score and give Notre Dame a 2-0 lead.

Adam Pilewicz had something to say back, however, as he ripped a shot from the point to score a goal in his second consecutive game, cutting Notre Dame’s lead to 2-1 at 4:23 of the second period.

The ice began to tilt Penn State’s way, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t get the puck in the net, despite getting another power play chance at 15:21 and not scoring on it. But Penn State didn’t quit, and Tyler Paquette eventually tied the game when he sniped the puck past Bischel from the right circle with just 40 seconds remaining in the second period.

Penn State found itself back on the penalty kill at the beginning of the third period when Tyler Gratton took a penalty for tripping at 4:40, but the Nittany Lions killed the penalty. They then generated multiple grade-A chances following the penalty kill, but Bischell stood strong in the net.

At 13:02 of the third period, Landon Slaggert scored a goal, but it appeared that the puck hit the net above the boards behind Autio, which should have stopped play. The goal was confirmed after Gadowsky challenged the play. The goal sucked the life out of the arena and Penn State’s bench, and the Nittany Lions couldn’t get anything going.

Max Ellis then scored his second goal of the game on an empty net at 18:09 of the third period, and the Fighting Irish defeated Penn State by a score of 4-2.

Takeaways

  • The missed call in the third period was too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome. The goal sucked the life out of the building and Penn State’s bench, and it’s a shame that a call like that disrupted a great game overall.
  • Adam Pilewicz had another great game for the Nittany Lions, scoring the most important goal of the game. The Pittsburgh native has now scored in two consecutive games and has points in five of his last seven. He is certainly making the most of his extra year of eligibility.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will be back in action Saturday, January 8, to close out its two-game series with Notre Dame. Puck drop is set for 5 p.m., and the game can be streamed on BTN+.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a junior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the Rangers, Mets, Jets, and every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Penn State and Rangers content or email him at [email protected]

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