Penn State Men’s Hockey Drops Series Opener 7-2 to No. 13 Notre Dame

Penn State men’s hockey struggled in South Bend in a 7-2 loss to Notre Dame Friday night.

The Nittany Lions’ offense couldn’t crack Ryan Bischel, with 34 shots on goal and only two goals on the scoresheet.

How It Happened

Head coach Guy Gadowsky played the hot hand Friday night, electing to start sophomore goaltender Liam Souliere in the series opener against the Fighting Irish. Junior goaltender Ryan Bischel was given the start for Notre Dame.

The first five minutes consisted of a lot of neutral zone hockey with little shots on goal but at the 4:33 mark of the first period, Penn State was gifted the first power play opportunity of the game when Notre Dame was given a two minute minor for high-sticking. Despite the man advantage and a few great scoring chances, the Nittany Lions were unable to find the back of the net as the game remained scoreless seven minutes into the opening period.

Minutes Penn State went on the first man advantage of the game, Notre Dame was given its first power play opportunity when senior captain Paul DeNaples was sent to the box for two minutes for interference. A strong kill by the Nittany Lions sent the game back to 5-on-5 hockey halfway through the opening period.

Only a few minutes later, Penn State would once again have to go back on the penalty kill as freshman forward Ben Schoen was given two minutes for slashing, sending the Fighting Irish right back on the power play. However; the Nittany Lions penalty kill was strong, once again, shutting down Notre Dame on the man advantage keeping the game scoreless entering the final five minutes of the first period.

The fourth penalty of the period came with under two minutes remaining as Notre Dame was given two minutes for charging. Despite being down a man, the Fighting Irish scored their sixth shorthanded goal of the season to take a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Forward Graham Slaggert beat Souliere high glove side for his eighth of the season.

At the end of one period, Notre Dame led 1-0 with shots in favor of the Fighting Irish 12-8. The Nittany Lions will open the second period with 36 seconds on power play time.

The puck dropped on the second period as just 14 seconds in, Notre Dame was whistled for cross-checking, giving Penn State a brief 23-second 5-on-3 power play. Despite the extended power play opportunity, the Nittany Lions were once again shut out on the man advantage, keeping the game at a one-goal Notre Dame advantage.

After possibly gaining momentum from the penalty kill, Notre Dame went back on the attack. Freshman forward Justin Janicke got behind the defense and beat Souliere to double Notre Dame’s lead at 2-0.

With an opportunity to add to its lead, Notre Dame was gifted yet another power play opportunity when defenseman Jimmy Dowd Jr. was sent to the box for tripping. Penn State was once again able to kill the penalty, keeping the game at a 2-0 Notre Dame lead.

Needing a goal to get on the board, junior forward Connor MacEachern beat Bischel alone in front of the net for his 13 goal of the season, cutting the Fighting Irish in half, 2-1.

Late in the second period with just over a minute remaining, Ben Schoen committed his second penalty of the game, this time for tripping, sending Notre Dame on another man advantage. It didn’t take long for the Fighting Irish to score on the power play, doubling their lead to 3-1.

In the opening minute of the final period, Penn State was given a power play off of a rare delay of game penalty following a face off. To keep up with the theme of tonight’s game, Notre Dame killed the penalty, sending the game back to 5-on-5 hockey.

At the 3:32 mark of the third period, a stoppage of play occurred to due an injured linesman. Play resumed shortly.

Following the stoppage, the Nittany Lions scored to cut the Fighting Irish lead in half making it a 3-2 hockey game in the third period. Junior forward Tyler Gratton scored his eighth of the season to put the Nittany Lions within a goal with just over 15 minutes remaining in the third period.

After a long review by the officials possibly looking for a five minute major, the call on the ice stood, sending the game back to even strength hockey with just over 14 minutes remaining.

The Nittany Lions defensive struggles continued into the third as Notre Dame scored back-to-back goals to take a commanding 5-2 lead halfway into the third. Trevor Janicke and Hunter Strand both scored push Notre Dame in front by three.

Notre Dame, lookin to pour it on, scored twice to take a 7-2 lead in the final minutes of the third period.

The horn sounded, ending the game at a 7-2 Notre Dame lead.


  • Discipling was once again an issue for the Penn State as the Nittany Lions committed five penalties
  • The defense struggled again tonight as the Nittany Lions struggled once again to keep Notre Dame out of their own zone, leading to seven goals, enough to take the win in the series opener
  • The struggles continued for the Nittany Lions in the third period. Heading into tonight’s game, Penn State had been outscored 30-41 in the third period. The Fighting Irish took advantage of this, outscoring the Nittany Lions 4-1 in the final period.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will continue their two game series against Notre Dame in South Bend on Saturday February 5 at 6 p.m. The game will be available for streaming on Peacock Premium TV.

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About the Author

Devon Craley

Devon is a junior studying sports journalism. He has the genuine misfortune of being a Philadelphia sports fan...IYKYK. Send your hot takes and preferably your freezing cold takes on Twitter to @devon3134. Devon is also your friendly, neighborhood State College movie nerd.

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