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No. 5 Penn State Men’s Hockey Defeats No. 19 Notre Dame 5-2

No. 5 Penn State men’s hockey (15-4-0 overall, 7-4-0 Big Ten) defeated No. 19 Notre Dame (7-8-2 overall, 3-5-1 Big Ten) 5-2 at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

It was a very back-and-forth game, but Penn State ultimately used a three-goal third period to secure another win to open the series.

How It Happened

Guy Gadowsky opted for his team’s so-called “identity line” of Ryan Kirwan, Xander Lamppa, and Christian Sarlo to start the game. Christian Berger and captain Paul DeNaples were the starting defensive pairing in front of Liam Souliere in goal.

The first ten minutes of the opening period were not very eventful. Each team had one solid shift and possessed momentum, but neither side was able to sustain it for long.

At the ten-minute mark, Xander Lamppa nearly scored on a wraparound chance from behind the net. The call was reviewed, and the officials determined the puck did not cross the goal line.

Shortly after, Notre Dame appeared to have momentum. The Irish took chances, and at 13:28, Jesse Lansdell snuck the puck through Souliere from behind the net to take a 1-0 lead.

However, Penn State wasted no time getting back into the game. A few minutes later, Connor McMenamin skated patiently in front of Bischel and sniped the puck into the net to tie the game 1-1 at 17:30 in the first period.

The Nittany Lions weren’t done, though.

Roughly one minute later at 18:44 in the period, Paul DeNaples received a pass and hammered the puck into the goal from the blue line to give the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead.

After a dull start to the game, the final portion of the opening period was a rollercoaster for both teams. Penn State skated into the locker room with a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.

The second period, on the other hand, was very uneventful. Neither side was able to establish a huge offensive presence or create solid chances during shifts.

Penn State had a brief power play, but Notre Dame kept it at bay and did not allow a goal.

Then, after some back-and-forth hockey, Jimmy Dowd Jr. took an interference penalty. Notre Dame took advantage, as Ryder Rolston sent a shot flying past the Penn State defense and into the net to tie the game 2-2 at 18:08 in the second period.

The second period ended 2-2.

Both teams had several great chances to begin the third period. As soon as one team had an exciting chance, the other would quickly take the puck down to the other end of the ice and put a shot on goal. Neither team was able to sustain momentum.

Then, at 12:14 in the third period, Kevin Wall passed the puck to Connor MacEachern from behind the net, who sent a one-timer into the goal to take a 3-2 lead.

Despite trailing late, the Irish continued to put up the same fight they had the whole game. They continued to disrupt Penn State’s offensive chances, even as the clock ticked.

Even though Notre Dame was playing good defense, it couldn’t stop Penn State from getting the empty netter. Dylan Gratton scored with two minutes to go, and then Ben Schoen followed suit soon after.

Penn State ultimately defeated Notre Dame 5-2 to open the series.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s turnaround at the end of the first period was remarkable. Scoring two goals in under a minute and a half was extremely impressive against a Notre Dame team that had put up a great fight thus far.
  • Although the Nittany Lions took over 30 shots on goal, they seemed to have a hard time keeping the puck for long periods of time. That will not fly as the season continues.
  • Tonight’s win is Penn State’s first win at Notre Dame since December 13, 2019, when the Nittany Lions won 4-2.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions and the Irish finish the series tomorrow night, with puck drop scheduled for 6 p.m. in South Bend.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a sophomore majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which isn't fun these days. If you want to keep in touch with Nolan, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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