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No. 6 Penn State Men’s Hockey Falls 2-1 To Notre Dame

No. 6 Penn State men’s hockey (17-7-1 overall, 7-7-1 Big Ten) lost 2-1 to Notre Dame (11-11-3 overall, 6-7-2 Big Ten) in a heartbreaker at Pegula Ice Arena.

Despite grabbing a 1-0 lead and having over 50 shots on goal, Penn State wound up losing its first game of the series for the second consecutive week. A late push with an extra attacker nearly led to a goal, but the Nittany Lions ultimately fell short.

How It Happened

After handing out pizza to fans in the Roar Zone, head coach Guy Gadowsky opted to start Danny Dzhaniyev, Ture Linden, and Ashton Calder on his top line. Paul DeNaples and Christian Berger lined up as the top defensive pairing, while Hobey Baker Award nominee Liam Souliere started in goal.

Penn State’s offense dominated the first period. After brief back-and-forth play in the first few minutes of the game, the Nittany Lions’ offense heated up.

The Nittany Lions lost control of the puck and sent shot after shot in the direction of Fighting Irish goaltender Ryan Bischel. There were several near-misses for Penn State. The Nittany Lions had Bischel beat on numerous occasions but missed the net. Bischel was having a solid period.

Penn State got the first power play of the game after Jake Boltmann took a two-minute minor for slashing at 14:44 in the first period. Although the Nittany Lions had multiple good chances, Bischel continued to keep them at bay.

Then, at 19:00 in the first period, Dzhaniyev picked up a rebound and fired the puck into the goal to break the ice, giving Penn State a 1-0 lead.

The period ended with the Nittany Lions up 1-0 on the Irish. They were dominant offensively, with 19 shots compared to Notre Dame’s six.

Much of the first half of the second period was dominated by back-and-forth hockey. However, Penn State controlled the puck more often than not and challenged Bischel.

Then, however, Chayse Primeau managed to find the back of the net and tie the game 1-1 at 5:42 in the second period. It was just Notre Dame’s ninth shot on goal at that point.

At just over 10 minutes into the period, a scrum broke out by the Notre Dame goal. Xander Lamppa, who lost his helmet in the process, got into it with Ryan Helliwell, and multiple other players joined in on the pushing and shoving. Lamppa, Helliwell, and Carter Schade were each assessed two-minute penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, handing the Irish a power play.

Toward the end of the period, Connor McMenamin crashed into Bischel, sending both players to the ground. The referees booked McMenamin for a two-minute charging penalty, causing outrage from the Pegula faithful.

The second period ended tied 1-1, with the Irish still on the one-man advantage.

Right as Penn State killed McMenamin’s penalty, Ashton Calder got booked for tripping at 1:21 in the third period.

This time, Notre Dame capitalized. With heavy traffic in front of Souliere, Ryder Rolston scored his seventh goal of the season at 2:12 in the third period to take a 2-1 Irish lead.

Then, Penn State got its second power play of the night, with Jack Adams serving a two-minute minor for too many men on the ice.

Once again, Penn State took yet another penalty with just eight seconds left on its power play. This time, Jarod Crespo was sent to the sin bin on a two-minute interference penalty.

For some reason, the penalty saga continued. Adams had his second stint in the sin bin of the night, and this time he actually did something by tripping Ashton Calder. Like the other three penalties of the period, neither team scored.

With two minutes remaining, Gadowsky pulled Souliere in search of one final push for a game-tying goal. Despite several close chances, that goal never came, as Notre Dame stole a 2-1 victory.

Takeaways

  • Penn State had trouble all night finding the net. Many of its shots and chances were near-misses that easily could’ve been goals.
  • In reference to the first point, the Nittany Lions had 53 shots on goal and only one of them went in. That’s simply not good enough to win, and Penn State will have to be more efficient moving forward.
  • Pegula Ice Arena’s 6,558 attendance mark set a new program record Friday night, as it was an electric crowd for the Nittany Lions’ matchup with Notre Dame.

What’s Next

Penn State and Notre Dame finish the series tomorrow, January 21, with puck drop scheduled for 5 p.m. for the annual “Wear White” game.

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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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