Penn State Men’s Hockey Drops Second Game To Notre Dame 6-3
Penn State men’s hockey (10-10-3, 2-8-3 Big Ten) lost its second matchup of the weekend series to Notre Dame (12-11-2, 6-7-2 Big Ten) 6-3 in South Bend.
The Nittany Lions committed six penalties in the game and struggled with Notre Dame’s power play unit. The Irish scored an own goal in the third period that tied the game up at 3-3 until Notre Dame scored less than a minute later and didn’t give the lead up again.
How It Happened
Guy Gadowsky went with Liam Souliere in net for the Nittany Lions’ second matchup with Notre Dame after Noah Grannan got the start in Friday’s loss.
Souliere was tested early and stopped a rocket from Ryan Siedem less than a minute into the game. Penn State responded with a shot of its own from Tanner Palocsik that was turned aside by Irish goaltender Ryan Bischel. By the third minute of the period, Penn State had wracked up six shots on goal.
The Irish found themselves with an odd-man rush with 16 minutes remaining, but Souliere flashed his stick and got a piece of the puck with his blocker as play rolled on. Penn State continued to establish its pace of play as Souliere settled into the net after making another save just a few seconds later.
Christian Sarlo found some space and ripped a backhand shot into the waiting glove of Bischel as things got more physical. Penn State had an odd-man rush of its own at the halfway point in the period as Kirwan descended on the crease but again couldn’t beat Bischel.
Goaltending continued to reign supreme as Alex Servagno unleashed a one-time shot that Bischel managed to save with just under nine minutes remaining in the opening frame. Notre Dame went to its first power play of the game after Jacques Bouquot was called for a faceoff violation on the ensuing draw.
After a brief glimpse of hope for the Irish in front of the net that was saved by Souliere, Penn State pulled off the kill and returned to full strength before matching roughing minors sent the teams to four-on-four action. The four-on-four didn’t last long as Bischel was called for a slash, and Penn State went to the power play. The power play unit had the puck in the offensive zone for almost the entire penalty but couldn’t find paydirt on two shots toward Bischel.
Resse Laubach crashed the net and put the puck past Bischel but ran into the goaltender and was mobbed by the Irish. After some deliberation as Bischel was slow to get up, it was ruled a goal with a review for making contact to the head of the goaltender. The goal was allowed, but Laubach was put in the box for five minutes after making contact with the head of Bischel as Penn State went up 1-0.
Crespo was called for a cross-check on while on the penalty kill, and Penn State was faced with a five-on-three for two minutes. Despite constant pressure from the Irish, Penn State held until the end of an interesting first period leading 1-0.
The Nittany Lions had 40 seconds left on the five-on-three to begin the second period. Souliere made an impressive save at the start of the period, but Penn State couldn’t clear the zone and Patrick Moynihan put it home to even the game at 1-1. After the goal, Penn State released one penalty but still had over two minutes left on Laubach’s five-minute major. Souliere stayed strong and the Nittany Lions killed the remainder of the major penalty and returned to full strength.
Neither team could maintain control for the middle of the second period with almost nonstop play before Sarlo ripped a shot on net that was gloved by Bischel for a faceoff. Notre Dame returned with a flurry of shots that were stopped by Souliere as neither team could break through. After a scrum behind the net, Jake Boltmann was sent to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct and Penn State went back on the power play.
The unit’s woes continued as the Irish killed the penalty and the teams skated into the final nine minutes of the second period tied at 1-1. After the Irish gained the zone and shared the puck around, Landon Slaggert found the puck on his stick near the slot to score and give the Irish the lead at 2-1.
Souliere was tested again with five minutes left in the period as multiple rebounds were thrown back on the net to no avail. Both teams generated good chances throughout the final minutes of the second period, but the goaltenders didn’t let anything past and Penn State went to the break trailing 2-1.
Jimmy Dowd Jr. was called for a hook with less than a minute gone in the third period and Notre Dame went to the power play. Penn State defended well early but eventually Moynihan broke through and gave the Irish a two-goal lead at 3-1. Penn State responded with a goal of its own from the stick of Simon Mack a minute later to bring the game back to 3-2.
The referee threw his arm up for a delayed penalty on the Nittany Lions and Bischel skated toward the bench for a man advantage. However, an errant pass went off the stick of Bischel and into the net, evening the game at 3-3 on a Notre Dame own goal.
Laubach went to the box after being called for the hook that led to the own goal. Penn State’s penalty kill unit couldn’t stop the Irish as Danny Nelson beat Souliere and gave the Irish the lead again at 4-3.
A long period of sustained play didn’t lead to many chances for either team with Penn State dumping the puck into the zone but failing to keep possession. Kirwan collected a feed from Lamppa in front of the net but Bischel couldn’t be beaten with less than five minutes left in the game.
Gadowsky pulled Souliere with 2:24 left in the game and Penn State settled into the offensive zone. Penn State lasted 40 seconds before Trevor Janicke collected the puck in front of the empty net and put the Irish up 5-3 with 1:41 remaining.
Souliere reentered for the faceoff but quickly skated back to the bench. Penn State couldn’t gain the zone, and it was up to Fink to get in the way of a Notre Dame shot at the empty net. Penn State had momentary relief in its offensive zone before the puck was taken and put into the net by Nelson to push the lead to 6-3.
Penn State threw the puck into the zone again as time expired and the Nittany Lions dropped their fourth straight game.
- Penn State’s power play continues to be an issue for the Nittany Lions. The blue and white went 0-3 on the power play Saturday and didn’t convert a power-play opportunity in the series.
- Souliere had a better night in goal and kept Penn State in the game. The senior replaced Grannan after the 4-1 loss on Friday and recorded a .871 save percentage in the tight loss.
- The Nittany Lion penalty kill unit also struggled on Saturday, giving up three of the six Irish goals while a Penn State player was in the box.
The Nittany Lions return home for a series against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Game one will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 26, at Pegula Ice Arena.
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About the Author
The Nittany Lions participated in a max-out lifting session to mark the end of winter workouts.
Gaines was committed to the Nittany Lions for nearly a year.
Sophomore forward Tessa Janecke also earned CHA Player of the Year and Forward of the Year distinctions.