Penn State Falls to Notre Dame
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In a matchup that drew in 6,229 people - the second largest crowd ever at Pegula Ice Arena - No. 17 Penn State fell to No. 2 Notre Dame in game one of a two-game series. After rallying back to tie the game 3-3 heading into the third period, the Fighting Irish never looked back, racking up two final goals and handing Penn State their sixth straight loss.
“We came out hard,” junior forward Andrew Sturtz said. “But the game’s 60 minutes and we’ve got to figure out how to play a whole 60.”
Penn State fed off the energy of the White Out crowd early in the first period. Using speed to win races for loose pucks and showering shots on Notre Dame goalie Cale Morris, the Nittany Lions registered 23 shots on goal for the most shots on goal this season in the first period.
Forwards Alec Marsh and Chase Berger each scored in the first period, both off right-side offensive zone faceoffs won by Sturtz. Picking up assists on both those plays, Sturtz boosted his career points total to 98 in his first 102 appearances. On the opposite end, goalie Peyton Jones held strong, delivering 16 saves for the Nittany Lions.
Heading into intermission with a 2-0 lead, the Nittany Lions appeared unfazed both offensively and defensively by their Notre Dame counterparts.
“I liked everything we did at both ends of the ice,” Head Coach Guy Gadowsky said. “I thought it was one of our best periods, maybe the best period we’ve played.”
Although the first period swung in favor of Penn State, the second saw the Fighting Irish begin to close the gap. Four minutes into the period, Notre Dame’s Andrew Oglevie scored on a one-timer to put the Irish on the board. After defenseman Kevin Kerr suffered a high-sticking penalty, Notre Dame was able to score again on a power-play goal, tying the game 2-2.
Penn State quickly answered back as Berger picked up his second goal of the night and 10th of the season on a tip out front from Sturtz and senior defenseman Trevor Hamilton. Sophomore forward Nikita Pavlychev attempted to boost the Lions up by two again, but a save by Morris and goal by Notre Dame’s Bo Brauer during an odd-man rush tied the game back up 3-3 heading into the second intermission.
With less than five minutes into the third period, Brauer scored again off a behind the net feed from teammate Bobby Narthe. With the Fighting Irish obtaining their first lead of the game, both discipline and focus helped the team not only hold onto their lead but limit sloppy mistakes from being made during the remainder of the game.
With Penn State holding a lead over Notre Dame twice throughout the night, this matchup was a big wake up call for Penn State in realizing the importance of playing to ones’ maximum potential the whole game through.
“You can’t be really good for three-quarters of a game,” Berger said. “Good teams are going to capitalize like that. I guess they showed us, if you want to beat them, you’ve got to beat them for 60 minutes and not three-fourths of the game.”
Hoping to use this game as a learning lesson, Penn State will have another opportunity to battle against the Fighting Irish on Saturday in game two of a two-game series with puck drop slated for 4 p.m.
Ellie French is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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