It was a bit of a tough weekend for the Penn State Men’s Hockey team (5-7-0, 2-4-0) as they headed to South Bend, Indiana to face the notoriously difficult Fighting Irish.
On Friday, it was Penn State who opened up the scoring thanks to a well-placed feeder pass from Alec Marsh (Bridgewater, N.J.) to Blake Gober (Colleyville, Tx.), who artfully dropped the puck behind the keeper just four minutes into play.
Notre Dame came back midway through the period to tie things up, but it was Nikita Pavlychev (Yaroslavl, Russia) who came in clutch, scoring another goal just eight seconds before the end of the first period to give Penn State a 2-1 edge over Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish fought hard indeed in the second period and earned themselves a 3-2 edge with minutes to go before intermission.
Luckily, veteran Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) worked his magic and used superior stick skills to best the Notre Dame defense and slide the puck behind the netminder to tie things up heading into the intermission.
Sadly, the third period was not meant to be. Notre Dame was able to find the back of the net two more times before the final buzzer, earning themselves a 5-3 win over the Lions.
Sophomore goalie Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) made 14 saves for the Lions, who had 43 shots against the Fighting Irish.
Both teams came out ready to battle on Saturday night, and a battle it was.
In an almost unheard of series of events, the only goal scored in the entirety of the game was a single Notre Dame goal at the fourteen-minute mark in the second period.
Penn State and Notre Dame played a fast and furious three periods, but neither team was able to create as many scoring opportunities as they would have liked.
In the end, Penn State recorded 33 shots against Notre Dame, while Jones logged 26 saves for the Lions throughout all three periods.
The Blue and White have all week to shake off the loss before heading to Glendale, Arizona, to face the Arizona State Sun Devils in a weekend series. Fans can tune in to the PAC-12 Network on Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern to watch all the action. Let’s go, Lions!