The Super Bowl wasn’t the only exciting sporting event this weekend. No. 17 Penn State Men’s Hockey (13-12-5, 6-9-5) welcomed storied rival No. 2 Notre Dame to Pegula Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday evening.
Pegula was filled to the brim on Friday with just over 6,200 fans in the house. Penn State dominated the first period and earned a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Alec Marsh (Bridgewater, N.J.) at the seven-minute mark and Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) at the 17-minute mark.
Notre Dame came out with guns blazing in the second period, securing three goals all in the 20-minute span.
Penn State scrambled to keep pace, but could only muster one more goal before intermission, another Berger goal thanks to an assist from teammate Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.).
Despite strong efforts from the Lions’ offense in the third, the Fighting Irish worked their way through the Blue and White defense to lock in two more goals before the final buzzer, granting Notre Dame a game one victory, 5-3.
Goalie Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) recorded 32 saves for the Lions, who had 51 shots on Notre Dame.
Never ones to give up, the Nittany Lions roared back on Saturday night to tally a 2-2 tie against the Irish.
With two Notre Dame goals scored in the first 10 minutes of the first, fans feared that Saturday’s game would be a repeat of Friday night’s loss. Penn State, however, knew this would not be true.
Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) broke through Notre Dame’s defense with just two minutes to go in the first and found the twine thanks to a rebound from teammate James Gobetz’s (St. James, N.Y.) initial shot.
The sophomores shined bright in the second period as Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alberta) fed classmate Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ontario) early on in the second period and resulted in the tying goal for the Lions.
The two teams fought hard for the remainder of this nail-biter of a game. In overtime, Notre Dame secured the extra point, but a tied game in regulation is a testament to how driven our Lions are.
Jones netminded for 65 minutes and logged 32 saves. Penn State recorded 57 shots on the Irish, keeping the pressure on all game.
The Blue and White can catch their breath this week as their next game is not until February 16 in East Lansing against Michigan State. Tune in to the Big Ten Network on Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively to catch all the action!