The game started with the teams feeling one another out for the first five minutes. At the five minute mark the fourth offensive line for the Lions skated on the ice alongside the first defensive line. This meant that for the first time in division-one program history, five out of the six players on the ice for Penn State were from Pennsylvania. With goalie Matt Skoff from just outside of Pittsburgh in net, Kevin Kerr from Bensalem, David Thompson from Glen Mills, Matt Mendelson from Pittsburgh and Ricky DeRosa from Aston, the team showcased a near all-Pennsylvania squad. As soon as the group left the ice, PSU would allow the first goal of the night.
Notre Dame nearly scored on its first shot on goal and then with the second shot, the puck slid past PSU goalie Matt Skoff. Senior captain Thomas DiPauli redirected a shot by Jordan Gross.
A hustle play by Chase Berger forced Notre Dame to take a penalty when Justin Wade hooked Berger as he skated toward the goal with the puck after forcing a turnover. Moments later Penn State tied the game with a power play goal by Dylan Richard thanks to assists from Vince Pedrie and Curtis Loik.
Just a few minutes later Notre Dame scored its second goal of the game on only the third shot it had on net. Andy Ryan scored on a shot from the point assisted by Anders Bjork and Connor Hurley. That brought the score to 2-1 Irish leading with seven minutes left in the period. Other than the score, the Lions had been dominating every facet of the game. At that point PSU had a 14-3 shot advantage and had the upper hand in time of possession in the scoring zone.
Steven Fogarty scored on a goal assisted by Sam Herr and Mario Lucia three minutes later to bring the lead out to 3-1 Notre Dame with four minutes remaining in the period.
With just under two minutes remaining in the period freshmen forward Andrew Sturtz made a great individual play, forcing the puck into the Notre Dame zone, and the Irish were forced to take a penalty to keep him from getting a good look at the goal. The Lions went on the power play for the second time in the period. Unable to score with the extra skater, the period ended with 21 seconds remaining on the power play.
The Irish were able to kill off the remainder of the penalty to start the period and the teams skated fast and evenly for the first several minutes of the period.
Steven Fogarty scored for the second time in the game to take Notre Dame's lead to 4-1, with thirteen minutes left in the period. Sam Herr got the assist. The scoring onslaught by the Irish had rendered the Pegula crowd silent by this point. The team was desperately in need of making a play that would get the crowd back involved in the game.
Unfortunately for the Lions, Fogarty completed the hat trick with two minutes remaining in the period. Mario Lucia got his second assist on the night and Sam Herr, his third. It would be normal for a team down 5-1 with two minutes remaining in the second period to hang its head.
Penn State did not, as Alec Marsh scored just a few seconds later on an assist from David Goodwin and David Glen to cut the lead to 5-2. Just moments later Dylan Richard added another goal for the home team, assisted by Erik Autio, and Penn State was trailing by only two, 5-3. Less than two minutes after the Irish extended the lead to 5-1, the teams were separated by only two goals.
The period ended with a feeling inside the Peg that there may still be some magic left in the Lions.
Penn State came out of the locker room hoping to score the first goal. Notre Dame dashed those hopes when Mario Lucia scored to take the lead back to three for the Irish, 6-3. Gross and Fogarty assisted on the play.
The Lions were in need of a quick goal to get the crowd back in the game, but it wasn't to be. Andy Ryan scored for the second time on an assist from Anders Bjork.
Down 7-3, Penn State goalie Matt Skoff was taken out and replaced by freshmen Chris Funkey. While Skoff allowed seven goals, many were plays that are nearly impossible to stop for a goalie. There were screens, breakaways, and plays where the defense was out of position.
To the credit of the home team, it once again summoned up the energy to make another run. Alec Marsh scored for the second time on an assist by David Glen. Down three with fourteen minutes remaining in the game, the crowd came alive and the teams skated furiously for the next few minutes.
Not willing to go home quietly, Penn State pulled goalie Chris Funkey with over six minutes remaining in the game to try to make a comeback. Thirty seconds later the Lions went on the power play for the third time in the game. With one minute left on the penalty, Guy Gadowsky pulled Funkey once again to give the team two extra skaters. The effort was valiant but the team was unable to cut into the three-goal deficit.
Funkey would make several trips to the bench and back to the goalie crease before the game was over as Gadowsky tried everything possible to give his team a chance to pull even. Penn State was unable to score. The game ended 7-4 in favor of Notre Dame.
Stars of The Game
First Star- Steven Fogarty, Notre Dame. Three goals, one assist.
Second Star- Mario Lucia, Notre Dame. One goal, two assists.
Third Star- Alec Marsh, Penn State. Two goals.
- Sam Herr of Notre Dame had three assists
- The teams will face off tomorrow at 3 p.m. for game two of the series
- Attendance for the game was 6,102
- With 15 seconds left in the game, down three goals, Penn State Erik Autio put his body in front of a shot for the block. Autio would limp his way off the ice in obvious pain.