Guy Gadowsky's squad used a balanced effort to grab the second game of the weekend series. With the loss of Casey Bailey, Taylor Holstrom and Scott Conway from last season's team coupled with the fact that Eric Scheid is currently injured, it was a wonder how the team would put the puck in the net. The answer appears to be that scoring will come from everywhere, not just a handful of players. For the second time in this young season, both wins, five different Lions scored a goal. Eamon McAdam grabbed his second win while making 30 saves.
PSU used a flurry of three second-period goals in two minutes to flip a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead that it would hold until the final horn.
The game started with a slow pace on the ice. The atmosphere at the Peg was complacent as though the fans were waiting to have a reason to get into the game. Two minutes in, Notre Dame scored when Ben Ostlie put a rebound past Penn State goalie Eamon McAdam. Jake Evans and Jordan Gross assisted on the play. McAdam was able to stop the initial attack but when the rebound popped out to the opposite side, no defender was there to check Ostlie and he had an easy time finishing the play.
The silence inside the stadium was mimicking the play on the ice for a few moments after the goal, PSU seemed uninspired. Five minutes in, the pace began to pick up and the line of Sturtz, Richard and Olczyk had a few good looks at scoring, to no avail. The successful line seemed to pick up the energy on the Lion's side.
A few shifts later with twelve minutes remaining in the period, Kenny Brooks threw a low-angle shot on net that Notre Dame goalie Cal Peterson was unable to hold onto. The puck bounced to the front of the net and PSU defensemen David Thompson crashed down from his position on the blue line to put the loose puck in the net for the goal. Brooks and Curtis Loik got the assist.
From this point the Lions took control of the ice for the remainder of the period. While the team was unable to score, it put heavy pressure on the visiting team and allowed the young players to skate with enthusiasm.
The fans let Peterson know whose fault the first PSU goal was as can be heard in the video.
Little Lion comes to visit us and the @PennStateMHKY scores a goal to tie up at one. Coincidence? We think not pic.twitter.com/nm45A53u54— Roar Zone (@TheRoarZone) October 17, 2015
Penn State came out of the locker room ready to play in the second period. The team had two great shots on consecutive shifts in the early going but was unable to get one past Peterson.
The fast pace continued for a few more minutes. Mike Williamson was called for a penalty, the first for Penn State in two games with the Irish, six minutes in. Notre Dame had a great chance to score on a scramble in front of Eamon McAdam but were unable to finish the play. Later in the power play, with one second remaining with the extra skater, the Irish were able to score. Dylan Malmquist put the puck past McAdam on an assist from Bobby Nardella and Thomas DiPauli.
Moments later Penn State went on the power play down 2-1. On a face-off to start the power play, Thomas DiPauli was called for holding the puck with his hand on the ice. The Lions went on a 5-on-3 power play.
It didn't take PSU long to capitalize on the mistake. Chase Berger settled into the high slot and took a pass from Kenny Brooks and was able to score the tying goal. Kevin Kerr assisted on the goal as well. The Lions still had 1:40 remaining on the DiPauli penalty and skated with a man advantage.
A moment later Kenny Brooks carried the puck in deep, taking the puck all the way from the blue line to the front of the net. Brooks got a shot off late and the rebound bounced out to Alec Marsh, who put the puck in the back of the net. Brooks and David Glen got the assist.
The go-ahead goal energized the crowd and the team. The teams were now skating with the same number of players but it was not exactly even strength. With the advantage of the crowd, playing with a lead for the first time this weekend, the Lions skated with purpose. Soon after Ricky DeRosa scored again on a pass from Matt Mendelson.
For the first time in two games, the Peg was alive. The Lions continued to pour it on and nearly scored again on a shot by David Glen that the refs stopped the game to review. The goal did not count and Alec Marsh was called for a penalty. The Fighting Irish went on the power play.
Mario Lucia took advantage of the extra skater, scoring the power play goal with seven minutes left in the period. The goal was assisted by Bobby Nardella and Jake Evans. Clinging to a one-goal lead the crowd was quieted once again. Just seconds later Eamon McAdam was forced to make a diving paddle save to preserve the lead. The Lions weathered the Notre Dame push and momentum was even.
With five minutes left in the period a player for each team was called for a penalty and resulted in two minutes of four-on-four action. Twenty seconds later the Lions were called for another penalty making it a 4-on-3 power play for the Irish.
With a couple of great saves by McAdam and a clutch clear from Vince Pedrie, Penn State was able to kill both penalties.
The remainder of the period was fiercely contested. The final forty seconds of the stanza saw the puck remain in Notre Dame's defensive zone, with Penn State peppering goalie Cal Peterson with one shot after the other. While the Lions were committing to the scoring chance, the Irish were up to the challenge. When the horn sounded to end the period, it was similar to a boxing match where the two sides let down the defensive guard and swapped punch after punch. The crowd was energized and the teams needed a break as the game went to the second intermission.
END 2ND: #PennState 4, Notre Dame 3. #PSU roars in front with three straight goals. PIA is electric. #HockeyValley pic.twitter.com/nVg0bBQscX— Penn State Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) October 17, 2015
For the first five minutes of the period each team skated with guarded enthusiasm. It was clear that the teams did not want to be the first to make a mistake. Finally ten minutes into the period the Lions were called for a penalty when David Goodwin was called for a trip.
Penn State was able to kill the penalty with several long clears. Moments after the penalty expired, Notre Dame had the best chance of the period thus far to score, but Eamon McAdam used his helmet to deflect the puck to safety.
With five minutes remaining in the game Notre Dame almost tied the game but the puck deflected off the open post. With three minutes left Kevin Fogarty took the puck coast to coast, nearly scoring to tie the game. McAdam once again was up to the task, stopping the initial shot and then making a diving save on the rebound shot.
Late in the period Penn State went on the power play, rendering the Golden Domers' chances at making a late comeback by pulling the goalie less effective. With twelve seconds remaining in the game Curtis Loik sealed the victory with an empty-net goal. Goodwin assisted on the final goal.
First Star- Kenny Brooks, Penn State. Kenny Brooks had three assists, called a playmaker.
Second Star- Mario Lucia, Notre Dame. Lucia had a goal in the third period.
Third Star- Ricky DeRosa, Penn State. DeRosa had what would become the game-winning goal in the second period.
- Ricky DeRosa has scored each of the game-winning goals for the Lions this season.
- The Lions host American International College (0-3-0) next Friday and Saturday. AIC won only four games last season and this is a great chance for PSU to pick up a couple of wins at home.
- The game was a sell-out for the fourteenth consecutive time at the Peg with attendance tallying 6,150.