Penn State played a very strong game but was unable to get the puck into the net. Cale Morris stopped every shot that the Lions were able to muster, shutting out one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation.
Notre Dame and Penn State came into the game tied for the fifth-most goals scored per game in the country, combining for over seven per game.
The score was just 1-0 but the game was very exciting. There were over thirty combined scoring chances for the teams, but the defense and goalies stood strong all night. This should be considered a very good sign for the recently-struggling Penn State goalie Peyton Jones. Jones came into the game with the lowest save percentage in the country for starting goalies, but let in just one goal
Penn State will travel to sunny Arizona State next week. The trip will serve as a chance for the team to take a quasi-bowl game excursion. Perhaps this, and the returning health of Denis Smirnov and Kevin Kerr, is just what Guy Gadowsky’s team needs right now.
The teams started a little slower than Friday night, but after a few minutes the speed matched that of the first game. There were plenty of scoring chances in the first half of the opening period, but none as good as Brandon Biro got on a 2 on 1 break.
Penn State took a slashing call for the first penalty of the game with 7:48 to go in the frame. Andrew Sturtz and Chase Berger had a 2 on 1 break while short-handed but were unable to get the short-handed goal. Penn State killed the penalty with relative ease. A few minutes later Sturtz went into the box when he was called for goalie interference while trying to score. The Lions killed it off once again, but this time Peyton Jones saw a lot of shots his way.
A hooking call was given to Notre Dame when Sturtz took the puck to the net soon after the teams went to even strength.
The Lions went on a power-play but were not able to score as time expired in the period with just over ten seconds remaining on the advantage. Here were the key stats at the first intermission, courtesy of NBCSN.
The Irish killed off the penalty to start the second period but it didn’t last long. A few minutes later Penn State got another power-play when Blake Gober was checked into the boards. The penalty came and went without a goal.
Nearly midway through the second period the shots were 4-2 in favor of the Lions. There was plenty of action but the puck was not heading toward the net as often as it did in the opening period. The action was heated, however, shown here by some extra curricular activity after the whistle. Nikita Pavlychev defends his goalie and gets an earful for it.
A couple minutes later James Robinson got called for slashing and Notre Dame skated 5 on 4. Peyton Jones made a couple of saves while the team killed the penalty. Shortly after Jones could not corral a rebound and the Irish made him pay for it. Bo Brauer scored his second goal of the season, and also of the series, to give Notre Dame the 1-0 lead.
Penn State went on the power-play when Liam Folkes was taken to the ice while trying to score. For the second time on the night the clock expired while PSU was on the power-play, this time with 35 seconds left on the advantage.
The final period started with each team moving the puck quickly but neither having quality scoring chances. Midway through the period Penn State put on a serious push to try to tie the game up. For nearly five minutes the ice seemed tilted in favor of Guy Gadowsky’s squad. Finally the Irish were called for a penalty, giving PSU a chance with just over eight minutes left to play. The team was not able to cash it in, getting just one shot on goal, at the end of the power-play.
With under three minutes to play Penn State put everything it had on the line to try to score. Notre Dame called timeout with 1:45 left to play in the game to talk things over. Peyton Jones went to the bench in favor of the extra skater. It wasn’t enough as the Lions were shut out for the first time this season.