Goals By Period
Penn State was bound to regress toward the mean. Perfect in their previous four overtime games this season, the streak wasn’t going to continue forever. Spencer Stastney made sure of that.
The Notre Dame defenseman jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone and charged in on a breakaway. A quick move and he got Oskar Autio to bite, flicking a wrist shot past the goalie’s outstretched pad and giving the Fighting Irish the 3-2 win over the Nittany Lions.
It was just the second shot on net for the Fighting Irish in an overtime otherwise owned by the Nittany Lions. But the Fighting Irish were once again effective in their sit-back-and-attack style.
The handful of shots the Nittany Lions took in overtime weren’t particularly threatening. But then, the Nittany Lions attack for a majority of the weekend wasn’t particularly threatening. Dylan St. Cyr stopped 33 of 35 on Friday after stopping 34 of 36 the night prior.
The two Nittany Lions to beat him on Friday required the perfect opportunity to do so. Tyler Gratton muscled the puck away from a Notre Dame defender to give himself a point blank chance. Sam Sternschein got lost in coverage to give himself a point blank chance.
While the latter didn’t stand as the game-winning goal, it could turn the tide of an individual’s season.
Sternschein has been snake bitten this season. The team and maybe NCAA leader in “goals per minute,” as Guy Gadowsky puts it, had managed just a single goal coming into Friday’s game. After scoring 12 last season and poised for an expanded role in the lineup this season, Sternschein was expected to be among the scoring leaders for the Nittany Lions.
How It Happened
The two teams traded chances throughout the first period, with the Nittany Lions getting the better of them in the early going. Toward the end of the opening frame, the Nittany Lions finally broke through.
After forcing Jake Boltmann to give the puck away, Tyler Gratton capped off a supreme individual effort as he lifted a wrist shot over the glove of Dylan St. Cyr.
The Fighting Irish leveled the game early in the second period. Alex Steeves batted in his own rebound for his second of the weekend after Oskar Autio made an incredible save on the initial attempt.
Early in the third period, the Nittany Lions regained the lead. Left all alone in front of the Fighting Irish net, Sam Sternschein sent a wrist shot past St. Cyr’s glove.
Midway through the third, the Fighting Irish rallied once again. Colin Theisen picked up the puck in the neutral zone and charged to the goal, tucking a shot past Autio’s pad.
Just past the final minute of overtime, Spencer Stastney jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone and charged ahead on a breakaway, beating Autio’s outstretched pad after a quick move.