Penn State dropped the series opener to Notre Dame 4-1 on Friday night, stretching its losing streak to three games.
Notre Dame struck first 6:29 into the first period on an easy rebound goal from Danny Nelson. The Irish would extend their lead to two with less than 1 second remaining with Trevor Janicke scoring a shorthanded tally. Janicke’s goal was the sixth shorthanded goal allowed by Penn State this season.
Dylan Lugris tried to give Penn State a spark midway through the second period, scoring off a rebound from a Dane Dowiak shot. The momentum would be short-lived, as Maddox Fleming immediately converted a horrible defensive zone turnover into a goal to give the Irish a 3-1 lead.
The third was relatively quiet, and the Nittany Lions were unable to take advantage of two Notre Dame penalties. Notre Dame scored an insurance marker on an empty net goal by Ryan Siedem to salt away a 4-1 win.
Notes and Thoughts
- Goaltending Woes: Penn State is now tied with Stonehill for the worst save percentage in Division 1 hockey (.862%). Goaltending has been a weakness all season, and the stronger competition of Big Ten play has left Noah Grannan and Liam Souliere exposed.
- January Jam: Dating back to the 2021-22 season, Penn State is 4-12-1 in conference games played in January. The team has struggled to regain momentum coming out of the holiday break.
- Kids Line Silenced: Aiden Fink, Matt DiMarsico, and Reese Laubach have scored only 1 goal in the last five conference games. They will only get better with time, but their inexperience is beginning to show right now.
The series finale will be played tonight at 6pm. The game is available for streaming on Peacock.