Thunderous cheers from the Irish faithful filled Compton Family Ice Arena as Notre Dame won the Big Ten championship title against Penn State 3-2 tonight. The team’s second Big Ten title earns their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid — a first in Irish hockey history.
The Nittany Lions may have dominated on offense early on, eventually surpassing Notre Dame’s 29 shots with 48 in the whole game. However, the Irish maintained the structured defense characteristic of their program over three periods to clinch the title. Irish forward Spencer Stastney reacted to Penn State’s early aggression with the first goal of the game before four minutes had passed in the first period. Penn State’s Sam Sternschein tied things up as the Nittany Lions continued their attack on Irish goalie Cale Morris. Irish forward Cal Burke fought to close the period with an Irish lead as he scored Notre Dame’s second goal, but Penn State’s Alec Marsh brought back the deadlock with a Nittany Lions goal.
The second period brought a struggle of the highest stakes as the Irish and Nittany Lions fought to break the tie. Notre Dame’s Cam Morrison regained the Irish lead as the period neared its end.
A Penn State team penalty for too many men on the ice guarded the Irish lead even further, but fired up the Nittany Lions as the clock ran further down. Pulling Penn State goalie Peyton Jones from the net was not enough to tie the game back up, and the Irish claimed the title on home ice.
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Notre Dame: Spencer Stastney at 03:43 in the 1st, assist from Graham Slaggert
Penn State: Sam Sternschein at 08:04 in the 1st, assists from Nikita Pavlychev and Evan Bell
Notre Dame: Cal Burke at 16:19 in the 1st, assists from Colin Theisen and Andrew Peeke
Penn State: Alec Marsh at 16:53 in the 1st, assists from Brandon Biro and Chase Berger
Notre Dame: Cam Morrison at 18:24 in the 2nd, assists from Mike O’Leary and Bobby Nardella
Notre Dame: Cal Burke for slashing at 09:49 in the 1st
Penn State: Ludvig Larsson for slashing at 17:31 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Cam Morrison for boarding at 02:00 in the 2nd
Penn State: TEAM, Too many men on the ice at 13:33 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Cale Morris, 46 saves
Penn State: Peyton Jones, 26 saves