The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team played their final game of the regular season on Saturday night against the Penn State Nittany Lions. On senior night, the Irish honored Jack Jenkins, Dylan Malmquist, Bobby Nardella, and Joe Wegwerth before their final (regular season) home game inside Compton Family Ice Arena.
When the game started, both teams came out ready to play. Penn State opened the scoring just over five minutes into the game, when Nikita Pavlychev found the back of the net.
Andrew Peeke responded for Notre Dame with five minutes to go in the period with the Irish on a 5-on-3 advantage. Peeke took a pass from Bobby Nardella and fired a one timer low and into the net. The assist for Nardella was his 100th career point, becoming the 54th player in program history to reach that total.
Penn State reclaimed the lead early in the second, but Notre Dame responded again. This time, Cam Burke was positioned in front of the net to jump on a rebound after a shot from Pierce Crawford for his fourth goal of the season.
Late in the third, with Penn State on the power play, they found what would be the game winner when Evan Barratt beat Irish goaltender Cale Morris. Morris still finished with 34 saves on the night, including 18 in the second period.
PSU - Nikita Pavlychev (14) at 5:14 in the 1st, assisted by Blake Gober and Sam Sternschein
ND - Andrew Peeke (3) 5-on-3 at 15:26 in the 1st, assisted by Bobby Nardella and Dylan Malmquist
PSU - Alex Limoges (17) on the PP at 1:49 in the 2nd, assisted by Liam Folkes and Kevin Kerr
ND - Cam Burke (4) at 13:58 in the 2nd, assisted by Pierce Crawford and Matt Steeves
PSU - Evan Barratt (16) on the PP at 5:55 in the 3rd, assisted by Kevin Kerr and Liam Folkes
ND - Cale Morris saved 34 of 37 shots in the loss
PSU - Peyton Jones made 38 saves on 40 shots for the win
PSU - Evan Barratt, 2 for hooking at 1:00 in the 1st
ND - Mike O’Leary, 2 for tripping at 13:11 in the 1st
PSU - Chase Berger, 2 for tripping at 13:51 in the 1st
PSU - BENCH, 2 for too many players at 14:40 in the 1st
PSU - Nikita Pavlychev, 2 for boarding at 15:12 in the 1st
ND - Graham Slaggert, 2 for interference at 1:15 in the 2nd
PSU - Alec Marsh, 2 for interference at 5:57 in the 2nd
PSU - Evan Barratt, 2 for embellishment at 10:58 in the 2nd
ND - Jake Pivonka, 2 for hooking at 10:58 in the 2nd
ND - Matt Hellickson, 2 for interference at 19:51 in the 2nd
ND - Tory Dello, 2 for interference at 5:24 in the 3rd
PSU - Nate Sucese, 2 for hooking at 16:14 in the 3rd
Notre Dame clinched the 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament and will open up the tournament at home next weekend with a best of three series against the Michigan State Spartans. Games are Friday 3/8, Saturday 3/9, and Sunday 3/10 (if necessary) all at 7 pm ET.
Should the Irish win they will face the third highest ranked team in the semifinals, as the top ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, who earned a bye through the quarterfinals, will face the lowest seed remaining.