The Notre Dame Fighting Irish traveled to the Hockey Valley on Thursday for the first game of their series against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Head coach Jeff Jackson’s team looked to bounce back after a disappointing sweep at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines last week. The Fighting Irish and Nittany Lions, meeting for the first time this season, entered separated by one point, sitting fourth and fifth in the Big Ten standings, respectively.
The Notre Dame offense put plenty of pressure on throughout the opening frame, doubling up Penn State in shots by a tally of 16-8. Their best scoring chance came an Alex Steeves shot right in front of the glove crease, but a miraculous toe save by Oskar Autio kept it scoreless. Soon after, a cross-check was called for the first power-play of the evening, but the Irish failed to capitalize.
Both goalies continued their stellar play in the second. Near the midway point of the period, the scoreless tie was finally broken when Alex Steeves put home a rebound off a Nate Clurman wrist shot. The goal was the team-leading eighth of the season for the junor from Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
The Nittany Lions’ first power-play of the evening came when Solag Bakich was called for hooking as Penn State’s Connor MacEachern was fighting for a loose puck, but the Notre Dame penalty kill did not allow a shot until right as the penalty expired. Penn State tied it up when a Clayton Phillips slapshot from the top of the circle went high glove of Dylan St. Cyr. After sixty minutes, the teams went to overtime.
With just under two minutes left in the 3 on 3 overtime, an Alex Limoges backhand under the blocker of Dylan St. Cyr gave Penn State the victory. With the win, the Nittany Lions remain undefeated in overtime and surpass the Irish for fourth in the Big Ten standings.
Notre Dame: Alex Steeves at 12:01 in the 2nd, assisted by Nate Clurman and Graham Slaggert
Penn State: Clayton Phillips at 06:10 in the 3rd, assisted by Connor McMenamin and Connor MacEachern
Penn State: Alex Limoges at 03:08 in OT, assisted by Clayton Phillips and Tim Doherty
Penn State: Evan Bell, 2 for cross-checking at 15:40 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Solag Bakich, 2 for hooking at 02:50 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Dylan St. Cyr (L) saved 34 of 36 shots
Penn State: Oskar Autio (W) saved 31 of 32 shots
Notre Dame takes on Penn State in the series finale on Friday at 6:00 PM ET. The game can be streamed on BTN+.