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Notre Dame Hockey: Penn State Series Preview

The Irish are back on the road heading to Hockey Valley

COLLEGE HOCKEY: JAN 14 Minnesota at Notre Dame Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After another split last weekend, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team heads out on the road this weekend for a visit with the Penn State Nittany Lions. In a change from previous series, Notre Dame won game one last weekend before losing game two. They’ll be looking to put together two strong games this weekend to come away with a much needed sweep.

Where, When, How to Watch

  • Where: Pegula Ice Arena, University Park, PA
  • When: Friday, January 20, 6:30pm ET (Game 1); Saturday, January 21, 5:00pm ET (Game 2)
  • How to Watch: Streaming on BTN+ (Games 1 and 2)

Notre Dame was able to salvage a split last weekend against the Big Ten leading Minnesota Gophers. It took a shootout in game one to come away with a win though before Minnesota managed a convincing win in game two. Still, it was a good result and one that the Irish will be looking to build off of.

Ryan Bischel was excellent in net once again, saving 57 shots on the weekend including 36 in game one. His heroics in keeping the Irish in game one earned him the Big Ten Third Star of the Week honors. If previous results are any indication he’ll be needed again this weekend, as he made 81 saves in a series split last time these two teams played. That total included his career high 47 in a single game.

The other big news of the weekend is that the Irish have two players named candidates for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Captain Nick Leivermann is third on the Irish with 13 points, also tops for Notre Dame defenseman. Those numbers include missing several games early in the season due to injury. Trevor Janicke has played in every game for Notre Dame this season and after two strong series in a row now leads the team in points (16), goals (7), and assists (9). Voting is open to the public and can be found here.

Considering these two teams last played to close out the first semester in November, not much has changed coming into this matchup. Penn State still scores a lot of goals while taking a huge amount of shots, which only further stresses the importance of Bischel in net. Notre Dame will once again be looking to clog shooting lanes and keep the number of chances that make their way on goal low. They’ll also need to take their own share of chances on offense to keep up with the Nittany Lions if they do break through.


Notre Dame flipped the script last weekend, winning game one and losing game two. It was still a split though and considering these two teams split a series in South Bend a little more than a month ago there isn’t much reason to expect anything else. Notre Dame does have a good record at Penn State though, including a sweep last season. That’s not out of the question but they’ll need to be on top of their game for both games, something they haven’t done in a long time now.