No. 18 Penn State Drops Heartbreaker in Overtime at No. 17 Notre Dame, 5-4
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – No. 18 Penn State failed to close out a two-goal third period lead falling to No. 17 Notre Dame, 5-4, in overtime on Friday evening in Big Ten Conference action from Compton Family Ice Arena.
The Nittany Lions fall to 18-13-2 overall and 10-12-1-1 in the Big Ten with the setback while the Irish improve to 18-12-3 on the year and 11-10-2-2 in conference action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Notre Dame looked to have opened the scoring as Jake Pivonka ripped a shot over the glove of Penn State junior goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) from the slot, but the call was overturned for too many men on the ice against the Irish.
- The Nittany Lions tilted the game in their favor late in the second period as junior Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) slipped in a rebound by the near post after senior Ludvig Larsson’s (Malmo, Sweden) initial shot was denied for the 1-0 edge at 18:33 of the first period.
- Penn State expanded its lead to 2-0 just 13 seconds into the second period as junior Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ontario) punched in a rebound after sophomore Cole Hults’ (Stoughton, Wis.) initial shot from the point was blocked in front and left Cale Morris out of position.
- Junior Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.) extended the lead to 3-0 as he slapped in a rebound off another Hults offering at 5:17 of the middle frame.
- The Irish responded taking advantage of a hooking call against PSU as Matt Hellickson ripped a power-play goal short side over the blocker of Jones for the 3-1 deficit at 5:58 of the stanza.
- Junior Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alberta) single-handedly gave the visitors the 4-1 advantage as he used a strong fore-check to take the puck away along the end boards and with a strong move to the net he finished through the five-hole of Morris at 13:35.
- Notre Dame responded again under two minutes later as Cal Burke sent in a rebound for the 4-2 score at 15:02 of the second period.
- The hosts cut the deficit in half early in the third period as Mike O’Leary tapped a rebound into a yawning net for the 4-3 score at 4:47.
- The Irish then tied the contest as Matt Steeves was left all alone in front of Jones and he one-timed a pass from Pierce Crawford into the top right corner of the net at 8:59 for the 4-4 score.
- The game remained tied and went into overtime where due to a late five-minute major called on Pavlychev, the Irish used the man-advantage as Mike O’Leary scored on the doorstep at 1:37 of the extra session to secure the 5-4 victory.
Jones falls to 14-10-2 with the loss after stopping 35 shots while Morris improves to 14-11-3 on the year following a 31 save performance.
- Notre Dame held the 40-35 edge in shots while going 2-for-5 with the man-advantage. Penn State was 0-for-1 on the power-play.
- Playing in his 148th consecutive game for the Nittany Lions, senior captain Chase Berger (St. Louis, Mo.) is now the all-time program leader in games played.
- Junior Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) became the eighth different Nittany Lion this season, and the fifth member of the junior class, to reach the 100 career games played mark.
- With a pair of primary assists, Hults secures his sixth multi-point game this season and the 11th of his career. The two helpers also move him past Vince Pedrie and into fifth on the Penn State all-time assists list for defenseman. His 21 assists this season are now the third most all-time in Penn State history by a d-man.
- Also with a pair of assists, Larsson collects his sixth multi-point effort this season and the 16th of his career.
- Notre Dame clinches home ice in the opening round of the Big Ten Playoffs with the victory while Penn State maintains a slim chance to host in the first round should Wisconsin defeat Michigan later this evening.
Both teams return to Compton Family Ice Arena tomorrow night to conclude the regular season with a 7 p.m. puck drop.