The Irish head into the postseason on a high note with a series sweep
On senior night, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team came to play, exploding for seven goals to beat the Penn State Nittany Lions and finish the series sweep. The win was the fourth straight for Notre Dame and the Irish now get ready for the Big Ten tournament hoping to keep the hot streak going.
After losing last night, Penn State started the game on the offensive. They controlled possession in the first period and nearly halfway through came away with the only goal of the opening 20 minutes. Notre Dame managed to keep the game close though and they took advantage over the final two periods.
Notre Dame responded in the second period, coming out firing and scoring just 33 seconds in. Matt Hellickson threaded a breakout pass to Alex Steeves, who entered the zone uncontested before scoring on a close range shot between the faceoff circles. Several minutes later Jake Pivonka intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and let a shot go from just inside the blue line for the Irish lead.
Just 33 seconds into the second period, Alex Steeves scored on a Matt Hellickson assist to tie it up before we took the lead at @NDCFIA.
— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) March 6, 2021
Later on in the second period Nick Leivermann took a shot from the point that was deflected into the net by Trevor Janicke for the 3-1 lead. Towards the end of the period the game started to get a bit more physical. The teams took coincidental roughing minors at the 14 minute mark, but that was far from the end, with tensions carrying over to the third period.
Notre Dame again scored early, this time just 1:14 in, when Jesse Lansdell to a Max Ellis pass from below the goal line and poked it into the net. At the 5 minute mark of the third period, Penn State’s Christian Berger took a 5 minute major and game misconduct when he struck Ryder Rolston in the head with his stick trying to play the puck. After that the two teams came together and Penn State took an additional 2 minute roughing penalty. Notre Dame went on a 5-on-3 power play but couldn’t take advantage and score.
Notre Dame’s offense took advantage after the penalty was killed off though as they ran away with the game from there. Trevor Janicke scored his second goal of the game, followed by Max Ellis and Graham Slaggert. Notre Dame was even able to get senior third string goaltender Nick Sanford over four minutes of playing time at the end of the game, giving Dylan St. Cyr a rest after another strong performance.
Put up a seven spot on Senior Night.
— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) March 7, 2021
Penn State: Christina Sarlo (4) at 8:33 in the 1st, assisted by Alex Limoges and Jimmy Dowd
Notre Dame: Alex Steevs (15) at 0:33 in the 2nd, assisted by Matt Hellickson
Notre Dame: Jake Pivonka (2) at 4:46 in the 2nd, assisted by Max Ellis
Notre Dame: Trevor Janicke (3) at 8:28 in the 2nd, assisted by Nick Leivermann and Colin Theisen
Notre Dame: Jesse Lansdell (3) at 1:16 in the 3rd, assisted by Max Ellis and Jake Pivonka
Notre Dame: Trevor Janicke (4) at 11:26 in the 3rd, assisted by Ryder Rolston and Colin Theisen
Notre Dame: Max Ellis (5) at 15:35 in the 3rd, assisted by Spencer Stastney
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert (7) at 18:02 in the 3rd, assisted by Landon SLaggert and Alex Steeves
Notre Dame: Zach Plucinski, 2 for hooking at 14:42 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Landon Slaggert, 2 for hooking at 16:39 in the 1st
Penn State: Mason Snell, 2 for roughing at 13:52 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Solag Bakich, 2 for roughing at 13:52 in the 2nd
Penn State: Evan Bell, 2 for tripping at 18:31 in the 2nd
Penn State: Mason Bell, 2 for roughing at 4:52 in the 3rd
Penn State: Christian Berger, 5 for contact to the head and a game misconduct at 4:52 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Dyaln St. Cyr (W) saved 37 of 38 shots
Notre Dame: Nick Sanford saved the only shot he faced
Penn State: Oskar Autio (L) saved 21 of 25 shots
Penn State: Liam Souliere saved 7 of 9 shots
Penn State: Will Holtforster saved 3 of 4 shots
Next up is the Big Ten tournament and these two teams will face each other again next Sunday, March 14 in the first round 4/5 matchup at Compton Family Ice Arena.