Penn State Defeats Notre Dame to Stay Perfect in Opening Series Games

Story posted December 9, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Mac Young

Penn State improved to 10-0 in opening series games Friday night defeating Notre Dame 5-2.

The Nittany Lions had lost their previous five matchups at Compton Family Ice Arena.

Penn State trailed late in the first period but responded quickly scoring two goals in just 74 seconds. Notre Dame was 5-0 this season when scoring the first goal.

Connor McMenamin struck first for the Nittany Lions to even the score at one before Paul Denaples gave Penn State the lead.

Notre Dame goaltender Ryan Bischel failed to clear a puck behind his net, and Jimmy Dowd Jr. capitalized, finding McMenamin in the slot who steered it by the Irish netminder.

After it looked like the Nittany Lions would trail after one, they ended up leading 2-1 going into the first break.

The Blue and White kept the momentum up early in the second without scoring a goal. Fighting Irish coach Jeff Jackson used his timeout about five minutes into the second frame.

Penn State eventually earned the game’s first power play, but failed to convert on the man advantage.

One of the best chances of the middle period came when Notre Dame’s Ryder Rolston received the puck right out in front but he skied the puck over Penn State goaltender Liam Souliere.

With just over two minutes to go in the second, Dowd Jr. interfered with a Fighting Irish player leading to Notre Dame’s first power play.

It took the Fighting Irish just 14 seconds to convert as a Rolston point shot beat Souliere to knot things at two.

Less than a minute into the third period, Penn State headed back to the power play. Once again the Nittany Lions failed to create any notable chances.

In fact, the Fighting Irish probably had the best chance during the two minutes generating a half-breakaway, but they were unable to convert.

The ice opened up for the final frame, but it took a while for either team to convert. Finally, Connor MacEachern gave the Blue and White the lead with just under eight minutes to play.

Kevin Wall made a fantastic feed to MacEachern’s tape from behind the net for an easy finish to put Penn State up 3-2.

The Nittany Lions proceeded to play a much more structured and defensive game for the final seven-plus minutes.

They did so with a lot of success. A once wide-open third period became tight with chances hard to come by.

To combat this, the Fighting Irish pulled their goaltender early, but Penn State scored on the empty net quickly.

Dylan Gratton scored the goal from near his own goalline with a picture-perfect shot.

The Nittany Lions weren’t done, however. Notre Dame pulled the goalie again just for the Blue and White to bury another goal.

This one belonged to Paul Denaples, his second of the night to give Penn State the 5-2 advantage.

The game was much closer than the final score indicates, but overall the Nittany Lions outplayed a respected and ranked opponent on the road to remain perfect in the opening game of series.

Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email