Penn State Falls to Notre Dame in Overtime, Nittany Lions Get Swept

Story posted January 9, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Evan Popalis

Following a fantastic opener Friday night between Notre Dame and Penn State, the two teams met once more Saturday evening to finish the weekend. The Nittany Lions were searching for revenge after falling 4-2 at the hands of the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame was off and running within the opening two minutes of the contest. Solag Bakich tallied his fourth goal on a rebound shot that beat Oskar Autio. Adam Karashik and Cam Burke contributed assists on the opener.

Penn State answered before the halfway mark of the opening period. Kevin Wall potted a team-leading thirteenth goal to break even with the Irish. Ben Copeland and Christian Berger chipped in on the assist game.

The Nittany Lions were not finished on the scoresheet in the first frame. Sophomore defenseman Jimmy Dowd Jr. gave Penn State its first lead of the series. Dowd’s highlight goal involved him circling behind the net and beating Matthew Galajda on the wrap-around attempt.

Penn State entered the first intermission with a 2-1 lead. All three goals in the first were scored at even strength.

Dowd Jr. was right back to putting the puck in the back of the net in the second period. Against the stingiest penalty kill in the nation, Penn State scored with a powerplay goal. The blast from the point was assisted by Ben Schoen and Connor MacEachern.

“It was awesome. It didn’t surprise me at all,” captain Paul DeNaples said, detailing his thoughts on Dowd’s two-goal night. “His offensive talent is incredible.”

Down 3-1, Notre Dame responded in the second half of the middle period. Jack Adams beat Autio to cut the deficit in half. A few minutes later, the Irish tied the game once more on a goal from Nick Leivermann. An odd-angled shot from the boards snuck over the shoulder of Autio to put the score at 3-3.

As the period was coming to conclusion, Clayton Phillips snuck into the low slot and roofed a shot to give the Nittany Lions the advantage again. Copeland sent a pass to Phillips from Gretzky’s office to set the tally.

The third period witnessed Penn State clinging onto a one-goal advantage for the majority of the twenty minutes. After pulling Galajda, the Fighting Irish found the equalizer to silence the Pegula crowd. Burke lit the lamp for Notre Dame to salvage the game.

Sixty minutes would not be enough to decide a winner. Overtime consisted of possession for both sides but no legitimate scoring threats were prominent.

Notre Dame witnessed itself on a 2-on-1 chance in the last seconds and Max Ellis scored off a rebound with 0.2 seconds remaining in the extra five minutes.

The Irish found victory on back-to-back nights with the latter being by a score of 5-4. For the first time all season, the Nittany Lions did not commit a penalty in a game.

“That is very positive,” coach Guy Gadowsky said regarding staying out of the box. “I think it played a big role in the performance that we had.”

Penn State slides to 12-10-0 (3-9-0) on the year in the aftermath of the weekend. The Fighting Irish improve their record to 15-6-0 (8-4-0).

Next on the docket for the Nittany Lions is a trip to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines of Michigan.

Evan Popalis is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).