Series Preview: Penn State vs. Notre Dame
Nathan Pullen, David Heide and Jordan Mansberger preview the Penn State-Notre Dame series:
No. 9 Penn State returns home this weekend for Big Ten action at Pegula against No. 5 Notre Dame. This Big Ten conference battle is intriguing considering that both teams have identical records of 10-4-1 on the 2018 campaign so far.
On the other hand, when it comes to Big Ten conference play, Notre Dame is a bit better posting a 4-2 record. Meanwhile, Penn State is 2-3-1.
Thus far, Penn State is quite comfortable at Pegula six games above .500 with an 8-2 record. However, the Fighting Irish are also comfortable on the road posting a 5-1 record away from Compton Family Ice Arena.
Last weekend, the Nittany Lions were on the road in Madison, WI to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers are not doing so hot this year with a record of 6-7-3 but the Badgers gave the Nittany Lions a test. Penn State won the first game in a shootout 3-3. However, the Badgers got the better of them in the second game, 8-5.
Last weekend, Liam Folkes had three goals altogether, two of them coming in game two along with one assist. Likewise, Alex Limoges had himself a series with five assists, including four in game two. Thus far, the line of Liam Folkes, Alex Limoges and Evan Barratt has been Penn State’s most productive line.
As for Notre Dame, last weekend, the Fighting Irish swept Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) 5-1 and 3-0, respectively. For the Irish, Cam Morrison had two goals in the series and Cal Burke had one goal and one assist as well.
There are a couple reasons this weekend’s matchup is so intriguing besides the fact that both teams have identical records. In its last six games, Penn State is 3-3. Likewise, Notre Dame has won its last six games and is starting to feel a little luck of the Irish. The key question is, will Penn State be able to put its 3-3 record in its last six games behind them and bring the fight to Notre Dame?
Last year, Notre Dame won the Big Ten conference in its first ever season in the Big Ten. Furthermore, Notre Dame also defeated Penn State in all four meetings last season including a 2-2 shootout win. In the other three games, Penn State was outscored by Notre Dame 11-8.
For Penn State, Barratt leads the pack in points. He has played and started in all 15 games and has scored 25 total points, 12 goals and 13 assists. Barratt is also a plus-11 on the ice.
Besides him, Limoges also has 25 points in 15 games as well. Limoges has eight goals and 17 assists and is a plus-seven.
Lastly, Folkes is third on the team in points with 20. Like both Barratt and Limoges, Folkes has started and played in all 15 games. Folkes has eight goals and 12 assists and is an astonishing plus-13.
For Notre Dame, Cal Burke leads the pack. Burke has played and started in all 15 games to this point with 17 points via nine goals and eight assists. Slightly behind Burke is Bobby Nardella with the same number of games played with 16 points via five goals and 11 assists.
Peyton Jones will likely be in goal for Penn State while Cal Morris will likely get the call for Notre Dame.
Tom Johnston is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.