Penn State Fails to Score in Seven Round Shootout, Falls to Notre Dame

Story posted February 1, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Jack McCune

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A seven-round shootout, physical disputes and the electric, nearly sold-out crowd of Pegula weren’t enough to fuel the fire for No. 8 Penn State (17-8-2, 9-6-2), as it fell to Notre Dame (11-11-5, 6-7-4) Friday night in a shootout after a 3-3 regulation and two overtime periods. Although Notre Dame wins an extra point for taking the shootout victory, the game officially goes down as a tie, as the Nittany Lions will receive a point for reaching a second overtime.

Coming into the series tied atop the Big Ten standings with the Michigan State Spartans, the Nittany Lions were eager to separate themselves from the team they faced just a week ago in a series split. But the unranked Fighting Irish were just as motivated, as they continue their quest to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive and potentially repeat as conference champions.

The teams looked equally dedicated and committed on the ice Friday night. Both squads earned a goal apiece in each period, players from all different positions made impressive defensive stops, and both teams played clean hockey by only committing four penalties total, one being for too many men on the ice. There were some minor physical altercations throughout, but none led to anything more than quick verbal disputes.

Both squads had a plethora of opportunities to seal the deal in the first two overtime periods. Hockey Valley was ready to erupt when senior fan-favorite Nate Sucese was all alone with the puck in Irish territory just 30 seconds into the first extra period, but jaws dropped in Pegula as his shot clinked off the left post. In the second overtime, senior goalie Peyton Jones solidified the Lions the opportunity to go to a shootout when he leaped in front of his crease to secure a loose puck right before any of three Irish skaters nearby could snatch it.

Unfortunately for Penn State, the scoring drought did not end in the next tiebreaker. In fact, it took an extensive seven rounds for anyone to score. Finally, Notre Dame sophomore Cam Burke faked out Jones, as he swung the puck to the right and around the goaltender to give the Irish the win.

The Nittany Lions will look to take the positives from Friday’s dogfight into Saturday night’s White Rush game, where students and fans will fill Pegula Ice Arena with a sea of white. The players will also wear special white uniforms inspired by the Penn State football jerseys.

Despite being one of the most anticipated games all year, Gadowsky said that he doesn’t give his players a different message at the Wear White Game than any other home game because the energy is always present at Pegula anyway.

“This atmosphere is awesome, always,” Gadowsky said.

 

Jack McCune is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jxm1237@psu.edu.