UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The University of Notre Dame hockey team battled to the very end with No. 6/6 Penn State Saturday night, ultimately falling 3-2 for the weekend split.
The Irish struck first with a powerplay goal at 4:48 of the opening period for Trevor Janicke’s team-leading eighth of the season.
Notre Dame headed back to the powerplay halfway through the period but were unable to find the same puck luck as before and the score stayed 1-0 late into the period.
At 14:14 the Irish took their first penalty of the night when T. Janicke was called for a knee but held the Nittany Lions scoreless on their man-advantage and skated on to the intermission with the one-goal lead.
Penn State fired a series of shots on goal in the final minute of the period but the Mike Richter Watch List honoree stood tall in net to keep the Nittany Lions off the board through the first 20 minutes of action.
The Nittany Lions knotted things up at 3:12 of the second stanza to make it 1-1 off an odd-man rush.
Minutes later home team took a tripping call and the Irish found themselves back on the powerplay, trying to swing momentum back in their favor. Despite maintaining possession in the offensive end the Irish were unable to capitalize while up a man but as soon as the penalty expired Chayse Primeau net his second of the weekend to make it 2-1, Irish partway through the second.
The home team would get one back late in the period to even the score, 2-2, heading into the final period of regulation.
Through two periods of play, Bischel had 33 saves between the pipes, including 18 in the second stanza to keep it tied.
Bischel continued to feel the pressure early in the third period as the Nittany Lions fired six shots off in the first few minutes. After their second icing on one shift the Irish used their timeout to regroup at 7:23 of the third.
Shortly after the timeout, the Irish found themselves dishing out shots, peppering the PSU end with a series of pucks but were unable to break Liam Souliere in net and the score remained tied at two halfway through.
The Nittany Lions scored the eventual game-winner with a tap in goal through the pads of Bischel at 14:33 of the third period.
The Irish continued to pressure the Penn State zone, racking up nine total shots off after going down a goal but they were unable to capitalize, even with the extra attacker. With Bischel out and two minutes left in regulation, the Irish held puck possession in the offensive end yet…