There is nothing tougher than single elimination hockey. This years tournament is set in that format due to COVID-19. Compton Family Ice Arena is the to host for entire tournament this year. Their is no such thing as home ice advantage as limited attendance has been put in play by the B1G Conference. So the Irish will have to bring their own juice in the win and move on tournament format.
A quick start is a remedy for success. The Fightin’ Irish understand that point as Coach Jackson uses the “start fast, finish strong” quote quite often. The Irish did just that. After a penalty at 1:03 in the first period, the Irish went on an early power play. Colin Theisen puts the puck on net and lights the lamp for his eight goal of the season 2:10 in the first period to give the Irish an early lead 1-0. Jesse Lansdell wasted no time on scoring his goal thirty one seconds later. Fresh off the power play, Lansdell gets his fourth goal of the season. The Irish go up quickly 2-0 on the Nittany Lions. The Irish have eight shots on goal, with two of them getting past Oskar Autio.
The was a big swing in momentum after that goal. The momentum swung in the Nittany Lions direction. After the goal by Lansdell, the Nittany Lions had twelve shots on goal. The tenth shot on goal got past Dylan St Cyr of the stick of Christian Sarlo at 18:52 to bring the Nittany Lions within one. 2-1 would be the score at the first intermission. The Irish only four additional shots on goal in the same timeframe.
The second period saw the Irish come out an put some pressure on Autio. The Irish mounted an attack but at 3:19 Connor McMenamin lights the lamp and gets the equalizer to bring it to a 2-2 game. The Irish once again mount a charge on the power play, but come up empty on the attempt. A few moments after the power play is killed by the Nittany Lions, McMenamin again lights the lamp for PSU and sends them to the lead at 10:10 for a 3-2 lead. The Irish still playing defense don’s allow much in on St Cyr.
A penalty on Grant Silanoff for Tripping at 13:42, put the Irish back in the penalty kill. 1:13 into the penalty kill at 14:55, Tim Doherty scores the fourth unanswered goal of the game for the Nittany Lions. The Irish trail 4-2 going into the second intermission.
The Irish start the third period short handed as the Nick Leivermann penalty is killed off. PSU at this point is playing to protect the lead. The Nittany Lions have the Irish on the ropes. After exchanging shots on each others goalies, on the tenth shot on goal of the period, Chase McLane gets the puck past the Irish defense and St Cyr to go up 5-2 at 8:20 in the third period. Moments later, Jared Westcott goes to the Sin Bin at 11:06 for Slashing. The Irish pull St Cyr from the need to give them an extra attacker and it pays off. Ryder Rolston finds the back of the net at 12:56 to bring the score to 5-3.
In an effort to get points once again, St Cyr is pulled for an extra attacker on the ice at 16:39. The Irish make a few solid attempts as they put shots on Autio and each attempt was denied. At 19:28, Chase McLane got his second goal of the period on the empty netter to bring the final score and an Irish loss to PSU with the final score 6-3.
The Wrap Up
The Fightin’ Irish playing in Compton Family Ice Arena has not been the home advantage you would hope for. The home “white sweaters” seemed to less friendly than the road “blue sweaters” were. Senior Matt Hellickson played in his 146th-consecutive game at Notre Dame, going all the way back to the first game of his freshman season. The Fightin’ Irish now wait and see if the make the Frozen Four Tournament. They have won and lost against some the best college hockey teams in their conference. There is still an outside chance that they can make the tournament. Until them, the Irish will sit back and see what the future holds for them.
Cheers and Go Irish! ☘💪🏒🥅🚨🌩