Notre Dame hockey paid giving up a series of odd-man rushes, eventually.
Penn State capitalized Saturday with a goal from Andrew Sturtz, snatching a 3-2 victory at 1:20 of overtime to go along with a 3-3 tie in Friday’s series opener. Notre Dame (3-2-1) twice rallied to square the game but couldn’t find a game winner.
A sloppy change at the end of the third period put the Irish on the penalty kill, which carried over into overtime. Sturtz’s goal followed shortly after the penalty expired.
“We shot ourselves in the foot at the end of that third period with the too many men on the ice penalty,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “Even though it wasn’t a power-play goal it was the shift right after. The long change, guys were tired from the end of the penalty kill. It still had a direct result in the situation. You can’t give up; I think we gave up three two-on-ones in the third period and overtime. You just can’t do that if you’re gonna be a great team.”
James Robinson scored 4:34 into the game to give Penn State (3-1-1) an early lead.
Notre Dame worked its way back from one-goal deficits twice through the power play. Jordan Gross scored his fourth goal of the season at 11:06 to pull the Irish back into a tie. Another Nittany Lions goal — Nate Sucese kept the puck and shot on an odd-man rush — put the visitors back ahead 2-1 at 3:09 of the third.
But after going 0-for-9 on the power play Friday, Notre Dame scored another with the man advantage when Joe Wegwerth cleaned up a loose puck and stuffed it past Penn State goalie Peyton Jones to make it 2-2 at 11:06 of the third.
“Early on it looked a little bit the same,” Jackson said. “But I think we did a little bit better job of getting to the net and working it low to high, trying to get the puck to the net. The first goal was just simplicity. That’s how (Penn State) scored their first goal (Friday) night. You just have to have to the ability to have net presence and you’ve gotta get the shot through to the net.”
Five penalties and a final odd-man rush eventually cost Notre Dame the game.
After killing off the too many men penalty that carried into overtime, Sturtz finished off another rush at Irish goalie Cal Petersen with his fourth goal of the season. Petersen finished with 30 saves.
A night earlier on Friday, Notre Dame rallied for a 3-3 tie.
Nikita Pavlychev scored on a power play just 2:16 into the game for a 1-0 Penn State lead. Jake Evans pulled the Irish even at 15:14 of the first period with a short-handed goal, his first of the season.
Penn State went 1-of-7 on the power play while giving up the Evans goal.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, couldn’t get its power play on track. Three times in each of the first two periods the Irish went up a man. None of them resulted in a goal. Two more chances in the third period and another in overtime went begging as well, leaving the Irish 0-of-9 for the night.
Dylan Richard broke the 1-1 tie at 10:35 of the second period to put the Nittany Lions back in the lead. Richard beat goalie Cal Petersen again at 18:08 to make it a 3-1 lead.
Petersen finished with 29 saves but only six of those came in the second period. Andrew Oglevie pulled one back for Notre Dame with his fourth goal of the season at 18:47 of the second, making it a 3-2 deficit at the final intermission.
Defenseman Jordan Gross scored his third goal of the season at 12:28 of the third period to tie the game.
Petersen then kept Penn State at bay. He made 11 saves in the third period and another three in overtime, including one against an odd-man rush with 40 seconds left, to preserve the tie.
Notre Dame put 12 shots on Penn State goalie Peyton Jones in the third period and overtime. Only Gross could solve Jones, who finished with 30 saves total. Each team had an unsuccessful power play in overtime.
“(Penn State) is as hard working a team as there is in the country,” Jackson said. “They push the puck up the ice really hard and they defend well. They’ve got good sticks defensively and don’t give you much. You really have to work hard to create scoring chances from transition. And we didn’t do it (Friday) night but you have to score from the power play. (Saturday) we did a good job on special teams but 5-on-5 we broke down a few times.”