#15/14 Irish Drop 4-2 Decision to #7/7 Penn State

Cam Morrison & Alex Steeves net Irish goals

NOTRE DAME, Ind. Cam Morrison and Alex Steeves scored, but the #14/15 Irish fell to #7 Penn State, 4-2, on Friday night inside Compton Family Ice Arena (3,806).

Cale Morris stopped 36 shots in goal for the Irish, while Peyton Jones finished with 40 saves for the Nittany Lions. 

Penn State was 1-for-4 on the power play, but the goal proved to be the game winner from Evan Barratt. Notre Dame finished 0-for-3 on  the power play.

How It Happened
Morris made six saves on a Penn State power play to keep the game scoreless just over five minutes into play.

The Irish then opened the scoring at 10:12 of the first when Cam Morrison deflected a Nick Leivermann point shot that then bounced off a Penn State defenseman’s stick and past Jones. Matt Hellickson also earned an assist on the play. 

Morris finished with 15 stops in the opening 20 minutes as the Irish took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission. 

Denis Smirnov lifted a breakaway attempt past Morris to even the score just past the midway point of the middle frame.

Morris came up with another 12 saves in the second stanza, and the Irish killed off a pair of minor penalties, to keep the score tied entering the final period.

Early in the third, Graham Slaggert just missed on a redirect to Jones’ blocker side and Michael Graham’s ensuing wrap-around attempt was blocked by a Penn State defenseman.

Alex Steeves put the Irish up 2-1 at 4:45 of the third after Hellickson found him alone in the slot. Steeves put a wrist shot high past Jones for his third goal of the season. Graham deflected a Tory Dello shot from the point to start the play, earning the second assist. 

DeNaples then made it a 2-2 game at 8:20 of the third when he scored on a wrist shot from the middle of the faceoff circle.

Just 1:55 later, Evan Barratt gave the Nittany Lions their first lead of the night when he scored a power-play goal with five seconds remaining in the power-play opportunity. 

Alex Steeves nearly tied the contest with his second goal, but his backhand attempt down low was stopped by Jones with just over five minutes to play.

Aarne Talvitie scored an empty-net goal with 1:25 left to account for the 4-2 final.

Up Next

  • Notre Dame (8-7-2, 4-3-2-1 B1G) and Penn State close out their weekend series at 6 p.m. on Saturday night (Dec. 14) at the Compton Family Ice Arena (Tickets).
  • It will mark Notre Dame’s final game before the semester break. 


  • With a pair of assists, Matt Hellickson posted his first multi-point game of the season and the fourth of his Irish career.
  • This weekend’s series marks Notre Dame’s fifth and sixth consecutive games against a ranked opponent and its ninth and 10th games versus a ranked opponent in its last 11/12 games.
  • Notre Dame is now an 8-5-2 all-time against Penn State in games played while both teams were at the NCAA DI level.
  • Dating back to three seasons now, the Irish are 7-3-1 against Penn State as conference opponents.