UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Five different players scored for the No. 5/6 Irish and Cale Morris made 44 saves as Notre Dame defeated No. 9 Penn State 5-4 on Friday night at the Pegula Ice Arena (6,061) to push its winning streak to seven games.
Matt Hellickson opened the scoring and finished with a career-high three points on a goal and two assists, while Cam Morrison (1-1-2) and Dylan Malmquist (0-3-3) also had multi-point efforts for Notre Dame (11-4-1, 5-2-0-0 B1G).
Aarne Talvitie gave the Nittany Lions (10-5-1, 2-4-1-1 B1G) an early 1-0 lead when he picked up a turnover in the defensive zone and skated in on a 2-on-1 versus Morris. Just 2:45 later, Hellickson answered for the irish with his second goal of the season to tie it at 1-1, beating Chris Funkey low on Notre Dame’s first shot on goal of the game.
Morris finished the first frame with 12 saves, including a glove stop on Liam Folkes from the low slot with just under two minutes left in the opening period to keep it tied.
Notre Dame put together a three-goal second period to establish a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Back-to-back goals by Morrison and Mike O’Leary at 2:24 and 3:39 of the second pushed the lead to 3-1. Cole Hults got one back for Penn State, but Andrew Peeke’s power-play tally at 17:39 of the second restored the two-goal lead. Peeke’s goal beat Oskar Autio, who came in relief of Funkey.
After Penn State’s Denis Smirnov made it a 4-3 game, Matt Steeves once again answered for the Irish, netting what proved to be his first career game winner at 7:59 of the third.
Nate Sucese scored for Penn State with five minutes remaining in the third, but Morris and the Irish defense came up big down the stretch to secure the victory.
Morris totaled 44 saves on the night, while Funkey finished with three saves and Autio, who was credited with the loss, added 16 saves for the Nittany Lions.
On special teams, the Irish finished 1-for-3 on the power play and held Penn State to a 0-for-4 mark.
The Irish and Nittany Lions close out their series tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Pegula Ice Arena. It will mark the final game of the first semester for the Irish.
Notre Dame Goal Descriptions
1-1 | Matt Hellickson tied the game up at 3:55 of the first period when he scored his second goal of the season. Cam Morrison and Dylan Malmquist combined to dig the puck out of the corner to the right of Penn State goaltender Chris Funkey and Morrison centered a pass for Hellickson, who beat Funkey through the five-hole.
2-1 | Morrison gave the Irish a 2-1 lead at 2:24 of the second period when he tipped in a Malmquist shot-pass from the top of the far circle, with Cal Burke registering the second assist.
3-1 | Mike O’Leary finished a Michael Graham pass from behind the net to give the Irish a 3-1 lead 3:49 of the second, just 1:25 after Morrison made it a 2-1 game. Hellickson earned the second assist on O’Leary’s second goal of the season. Penn State’s Funkey gave way to freshman Oskar Autio in net following the O’Leary goal.
4-2 | Andrew Peeke restored Notre Dame’s two-goal lead at 17:39 of the second when he one-timed a Bobby Nardella pass high past Autio’s glove while the Irish were on the power play. Malmquist also earned an assist on the play for his third assist of the night.
5-3 | Matt Steeves scored his first of the season and the second of his career at 7:59 of the third period for what proved to be his first career game winner. Colin Theisen tracked down his rebound in the corner and fired it on net, where Steeves knocked in the rebound. Hellickson had the second assist.
- With the victory, head coach Jeff Jackson (307-181-55) tied Lefty Smith (307-320-31) for the most career wins at Notre Dame.
- Notre Dame improved to 5-0-1 against Penn State since joining the Big Ten and to 9-2-3 overall.
- The Fighting Irish are 6-1-0 in true road games this season and 7-1-1 away from the Compton Family Ice Arena.
- Over the last two seasons, Notre Dame is now 17-3-1 in road games and 21-5-2 in road and neutral site games combined.
- With three assists, Dylan Malmquist matched his career high and moved his point streak to five games (2-5-7).
- Malmquist has three multi-point games on the season and 14 in his career.
- With an assist, Cal Burke pushed his point streak to five games (3-2-5) and he has eight points (4-4-8) over the last seven games.
- Colin Theisen moved his point streak to five games (2-3-5).
- Matt Hellickson posted a career-high three points on a goal and two assists, which was also his second multi-point game of the season/career.
- Matt Steeves scored his first goal of the season and his first career game winner.
- With a goal and an assist, Cam Morrison moved his point streak to four games (3-3-6) and he has a three-game goal scoring streak.
- Morrison now has three multi-point games on the season and 12 in his career.
- With a goal, Mike O’Leary moved his point streak to a career-long three games (1-2-3).
— ND —