Irish Score Late To Tie #8 Penn State, 3-3, Earn Extra B1G Point

Michael Graham scored with under two minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.   Trailing 3-2 with under two minutes remaining in the third period at Pegula Ice Arena, Notre Dame’s Michael Graham took an Alex Steeves pass and went to the net, forcing home a game-tying goal that ultimately helped the Irish skate to a 3-3 overtime tie with eighth-ranked Penn State. 

Notre Dame went on to claim the extra point in the Big Ten standings when Cale Morris made seven saves in the shootout and Cam Burke scored as Notre Dame’s seventh shooter. 

Mike O’Leary and Matt Hellickson also scored for the Irish in regulation, while Cam Morrison, Colin Theisen, Trevor Janicke, Cal Burke and Alex Steeves finished with assists in a balanced Irish attack. 

In net, Morris finished with 45 saves in his official four periods of work, before adding four stops in the 3-on-3 overtime and stopping each of Penn State’s seven shooters in the shootout. In the Penn State goal, Peyton Jones had 29 stops in 65 minutes of work. 

Notre Dame (11-11-5, 6-7-4-3 B1G) went 0-for-1 on the power play, but the Irish went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill as they held the Penn State (17-8-2, 9-6-2-0) power play scoreless on the night.

How It Happened
After a couple of sustained shifts of offensive zone pressure to start the game, the Irish took a 1-0 lead at 4:31 of the first period on O’Leary’s ninth goal of the season. Janicke got the play started when he beat Penn State to a puck below the goal line that he chipped back out to Theisen before taking a hit down low. Theisen gathered at the bottom of the circle and kept it moving to O’Leary at the far post, where he tapped it past Jones. 

Nikita Pavlychev made it a 1-1 game at 14:05 of the first period when his shot through a screen in front beat Morris high.

After an early penalty kill by the Irish to start the second period, Penn State was able to take a 2-1 lead at 5:01 when Sam Sternschein goal put home a rebound.

Hellickson tied it up at 2-2 at 7:16 of the middle frame when he ripped a wrist shot past Jones from the high slot. The puck bounced out to Hellickson after Burke was denied in front. Pivonka earned the second assist on the play. 

The chances then came fast and furious at both ends. Just over a minute after the Hellickson goal, Morrison had a great look in front but his shot flashed just wide of Jones. Pierce Crawford was denied by a Jones pad save after Jesse Lansdell sent him in on a breakaway and Alex Steeves’ one-timer went just wide on a 4-on-2 chance for the Irish. 

At the other end, Hellickson came up with a diving poke check to deny a Liam Folkes breakaway with two minutes left in the second stanza and the score remained 2-2 entering the second intermission.

Penn State took a 3-2 lead 1:38 into the third period on a Tyler Gratton net-front deflection.

Notre Dame then put together a successful penalty kill to keep it a one goal game with 12 minutes left in the third.

With 3:58 remaining in regulation, Graham and Morrison followed up a Charlie Raith shot on goal and sent the puck over the goal line but after review, the referees did not overturn the call on the ice (no goal).

Just moments after Morris was pulled in favor of the extra attacker, Graham delivered the game-tying goal. Morrison did the heavy lifting down low and dug a puck out of the corner to Alex Steeves, who moved it to Graham off to the side of the slot. Graham took the puck to the net and paid the price to get a shot off, but his effort slid past Jones and across the goal line. 

Neither team could end it in the 5-on-5 overtime and the game officially ended in a 3-3 tie.

Morris denied Penn State’s Nate Sucese with a right pad save on what proved to be either team’s best scoring chance of the 3-on-3. Then in the shootout, Morris made seven stops to pave the way for Cam Burke’s winner in the seventh round.

Up Next

  • Notre Dame and the ninth-ranked Nittany Lions close out their regular-season series at 6 p.m. tomorrow night (Feb. 1) at Pegula Ice Arena (BTN+).


  • Michael Graham scored for the third consecutive game (3-1-4).
  • Alex Steeves had an assist for a two-game point streak (1-4-5) and he now has five goals and six assists for 11 points in nine games since returning from the winter break.
  • With an assist, Cal Burke extended his point streak to three games (2-1-3).
  • With assists, Trevor Janicke (0-2-2) and Cam Morrison (0-2-2) established two-game point streaks.
  • The 45 saves by Cale Morris marked his season high total and his fifth-highest single game career total.
  • Five of Morris’ top seven single game save totals have come against the Nittany Lions, including four at Pegula Ice Arena. 
  • Notre Dame moved to 2-0-5 in overtime this season.
  • The Irish are now 9-5-3 against Penn State in series history (1-1-1 this season).