Irish Take Down #8 Penn State, 4-2

Graham Slaggert nets game winner with five minutes remaining

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.   Graham Slaggert scored the game winner with five minutes to play as the Irish earned a 4-2 victory at #8 Penn State on Saturday night inside a sold out Pegula Ice Arena (6,475). 

Cam Morrison, Cal Burke and Tory Dello (empty net) added goals for Notre Dame. Dello also posted an assist to lead the Irish with a multi-point effort.

Cale Morris finished with 23 saves in goal for Notre Dame (12-11-5, 7-7-4-3 B1G), while Peyton Jones stopped 30 shots for Penn State (17-9-2, 9-7-2-0 B1G).

The Irish were a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill for the second consecutive night. Despite some good looks, Notre Dame went 0-for-2 on the man advantage.

How It Happened
After getting a few good looks but coming up empty on an early power play chance, the Irish struck first while on the penalty kill as Cam Morrison netted his first career shorthanded goal at 6:39 of the first. The senior winger skated the length of the ice and beat Penn State to a loose puck in front of Jones and he then beat Jones low. It was Notre Dame’s first shorthanded goal of the season. 

Cale Burke made it a 2-0 Notre Dame lead at 13:26 of the first when he collected a Jake Pivonka feed in the neutral zone and blew by a Penn State defenseman to create a breakaway chance. He then deked and beat Jones low for his seventh goal of the season, with Tory Dello earning the second assist on the play. 

Notre Dame took the 2-0 lead to the locker room after the first 20 minutes of play. Morris finished the period with eight saves, including a nice stop on Connor McMenamin on a two-on-one chance with just 1:43 remaining.

Nine minutes into the second, Michael Graham and Morrison had back-to-back chances to extend the lead but Graham’s backhander from the slot was saved and Morrison’s shot went wide.

Alex Limoges then sent a one-timer high past Morris from the top of the circle to make it a 2-1 game at 9:23 of the second. 

Mike O’Leary forced Jones into a big blocker save a minute later, and the senior goaltender then denied Colin Theisen’s follow up to keep it a 2-1 game midway through the second.

The Irish put together a big penalty kill, including Morris denying Evan Barratt’s one timer, with just under seven minutes to play in the middle frame.

Trevor Janicke sent a blast off the post with 2:27 left in second after O’Leary won an offensive zone faceoff. Sucese then hit the post at the other end with time winding down as Notre Dame maintained a 2-1 lead after two.

Janicke and O’Leary had back-to-back chances to open third but couldn’t keep their attempts on net. Then Morris made a pair of big saves to help the Irish put together another successful penalty kill. 

But Penn State’s Nikita Pavlychev made it a 2-2 game at 6:10 of the third when he picked up a Paul DeNaples pass off the end boards and put it just inside the near post before the Irish could get to him.

Pivonka had the next two great looks for the Irish, his first shot went under Jones’ arm but wide of the far post and then he was teed up for a one timer that hit Jones in the mask with seven minutes remaining in the third. 

Slaggert restored the Irish lead with exactly five minutes to play. Stastney sent a pass up to Slaggert from the bottom of the right circle in Notre Dame’s defensive zone. Slaggert corralled the puck just before the blue line, skated in alone on goal and beat Jones blocker side for the goal. Nate Clurman also picked up an assist on the play.

After Penn State pulled Jones for an extra attacker, Dello sent the puck into an empty net from his own right circle to clinch a 4-2 win for the Irish. The tally came with just one minute left in regulation.

Up Next

  • Notre Dame has the Big Ten bye next weekend before returning to play host to Minnesota on Feb. 14-15 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
  • Friday’s game one of the Minnesota series will feature a 7 p.m. puck drop (NBCSN), followed by a 6 p.m. start on Saturday (NBC Sports Chicago+).
  • Ticket information.
  • Saturday’s contest against the Gophers will be the annual Irish Wear Green game for the fans and free green t-shirts & pom poms will be distributed while supplies last. 
  • Additionally, the team will wear commemorative jerseys as the program raises awareness for the 525 Foundation
  • The jerseys will be auctioned to benefit the foundation.
  • Notre Dame will also hold a Skate With The Irish event on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Howard Park.


  • With a goal, Cal Burke extended his point streak to four games (3-1-4).
  • With a goal, Cam Morrison moved his point streak to three games (1-2-3).
  • Morrison’s tally was his first career shorthanded goal and also marked Notre Dame’s first shorthanded goal of the season. 
  • Tory Dello had a goal and an assist for his fifth career multi-point game (second of the season).
  • The Irish are now 10-5-3 alltime against Penn State and 2-1-1 on the season.