A shorthanded Penn State men’s hockey team just didn’t have enough to topple No. 6 Notre Dame on Friday night.
Andrew Sturtz scored again for the No. 19 Nittany Lions, but the Fighting Irish prevailed 5-3 at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Ind.
Dawson Cook scored the winner with with a tip-in with 8:19 left.
Blake Gober and Nikita Pavlychev also scored for Penn State (5-6, 2-3) in the first meeting between the teams in a Big Ten contest. The Lions outshot the Fighting Irish 43-19.
The Nittany Lions played without three key players. Forward Denis Smirnov is sidelined a few weeks with an undisclosed illness, forward James Robinson also is out with an illness and defenseman Kevin Kerr sat out again with an injury.
Peyton Jones made 14 saves in the loss while counterpart Cale Morris made 40 stops.
Player of the Game
Sturtz scored for the fourth straight game, set up by Brett Murray, to send the game into the second intermission 3-3. His seventh goal of the season gives him 47 for his career to extend his team record, and 78 career points, leaving him third on the program’s career list.
Gober scored just 4:39 into the game, converting a nice pass from Alec Marsh. Pavlychev netted a score late in the first, breaking in as the rest of the Nittany Lions were changing lines with 28 seconds left in the first.
It appeared Kris Myllari scored a few minutes before Sturtz’s tally in the second, but the goal was waved off by an official review showing contact with the Irish goalie.
Bo Brauer, Bobby Nardella, Andrew Oglevie and Jack Jenkins had the other Irish goals, with Jenkins’ score into an empty net in the final seconds. Nardella’s score was a slapshot from almost center ice that surprised Jones.
The officials were not busy Friday, not whistling any penalties on Penn State and just two on Notre Dame. The Lions were 0 for 2 on the power play.
The teams complete the two-game series at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be shown on NBC Sports Network.