The second half of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey season is officially underway and it’s not an exaggeration to say that a light switch needs to be flipped if Notre Dame wants to see some success in 2024.
The Irish hockey team has struggled of late, but it appears that a weekend tilt against Penn State fixed what ailed the squad. Notre Dame returned home for a two-game series against the Nittany Lions, and it turned out that it was everything the Fighting Irish needed.
Notre Dame ended up winning both games against Penn State this weekend and neither game was in doubt for long. The Irish won the first game 4-1 and won the second match 6-3 for the weekend sweep.
That doesn’t mean that everything was easy peasy. As soon as the puck dropped on Friday night, Penn State dominated everything except where it counted the most, who was finding the back of the net. The Nittany Lions dominated the first 20 minutes with shots on goal as they had 17 to Notre Dame’s 4.
However, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish came on late in the period as they had two shots in the final minutes and scored two goals. Eventually, the Golden Domers were able to pull away to the 4-1 win.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey dominates in second game
In Saturday night’s contest, it became clear quickly that Penn State was again going to try and win the game by peppering goalie Ryan Bischel with shots. Luckily, he just happens to be one of the best in the game today and finished the night with 35 saves.
On the other end, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were able to score two in the second period, after being shut out in the first, and the doubled that output in the final frame.
The 6-3 win finished the sweep and allowed the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to improve to 13-11-2 on the season and 7–7-2 in the Big Ten. The victories allowed the Golden Domers to jump Minnesota and take third place in the conference, behind only Michigan State and Wisconsin.