No. 3 Penn State Hockey aims to bounce back from a disastrous weekend against Michigan State, when the Nittany Lions host No. 18 Notre Dame.
After splitting earlier this season, the Lions host the Fighting Irish for a pair of contests inside Pegula Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday.
Penn State Hockey vs. Notre Dame Preview
This weekend, No. 3 Penn State will get a visit from the No. 18 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Nittany Lions will be debuting the brand new white-out alternate uniforms they posted on social earlier this week. It will be extremely vital for Penn State to bounce back after not securing a single win against Michigan State last weekend. Earlier this season, both teams met in South Bend, ultimately splitting the series.
Penn State Hockey vs. Notre Dame Game Notes
This marks the 30th and 31st meeting all-time against both squads, with Notre Dame holding a strong 18-8-3 record when playing the Nittany Lions.
One of the few teams that maintain consistent success in Pegula Ice Arena, they are 4-1-1 in their last six games in State College.
In the last few games, the Nittany Lions have been striking fast on offense, but have played far too content as the games go on. Notre Dame is a team built on hard-hitting and defensive-style wins, so giving Irish goaltender Ryan Bischel confidence late in the game would not be in the Lion’s best interest. The senior goaltender currently has a .924 save percentage on the year and has played in 24/26 games this season.
Penn State Hockey vs. Notre Dame Prediction
Ultimately, I predict that the Nittany Lions will split the series with a win Friday and a loss Saturday.
It’s easy to tell that Penn State Hockey needs to get the offensive juice back they had before Christmas break. Last weekend’s Michigan State catastrophe was the first time all season they did not earn a win in a two-game series.
For those reasons, they should come out fired up tonight at home, but sweeping any big-ten opponent is a tough challenge. A good weekend here could keep the climb going for the No. 1 spot in the Pairwise rankings, currently at No. 3.
Friday Score Prediction: Nittany Lions Win 5-2
Saturday Score Prediction: Fighting Irish Win 4-3