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Irish sweep Nittany Lions in regular season finale

(WNDU)
Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 8:22 PM EST
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Two goals from Trevor Janicke and a three-point night from Max Ellis (G, 2A) helped Notre Dame close the regular season with a 7-1 victory over Penn State on Saturday night inside Compton Family Ice Arena.

In addition, there was a post-game ceremony to honor the team’s graduating senior class of Pierce Crawford, Matt Hellickson, Dylan St. Cyr, Nick Sanford, Matt Steeves and Colin Theisen as well as senior managers Ben Huls and William Moyers.

Notre Dame (14-12-2, 13-10-2 B1G) and Penn State (9-11-0, 7-11-0 B1G) are set to meet again in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Big Ten Tournament next Sunday, March 14 at Compton Family Ice Arena.

Alex Steeves, Jake Pivonka and Trevor Janicke each scored second-period markers for Notre Dame, who trailed 1-0 after one frame. Jesse Lansdell, Trevor Janicke, Max Ellis and Graham Slaggert each found the back of the net in the third stanza.

Dylan St. Cyr finished with 37 saves to earn the victory in goal while fellow senior Nick Sanford came in for the final 4:25 and stopped the only shot he faced.

Oskar Autio made 21 saves for Penn State. Liam Souliere stopped seven shots and Will Holtforster made three saves in relief of Autio.

The Irish finished 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and 0-for-3 on the power play.

How It Happened

Penn State struck first when Christian Sarlo scored at 8:33 of the first after being sent on a breakaway by an Alex Limoges pass.

Colin Theisen nearly tied things up one minute later on a breakaway attempt of his own but Autio made a right pad save.

The Fighting Irish killed off back-to-back Nittany Lion power plays to end the first period, with the best scoring chance in that span coming shorthanded from Alex Steeves.

But just 33 seconds into the second period, Alex Steeves was sent in on another breakaway by a Matt Helickson stretch pass and the junior buried his team-leading 15th goal of the season to tie it at 1-1.

Jake Pivonka put the Irish in front just over four minutes later when he gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone, entered the zone and beat Autio with a wrist shot from the point for his second tally of the season.

Notre Dame doubled its lead at the 11:32 mark when a shot by Leivermann bounded off of Trevor Janicke and into the back of the net to make it a 3-1 game. Theisen, who corralled the puck following a net-front scramble, also earned an assist on the play.

St. Cyr stopped all 14 shots he faced in the middle frame as the Irish held the two-goal lead after 40 minutes.

Jesse Lansdell put home a centering pass in front by Ellis 1:16 into the third period to extend Notre Dame’s lead to 4-1. Pivonka got the puck to Ellis in the neutral zone to earn the secondary assist.

Janicke’s second came with 8:34 to play after Ryder Rolston found him alone in front of goal. Janicke beat Liam Souliere glove side to earn the first two-goal performance of his career.

Ellis converted a feed from Spencer Stastney on a two-on-one rush with 4:25 remaining before Graham Slaggert buried a pass on the rush from Landson Slaggert with 1:58 to go to account for the 7-1 final.

Senior Nick Sanford replaced St. Cyr in goal for the final 4:25 of play and stopped the only shot he faced.

Notes

  • Senior Matt Hellickson skated in his 145th-consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
  • Notre Dame honored the team’s graduating senior class of Pierce Crawford, Matt Hellickson, Dylan St. Cyr, Nick Sanford, Matt Steeves and Colin Theisen as well as senior managers Ben Huls and William Moyers with a postgame ceremony following the victory.
  • With a victory on Saturday, the Irish closed the regular season with a 4-0-1 mark in its last five games.
  • Dylan St. Cyr stopped 75 of 78 shots while earning two victories this weekend.
  • Saturday marked the first two-goal performance of Trevor Janicke’s career.
  • With a goal and two assists, Max Ellis collected a career-high three points and posted his fifth multi-point game of the season/his career.
  • With a goal and an assist, Jake Pivonka earned his second multi-point game of the season and fourth of his career.
  • With a goal, Alex Steeves closes the regular season with a team-high 15 goals and 30 points.
  • Steeves has earned a point in six consecutive contests to end the regular season and in 21 of 28 games this year.
  • With an assist, Landon Slaggert extended his point streak to six games (3-6-9).

Next Up

  • Notre Dame will now play host to the 2021 Big Ten Tournament on March 14-16.
  • As the No. 4 seed, the Irish will play No. 5 seed Penn State at noon on Sunday, March 14 in the first game of the tournament.
  • All six games of the Big Ten Tournament will be televised by Big Ten Network.