Three-goal third lifts PSU

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Junior Evan Barratt netted the game-winning goal in the third period as No. 7 Penn State scored three unanswered goals in the final frame to defeat No. 15 Notre Dame, 4-2, on Friday night in Big Ten Conference men’s ice hockey action.

The Nittany Lions move to 13-5-0 on the year and 8-3-0-0 in the Big Ten.

The Irish got on the board first off a strange play as Cam Morrison directed the puck toward the net and as it was bouncing around at the near post it took a funny bounce off the stick of a Nittany Lion defenseman and slid past senior netminder Peyton Jones for the 1-0 ND lead.

Penn State evened the score midway through the second period as senior Denis Smirnov slipped behind the defense and used a quick forehand deke before roofing the back hand over the shoulder of ND goaltender Cale Morris to make it 1-1.

Notre Dame regained the lead early in the third as Alex Steeves took advantage of Jones being out of position and picked the top right corner of the net from the slot.

The Nittany Lions found the equalizer as sophomore Paul DeNaples collected the puck at the top of the left circle and skated below the dot, ripping a laser over the blocker of Morris for the 2-2 tie.

A little less than two minutes later the Nittany Lions took their first lead with a power-play goal in transition off some crisp passing by senior Liam Folkes and sophomore Aarne Talvitie to set up Barratt in the slot. Talvitie then hit the empty net at 18:35 to seal the 4-2 victory.

Jones improves to 12-4-0 on the season and secured his 70th career victory with a 40-save performance, his second-straight game with 40 or more stops.

Notre Dame held a slim 42-40 edge in shots on goal, but went 0-for-3 on the power-play while Penn State went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.

Both teams return to the ice tonight to close out the weekend series and the fall semester with a 6 p.m. puck drop.