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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's hockey team was unable to stave off an efficient Notre Dame offense in a 7-4 loss on Friday night at Pegula Ice Arena in front of 6,103 fans. Dylan Richard (Sherwood Park, Alberta) and Alec Marsh scored two goals apiece to pace the offense.
"[Notre Dame has] an awesome senior line with three excellent hockey players that showed that experience," said head coach Guy Gadowsky. "But I thought at times at the start and in the third period we did pretty well. They're a very good hockey team we knew that, but at times I thought we looked pretty good as well."
The good start Gadowsky referred to was Penn State (1-1-0) out-shooting Notre Dame (1-0-0), 16-7, yet falling behind 3-1 after 20 minutes. The Fighting Irish were paced by a line of Steven Fogarty, who scored a hat trick, Mario Lucia and Sam Herr. That trio combined for 10 points on four goals and six assists.
Penn State attempted eight of the first nine shots in the first seven minutes of the game, but it was Thomas DiPauli who got the Irish on the board first, redirecting a Jordan Gross shot from the point with 12:34 remaining.
Richard responded in kind, pushing home a loose puck underneath behind Cal Petersen (32 saves) to even the score halfway through the first period. Richard and Tommy Olczyk (Long Grove, Ill.) were on the doorstep of a Curtis Loik (North Vancouver, British Columbia) shot as Richard beat the fifth-year senior to the puck. Vince Pedrie (Rochester, Minn.) picked up his first collegiate point with a secondary assist.
"I thought we actually came out really, really well," Gadowsky said. "I thought we started extremely well. Obviously, I think part of it was feeding off of a great student section. They were just awesome."
Prior to puck drop Penn State's student section, The Roar Zone, unfurled a 40-foot tifo banner, which added to the excitement of the capacity crowd. The Nittany Lions played in front of their 34th sellout in 37 regular-season games at Pegula Ice Arena.
The Fighting Irish were precise in their shooting and passing as defenseman Andy Ryan scored the first of his two goals two minutes later, putting way a pass from Anders Bjork who saved the puck from leaving the zone.
Notre Dame doubled its lead to 3-1 as Fogarty scored the first in his natural hat trick that spanned the first intermission. Fogarty collected a pass from Herr with four minutes left for the two-goal advantage.
The second period was largely played at Notre Dame's pace as Fogarty put two more in, one with 12:56 remaining, and another with 2:18 to go, for a 5-1 lead.
The Nittany Lions turned to some Pegula Ice Arena magic, echoing the comebacks of a year ago to ignite life into the third-year building.
On the ensuing faceoff, David Goodwin (Des Peres, Mo.) collected a David Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta) pass to find Marsh, who rushed into the play and scored 12 seconds after the third Fogarty strike.
The cheers had barely calmed down before Richard put another on the board, scoring 46 seconds after Marsh's tally to make it 5-3 with 1:20 left in the period. Erik Autio (Espoo, Finland) sent a stretch pass to Richard who wristed one past Petersen.
All the good work Penn State did at the end of the second period was answered by two early Notre Dame strike nearly four minutes in as Lucia one-timed a Fogarty pass and Ryan put away a pretty feed from Bjork for a 7-3 margin. That led to Gadowsky inserting freshman Chris Funkey (Orland Park, Ill.) into the game, making his collegiate debut in net with 16:03 remaining. Starter Matthew Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) made 14 saves.
Penn State played well in front of Funkey, who was only required to make three saves in 13:12 of action. Funkey was pulled numerous times for an extra attacker after Marsh scored his second of the night on a wraparound effort with 14 minutes remaining. Despite multiple extra-attacker shots and even a power play, the Nittany Lions were unable to cut into the lead.
Penn State out-shot Notre Dame, 36-24, and went 1-for-3 on the power play, while not committing a penalty. Notre Dame was superior on the draw, going 32-23 at the faceoff dot.
Alec Marsh scored his first collegiate goals.
Dylan Richard tallied his second multi-goal game (Jan. 23, 2015 vs. Northern Michigan). It was his ninth multi-point game and first since March 6, 2015 vs. Michigan).
Marsh's first goal came just 12 seconds after Mario Lucia made it 5-1 late in the second period.
Penn State lost just its third game at Pegula Ice Arena in its last 20 games dating back to March 2014.
Penn State gave up 7 goals for the first time since Nov. 28, 2014 vs. Michigan (8-1) and the first time at home since Feb. 7, 2013 vs. Michigan (7-3).
Penn State fell to 1-2-1 in home openers as a Division I program. PSU last lost a home opener in its first Division I game on Oct. 12, 2012 vs. AIC.
David Glen posted two assists for his 11th multi-point game of his college career and second straight multi-point effort.
Penn State did not commit a penalty on Friday night. Last time that happened on March 19, 2015 against Ohio State in the Big Ten Quarterfinals. PSU is 0-3-0 all-time when not being penalized.
Notre Dame's Steven Fogarty was the first opposing player to record a hat trick since March 7, 2015 (JT Compher, Michigan).
NEXT TIME OUT
Penn State and Notre Dame complete the two-game series with a Saturday matinee at Pegula Ice Arena at 3 p.m. The game will be streamed live for free on GoPSUNow and on 103.1 FM locally in State College.