UND Loses to Penn State in Hall of Fame Game


Claire Weltz, Sports Editor

GRAND FORKS — Penn State opened the scoring six minutes into the first period when UND’s defense wasn’t able to fall back after a scoring chance on the opposite end of the ice. The two teams traded penalties and matching minors for a variety of 4v4 and 5v4 combinations.  

 During a 5v3 with the Nittany Lions at full strength, senior goaltender Zach Driscoll came up with multiple back-to-back saves, but PSU’s deluge of shots eventually overpowered the short-handed defense to fall behind 2-0 with 7 minutes to play in the first period. The goal scorer was none other than Clayton Phillips who was playing his second Hall of Fame Game against UND.  

 After going up on a power play of their own, UND responded with a Judd Caulfield goal – his third of the season. The initial shot came from Riese Gaber but was redirected by Jake Schmaltz before Caulfield put it into the back of the net, his 3rd of the season. 

 The second period was a trading of goals between the two teams. Penn State went up 3-1, only for UND to respond with an Ethan Frisch goal for 3-2. The Nittany Lions added to their lead at 4-2. UND’s third goal of the night game from Jake Schmaltz after a lengthy official’s review for offsides on the play to end the period with a scoreline of 4-3 in favor of PSU.  

 The score held at 4-3 for most of the third period. UND had plenty of scoring opportunities but couldn’t put anything in the back of the net. PSU scored again for a 5-3 lead, but it looked like the Green and White could bring the score to a draw with the momentum of an extra attacker on the ice for the closing minutes.  

 With six skaters attacking, Riese Gaber broke through for 5-4 and the possibility of a tie. Goaltender Zach Driscoll remained pulled in hopes of another goal from the extra attacker, but UND couldn’t get it done. Penn State slipped in another goal in the dwindling seconds on an empty net to end the game 6-4.  

 A game like this is a statistician’s dream and nightmare wrapped into one. Despite it being the teams’ first meeting, there were lots of interesting statistics. Penn State was 0-3-0 against NCHC teams coming into the matchup with UND. Two PSU transfer players had faced off against UND – Ben Copeland (previously 1-9-0 with Colorado College) and Clayton Phillips. Phillips played with Minnesota and saw action against the Green and White at the last Hall of Fame Game in 2018 where the Gophers lost 3-1.  

 PSU has led the NCAA in the highest shots per game and entered the game with a 40.3 average. Interestingly, UND led with 59 total shots compared to PSU’s below average 33. The last time UND had 50 or more shots in a game was in 2017 against Boston University in a 4-3 double overtime loss in the NCAA West Region semifinal.  

 As any hockey fan knows, it’s not about the number of shots but rather the ability to capitalize on goal scoring opportunities. Penn State scored on 3 of their 5 power plays for a staggering 60% success rate and half of their total goals for the night.  

 UND is now 7-4-1 in Hall of Fame matchups. The team also announced that UND will play Arizona State in Las Vegas in next year’s Hall of Fame Game on October 29, 2022.  


Claire Weltz is a Dakota Student Sports Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].