COLUMBUS, Ohio – With points from 11 players, including six different goal scorers, the Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated No. 8 Notre Dame, 6-1, Friday in Value City Arena. The teams were tied at 1 after the first period before the Buckeyes scored twice in 13 seconds in the second and added three goals in the third en route to the win.
Peter Boyd and Cory Schneider led the Buckeyes with three points each, with Boyd posting a goal and two assists and Schneider recording three helpers. Curtis Gedig and Sergio Somma each had two assists, while goalie Cal Heeter had 35 stops.
The Buckeyes, now 13-9-2 on the year and 8-7-2-2 in the CCHA, and Irish (15-9-3, 12-6-1-1 CCHA) will close out the series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena.
The teams were tied at 1 after the first period. At 4:50 Paul Kirtland put Ohio State on the board with his second goal of the year. Curtis Gedig led Schneider into the zone with a long lead pass. Schneider’s shot was stopped but the Notre Dame goalie was out of position and Kirtland was able to gather the puck and get to the front of the net before he could get back in position. With 2:26 left in the period Ohio State took two penalties, giving the Irish a 5-on-3 for two minutes. The Irish converted just 37 seconds later when T.J. Tynan’s shot deflected off a Buckeye and into the net. Ohio State was able to kill off the remaining time on the 5-on-4 to keep the score tied. Shots were 14-11 in favor of Notre Dame in the period.
In the second the Buckeyes scored twice in 13 seconds to take a 3-1 lead. At 11:22 Danny Dries crashed the net and put in the rebound of a Somma shot, with Schneider on the second assist. Boyd took advantage of a bounce off the boards to score at 11:35, with Jeff McNeil picking up the assist after he started the play into the zone. Each team had 10 shots in the period.
The third period saw three Buckeye goals. Freshman Travis Statchuk had his first goal as a Buckeye at 5:21, scoring on the power play with Notre Dame goalie Mike Johnson out of position. Statchuk’s classmates Chris Crane and Curtis Gedig had the assists on the goal. Just 41 seconds later, with a new goalie in the net, Schneider got the puck down low to Boyd and he found Severyn at the far post, with the goal coming at 6:02. The final tally came at 12:34, when work down low by John Albert, Somma and Boyd created scoring chances and Albert finished for his 11th goal of the year. The Buckeyes put 17 shots on net in the period, with Heeter stopping all 12 Irish chances.
For the game, the Buckeyes outshot the Irish, 38-36. Heeter had 35 saves in 59:49. Mike Johnson suffered the loss, giving up four goals and making 20 saves in 45:00. Steve Summerhays played the final 14:39 and had 12 saves, allowing two goals.
Each team had one power-play goal. Ohio State was 1-for-7, with Notre Dame 1-for-5.
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On being mentally prepared for tomorrow’s game after such a decisive victory
“It’s not much of a problem. From the standpoint of how we played, the score is not real indicative of how the game was played. We will make the players aware of that in the morning. We had too many penalties. They burn a lot of energy and can’t really get it going. Fortunately, we killed them off. Cal [Heeter] played well tonight.”
On how the players reacted to the lines being mixed and matched
“It’s really been that way all year. We are a mash unit. We need to nurse this thing in and find a way by rotating guys in and out. We have a bend but don’t break mentality. We turn the page and get better each day. Stats and standings don’t matter until the end of the year.”
On Cory Schneider’s three assists
“He got our game puck tonight. He started out by blocking shots. He took a big hit to make a play and ended up with an assist out of it. That’s what we’ve been stressing as a team, and he was rewarded with three assists.”
Sergio Somma, Ohio State senior forward
On winning 6-1
“Hockey is a funny game. The puck bounces certain ways and we were able to get some of those bounces tonight. We’re ready for tomorrow; we’re turning the page. I don’t think the score reflected our play.”
Cal Heeter, Ohio State junior goaltender
On coming back from Notre Dame’s 5 on 3 goal in the first period
“After the five on three, we had to kill the five on four. We did a great job of killing that. We were able to pick up momentum, and we came out well in the second.”
On gaining confidence as a goalie
“Playing back to back games helps because it gives you two chances per weekend. When you’re playing well you can carry it over to the next night. It’s been a great team effort all year so far.”
Cory Schneider, Ohio State junior forward
On his play
“We got some good bounces that went our way. I was out there with a lot of different guys, and I had a lot of second assists where they did a lot of the work.”
Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame head coach
On the deciding factor in the game
“Ohio State took advantage of their opportunities and we didn’t, and that’s really what it boils down to. The score of a game matches the breaks you create – they created more tonight.”
On his team’s current state of mind
“We’re a little fragile right now. We’ve had some pucks bounce against us the past few weeks, so I’m a bit concerned about our mindset. Our guys need to step up and respond to adversity.”
On Ohio State
“They’re playing with a lot of energy and getting some great goaltending. They have some good senior offensive players who are making things happen and creating scoring chances. Mark [Osiecki] has done a good job.”