Oct. 17, 2011

The Buckeyes returned from Notre Dame with a series split. After dropping the opener, 5-2 (a game in which they led 2-1 after the first period), the Buckeyes jumped out to a 4-0 lead through two periods Saturday and held off a late Irish charge for a 4-3 victory over the second-ranked team in the country.

Senior co-captain Cory Schneider blogged from the trip:
It was great to get back on the bus with the boys for a nice four-hour roady to Notre Dame. Once we arrived we had a really good practice as we prepared for the weekend series. Post-practice we headed back to the hotel for dinner and then it was time to wind down and relax for the rest of the night.

Friday morning we had a quick 15-20 minute skate to get the legs going and prepare for the game that night. Once back at the hotel, everyone has different routines to kill time until the 2:45 video session and pregame meal. One common thing in almost everyone’s routine is an afternoon nap. The afternoon nap is simple yet very key on game day as it allows for a little bit of relaxation before going into battle that night. We got off to a great start Friday night, opening up a 2-0 lead before allowing a goal toward the end of the first period. Unfortunately, we took a few too many penalties and were unable to maintain the lead. We played well for about the first 30 minutes tonight which is not enough to win in this league, and we learned that very quickly in this young season. We will take this experience and be better prepared tomorrow to come out with a victory.

We awoke Saturday morning eager to get back on the ice and play again. After breakfast we went for a quick walk to flush out our legs and had a team stretch afterward. As Danny Dries said Saturday before the game, the great thing about college hockey is that you get another shot on Saturday nights, and we definitely took advantage of that by opening up a 4-0 lead on the number 2 team in the country. We went into the third period with that 4-0 lead but got into a little bit of penalty trouble and found our lead shrinking. However, with Cal Heeter leading the way in net we were able to work together and grind out the 4-3 win on the road. It was a good weekend for us as we earned a split on the road against a team that made the Frozen Four last year. More importantly, we learned a great lesson that we need to stay disciplined and stick to the game plan that worked for the first 40 minutes when we are trying to close out games. It’s always great to win on a Saturday because it makes the trip home a lot shorter.

As we head home, we enjoy the win but also know that it’s time to start preparing for another tough task next weekend as we head to Michigan State for another two-game league series. Before I sign off, I’d like to thank all the fans for their continued support. You guys are awesome, and we really appreciate everything you do, thanks so much. We can’t wait to play in front of the home crowd again at the end of the month. Go Bucks!