COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team won its fifth game in a row, shutting out No. 11/13 Notre Dame, 2-0, Saturday in Value City Arena. Ohio State improves to 17-5-4 on the year and is in first place in the Big Ten with a 10-3-3-2 record. The Irish are now 14-10-3 and 7-8-2-2 in league play. The Buckeyes won the regular season series vs. the Irish, 3-1, including a 4-2 victory Friday.
Buckeye sophomore goalie Tommy Nappier stopped all 30 Irish shots for his fourth shutout of the year. Matt Miller and Carson Meyer scored for the Buckeyes, with an early goal in the second period and late goal in the third.
Ohio State hits the road for two games at Wisconsin. The teams will meet at 8 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, with the games televised by Fox Sports Wisconsin and carried on SportsTime Ohio and BTN2Go.
Ohio State 2, Notre Dame 0
In the first … The teams each put six shots on goal in the first period and no penalties were called in the stanza.
In the second … Just 53 seconds into the period, Matt Miller blasted a shot from the point to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. Mason Jobst and Quinn Preston assisted on the goal, with Austin Pooley screening the Irish goalie. The teams combined for 28 shots in the stanza, with Notre Dame ahead, 15-13. Notre Dame had the lone power play chance and Ohio State did not allow a shot on goal during the two minutes.
In the third … The Buckeyes carried the one-goal lead until 15:16 of the final stanza. John Wiitala won a faceoff to Dakota Joshua and he found Carson Meyer in the slot with a backhand pass, who was able to get a shot off quickly. The Buckeyes had a power play at 8:58 of the period but did not convert. Notre Dame pulled its goalie with 2:53 remaining for the extra attacker but Ohio State held the Irish off the board. Tommy Nappier had nine saves in the period and Ohio State put five shots on net.
Shots … Ohio State was outshot, 30-24, in the game. Tommy Nappier played all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes and had 30 saves for his fourth shutout of the year and the fifth of his career. He is in the Top 3 nationally with a 1.64 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and 10-1-2 record. The Buckeyes blocked 13 shots, led by Wyatt Ege with three and Dakota Joshua and Carson Meyer with two each.
Special Teams … Each team had just one penalty and power play chance.
Buckeye This and That …Matt Miller and Mason Jobst extended their point streaks to five games each … Ohio State has allowed two or fewer goals in 20 of 26 games this year and is allowing 2.12 goals per game this season .. the Buckeyes are 8-1-1 in the second half of the season (since Dec. 28) … the shutout was the team’s seventh of the year, tying the program record set by the 1998 squad … Ohio State is on a season-high five game winning streak … Jobst leads the Buckeyes with 18 assists and 32 points this year.
Matt Miller put the Buckeyes on the board with his third goal of the year.
Carson Meyer scored an insurance goal late in the third.
Tommy Nappier had 30 saves for his fourth shutout of the year.
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
“We are just trying to get better every day and our focus is our team. I say it all the time. We played a good hockey team this weekend and we are happy to get the win. That feels good right now but it’s back to practice on Monday.”
On the Big Ten race
“Our whole focus is next Friday. That’s all we talk about is getting better. If you take care of the task at hand, that will take care of the big picture. However, our only goal is to get better. That’s it.”