NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Ohio State men’s hockey team fell to Notre Dame, 2-1, Saturday in Compton Family Ice Arena in game two of a Big Ten series. The No. 9/8 Buckeyes are now 6-3-1 overall and 2-2-0-0 in Big Ten play this year, while the No. 5 Irish stay undefeated (7-0-1, 3-0-1-0 B1G).
The Buckeyes have next weekend off before returning to action at Penn State Nov. 22-23. The first half of the season ends with back-to-back home series. Ohio State hosts Michigan State Nov. 30-Dec. 1 and Minnesota Dec. 7-8.
Quoting Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik
“This weekend was two tough one-goal losses. We need to take the next couple of weeks to continue to get better.”
Quoting Buckeye senior captain Ronnie Hein
“I thought we played well this weekend and worked hard. We did a lot of good things and should’ve walked out of there with two wins but we didn’t. We made a couple key mistakes that cost us both games. Moving forward, we’re positive and going to have a great off week and be detailed in practices and start preparing ourselves for Penn State. There’s nothing we can do now except watch the video, learn from it and be better in two weeks.”
The Short Story – Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
After a scoreless first period, Gustaf Westlund put the Buckeyes on the board at 10:02 of the second. Ohio State carried the lead until 8:32 of the third, when Jake Pivonka scored for the Irish. Notre Dame notched the gamewinner at 12:05 of the third. Buckeye goalie Tommy Nappier had 27 saves as he allowed two or fewer goals for the ninth time (in 10 games) this season. Each team was 0-for-3 on the power play.
Notre Dame 2, Ohio State 1
In the First … There were no goals in the first period. Each team had two penalties and power plays. Ohio State was assessed a major penalty at 15:46, with time carrying into the second, but the Buckeyes were able to kill it off. Ohio State had 10 shots in the period, Notre Dame 12.
In the Second … Ohio State opened the scoring at 10:02 of the period, as a shot by Austin Pooley went off Gustaf Westlund and past the Irish goalie. Ryan O’Connell had the second assist on the goal, Westlund’s team-best fifth of the year. Shots were 11-9 in favor of Notre Dame in the period and the Irish one power play, in addition to the carryover of the major.
In the Third … The Irish tied the game at 8:32 on a Jake Pivonka shot from right in front and went ahead at 12:05 when Cam Burke’s one-timer found the back of the net. Each team had just six shots in the period. Ohio State had the one power play chance early in the period but did not convert. The Buckeyes pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with 1:20 left and came close, but were unable to get the equalizer.
Shots … The Buckeyes were outshot, 29-25, in the contest. Tommy Nappier had 27 saves in 58:40 for Ohio State and Cale Morris made 24 stops in 59:38 for the Irish. Ohio State blocked 18 shots, led by Ronnie Hein with three and Layton Ahac, Gordi Myer, Tanner Laczynski, Pooley and Grant Gabriele with two each.
Special Teams … Each team was 0-for-3 on the power play in the game. Both teams were 7-for-7 on the penalty kill on the weekend, including a major power play.
Buckeye This and That … The series was the first time the Buckeyes were swept on the road since Dec. 4-5, 2015 at Minnesota … the Buckeyes and Irish will meet in Columbus Jan. 17-18 … Nappier and the Buckeyes have allowed more than two goals in a game just once this season … Nappier has a 1.79 goals-against average and .935 save percentage on the year … Ohio State is allowing 1.80 goals a game … the Buckeyes are now 35-for-39 (.897) on the penalty kill this season … Westlund has already matched the five goals he scored as a freshman last season; he is second on the team with nine points … each of the Buckeyes’ last four games, and six overall this season, have been decided by one goal.