January 15, 2022

Preston’s Hat Trick Leads Buckeyes Past Notre Dame


Box Score | Photo Gallery | Postgame Press Conference

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Quinn Preston had a hat trick and four points and freshman goalie Jakub Dobeš made 38 saves as the No. 16/15 Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated No. 13 Notre Dame, 4-1, Saturday in Value City Arena in the Schottenstein Center. The teams were tied at one after the first but Preston scored in the final minute of the second and Ohio State added two more goals in the third for the victory.

The Buckeyes end the weekend with four Big Ten points after an overtime loss Friday. Ohio State is now 16-7-1 on the year and 8-4-1-0-1-1 in the Big Ten. The Irish fall to 16-7-0, with a 9-5-0-4-1-0 B1G ledger. The game ended the regular season series between the teams.

Up Next

Ohio State will hit the road for its next two series, starting next weekend at Michigan State. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes and Spartans split a series in Columbus earlier this season.

The Short Story

The Buckeyes took advantage of an early power play, with Quinn Preston scoring at 3:18. The Irish tied the game with an unassisted shorthanded goal at 6:44. The teams remained tied until the final minute of the second, when Preston tallied. Freshman Georgii Merkulov pushed the Ohio State lead to 3-1 at 4:11 of the third and Preston closed out his hat trick at 16:21. Preston added an assist for a four-point night, while Merkulov (1g, 1a) and freshman defenseman Cole McWard (2a) each had two points. Jakub Dobeš stopped 38 shots, including 28 in the final two periods combined. Ohio State was 1-for-5 on the power play in the game and the penalty kill was 4-for-4, including a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes in the second, when Dobeš made eight saves.

Buckeye This and That

  • Preston’s hat trick and four-point night were the first of his career. It was the Buckeyes’ first game with three or more goals since Carson Meyer tallied four times March 6, 2020.
  • McWard had two assists in each game vs. Notre Dame and now has four two-point nights, with three in the last five games.
  • Merkulov leads the Buckeyes with 12 goals and 24 points this season.
  • Dobeš is 15-6-1 this year, with a 2.12 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.
  • Ohio State is scoring 3.63 goals a game, allowing 2.21 per contest.
  • The Buckeyes outscored the Irish 2-0 in the third period and now hold a 46-15 advantage in the third period this season.

How It Happened

  • An early Irish penalty led to the Buckeyes’ first goal, as Preston put in the rebound of a Cole McWard shot, with Travis Treloar also assisting on the tally at 3:18.
  • A turnover near the Buckeye zone led to an Irish shorthanded tally by Cam Burke at 6:44.
  • Notre Dame had the shot advantage in the first, 1-6, and each team had two power play chances. A third Buckeye opportunity carried into the second.
  • Neither team scored in the second until just 40 seconds remained, as Preston finished an odd-man rush with Georgii Merkulov. Grant Gabriele started the play to post the second assist.
  • At 7:36 of the second the Buckeyes stopped a 5-on-3 power play chance for two minutes, with Dobeš  making eight saves in the two minutes. Grant Gabriele and Will Riedell both were out for the full penalty kill, joined in parts by Jake Wise and Cam Thiesing.
  • Notre Dame against outshot the Buckeyes, 15-6.
  • Merkulov notched a goal of his own 4:11 into the third. Preston found him all alone in front and he slid the puck five-hole for his team-best 12th goal of the year. Cam Thiesing also had an assist on the tally.
  • Preston finished his hat trick at 16:21. McWard led Preston into the Irish zone and he got around the defenseman and scored on a backhand.
  • The teams combined for 23 shots on goal in the third, with the Irish ahead, 13-10.
  • The Buckeyes were outshot, 39-22, in the contest. Jakub Dobeš had 38 saves in 59:57 for Ohio State. Dominic Vidoli, Merkulov and Preston each had two shot blocks to lead Ohio State.
  • Ohio State was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 6-for-6 in the series vs. Notre Dame. The power play was 1-for-5 Saturday.