COLUMBUS, Ohio — To beat Ohio State on the Buckeyes’ home turf, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish needed little more than Rob Globke.
Globke earned his second career hat trick and sophomore Rory Walsh made 31 saves as the Irish skated past the Buckeyes 5-2 to open league play for both teams.
“I was very encouraged,” said Irish head coach Dave Poulin. “We have eight freshmen in the lineup tonight, seven on the ice and one backing up in net, and that was a pretty tough, gritty road effort.”
Aaron Gill and Cory McLean each added third-period goals to Globke’s three, all scored before the midway point of the game. Gill also had two assists, McLean one, and Tim Wallace rounded out the multi-point gamers with two helpers of his own. The Irish converted on two of their seven power-play opportunities, perhaps, said OSU head coach John Markell, the difference in the game.
“That’s where we lost the game,” said Markell, “with specialty teams. I don’t think we played particularly well, and some individuals did but others didn’t.
“We’re going to have nights like this, with some of the [new] kids in the positions they’re in, but it wasn’t a total team effort.”
The win was particularly sweet for the Irish, who were eliminated by the Buckeyes in last season’s Super Six tournament. Notre Dame has a 5-14-4 record against OSU during the Markell era.
“We talked literally since the last day of last season, in the locker room at Joe Louis, about making some changes out there,” said Poulin. “It’s been eight years for me as a coach, and you get into a routine and do them because that’s the way you do them, so we looked at every aspect.
Poulin said that his players wore t-shirts during the offseason that said, “Attitude is everything,” and that, said the coach, is “what they came back to.”
The Irish showed that attitude from the initial drop of the puck, even though the Buckeyes were the first to find the net.
Buckeye Rod Pelley buried Matt Beaudoin’s feed from the left corner at 6:45 in the first, but Globke’s first two tallies of the night put Notre Dame ahead 2-1 after one.
On his first goal at 12:11, Globke scored from the top of the slot assisted by Matt Amado and McLean, but his second of the evening was pure poetry; after muscling past a Buckeye near the Notre Dame blue line, Globke streaked through the neutral zone and fought his way between OSU defensemen Nate Guenin and Kenny Bernard to take the shot from just in front of the Buckeye crease, beating sophomore goaltender David Caruso clean on the stick side with less then three minutes left in the period.
Paul Caponigri tied it up for OSU at 3:59 in the first when Walsh was unable to hang onto Doug Andress’s initial shot, but Globke returned the favor for his third of the night, a power-play goal, when Caruso bobbled the puck in front of the Buckeye net at 10:39.
Notre Dame led 3-2 after two.
OSU’s Dan Knapp had a golden opportunity to tie the game at 4:26 in the third, but couldn’t lift the puck over a prone Walsh into the essentially empty Notre Dame net.
At 13:54 on the Notre Dame power play, Gill increased the Irish lead to two, taking a pass from Wallace from the right corner and shooting clean to Caruso’s left side. McLean himself capped the night for the Irish at 17:48, skating the puck the length of the ice on the left wing, making his way around a Buckeye defender in front of the OSU net, and backhanding it in near the left post.
Said Poulin, “Certainly opening up at Ohio State, a team that knocked us out last year — and a team that we haven’t had a lot of success against in recent years — it is the place where I would have chosen to open up the season, to say, ‘Let’s go right back at them.’”
Markell gave the Irish all the credit in the lopsided affair.
“That’s probably one of the best games I’ve seen them play against us,” said Markell. “They worked hard. Rob Globke’s a great player and he finished.”
OSU (1-2-0, 0-1-0 CCHA) finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play, and Caruso made 24 saves as the Buckeyes outshot the Irish 33-29.
Notre Dame (1-0-0, 1-0-0) faces Ohio State again Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in Value City Arena.