COLUMBUS, Ohio — After Ohio State lost on Friday night, 4-3, thanks to a pair of goals scored late by the Fighting Irish, the Buckeyes wanted to make sure Notre Dame would not have a chance late in Sundays game. Fifteenth ranked Ohio State held on to a late two goal lead and defeated No. 2 Notre Dame, 4-1, Sunday in front of 6,031 in Value City Arena.
The loss marked the Fighting Irishs first conference loss on the road this season. Ohio State broke a three game winless streak at home. Notre Dame was playing without Christian Hanson and Ryan Thang due to injury; Ohio State was without Ian Boots do to a suspension after committing a spear in Fridays game.
For the second straight game, Ohio State held a lead going into the third period. Also for the second straight game, Notre Dame got the games first goal.
They were mad, Ohio State coach John Markell said on Fridays game. But we beat a good hockey team. I know they had a couple guys out, but we all go through that. . . . They played with more energy than they did (Friday) night but our energy was where I thought it would be.
I thought Ohio State played better, they played a real patient game, they were real good in their defensive zone, Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. I thought we played well early on just some mistakes set us back, and our guys cant look at the guys being out of line up being a factor.
I think it was a must win coming into the game was our mindset, Ohio State forward Zac Dalpe said. We got to get points; we didnt get points Friday if you want to run up to the top, you have to beat the best teams.
Neither team took control of the action early on. The shot total was tied at 11 through one period. Both teams also tied in the shot column in the second with 12 each. Both goaltenders were solid to begin the game. Ohio State goaltender Dustin Carlson made a good early game toe stop on Notre Dame forward Ryan Guentzel. Carlson was called a few seconds later for roughing.
Notre Dame took the lead 7:44 into the second when Christiaan Minella buried a loose puck in the crease while on a power play. The Fighting Irish only converted on one of six power plays and netted just three shots on goal. The
Buckeyes did a good job at jamming passing lanes and blocking shots.
Ohio State tied the game less than a minute later when Dalpe spun and fed John Albert who was waiting on the glove side of Notre Dame goalie Jordan Pearce who left the net open for Alberts 10th of the season.
Fighting Irish center Ben Ryan committed a trip 15:24 of the second. With 24 seconds remaining in the ensuing Ohio State power play, Albert passed back to the blue line where defenseman Shane Sims slapped one past Pearce to give Ohio State a 2-1 lead.
I thought we did a good job in the first period, Jackson said. I thought the second, we gave them life after we scored on the power play, the shift after, they responded right away. You have to get them credit on that.
Less than two minutes later, Taylor Stefishen scored off his own rebound after Dalpe had a shot go off Pearce. Stefishen recently joined the line of Albert and Dalpe and their results have been good. Dalpe assisted in all three of the Buckeyes goals.
He is a great player and he is fun to play with, Dalpe said about Stefishen. He is a gritty player. He is a small kid but he is always in the right spot and always battling for the puck. He can move the puck good which is good for us. When you get three guys in the lineup who can move the puck like we can is pretty deadly.
It is evolving, Markell said of the Dalpe-Albert-Stefishen line. I think Stefishen is a good compliment to them. I think Dalpe bring us energy and he can feel it. We have thrown a few ringers at Johnny Albert and he continued to evolve with them and his game is growing.
Notre Dame outshot the Buckeyes 10-7 in the games final period. The Fighting Irish had a few good opportunities, but was unable to convert on all three of their power plays in the third.
But out penalty kill, it is important, Markell said. Especially against teams this time of year against these kind of caliber teams is very, very important.
Ohio State sealed the game when Mathieu Picard netted a shot into the abandoned net with two minutes remaining.
With the win, Ohio State moves into a tie for fourth in the CCHA with Alaska who has played two more games. Notre Dame still has a four point advantage for first place over second place Miami with six games remaining for both teams.
Notre Dame defenseman Teddy Ruth got to play in the city of his hopeful future employer, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Last year, Ruth was traded to Columbus from Washington straight-up for Sergei Fedorov. During Sundays game, Ruth got to play in front of Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock, general manager Scott Howson, and other personnel from the Blue Jackets.
Ruth did not perform up to par in the game. He had a minus three for the weekend and was out on the ice during Ohio States game winning power-play goal in the second period.
It was defiantly a great opportunity, Ruth said. I was at the (Blue Jackets versus San Jose Sharks) game last night, it was good to get out and see them play.