The best thing you can say about No. 16 Ohio State’s weekend hosting No. 10 Notre Dame was that it happened against a better team than Iowa.
That’s right: the No. 16 Ohio State men’s hockey team got swept in Notre Dame’s first Big Ten series in Columbus. Ohio State lost by a combined 7-3 tally and it probably wasn’t even that close. (Still closer than the football team got though!)
In Friday night’s matchup, the Buckeyes allowed three goals in the third period alone and lost 4-1 to the Irish. The Buckeyes absolutely dominated in the first period, outshooting Notre Dame by a tally of 13-4 but they failed to convert on their one power play opportunity of the frame and the game went to the second scoreless. (Better than allowing a TD returned for a touchdown on the first play!)
In the second, Notre Dame struck as the Irish outshot OSU 10-5 in the period and scored the game’s first marker, as Cal Burke scored his third of the year on a tough angle past Sean Romeo. Ohio State would get out of the period only allowing that one score.
The third period went sideways—and quickly. Notre Dame scored at 5:35 and then Ohio State matched that score with one exactly three minutes later at 8:35. Dylan Malmquist scored his first of the year for the Irish while Janik Moser matched with his first of the year for the Buckeyes on a one timer off a Mason Jobst faceoff win.
That’d be as close as the Puckeyes got, though, as Notre Dame answered with a third goal at 13:40 of the third. Cam Morrison (one of the most hockey names I’ve heard) scored off a pass in front from Andrew Peeke and that was pretty much the nail in Ohio State’s coffin.
The Irish would add a fourth goal on the empty net and ended up winning, 4-1. The Buckeyes only generated a paltry 11 shots combined in the second and third period after dominating the first, as Notre Dame had three power play opportunities to OSU’s zero during that time frame.
On Saturday night, it wasn’t much better for the Buckeyes. Hosting Notre Dame again, they hoped to at least earn a sweep and slip out of their ranked matchup with the status quo.
The No. 16 Buckeyes fell 3-2 to the Irish, despite falling down three goals 6:48 into the third period. The hockey team showed fight and narrowed the game to a single goal affair with 1:55 in the third.
The first period was again scoreless for the Buckeyes, but Ohio State put up more of an offensive fight in this one for sure. They peppered Notre Dame goalie Cale Morris with 41 shots after putting just 24 on him on Friday night. For the series, he stopped 61/64 shots on goal for Ohio State. That’s a .953 save percentage, for those scoring at home.
Just as on Friday night, Notre Dame put up the first score of the game in the second period. This game was actually eerily reminiscent of Friday’s. Burke was the one who scored the first goal for Notre Dame in the second, and Malmquist scored the Irish’s second of the game just a few minutes into the third. So that’s Burke and Malmquist putting Notre Dame up 2-0 in the third in both games.
Jake Evans put Notre Dame up 3-0 in the third to finally break up the monotony of repetition, but Ohio State showed something and fought back. Mason Jobst scored at 12:22 on the powerplay and brought OSU to within two goals. Dakota Joshua and Matt Miller had the assists.
And at 18:05, when all seemed lost and the net empty, Joshua narrowed the score to one, at 3-2, with an assist from Laczynski. But that’d be as close as the Buckeyes would get. The Buckeyes rallied, but came out of it with a loss they could hold their heads up high regarding, knowing they fought till the end.
At the end of the day though, even with late game rallies, the No. 16 Buckeyes still got swept in conference and come out of the series 1-3 in conference play. Next weekend they’ll get a chance to rebound in an out of conference matchup in Hartford at UConn