After an overtime win on Friday night, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hockey team was back in action Saturday to finish their series with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Irish started slow, but they turned things on in the third period. They managed to score the last two goals of the game, and for the second night in a row came from behind for the win.
The first period was rather quiet for both teams, as neither could manage any offense at all. Much of that could be attributed to great goaltending, as Notre Dame and Ohio State managed 12 and 10 shots with no goals. The game began to pickup 15 minutes in though when Quinn Preston received a game misconduct for the Buckeyes for a hit to the head. His night was done but both teams began to play with much more physicality as a result.
The physical play kept going in the second period but for the first 10 minutes the offenses remained quiet. Halfway through the period Ohio State struck first when a deflected shot beat Cale Morris. Austin Pooley let a shot go from the point that appeared to hit Gustaf Westlund in the body before deflecting off his stick and over the left shoulder of Morris into the net.
Notre Dame was finally able to beat Tommy Nappier with eight minutes left in the game thanks to a great individual effort from Jake Pivonka. Pivonka received the puck from Charlie Raith at the top of the crease. With three Buckeyes in the area, Pivonka got Nappier sliding to his right before stick handling the puck around him and into the empty half of the net to tie the game.
Just about four minutes later Notre Dame took the lead for good with another great bit off offense. Matt Steeves had the puck behind the net when he dropped a pass through some traffic into the slot for Cam Burke. Burke had a wide open shooting lane and he let a one-time shot go that beat Nappier into the top corner. Ohio State picked up the pressure for the remaining 8 minutes but Notre Dame was up to the task as they survived a late flurry to hold on for the win.
Ohio State: Gustaf Westlund (5) at 10:02 in the 2nd, assisted by Austin Pooley and Ryan O’Connell
Notre Dame: Jake Pivonka (3) at 8:32 in the 3rd, assisted by Charlie Raith and Jesse Lansdell
Notre Dame: Cam Burke (1) at 12:05 in the 3rd, assisted by Matt Steeves and Spencer Stastney
Notre Dame: Mike O’Leary, 2 for cross-checking at 10:07 in the 1st
Ohio State: Collin Peters, 2 for slashing at 12:20 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert, 2 for cross-checking at 15:15 in the 1st
Ohio State: Quinn Preston, 5 for contact to the head and a game misconduct at 15:46 in the 1st
Ohio State: Grant Gabriele, 2 for hooking at 17:27 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: BENCH, 2 for too many players on the ice at 1:50 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Cale Morris allowed 1 goal and made 24 saves for the win
Ohio State: Tommy Nappier allowed 2 goals with 27 saves in the loss
Notre Dame travels to Madison next weekend for a series with the Wisconsin Badgers November 15 and 16.