Following two big conference weekends, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team took to the road to face the Ohio State Buckeyes in a matchup between the first and second place teams in the Big Ten. Notre Dame struggled to find goals all weekend, scoring only two in the two games combined, and were swept by the #4 team in the country.
With the losses, Notre Dame fell to third in the Big Ten behind Ohio State and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Irish now have just seven games left in the season, all Big Ten games, before heading into postseason play.
Notre Dame had a few good chances in the first period and outshot the Buckeyes 10-9, but the period ended with Ohio State leading 1-0. Ohio State added a second 8 minutes in the second period for a 2-0 lead.
Notre Dame fought back with goals from Michael Graham and and Cam Morrison, the eighth on the season for both players, just 34 seconds apart. Graham’s goal came on the power play and continued an impressive run from the freshman that includes a goal in four of the last five games. Morrison scored 34 seconds later when he tipped an Andrew Peeke shot into the net.
The Irish put together an early penalty kill to start the third period and we play on, tied at 2-2— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) February 2, 2019
here’s Michael Graham’s 2nd period power-play goal ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/gpNe9PkTsx
The two teams were tied heading into the third were they traded chances for the early part of the period before Freddy Gerard scored a power play goal to give Ohio State the lead, his second goal of the night. Notre Dame had chances to tie, but goalie Sean Romeo stood tall for the Buckeyes and kept the puck out of the net before Ohio State added an empty net goal to seal the win in the final seconds.
This was a tough loss for the Irish. They played well and had a good number of chances, outshooting Ohio State 29-26. Another night and it could have ended differently, but with the season drawing to a close Notre Dame is running out of time to turn these games into wins. Ohio State is the #4 ranked team in the country and not an easy matchup, but the Irish will need to beat teams like this at some point if they’re looking to return to the Frozen Four for the third year in a row.
OSU - Freddy Gerard (5) at 14:57 in the 1st, assisted by Wyatt Ege and Collin Peters
OSU - Austin Pooley (3) at 7:51 in the 2nd, assisted by Quinn Preston and Matt Miller
ND - Michael Graham (8) on the PP at 9:28 in the 2nd, assisted by Bobby Nardella and Andrew Peeke
ND - Cam Morrison (8) at 10:02 in the 2nd, assisted by Andrew Peeke and Tory Dello
OSU - Freddy Gerard (6) on the PP at 7:38 in the 3rd, assisted by Gordi Myer and Wyatt Ege
OSU - Brendon Kearney (6) on the EN at 19:59 in the 3rd, assisted by Mason Jobst
ND - Cale Morris made 22 saves on 25 shots in the loss
OSU - Sean Romeo saved 27 of 29 shots for the win
OSU - Ronnie Hein, 2 for hooking at 2:11 in the 1st
OSU - Carson Meyer, 2 for hooking at 8:38 in the 1st
OSU - Dakota Joshua, 2 for hooking at 4:59 in the 2nd
OSU - Sasha Larocque, 2 for boarding at 8:47 in the 2nd
ND - Cam Morrison, 2 for interference at 1:51 in the 3rd
ND - Cam Morrsion, 2 for hooking at 7:18 in the 3rd
OSU - Wyatt Ege, 2 for tripping at 16:56 in the 3rd
The second game of the series didn’t play out much differently than the first. The teams played to no score in the first period. Ohio State opened the scoring early in the second period. They added a second goal in the third and the Irish couldn’t find the back of the net and were shutout 2-0.
Notre Dame played well on the night and again outshot the Buckeyes, but just couldn’t find a goal against one of the top teams in the country. Cale Morris was a bright spot for the Irish, especially during the second period, where he faced 13 of the 24 shots on the night and made 12 saves. Ohio State didn’t have many chances on the night but had several high danger chances that Morris managed to keep out of the net. Unfortunately Tommy Nappier was just a bit better for Ohio State and he kept the Irish out of the goal all night.
OSU - Matt Miller (3) at 0:53 in the 2nd, assisted by Mason Jobst and Quinn Preston
OSU - Carson Meyer (7) at 15:16 in the 3rd, assisted by Dakota Joshua and John Wiitala
ND - Cale Morris saved 22 shots on 24 attempts in the loss
OSU - Tommy Nappier saved all 30 shots faced for the shutout win
OSU - John Wiitala, 2 for hooking at 12:51 in the 2nd
ND - BENCH, 2 for too many players at 8:58 in the 3rd
Notre Dame will have a bye next weekend before playing their next three games at home. First up is a midweek matchup against the Michigan Wolverines on Tuesday February 12 before the Irish welcome the Wisconsin Badgers for a series on February 15 and 16.