The Notre Dame Fighting Irish rolled past the Ohio State Buckeyes with a 3-0 shutout at Compton Family Ice Arena on Saturday. Coming into the first game of the weekend series, one point separated the two teams in the Big Ten standings.
Near the halfway point of the opening frame, Ohio State forward Gustaf Westlund went down to the ice after a face-off and was called for interference for the first man advantage of the night for either team. During the power-play, Alex Steeves was called for hooking, which set up a 4-on-4 for 38 seconds.
Neither team was able to capitalize on the power-play. Throughout the period, there were good chances on both ends, but both teams had trouble finding the net. The teams combined for only eight shots on goal: five for the Irish, three for the Buckeyes.
The contest remained scoreless for the first half of the second period, despite both teams committing plenty of turnovers in their own end. It was a turnover in the neutral zone that led to a beautiful Trevor Janicke pass finding new linemate Graham Slaggert down low to break the scoreless tie. Earlier in the day, Landon Slaggert, brother of Graham, was named to the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team.
Notre Dame defenseman Zach Plucinski was called for holding toward the end of the period, but Ohio State was unable to even the score. Once again, the Irish out-shot the Buckeyes in the period, this time 12-10.
Both teams were called for penalties within the first few minutes of the final frame but couldn’t score on the power-play, as the mental mistakes continued for each side. Michael Graham took advantage of an Ohio State turnover, finding the back of the net with a great individual effort and fake pass for his first of the season.
An Alex Steeves backhand off a lost face-off found its way over goaltender Tommy Nappier’s shoulder to increase the Notre Dame lead to 3-0. The goal was his seventh point in as many games. Immediately afterward, the Buckeyes benched Nappier for the first time all season.
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert at 09:22 in the 1st with assists from Trevor Janicke and Nick Leivermann
Notre Dame: Michael Graham at 07:33 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Alex Steeves at 09:38 in the 3rd with assist from Graham Slaggert
Ohio State: Gustaf Westlund at 09:22 in the 1st for interference
Notre Dame: Alex Steeves at 10:45 in the 1st for hooking
Notre Dame: Zach Plucinski at 17:52 in the 2nd for holding
Ohio State: Kamil Sadlocha at 00:43 in the 3rd for hooking
Notre Dame: Jake Pivonka at 03:15 in the 3rd for tripping
Ohio State: Collin Peters at 17:01 in the 3rd for charging
Notre Dame: Dylan St. Cyr, 20 saves
Ohio State: Tommy Nappier, 19 saves
Ohio State: Snowden, 6 saves
The Irish will conclude their home series with the Buckeyes on Sunday at 5:00 PM ET. To catch the game, tune in with NBCSN.