With a head football coach and a possible new offensive coordinator in attendance, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team welcomed the #7 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to Compton Family Ice Arena to start off the final home series of the season. Notre Dame was able to get enough defense and goaltending to go along with Landon Slaggert providing all the offense in his best game of the season and they closed out a 2-1 win.
Game Summary (Notre Dame 2 - Ohio State 1)
The opening period went by pretty quietly, with Ohio State providing most of the offensive chances and outshooting Notre Dame 11-6. Until the final minute there was only a single penalty as well, a bench minor by Ohio State. Under two minutes though things got interesting and it started with an Irish goal by Landon Slaggert. The play started with a Buckeyes turnover in the neutral zone, an intercepted pass by Justin Janicke. Janicke carried the puck into the offensive zone and all the way down below the goal line. From there he backhanded a pass to Slaggert in the slot who one-timed it for the opening goal. After the goal, less than 30 seconds apart both teams took minor penalties and went into the second period 4-on-4.
Ohio State once again had the chances in the third period, but Notre Dame once again had the goal. This time they only had to wait 7 minutes. The second Irish goal started behind their own net and even got Ryan Bischel on the scoresheet. Ohio State dumped the puck into the Irish zone and behind the net, where Bischel went to stop the puck and leave it off for Nick Leivermann. After a slight pause to let the play develop Leivermann threaded a pass beautifully to Slaggert on the opposite blueline positioning him perfectly for a breakaway. From there it was all up Slaggert to finish the chance and beat the goalie and he did exactly that for the 2-0 Irish lead.
With a two goal lead Notre Dame was able to sit back and absorb some pressure. They took an early penalty that was negated shortly after by an Ohio State penalty. Unfortunately for the Irish, after killing off the first, they took another penalty at the halfway point and this time the Buckeyes were able to convert for their first, and only, goal of the game. Ryan Bischel came up with some big saves to finish the game, including a mad scramble around the Irish net for the final 10 seconds. When the horn blew though the Irish won the game 2-1, a huge victory for them moving forward.
Notre Dame: Landon Slaggert (5) at 18:09 in the 1st assisted by Justin Janicke
Notre Dame: Landon Slaggert (6) at 7:00 in the 2nd assisted by Nick Leivermann and Ryan Bischel
Ohio State: Jake Wise (10) on the power play at 10:15 in the 3rd assisted by Travis Treloar and Stephen Halliday
Ohio State: BENCH 2 for too many players at 7:59 in the 1st
Ohio State: Matt Cassidy 2 for high-sticking at 19:06 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Chase Blackmun 2 for hooking at 19:34 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Jack Adams 2 for tripping at 2:40 in the 2nd
Ohio State: Cam Thiesing 2 for roughing at 19:49 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Tyler Carpenter 2 for roughing at 19:49 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Zach Plucinski 2 for tripping at 3:37 in the 3rd
Ohio State: Michael Gildon 2 for holding at 3:52 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Drew Bavaro 2 for tripping at 10:00 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Ryan Bischel saved 37 of 38 shots against for the win
Ohio State: Jakub Dobes made 20 saves on 22 shots against in the loss
Notre Dame and Ohio State close out the series on Saturday night. It is senior night for the Irish and their last home game of the season. A sweep would go a long way towards their tournament positioning.