COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Fighting Irish erased a two-goal deficit in the second period to tie the game at 2-2 but Freddy Gerard’s third period power-play goal returned the lead to #4 Ohio State and the Buckeyes held on to defeat #11 Notre Dame 4-2 on Friday night at the Value City Arena (6,869).
Ohio State (16-5-4, 8-3-3-3) snapped Notre Dame’s (14-9-3, 7-7-2-2 B1G) four-game unbeaten streak with the win while extending its own winning streak to four games.
Including good looks by Dylan Malmquist and Cam Morrison, the Irish outshot the Buckeyes 10-9 in the period but were down 1-0 after the first 20 minutes of play. The Buckeyes took the 1-0 lead with five minutes left in the first when Gerard’s shot got through a screen in front.
Austin Pooley doubled the Ohio State lead to 2-0 eight minutes into the second period.
Notre Dame responded with goals by Michael Graham and Cam Morrison 34 seconds apart to tie the game back up midway through the second period. Graham’s eighth goal of the season came on the power play, while Morrison’s eighth of the year was a tip in front on an Andrew Peeke shot.
The teams traded chances throughout the third. Spencer Stastney came up with a big blocked shot to negate 3-on-1 chance five minutes into the third period.
Then Gerard scored his second of the night, this time on the power-play, at 7:38 of the third to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead.
Notre Dame had chances to tie things back up. The best chance came on the power play with just under three minutes left when Graham fired a wrister at the near post that seemed destined for the back of the net but Sean Romeo made a diving save with the paddle of his stick.
The Buckeyes then added an empty net tally with 1 second remaining in the contest.
Cale Morris finished with 22 saves for the Irish, including nine in the third period. Sean Romeo totaled 27 saves for Ohio state as Notre Dame outshot the Buckeyes 29-26.
Notre Dame finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Ohio State was 1-for-2.
The Fighting Irish and Buckeyes close out their regular-season series on Saturday night (Feb. 2) at the Value City Arena. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Notre Dame Goal Descriptions
2-1 | Michael Graham’s power-play goal at 9:28 of the second got the Irish on the board and halved the Buckeye lead. He converted from the low slot on a feed from Bobby Nardella, who had corralled a rebound off the end boards after an Andrew Peeke shot from the point.
2-2 | Just 34 seconds after Graham scored, Cam Morrison tipped in an Andrew Peeke shot for his eighth goal of the season. Tory Dello also had an assist on the play.
- Junior forwards Cam Morrison (previous five games) and Cal Burke (previous four games) returned to the Irish lineup.
- Junior forward Mike O’Leary skated in his 100th career game.
- With a pair of assists, Andrew Peeke notched third multi-point game of the season and the eighth of his Irish career.
- With an assist, Bobby Nardella extended his point streak to five-games (2-6-8).
Trio Up For Hobey Vote
- It was announced on Jan. 16 that forward Cal Burke, goaltender Cale Morris and defenseman Bobby Nardella have each been selected to Phase One of the Hobey Baker Award’s fan ballot (vote at www.hobeybaker.com).
- Awarded annually to college hockey’s top player, the Hobey Baker award includes candidates exhibiting the exceptional character traits of the award’s namesake, Hobey Baker, with consideration given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.
- Morris, who was awarded the 2018 Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goaltender, was named a Top-10 Finalist for the Hobey Baker Award last season.
- Morris was the fourth player in Notre Dame history to be among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker, joining Anders Bjork (2017), David Brown (2007) and Dave Poulin (1982).
- Morris, a Larkspur, Colorado native, was also the first player from the Centennial State to play his way into the Hobey Top 10.
- The Fan Balloting (Phase I) of the Hobey Baker award calendar will continue until March 10.
- On March 20, the Top 10 Finalists will be announced, at which time Phase II Fan Balloting will begin and run through March 31, 2019.
- The Hobey Hat Trick Finalist Announcement will be made on April 4.
- The 2019 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 12, 2019 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championship in Buffalo, New York.
— ND —