December 4, 1998

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A pair of 5-on-3 goals in the closing moments of the second period proved to be the difference, as surging Ohio State held on to defeat No. 6-ranked Notre Dame, 4-3, in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Friday at the OSU Ice Arena.

The victory pushed Ohio State (7-7-2, 7-4-2) ahead of Notre Dame (9-4-2, 7-4-1) into third-place in the CCHA behind idle Ferris State (8-3-1) and Michigan (8-1-1), which used a third-period goal Friday to pull out a 1-0 win at eighth-place Miami (2-10-3). The season series will conclude with a decisive third game Saturday night, in what is scheduled to be the final game at the OSU Ice Rink for the Buckeyes, who will begin play in the new on-campus Schottenstein Center next month. The Irish posted a 3-0 win over the Buckeyes in the teams’ first meeting of the season, Oct. 23 at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame welcomed back senior left wing Aniket Dhadphale, who had missed the previous four games due to injury. Two other Irish regulars–junior right wing Joe Dusbabek and sophomore defenseman Ryan Clark–also returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games because of injuries.

In other CCHA action Friday, MSU played to a 2-0 non-conference home win over Nebraska-Omaha while last-place Lake Superior (2-6-2) erupted at home for a 6-0 win over eighth-place Western Michigan (1-7-5). Sixth-place Northern Michigan (6-6-1) played to a 3-3 tie at home with 10th-place Alaska Fairbanks (3-7-1).

The game took a major swing in the final six minutes of the third period, with the score tied at 2-2. Penalties by OSU’s Scott Titus (holding the stick) and Ryan Jestadt (cross check) provided the Irish with a 5-on-3 power-play chance but Notre Dame failed to convert.

Less than two minutes after Jestadt’s penalty had expired, a succession of three Irish penalties produced a pair of OSU 5-on-3 goals. Dusbabek was whistled for interference with 2:57 left in the period before Clark went off for a disputed elbowing call just 32 seconds later. Junior defenseman Nathan Borega then was called for roughing with 1:53 left, with his penalty not set to begin until Dusbabek’s ended. That moment came soon enough, when OSU sophomore center Vinnie Grant poked home his fourth goal of the season for a 3-2 lead (18:25).

With Dusbabek back in the game but Borega’s penalty beginning, OSU scored a minute later when sophomore left wing Jean-Francois Dufour poked home Boisvert’s pass from behind the net for his fifth goal of the season (19:28).

Notre Dame answered back early in the third period, on Urick’s team-leading 10th goal of the season. Sophomore left wing Dan Carlson sent a power-play pass from the right circle and Urick slapped a shot from the slot that beat Maund to the stick side (3:30).

The visitors pulled senior goaltender Forrest Karr with 1:23 left to play but failed to put a shot on net.

The Irish opened the scoring early in the game behind Simon’s eighth goal of the season. Senior right wing Brian Urick set up the goal with his 13th assist of the season, on a pass from behind the net. Simon took the puck at the top of the crease and gently flicked a high shot past OSU sophomore goaltender Jeff Maund (4:07).

The Buckeyes tied the game early in the second period on the second goal of the season by junior right wing Eric Meloche, who missed the earlier game versus the Irish due to injury. Junior center Hugo Boisvert drew the primary assist with a pass from behind the net that slid between the circles. Meloche received the pass and slid the puck to his forehand before sending a low shot past the right skate of Irish senior goaltender Forrest Karr (5:11).

The Irish quickly reclaimed the lead with their CCHA-leading 21st power-play goal of the season. Urick got things going with a pass from the left circle into the slot, with Dhadphale then putting a soft spin shot on net. Maund made the save but Simon was waiting on the right side and stuffed the puck inside the near post (6:24). OSU forged a 2-2 tie three minutes later on Boisvert’s ninth goal of the season, after taking a return pass from freshman defenseman Jason Crain (9:21). Simon’s pair of goals give him 81 career points (22 G, 59 A) in 82 games.

NOTRE DAME 1 1 1 – 3

OHIO STATE 0 4 0 – 4

1st: ND 1. Simon 8 (Urick) 4:07. 2nd: OSU 1. Meloche 2 (Boisvert, Titus); ND 2. Simon 9 (Dhadphale, Urick), PP, 6:24; OSU 2. Boisvert 9 (Crain, Jestadt) 9:21; OSU 3. Grant 4 (Crain, Jestadt), 5-3, 18:25; OSU 4. Dufour 5 (Boisvert, Meloche), 5-3, 19:28. 3rd: ND 3. Urick 10 (Carlson) 3:30. Shots on Goal: ND 14-10-1-/34; OSU 10-18-5/33. Saves: ND (Forrest Karr) 10-14-5/29; OSU (Jeff Maund) 13-9-9/31.

Power Plays: ND 2 for 7, OSU 2 for 9. Penalties: ND 12 for 24:00, OSU 10 for 20:00.