Feb. 1, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. – Ohio State got goals from Paul Caponigri and Ryan Kesler and goaltender Mike Betz stopped 23 shots as the Buckeyes blanked Notre Dame 2-0 at the Joyce Center Saturday night. The shutout was the first at home against the Irish since Northern Michigan’s Craig Kowalski blanked Notre Dame 4-0 on Jan. 12, 2002.
Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey kept the game close as he finished with 41 saves on the night for the Irish.
The loss extends Notre Dame’s winless streak to nine games (0-6-3) and drops the Irish record to 9-13-6 on the season and 7-10-3 in the CCHA. Notre Dame’s last victory came on January 3 at Nebraska-Omaha by a 5-3 score. Ohio State snapped a three-game winless streak (0-2-1) with the win and goes to 18-6-3 overall and 12-4-2 in CCHA play. The Buckeyes have had Notre Dame’s number over the last 12 meetings, going 8-1-3 in those games.
The first period was all Ohio State as the Buckeyes outshot Notre Dame by a 20-4 margin. Only the stellar goaltending of Cey kept the game close.
“We got outplayed tonight which was disappointing coming off the way we played last night,” said head coach Dave Poulin.
The Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead at 14:48 of the first period off a Notre Dame turnover in the Irish zone. Caponigri picked up the loose puck, skated into the high slot and whipped a shot over Cey’s glove and under the crossbar for his ninth of the season.
Ohio State’s second goal came on the power play as Cey was whistled off for roughing after getting hit behind his own net.
Freshman Ryan Kesler did the honors as he took a feed from R.J. Umberger to the left of Cey and snapped it past the sophomore goaltender at 5:01 for his seventh of the season.
The Irish got their offense going in the second period getting 13 shots on goal but Betz was equal to the task on each one. The junior goaltender twice stopped Notre Dame’s top scorer Rob Globke alone in front on power-play bids among his 13 saves.
“We really had to get something started in the second period,” said Poulin.
“We played better in the second and had some great scoring chances. We need some guys to step up and make some plays.”
The third period saw Ohio State blitz Cey with 17 more shots while the Irish mustered just six on Betz in the Buckeye goal with neither team denting the goal.
Notre Dame was 0-for-8 on the power play while Ohio State scored once on six tries.
The Irish have a bye next weekend that probably couldn’t come at a better time for the struggling hockey team.
“Maybe it’s a good time for the off-week. It will give us a chance to regroup. Maybe we need this,” said Poulin.
Following the off week, Notre Dame returns to action on Feb. 14-15 when the Irish travel to Bowling Green for a pair of games.
The Irish played without senior center Connor Dunlop who was sidelined with a thigh contusion suffered in Friday’s game.
For the two-game series, Ohio State was 2-for-17 on the power play while the Irish were 2-for-14. Notre Dame’s other goal was a shorthanded goal.
The Irish have been held to just nine goals in their last six games (1.50 per game) while giving up 17 (2.83 per game).
Ohio State (18-6-3/12-4-2) 1 1 0 – 2
Notre Dame (9-13-6/7-10-4) 0 0 0 – 0
First Period: OSU: Paul Caponigri 9 (unassisted), 14:48.
Penalties: OSU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Second Period: OSU: Ryan Kesler 7 (R.J. Umberger, Dave Steckel), PPG, 5:01.
Penalties: OSU: 4 for 8 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: OSU: 4 for 8 minutes; ND: 5 for 13 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Ohio State 20 – 6 – 17 – 43
Notre Dame 4 – 13 – 6 – 23
Ohio State – Mike Betz (60:00) 4 – 13 – 6 – 30
Notre Dame – Morgan Cey (60:00) 19 – 5 – 17 – 41
Power Plays: Ohio State: 1 for 6; ND: 0 for 8
Attendance: 2,721 (sellout)