Feb. 4, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Ray Aho made 26 saves while the Ohio State offense made the most out of its scoring opportunities, as the Buckeyes held off Notre Dame, 3-1, in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Friday night at Value Center Arena.
The loss dropped Notre Dame (11-14-6, 8-8-5 CCHA) into a tie with Nebraska-Omaha (8-8-5) for fifth in the CCHA standings, with UNO posting a 4-3 home win over Bowling Green.
The Irish maintained their narrow cushions on Western Michigan (8-10-3, a 6-3 loser at second-place Northern Michigan) and Ferris State (8-11-2, a 4-2 loser at home to first-place Michigan) but saw their lead over Miami shrink to two points (the 8-8-3 RedHawks posted a 4-3 home win over last-place Alaska-Fairbanks).
Ohio State (9-15-3, 5-12-2) boosted its chances for making the CCHA tournament, as the Buckeyes moved within two points of in-state rival BG (7-12-0) for the 10th and final playoff spot.
OSU improved to 8-3-0 in its last 11 games versus the Irish, including four straight wins in games played in Columbus.
The Irish played without co-leading scorer Joe Dusbabek, as the senior right wing was sidelined due to muscle spasms. Junior Matt Van Arkel saw his first action in the last nine games and filled Dusbabeks spot on the first line, alongside senior center Ben Simon and junior left wing Dan Carlson.
Notre Dame fell behind 1-0 for the 19th time in 31 games this season, as sophomore center Mike McCormick converted on the power play midway through the first period. Irish freshman goaltender Tony Zasowski had appeared to smother the puck but it squirted loose to set up McCormick’s easy goal.
OSU added to its lead early in the second period, behind the second goal of the season from freshman right wing Nic Boileau.
The Irish jumped right back in the game with a power-play score in the third minute of the final period, as Carlson fired home his 11th goal of the season (and fifth in the last five games) >from between the circles, after taking a power-play feed from junior right wing Ryan Dolder. But the Irish could not manage the equalizer, with OSU sophomore left wing Nick Ganga scoring an empty-net goal to ice the victory.
Notre Dame enjoyed a sizable 27-18 edge in shots on goal, marking the eighth time this season that the Irish have lost despite holding the shot advantage (including four losses with a shot margin of nine-plus).
The Irish scored on the power play (1-for-7) for the fifth straight game while allowing a PPG (1-for-4) for the seventh straight game. In 11 games this season on the opponent’s ice, the Irish are just 1-6-4 and have totaled 20 goals (1.8 per game).
NOTRE DAME (11-14-6, 8-8-5 CCHA) 0 0 1 - 1OHIO STATE (9-15-3, 5-12-2 CCHA) 1 1 1 - 3
1st: OSU 1. McCormick 5 (Latorre, Freeman), PP, 10:22.
2nd: OSU 2. Boileau 2 (Gubula, Wolke) 2:37.
3rd: ND 1. Carlson 11 (Dolder, Fraser), PP, 2:51, OSU 3. Ganga 4 (Broccoli), EN, 19:00.
Shots: ND 9-11-7/27, OSU 6-7-5/18.
Saves: ND (Zasowski) 5-6-4/15, OSU (Aho) 9-11-6/26.
Power Play: ND 1-for-7, OSU 1-for-4.
Penalties: ND 6 for 20:00, OSU 8 for 16:00.