Oct. 16, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. – It wasn’t supposed to end this way. Not in the final game ever at the Joyce Center.
Ohio State jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two periods and then held off a furious Notre Dame rally that came up one goal short as the Buckeyes held on for a 4-3 win over the Irish in front of a sellout crowd of 2,859 on Saturday night.
Matt Johnson, Devon Krogh, Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel paced Ohio State with one goal each while McCormick added a pair of assists for a three-point night and goaltender Cal Heeter made 25 saves in the victory.
Anders Lee scored one and helped set one up with Stephen Johns and Austin Wuthrich adding a pair of late goals as the Irish battled back to cut the lead to 4-3 with 1:25 left on the clock. That was as close as they would get though despite several chances to get the equalizer.
The loss drops Notre Dame to 2-2-0 overall and 1-1-0-0 in the CCHA while the Buckeyes end the weekend with the same record after four games.
“We did a good job of coming back, but we shouldn’t have been down 4-0 after two periods,” said Irish coach Jeff Jackson. “They (Ohio State) outworked us in the first part of the game. It was disappointing that we didn’t get a better start tonight. It’s been a point of emphasis and it worked against us again tonight.”
For the third consecutive game, Notre Dame fell behind in the first period, giving up a pair of goals. That marked the third time in as many games that the Irish trailed by two after one period.
Johnson put the Buckeyes on top, 1-0, at 6:30 of the first period when McCormick found him all alone in front of the goal from the left wing corner. The freshman center waited for Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays to make a move and fired it over his glove and under the cross bar.
The lead would go to 2-0 at 12:02 with Ohio State capitalizing on the power play – one of eight chances in the game. Krogh scored the goal, his first of the season, when he broke in from his spot on the point, took a feed from McCormick and fired it past Summerhays for the two-goal lead.
In the previous two games that they trailed 2-0 after one period, the Irish were able to come back. This time the Buckeyes added to the lead with two more in the second period.
McCormick took his turn scoring at 5:06 of the middle stanza, scoring Ohio State’s second power-play goal of the night as he rapped the rebound of a Danny Dries shot past Summerhays for his first career goal.
Dzingel closed out the second with his third goal of the year at 11:01 when he grabbed a bouncing puck at center ice and raced in on a breakaway to beat Summerhays and give the Buckeyes the 4-0 lead. That goal sent the sophomore goaltender to the bench in favor of Mike Johnson.
In the third period, the Irish offense came to life with the help of a five-on-three power play. Lee got credit for the goal at 4:38 when he deflected a Riley Sheahan blast from the right point past Heeter for his fifth goal of the year. Freshman Robbie Russo added an assist.
“I came into this year trying to shoot the puck more,” said Sheahan. “Robbie Russo put the puck where I wanted it and I just tried to shoot as hard as I could. Anders got his stick on it at the end to change directions for the goal.”
The goal got the crowd back into the game and the Irish continued to press the attack as they outshot OSU by a 14-4 margin in the third.
Johns would make things interesting when he cut the lead in half at 17:16, scoring on a blast from the right point following a face off in the Buckeye zone. T.J. Tynan won the draw and Lee cut across the circle to get the puck back to Johns who fired it through a maze of players in front, beating Heeter inside the right post.
With under three minutes left in the game, the Irish pulled Johnson in goal in favor of a sixth attacker and it paid off as Wuthrich pounced on a loose puck in front and flipped it over Heeter at 18:35 for his second goal in as many nights.
Billy Maday started the play as Heeter stopped his shot from the left circle. As he went for the rebound, Sheahan kept it alive and Nick Larson tried to stuff the puck under his pads. The puck squirted in front where Wuthrich picked it up, moved out of traffic and fired it into the goal to make it 4-3.
That would be as close as the Irish would get as they continued to pressure Heeter but time ran out on the comeback.
The Irish out shot Ohio State, 28-22, in the game. Summerhays played 31:08 and made 11 saves while Johnson made seven stops over the final 27:15. The Buckeyes were 2-for-8 on the power play while the Irish were 1-for-9.
“We wanted to close the building with a win,” said Jackson. “It was Parent’s Weekend. There were a lot of reasons we wanted to do well. Regardless, this building has done us well. In my short time here we’ve had a lot of great moments and a lot of great players pass through here. I’m glad we were able to bring Lefty (Smith) and Tim McNeill into the locker room before the game. This program wouldn’t be here without them.”
The Irish will now prepare to move into their new home – the Compton Family Ice Arena – on Tuesday, Oct. 18. They will play their first game on Friday, Oct. 21 versus Rensselaer at 7:35 p.m.
** IRISH NOTES **
** The loss gives Notre Dame an all-time record of 361-286-57 (.552) at the Joyce Center. In head coach Jeff Jackson’s six-plus years, the Irish were 66-32-13 at the Joyce Center.
** Junior center Riley Sheahan returned to the lineup on Friday night against Ohio State after missing three games and recorded a pair of assists in each game, giving him four points on the young season.
** Sophomore left wing Anders Lee has scored five goals in the first four games for Notre Dame and has eight points in those games. Sophomore center T.J. Tynan has a pair of goals and seven assists for nine points in his first four games.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FOhio State (2-2-0/1-1-0-0) 2 2 0 - 4#2/#2 Notre Dame (2-2-0/1-1-0-0) 0 0 3 - 3
First Period: OSU: Matt Johnson 2 (Max McCormick), 6:30; OSU: Devon Krogh 1 (Max McCormick, Ryan Dzingel), PPG, 12:02.
Penalties: OSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 5 for 10 minutes.
Second Period: OSU: McCormick 1 (Danny Dries, Chris Crane), PPG, 5:06; OSU: Dzingel 3 (unassisted), 11:01.
Penalties: OSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: OSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Ohio State 9 - 9 - 4 - 22Notre Dame 6 - 8 - 14 -28
Goaltender Saves:OSU: Cal Heeter (60:00) 6 - 8 - 11 - 25ND: Steven Summerhays (31:08) 7 - 4 - x - 11 Mike Johnson (27:15) x - 3 - 4 - 7
Power Plays:OSU: 2 for 8
ND: 1 for 9