Unsung Heroes Lead Buckeyes to Upset of No. 1 Notre Dame

By Aubrey Nelson on February 10, 2018 at 10:12 pm
Matt Joyaux scored the game winning goal as the Buckeyes toppled the No. 1 Fighting Irish.

Ric Kruszynski/Ohio State Athletics

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Saturday was a great day to be a hockey Buckeye. The women's team locked up a record-tying twentieth win in the afternoon. Then the men took center stage and knocked off No. 1 Notre Dame on the road. 

Scoring by Period 1 2 3 Final
No. 6 Ohio State 1 1 3 5
No. 1 Notre Dame 0 1 0 1

Ohio State won going away in a high octane contest that saw the teams post a combined 78 shots on goal. The Buckeyes got goals from five different players in the win and none of them were named Tanner Laczynski or Mason Jobst. Depth was definitely the name of this game for the Bucks. And it didn't hurt that Sean Romeo put on a goaltending clinic.

Buckeye Goal Scorers (Assists) Pd Time
Matt Weis (Matt Miller, Gordi Myer) 1 8:49
EA - Matt Joyaux (Brendon Kearney, Luke Stork) 2 8:55
Kevin Miller (Wyatt Ege, Luke Stork) 3 6:56
Sam McCormick (John Wiitala, Mason Jobst) 3 7:53
EN - Brendon Kearney (Christian Lampasso) 3 16:21

Shots were even through the first seven minutes. Then the Buckeyes went on a run. They reeled off the game’s next seven shots. Matt Weis snapped his one game pointless skid with the game’s opening goal. The senior tipped home a Matt Miller blast for his tenth goal of the season.

Notre Dame closed the first period with a 6-3 run of its own but Romeo stood firm and maintained Ohio State’s 1-0 lead. The Bucks cranked that lead up to 2-0 midway through the second period.

Brendon Kearney lured the Irish into a slashing penalty. Steve Rohlik swapped Romeo for the extra attacker. Matt Joyaux rocketed a shot through that mass of humanity and into the back of the net. It was the redshirt senior defenseman’s first goal of the year.

Notre Dame killed off the ensuing Buckeye power play and geared up for an almighty run to the second intermission. The Irish found another level over the last eight minutes of the period. They outshot the Bucks by a 16-2 margin. A pair of OSU penalties helped that stat but it is still a ridiculous number.

Even more impressive than the Irish assault was Romeo’s stout defense. He shut down all but one of Notre Dame’s attempts, allowing only a single power play goal. His teammates responded with a counterattack to open the third period. The Buckeyes fired the frame’s first six shots. Back-to-back strikes by Kevin Miller and Sam McCormick stretched Ohio State’s lead to 4-1.

Miller’s goal was his second of the series. McCormick’s tally, 57 seconds later, chased Cale Morris from the net. Dylan St. Cyr came in to relieve the Big Ten’s top goaltender.

The Irish rolled the dice on a late power play and pulled St. Cyr for a 6-on-4 advantage. It didn’t pay off. Christian Lampasso hit Kearney for a victory-sealing empty netter. Ohio State skated away with a 5-1 win over the nation’s No. 1 team.

It’s a great win for the Bucks, not just because they knocked off the NCAA’s top team, but because it involved so much of the bench. Aside from Weis’ opening goal, OSU’s scoring came from guys not usually in the spotlight. The Buckeyes are going to need that scoring depth down the stretch and into the postseason.

Next up for Ohio State (19-7-4, 12-7-1-0 B1G) is a road series at No. 9/12 Minnesota. Games are scheduled for next  Friday at 9pm ET and next Saturday at 5pm ET. Both games will be televised, Friday’s by BTN and Saturday’s by ESPNU. Then the Buckeyes return to Columbus to host No. 17 Wisconsin in their regular season finale.

  • Notre Dame edged Ohio State in shots, 40-38. Matt Weis and Wyatt Ege led the Bucks with four each.
  • Other Big Ten results: Michigan holds off Michigan State, 3-2. Minnesota trashes Wisconsin, 7-1. It’s a bye week for Penn State.
  • Updated B1G standings: Notre Dame 50 points, Ohio State 37, Michigan 32, Minnesota 29, Wisconsin 28, Penn State 25, Michigan State 15.
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