The men’s hockey Bucks solidified their standing atop the Big Ten tonight with a win over the second place Irish. The victory put a seven-point gap between Ohio State and Notre Dame. Here’s how it went down.
|Scoring by Period||1||2||3||Final|
|No. 11/13 Notre Dame||0||2||0||2|
|No. 4 Ohio State||1||1||2||4|
The Irish had a territorial advantage in the early going, helped along by a pair of power plays. But it was the Buckeyes holding the lead at the first intermission. Wyatt Ege launched a long-range shot which looked innocuous enough to start. Freddy Gerard made it dangerous in a hurry, though.
Freshman Colin Peters collected the secondary assist on the goal. It was his first point as a Buckeye. Ronnie Hein deserved a stick tap on the play as well for ensuring that Cale Morris couldn’t see the puck sail by.
The Bucks opened the second period with another penalty kill. Just as they did in the first, they successfully thwarted the Irish advantage. Shortly after returning to full strength OSU increased its lead. Austin Pooley took a pass from Quinn Preston and ripped his third goal of the season.
The Irish managed to erase that lead before the second intermission. They needed all of 34 seconds. First, they capitalized on their fourth power play of the game. Michael Graham netted the score. Then Cam Morrison deflected a wonky puck past Sean Romeo for the equalizer.
The trend of early penalties continued in the third period. This time the whistles went in Ohio State’s favor. Though the Bucks didn’t score on that first advantage, it allowed them to start the frame as the aggressors rather than being on their heels defending. When OSU's next power play rolled around, Gerard snapped off his second goal of the game.
Gerard’s sixth of the season would be the game winner. The Irish threatened with one last late power play. But the Bucks’ PK prevailed. Brendon Kearney locked up the victory with an empty netter at the buzzer.
The win boosts Ohio State to 16-5-4 overall and 9-3-3-2 in the conference. The Bucks lead the field by seven points (pending final scores from around the league). OSU and Notre Dame wrap their weekend and season series tomorrow night at 8pm ET. The tilt airs live on BTN.
- Shots for the game were 29-26 in favor of Notre Dame.
- John Wiitala, Mason Jobst, and Matt Miller led the Bucks with three shots each.
- Ohio State went 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.
- The Buckeyes are still skating without Tanner Laczynski (injury).
- It was a victorious day for the women's hockey Bucks as well.