WHO: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-9-3, 5-5-2-1 Big Ten) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (14-6-2, 7-4-1-0 Big Ten)
WHEN: Friday 6 p.m. and Saturday 5 p.m.
WHERE: Value City Arena (17,500) at Jerome Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio.
TV: Friday BTN; Saturday BTN+.
STREAMING: Fox Sports App both nights.
RADIO: WZOC-FM (94.3) and UND.com.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame No. 18 in USCHO.com (media) poll and receiving votes in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) poll; Ohio State No. 9 in both polls.
RECAPS: Irish were swept by Michigan 3-0 and 3-1 last weekend in South Bend; Buckeyes won 4-2 and lost 5-2 last weekend at Wisconsin.
RIVALRY: Series is tied 37-37-10 after Notre Dame won 3-2 (overtime) and 2-1 Nov. 8-9 in South Bend.
SHAVINGS: In the 14 games since November sweep of Buckeyes, Notre Dame is 3-9-2, scoring 24 goals while allowing 43. … Goalie Cale Morris has 1.197 goals-against average and .965 saves percentage in Notre Dame’s last five (2-2-1) games, improving to 2.53 and .917. … Left wing Cam Morrison leads Irish with six goals, 12 assists and 18 points followed by center Mike O’Leary (7-10-17), right wing Alex Steeves (6-9-15) and right wing Cal Burke (4-10-14). … Defense led by Matt Hellickson (3-7-10) and Nick Leivermann (3-7-10). … Since being swept by Irish, Buckeyes are 8-3-1, scoring 33 goals and allowing 27. … Buckeyes enter No. 5 in scoring defense at 2.05 goals per game. … Goalie Tommy Nappier enters with 12-5-2 record, 1.86 goals-against average and .933 saves percentage. … Center Tanner Laczynski leads Ohio State in scoring (7-14-21) just ahead of center Gustaf Westlund (10-10-20). … Defense is led by Wyatt Ege (3-8-11) and Grant Gabriele (3-7-10).
QUOTING JACKSON: (Ohio State) “Their strength is their goaltending and their defensive game, and they are dangerous offensively.” (Getting more scoring chances) “We have to get people to the net off the rush. We’re not getting traffic to the net to disrupt the goaltender’s vision or to get him to move laterally.” (Improving on defense) “We had to make sure we’re doing a better job of taking away ‘the house’ – that key area in front of our net.” (Fighting back from deficits) “We have to get stronger in our resiliency, and that’s an area where the youth does show.”
– John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent