COLUMBUS, Ohio – South Bend’s Graham Slaggert saved what could have been a night of horrors for No. 18 Notre Dame’s hockey team Friday night at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
Slaggert, the 11th player in a shootout, beat Ohio State goalie Ryan Snowden just below his blocker to help Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish earn a second point after they ended up tying No. 9 Ohio State 4-4.
Steve Rohlik’s Buckeyes, who trailed 3-0 going into the third period, scored four goals to tie the game, the last two within 32 seconds of each other after Slaggert gave the Irish a seemingly safe 4-2 lead. First Quinn Preston (18:23) and then Gustaf Westlund (18:55) beat Notre Dame goalie Cale Morris to send the game into overtime.
Neither team scored in the five-minute first overtime, giving them each a point, and then neither scored in the 3-on-3 second overtime of five minutes.
That sent the game into a shootout that lasted 12 shooters. After Slaggert scored, Morris denied Westlund to give the Irish the second point.
Morris finished 27 saves in the first four periods and three more during the 3-on-3. Snowden had 14 saves in the first four periods and one more in the 3-on-3.
For the Irish, Alex Steeves had the first two goals of the game and Colin Theisen and Slaggert added the others. Gordi Myer and Austin Pooley scored Ohio State’s first two goals of the third period.
The Irish (10-9-4, 5-5-3-2 Big Ten) and Buckeyes (14-6-3, 7-4-2-0 Big Ten) conclude their series Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m.
The goals were Steeves’ seventh and eighth of the season and give him six in last seven games. Steeves previously had a pair in Notre Dame’s 4-1 victory at Western Michigan Jan. 5.
Freshman Snowden started in goal for the Buckeyes, replacing all-Big Ten goalie Tommy Nappier, who was out with a lower-body injury.
The Buckeyes had a pair of power-play opportunities in the final 7:18, but in between them the Irish took a 1-0 lead when Jesse Lansdell battled an Ohio State player along the boards for the puck, which came free. Steeves swooped in and got it, skated into the faceoff circle and fired a quick 15-footer past Snowden for a 1-0 lead at 15:58.
The Irish eventually got their first extra-man advantage when Ohio State’s Matt Miller went off for holding at 8:25. Some nifty passing got the puck to Steeves, who fired a shot from inside the faceoff circle past Snowden, who was screened by Cam Morrison, for a 2-0 Irish lead.
The Irish made it 3-0 when Theisen took a cross-ice pass from in close and got Snowden down before burying the puck behind him at 12:40. Cal Burke and Slaggert picked up assists.
The Buckeyes appeared to make it 3-1 when Tanner Laczynski fed Preston for a one-timer in the faceoff circle that beat Morris at 14:56. But the officials ruled that Tate Singleton was in the crease and interfered with Morris and took away the goal.
Steeves had a chance to complete his hat trick in the last 15 seconds of the second period when he broke in alone on Snowden, who cut the angle down and then made a pad save.
In the third period, Morris stopped Laczynski in close at 5:15 to keep it 3-0. In the 11th minute, the Irish goalie made two more, stopping Matthew Jennings and Grant Gabriele.
But the Buckeyes kept up the pressure and Myer, off passes from Preston and Laczynski, scored to make it 3-1 at 11:59. Less than two minutes later, Pooley, the nephew of Irish associate head coach Paul Pooley, beat home a pass from Matthew Jennings from 10 feet in front of Morris at 13:40 and it was 3-2 Ohio State.
Jackson then called a timeout to allow his Irish to regroup. The Irish came out more resolved and it eventually led to a goal by Slaggert, the son of Jackson’s other associate head coach Andy Slaggert. The younger Slaggert tipped home Matt Hellickson’s shot from the point at 16:17.
Rohlik pulled Snowden with 2.5 minutes to go for the extra attacker. Morris stopped Laczynski at 17:49 and a scuffle ensued between Lansdell and Kamil Sadlocha. Lansdell, however, was penalized twice for roughing, once after the whistle, giving Ohio State a 6-on-4 edge with the extra skater, and the Buckeyes converted when Quinn Preston scored with 18:23 left.
Laczynski won a faceoff and got the puck to Gustaf Westlund, who beat Morris up high at 18:55 to send the game into overtime.
NOTRE DAME 4, OHIO STATE 4 (OT)
Notre Dame wins shootout, 2-1
At Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Notre Dame 1 2 1 0—4
Ohio State 0 0 4 0—4
First Period—Scoring: 1. Notre Dame, Alex Steeves 7 (Jesse Lansdell) EV 15:58. Penalties: Notre Dame 2-4; Ohio State 0-0.
Second Period—Scoring: 2. Notre Dame, Alex Steeves 8 (Spencer Stastney, Michael Graham) PP 10:113; 3. Notre Dame, Colin Theisen 5 (Cal Burke, Graham Slaggert) EV 12:40. Penalties (total): Notre Dame 0-0 (2-4); Ohio State 1-2 (1-2).
Third Period—Scoring: 4. Ohio State, Gordi Myer 4 (Quinn Preston, Tanner Laczynski) EV 11:59; 5. Ohio State, Austin Pooley 2 (Matthew Jennings, Tate Singleton) EV 13:40; 6. Notre Dame, Graham Slaggert 4 (Matt Hellickson) EV 16:17; 7. Ohio State, Quinn Preston 7 (Matt Miller, Gustaf Westlund) PP 18:23; 8. Ohio State, Gustaf Westlund 10 (Quinn Preston, Tanner Laczynski) EV 18:55. Penalties (total): Notre Dame 2-4 (4-8); Ohio State 1-2 (2-4).
Overtime: Scoring: None. Penalties: Notre Dame 0-0 (4-8); Ohio State 0-0 (2-4).
Power-play opportunities—Notre Dame 1 of 1; Ohio State 1 of 3.
Faceoffs won—Notre Dame 21 (3-11-5-2); Ohio State 34 (15-6-12-1).
Blocked shots—Notre Dame 15 (2-6-7-0); Ohio State 9 (2-7-0-2).
Shots on goal—Notre Dame 18 (6-7-5-0); Ohio State 31 (8-11-10-2).
Goalie saves—Notre Dame, Cale Morris 27 (8-11-6-2); Ohio State, Ryan Snowden 14 (5-5-4-0)
Records—Notre Dame 10-9-4, 5-5-3-2 Big Ten; Ohio State 14-6-3, 7-4-2-0 Big Ten.