Irish penalties allow Buckeyes to come back for 3-2 victory

John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — Just when it looked like No. 15 Notre Dame was on its way to a weekend Big Ten Conference hockey sweep of sluggish No. 14 Ohio State early Sunday evening, the Buckeyes woke up.

Dominating the game at the start with a 15-4 shot advantage, the Irish were outshot 17-4 the rest of the way as the Buckeyes took advantage of undisciplined Irish play, scoring three power-play goals in a span of 5:01 over the final two periods for a 3-2 victory on the Lefty Smith Rink at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

The Irish (4-4, 3-3-0-0-0-0 Big Ten) will try to regroup to play Michigan State next Saturday and Sunday at home. Ohio State (3-5, 3-5-0-0-1-0 Big Ten) return home to play a non-conference series with Arizona State.

The Irish were penalized seven times for 25 minutes, the biggest call being a five-minute major and game misconduct against Irish freshman right wing Ryder Rolston for hitting Buckeye defender CJ Regula from behind against the board, wiping out an Irish goal. The Buckeyes got two goals from Quinn Preston on the resulting power play within 57 seconds of Rolston’s disqualification.

Notre Dame, which won 3-0 Saturday behind Dylan St. Cyr’s third career shutout, got goals from Alex Steeves and Nate Clurman for an early 2-0 lead. St. Cyr finished with 18 saves, while his Ohio State counterpart Tommy Nappier had 17.

The Irish grabbed a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period when Steeves got a stick on Nick Leivermann’s blast. Notre Dame dominated the first period with a 9-2 shot advantage.

The Irish dominated the first part of a penalty-filled second period and at one point had a 15-4 edge in shots. Notre Dame made it 2-0 after Jesse Lansdell set up Clurman in the right faceoff circle and the Irish captain fired the puck high over Nappier’s stick side for his third goal of the season at 13:48.

That goal, however, seemed to wake up the Buckeyes, who outshot the Irish 8-0 to the end of the period, resulting in a pair of penalties as Notre Dame couldn’t control the puck in its defensive zone. The Buckeyes’ Cheremeta tipped home a shot by Grant Gabriele at 19:33 of the second period to cut the lead in half.

It looked like the Irish went up 3-1 at 4:00 of the third period on a goal by Charlie Raith, but Ohio State wanted a review that 12 seconds earlier Rolston had wrongly checked Regula from behind. After lengthy reviews, the goal was wiped out and the Buckeyes had a five-minute power play.

When play finally resumed, Preston poked the puck between St. Cyr’s pads to tie the game at 3:59 and then scored against at 4:44 to put Ohio State up 3-2. The Buckeyes were 3-for-7 on power plays, while Notre Dame went 0 for 5.

Ohio State 0 1 2—3

Notre Dame 1 1 0—2

First Period—Scoring: 1. Notre Dame, Alex Steeves 4 (Nick Leivermann, Graham Slaggert) EV 7:08. Penalties: Ohio State 1-2, Notre Dame 1-2.

Second Period—Scoring: 2. Notre Dame, Nate Clurman 3 (Jesse Lansdell, Grant Silianoff) EV 13:48. 3. Ohio State, Mark Cheremeta 1 (Travis Treloar, Grant Gabriele) PP 19:33. Penalties (total): Ohio State 2-4 (3-6), Notre Dame 4-8 (5-10).

Third Period—Scoring: 4. Ohio State, Quinn Preston 3 (Mark Cheremeta) PP 3:59. 5. Ohio State, Quinn Preston 4 (Mark Cheremeta) PP 4:44. Penalties (total): Ohio State 2-4 (5-10), Notre Dame 0-0 (7-25).

Power-play opportunities—Ohio State 3-7, Notre Dame 0 of 5. Faceoffs won—Ohio State 25 (4-12-9), Notre Dame 22 (10-4-8). Blocked shots—Ohio State 20 (9-4-7), Notre Dame 15 (4-6-5). Shots on goal—Ohio State 21 (2-13-6), Notre Dame 19 (9-6-4). Goalie saves—Ohio State, Tommy Nappier 17 (8-5-4), Notre Dame, Dylan St. Cyr 18 (2-12-4). Records—Ohio State 3-5-0 (3-5-0-0-1-0 Big Ten), Notre Dame 4-4-0 (3-3-0-0-0-0 Big Ten).

Late Saturday

• Notre Dame 3, Ohio State 0: Senior goalie Dylan St. Cyr made 20 saves for his third career shutout and South Bend’s Graham Slaggert had a goal and assist as the Fighting Irish beat the Buckeyes in Saturday’s series opener.

Slaggert, a junior center and the son of Irish associate head coach Andy Slaggert, tallied at 9:22 of the second period off a pass from Trevor Janicke. The Irish put the game away in the third period when Michael Graham scored an unassisted goal at 7:33 and Slaggert won a faceoff that Alex Steeves shot into the net at 9:38.

Ohio State 0 0 0—0

Notre Dame 0 1 2—3

Second Period—1. Notre Dame, Graham Slaggert 2 (Trevor Janicke, Nick Leivermann) EV 9:22.

Third Period—2. Notre Dame, Michael Graham 1 (unassisted) EV 7:33. 3. Notre Dame, Alex Steeves 3 (Graham Slaggert) EV 9:38.

Penalties: Ohio State 3-6, Notre Dame 3-6. Power-play opportunities—Ohio State 0 of 3, Notre Dame 0 of 3. Faceoffs won—Ohio State 25 (6-12-7), Notre Dame 25 (12-5-8). Blocked shots—Ohio State 13 (4-5-4), Notre Dame 13 (3-6-4). Shots on goal—Ohio State 20 (3-10-7), Notre Dame 28 (5-12-11). Goalie saves—Ohio State, Tommy Nappier 19 (5-11-3) and Ryan Snowden 6 (0-0-6), Notre Dame, Dylan St. Cyr 20 (3-10-7).

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