All you need to know about Notre Dame hockey's weekend series at Ohio State

By John Fineran
ND Insider
Notre Dame's Ryder Rolston (12) checks Ohio State's Matt Cassidy (20) during the Notre Dame vs. Ohio State NCAA hockey game Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend.

COLLEGE HOCKEY

Who: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15-6-0 overall, 8-4-0 Big Ten for 22 points) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (15-6-1 overall, 7-4-1 Big Ten for 23 points)

When: Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Where: Value City Arena at Schottenstein Center (18,809), Columbus, Ohio

TV/Streaming: Friday streamed on Big Ten Plus; Saturday on Big Ten Network. Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3) and UND.com.

Recaps: Both teams coming off five-point weekends on the road. … Coach Jeff Jackson’s Irish beat Penn State 4-2 Friday behind two goals by Max Ellis and won in overtime 5-4 Saturday with 0.2 of a second on Ellis’ game-winner. … Coach Steve Rohlik’s Buckeyes beat Wisconsin 5-3 Saturday and then won the shootout 2-1 Sunday after the teams battled to 2-2 overtime tie.

Rankings: Notre Dame remained No. 13 in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) and DCU/USCHO.com (media) polls. … Ohio State moved up to No. 15 in the coaches’ poll and No. 16 in the media poll.

► More:Center Cam Burke doing some of his best work on the road for Irish skaters

Rivalry: Notre Dame leads 41-40-11 in series which began with 7-1 Irish victory at the OSU Ice Arena on March 1, 1969. … Teams split series Dec. 3-4 at Lefty Smith Rink in Compton Family Ice Arena. … Buckeyes won 4-2 Friday behind 34 saves by Jacob Dobeš and goals by Travis Treloar, Will Riedell, Kamil Sadlocha and Georgii Merkulov. … Irish rebounded with 5-1 victory Saturday as Ryan Bischel stopped 24 shots and Ryder Rolston and Nick Leivermann each had a goal and an assist. … In games played in Columbus, Buckeyes lead 20-18-7 but Irish swept 6-1 and 8-1 last Feb. 5-6.

Notre Dame's Nick Leivermann (4) looks to pass during the Notre Dame vs. RIT NCAA hockey game Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend.

Scouting Fighting Irish: Junior right wing Max Ellis and grad-transfer goalie (from Cornell) Matthew Galajda have been named to the Hobey Baker Award’s Phase One Fan Ballot (to vote, go to website www.hobeybaker.com/vote). … Ellis continues to pace Irish in scoring with 14 goals, 10 assists and 24 points. … He is followed by sophomore right wing Ryder Rolston (6-11-17) and senior defenseman Nick Leivermann (6-11-17). … Ellis’ game-winner against Penn State was his second of the season, one behind Rolston and senior center Cam Burke (7-7-14), and Ellis has two shorthanded goals, one more than Burke and senior defenseman Spencer Stastney (3-10-13). … Galajda has a 9-3-0 record, two shutouts, .926 saves percentage and 1.92 goals-against average while splitting time with junior Ryan Bischel (6-3-0 record, one shutout, .932 saves percentage, 1.85 goals-against average). … NCAA team statistics: Scoring offense, 3.48 goals per game (14th of 59 teams); scoring defense, 2.00 (5th); scoring margin, 1.48 (6th); faceoffs won percentage, 0.533 (647-568) (11th); power-play percentage, 0.194 (13 of 67) (26th); penalty-kill percentage, 0.926 (75 of 81) (3rd); shorthanded goals, 4 (5th); penalty minutes per game, 11.05 (31st).

Scouting Buckeyes: Freshman center Georgii Merkulov, a native of Russia, paces Buckeyes with 11 goals, 11 assists and 22 points and is followed by 6-foot-4, 200-pound freshman defenseman Mason Lohrei (2-17-19). … Fellow freshman Cam Thiesing (5-12-17) and senior center Jake Wise (6-11-17) are next. … Freshman goalie Jacob Dobeš has a 14-5-1 record, two shutouts, .927 saves percentage and 2.14 goals-against average. … NCAA team statistics: Scoring offense, 3.68 goals per game (10th); scoring defense, 2.23 (11th); scoring margin, 1.45 (8th); faceoffs won percentage, 0.546 (718-598) (4th); power-play percentage, 0.182 (14 of 77) (33rd); penalty-kill percentage, 0.779 (53 of 68) (41st); shorthanded goals, 1 (29th); penalty minutes per game, 12.10 (21st).

— John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent