Notre Dame offensive woes continue in 2-1 loss at No. 9 Ohio State

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 18 Notre Dame’s inability to score goals returned Saturday night in their Big Ten Conference hockey matchup at No. 9 Ohio State.

Jeff Jackson’s Irish outshot the Buckeyes 16-5 in the final period but none of them got past Ohio State freshman goalie Ryan Snowden, who made goals by teammates Quinn Preston and Gustaf Westlund stand up in a 2-1 victory before 9,835 at Value City Arena.

Matt Steeves, the junior brother of sophomore Alex Steeves who tallied twice in Friday’s 4-4 overtime tie, scored Notre Dame’s only goal of the night at 11:31 of the first period. But Snowden, who finished with 28 saves, and Steve Rohlik’s Buckeyes (15-6-3, 8-4-2-0 Big Ten) rallied with Preston’s tying goal at 15:33 of the first period and Westlund’s power-play goal at 1:42 of the second period.

Westlund’s goal came on one of three second-period penalties by the Irish, who didn’t have a power-play opportunity as Ohio State wasn’t whistled for a penalty until time had expired.

Cale Morris made 14 saves for the Irish (10-10-4, 5-6-3-2 Big Ten), who return home to Lefty Smith Rink for a pair of league games next weekend with Wisconsin. Friday’s faceoff is 7 p.m. and Saturday’s 6 p.m.

Saturday, there were just six shots on goal in the first period, three by each team. Morris and Snowden, making his second straight start for all-Big Ten goalie Tommy Nappier, making two saves each.

The Irish scored first when fourth-line right wing Matt Steeves ripped a shot from the slot past Snowden at 11:31 with the teams at even strength. Defenseman Spencer Stastney and left wing Pierce Crawford picked up assists.

But the Buckeyes tied it a 1-1 when Preston scored his second goal of the weekend series at 15:33 after an Irish turnover deep in their own zone caused by All-America center Tanner Laczynski, who got the first of his two assists on the night.

The Buckeyes got the first power-play opportunity of the game when Notre Dame’s Colin Theisen was whistled for interference at the 56-second mark of the second period. The Irish, who came into the game 51st out of 60 teams in penalty kill, went down 2-1 at 1:42 when Westlund, who had Friday’s game-tying goal late in the third period, whistled a shot past Morris at 1:42.

Alex Steeves had a shot stopped by Snowden and then the rebound was blocked by Gordi Myer, who then added another block of another Alex Steeves shot at 5:55.

OHIO STATE 2, NOTRE DAME 1

At Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio

Notre Dame 1 0 0—1

Ohio State 1 1 0—2

First Period—Scoring: 1. Notre Dame, Matt Steeves 1 (Spencer Stastney, Pierce Crawford) EV 11:31; 2. Ohio State, Quinn Preston 9 (Tanner Laczynski) EV 15:33. Penalties: Notre Dame 0-0; Ohio State 0-0.

Second Period—Scoring: 3. Ohio State, Gustaf Westlund 12 (Tanner Laczynski, Grant Gabriele) PP 1:42. Penalties (total): Notre Dame 3-6 (3-6); Ohio State 0-0 (0-0).

Third Period—Scoring: None. Penalties (total): Notre Dame 0-0 (3-6); Ohio State 1-2 (1-2).

Power-play opportunities—Notre Dame 0 of 0; Ohio State 1 of 3.

Faceoffs won—Notre Dame 24 (5-13-6); Ohio State 22 (7-7-8).

Blocked shots—Notre Dame 13 (4-7-2); Ohio State 13 (2-9-2).

Shots on goal—Notre Dame 29 (3-10-16); Ohio State 16 (3-8-5).

Goalie saves—Notre Dame, Cale Morris 14 (2-7-5); Ohio State, Ryan Snowden 28 (2-10-16)

Records—Notre Dame 10-10-4, 5-6-3-2 Big Ten; Ohio State 15-6-3, 8-4-2-0 Big Ten.

A—9,835 (17,500).

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