College hockey: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
WHO: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-3-0, 2-2-0-0-0-0 Big Ten) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (2-4-0, 2-4-0-0-1-0 Big Ten)
WHERE: Lefty Smith Rink at Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend.
WHEN: Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m.
TV: NBCSN and NBCSports.com. RADIO: WZOC-FM (94.3) and UND.com.
RANKINGS: Coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish, coming off last week’s 6-3 loss and 5-4 victory over Arizona State at home, are ranked No. 15 in both USCHO.com (media) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls. ... Coach Steve Rohlik’s Buckeyes, coming off 4-2 victory and 3-1 loss to Wisconsin at home, are ranked No. 14 in USCHO.com poll and receiving votes in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.
RIVALRY: Buckeyes hold 38-37-11 edge in series which began with 7-1 Irish victory at OSU Ice Arena on March 1, 1969. … Last season, Notre Dame swept Buckeyes in South Bend 3-2 (OT) and 2-1 on Nov. 8-9, 2019 and then tied 4-4 (OT) and lost 2-1 at Columbus’ Value City Arena on Jan. 17-18, 2020.
SHAVINGS: Irish hoping to build momentum off come-from-behind victory over Sun Devils, using 22-3 shot advantage in third period to score three goals, including game-winner by defenseman Nick Leivermann with 5.1 seconds left in regulation. … Victory went to redshirt senior goalie Dylan St. Cyr (3.66 goals-against average, .867 saves percentage) who split duties with sophomore Ryan Bischel (2.72, .907) during series in which defensive lapses haunted Irish. … Right wing Alex Steeves (2-4-6), left wing Colin Theisen (3-1-4) and right wing Max Ellis (0-4-4) and defensemen Nate Clurman (2-2-4) and Leivermann (2-2-4) pace Irish in scoring. … Centers Graham Slaggert and Jake Pivonka combined to win 48 of 69 faceoffs last weekend. … Center Travis Treloar (3-3-6), center Gustaf Westlund (3-1-4) and left wing Mark Cheremeta (0-4-4) lead Buckeyes in scoring. … Grant Gabriele (3-0-3) and Ryan O’Connell (0-2-2) anchor defense in front of goalie Tommy Nappier (2.53 average, .932 saves percentage). … Left wing Austin Pooley is nephew of Irish associate head coach Paul Pooley, who had his number retired and is Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer with 270 points from 1980-84.
QUOTING JACKSON: (Last weekend) “We shot ourselves in the foot at the end of the first period by giving up a goal in the last minute and then taking a penalty which gave them momentum in the second period. We need to find a way to eliminate the mental errors. I thought in the third period (center) Jake Pivonka’s line (with wingers Solag Bakich and Max Ellis) gave us a lot of life, and Dylan St. Cyr made some good saves along the way. It was a great comeback.” (Ohio State) “They return one of the best goalies in the country (Nappier) and they’ve always been a good defensive team. They’ve lost a little bit of offense, but they’re always tough to play against. Every time we play them it seems like it’s a third-period win, one way or another.”
– John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent