Silianoff hopes his game-winner is the start of better things for Notre Dame skaters

John Fineran
Notre Dame forward Grant Silianoff (9) scores game winning goal during the Michigan-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

SOUTH BEND — Grant Silianoff has no intention of resting on his laurels, and he hopes his Notre Dame hockey teammates won’t Friday and Saturday evenings when the No. 20 Fighting Irish visit No. 13 Ohio State for a Big Ten series.

“We have to turn the page and focus on a really good Ohio State team,” said the 21-year-old Silianoff, who scored the game-winner last Saturday in overtime as Notre Dame knocked off No. 3 Michigan 3-2 to end a four-game winless (0-3-1) skid. “We enjoyed the victory, but now it’s back to work.”

Coach Jeff Jackson’s Irish (5-5-2 overall, 2-3-1 Big Ten) will be searching for their first road victory of the season. Notre Dame is 0-4-1 away from the Compton Family Ice Arena and now plays an Ohio State team (7-4-1 overall, 3-3-0 Big Ten) which started the Big Ten season with a bang but has lost three straight games, including a pair last weekend at Michigan State.

More:Ryan Bischel finally has spotlight as goaltender for No. 12 Irish hockey team

The Buckeyes, coached by Steve Rohlik, and the Irish went 2-2 against each other last season, each team winning on the other’s ice. 

“We’re two teams which want to be in the win column,” the 5-foot-11, 178-pound left wing from Edina, Minn., said. “They’re going to be hungry. But so will we. We can’t be satisfied with just one victory. We want to keep it going, but we know they are going to play hard. We’ve just got to match their intensity.”

That was something Notre Dame didn’t do while getting swept by Minnesota two weekends ago in Minneapolis, and their intensity was misdirected in their 5-1 loss to No. 3 Michigan last Friday, a game in which Notre Dame was whistled 10 times for 39 minutes in penalties. 

“That’s been an issue of ours,” Silianoff admitted. “I think Saturday we played a complete game. I thought we did a nice job not cheating for offense. I thought we did a nice job playing defense and letting our defensive structure lead to our offensive chances. I thought we showed a lot of character and resiliency coming back from the 2-0 deficit on Saturday and winning. I think that said a lot about our team.”

Notre Dame’s Grant Silianoff (9) tries to stop a puck against Penn State during a loss in the Big Ten Tournament March 14, 2021 at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend. Notre Dame got its fifth straight NCAA Hockey Tournament bid on Sunday.

Silianoff learned a long time ago that hard work can take you a long way. Growing up in hockey-crazed Minnesota, he wanted to play hockey at Notre Dame because his cousin Ryan Thang did from 2006-2010, playing on Jackson’s first Frozen Four team in 2008.

Silianoff first opened the eyes of the Irish playing at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, a private Episcopal-affiliated boarding school in Faribault, Minn., about 45 minutes south of Edina. He averaged more than two points a game during the 2015-16 season for the school.

“I started there in eighth grade — I’ve been living out of my house since I was 13,” Silianoff said. “I had to grow up fast, that’s for sure. I had to make sure I was sticking to a routine — going to sleep early, waking up and going to class, doing my homework. It helped me mature. Going there opened my eyes to a lot of things. I had to grow up on my own.”

Notre Dame forward Grant Silianoff (9) and Notre Dame defenseman Nick Leivermann (4) celebrate goal during the Michigan-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

Silianoff then moved on to the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) RoughRiders, a junior team in the United States Hockey League. He completed his senior year at Shattuck-St. Mary’s online as he totaled 14 goals and 18 assists playing for the RoughRiders.

“Grant has a good understanding of the game,” Jackson said. “He’s a smart player. It’s taken him a couple of years to understand the value of developing his body and becoming more stronger physically. That’s helped him this year be a little more consistent with his game not just defensively but offensively as well. The game he played against Michigan Saturday might have been one of the best games he has played since he’s been here.”

What you need to know about ND at Ohio State

  • Who: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-5-2, 2-3-1 Big Ten) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-4-1, 3-3-0 Big Ten)When: Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday 5 p.m.
  • Where: Value City Arena (18,809) in Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
  • Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3) and
  • TV/Streaming: Big Ten Plus 
  • Coaches: Notre Dame, Jeff Jackson, 381-235-68 in 18th season at school and 563-288-93 in 24th season overall. … Ohio State, Steve Rohlik, 169-131-37 in 10th season at school and overall.
  • Recaps: Notre Dame lost 5-1 last Friday but won 3-2 (OT) last Saturday in Big Ten series against visiting Michigan to end a four-game winless skid (0-3-1). … Ohio State lost 4-2 last Thursday and 4-3 last Friday in Big Ten series at Michigan State.
  • Rivalry: Notre Dame leads 42-41-11 in series which began with 7-1 Irish victory at OSU Ice Arena on March 1, 1969. … Ohio State leads 21-19-7 in games played in Columbus. … Teams split two series last season. … Buckeyes won 4-2 Dec. 3 and Irish won 5-1 Dec. 4 in series at Compton Family Ice Arena. … Irish won 3-2 (OT) Jan. 14 and Buckeyes won 4-1 Jan. 15 in series at Value City Arena.
  • Rankings: Ohio State is No. 13 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine coaches’ poll and No. 12 in DCU/ media poll. … Notre Dame is No. 20 in both polls. … In the PairWise Rankings which mimic those used to determine the 16 teams which will make the NCAA Tournament, Ohio State is No. 17 and Notre Dame No. 20.
  • Scouting Fighting Irish: Notre Dame seeking its first victory on the road where it is currently 0-4-1. … Junior right wing Ryder Rolston (4-6-10) and graduate center Chayse Primeau (3-7-10) lead Notre Dame in scoring. … Graduate defenseman and captain Nick Leivermann (4-3-7) anchors the blueline corps ahead of senior goalie Ryan Bischel (5-5-1 record, 2.53 goals-against average, .928 saves percentage and two shutouts). … Junior left wing Grant Silianoff (2-2-4) had the game-winning goal in overtime against the Wolverines after sophomore center Tyler Carpenter (1-1-2) and Primeau scored second-period goals to bring Irish back from early 2-0 deficit. … The victory snapped a 0-3-1 skid. … Among the 60 NCAA Division I teams, Notre Dame ranks 39th in scoring offense (2.33 goals per game), 33rd in scoring defense (2.83 goals), 36th in scoring margin (-0.50 goals), 30th in faceoffs-won percentage (50.4, 372 won-366 lost), 39th in power-play percentage (17.1, 7 of 41), 55th in penalty-kill percentage (73.9, 34 of 46) and seventh in team penalty minutes per game (14.25). … Irish associate head coach Paul Pooley was an All-America center at Ohio State (1981-84), holds the school record for goals (114), assists (156) and points (270), is a member of the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame and has his No. 22 jersey retired by the school. 
  • Scouting Buckeyes: Ohio State enters the series on a three-game losing streak starting with a 4-2 loss to Minnesota Oct. 29 and last week’s back-to-back losses at conference leader Michigan State. … Senior center Jake Wise (5-7-12), freshman center Stephen Halliday (3-8-11) and junior center Travis Treloar (5-5-10) lead Buckeyes in scoring. … Mason Lohrei, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound sophomore, has eight assists to lead defensemen. … Sophomore Jakub Dobeš, a 6-foot-4 goaltender from the Czech Republic, has a 7-4-1 record, 2.48 goals-against average, .911 saves percentage and one shutout. … Among the 60 NCAA Division I teams, Ohio State ranks 16th in scoring offense (3.42 goals by game), 28th in scoring defense (2.67 goals), 20th in scoring margin (0.75), 33rd in faceoffs-win percentage (50.3, 384 won-379 lost), 23rd in power-play percentage (22.4, 11 of 49), third in penalty-kill percentage (91.3, 42 of 46), first in shorthanded goals (5) and 11th in team penalty minutes per game (13.08). … Freshman right wing Davis Burnside is tied for national lead with two shorthanded goals. … Wise is fourth nationally in faceoffs-won percentage at .563 (151-117).
  • Quoting Jeff Jackson: (On last weekend) “I’m hoping we can build on what we did Saturday …  I think a lot of it had to do with playing with better discipline within our system and from not taking unnecessary penalties.” (On Buckeyes) “They are all about getting pucks to the net and having a physical presence around the area … They’ve always been good and consistent on special teams and have been a good penalty-kill team … Part of that starts with their goalie Dobeš, who is one of the better goalies in the conference if not the country.”(On 0-4-1 road record) “We’ve always been a good road team (in the past) because of our discipline, good goaltending and (doing) a good job in special teams … We have to play with discipline and try to do a better job managing the puck.”