No. 6 Ohio State Downs Top Ranked Irish, 5-1
Romeo makes career-high 39 saves in road victory
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The No. 6-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team skated to a 5-1 win over No. 1-ranked Notre Dame, 5-1, Saturday in a Big Ten Conference game. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had a career-high 39 saves in the game, while five Buckeyes found the back of the net and 12 players in all had at least one point.
The Buckeyes improve to 19-7-4 overall and 12-7-1-0 in the Big Ten, standing in second place. Notre Dame is now 22-6-2 and 15-3-1-1 in league play.
No. 6 Ohio State 5, No. 1 Notre Dame 1 – The Short Story
Ohio State led 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Matthew Weis. The Buckeyes extended the lead to 2-0 in the second, but the Irish scored on the power play at 17:35 for a 2-1 game entering the third. Ohio State lit the lamp three times in the third, with Kevin Miller and Sam McCormick scoring less than a minute apart at 6:56 and 7:53 and Brendon Kearney tallying into the empty net late. Ohio State was outshot 40-38 and goalie Sean Romeo made 39 saves, including 22 in the second period. Senior Luke Stork had two assists in the win, while Kearney added an assist for a two-point night.
Ohio State will travel for two games at No. 12 Minnesota next weekend. The teams will meet at 9 p.m. ET Friday on BTN and at 5 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPNU. The squad then wraps up the regular season with two games at home vs. Wisconsin Feb. 23-24. Puck drop each night is set for 7 p.m.
Quoting associate head coach Steve Miller
“We are really proud of the team and how focused they were tonight. We really played a strong team game to beat a great Notre Dame team.”
Quoting senior forward Luke Stork
“We aimed to be focused all night, even when the game wasn’t going our way. We stayed true to Buckeye hockey and played the game the right way.”
Quoting junior forward Brendon Kearney
“We knew what we had to do going into tonight and that was stick with what we did Friday night but do a better job of capitalizing on our opportunities. We know what we’re capable of as a team and are excited to keep going. This was an amazing team win.”
In the First Period
The Buckeyes got on the board first, with Matthew Weis tipping in a shot by Matt Miller at 8:49. Gordi Myer also assisted on the goal, Weis’ 10th of the year.
Shots were 14-10 in favor of the Buckeyes in the period, with Sean Romeo stopping a breakaway by Jake Evans with 3:14 left in the period.
In the Second Period
Ohio State extended the lead to 2-0 at 8:55 of the second. On a delayed penalty, Matt Joyaux’s shot from the point got through for his first goal of the year. Brendon Kearney and Luke Stork set up the tally, cycling the puck down low. The Irish again made it a one-goal game when Cam Morrison scored on the power play at 17:35.
Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had 22 saves on 23 Irish shots in the period. The Buckeyes put 11 shots on net.
In the Third Period
Ohio State scored twice in less than a minute to push the lead to 4-1. Kevin Miller converted a 2-on-1 with Luke Stork at 6:56. Wyatt Ege led Stork into the zone for the second assist. At 7:53 Sam McCormick jammed a loose puck over the line for his second tally this season, assisted by John Wiitala and Mason Jobst. With less than four minutes remaining and while on the power play, the Irish pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. The Buckeyes took advantage, as Christian Lampasso found Brendon Kearney streaking toward the empty net, and he scored two seconds after the power play expired.
Ohio State outshot Notre Dame, 13-7, in the third period.
Blocking the Puck
The Buckeyes were outshot, 40-38, in the game. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had a career-high 39 saves in the victory, improving to 16-7-4 on the year. Notre Dame starter Cale Morris had 27 saves in 47:32, allowing four goals. Dylan St. Cyr came on in relief and played 11:26, making six saves on six shots.
Ohio State blocked 13 Irish shot attempts. Christian Lampasso led the team with three blocks, while Sasha Larocque, Wyatt Ege and Brendon Kearney each blocked two.
The Buckeye penalty kill was 4-for-5 in the game and ended the weekend 10-for-11. On the year, Ohio State is 104-for-115, leading the NCAA at 90.4 percent.
The Buckeyes were scoreless on five power play chances, just the second time in 10 games the squad did not convert with the man advantage.