If you have ever watched two well matched teams, you can understand that it typically looks like a heavyweight championship. Friday night was no different for the #9/#8 Ohio State University vs #5 Notre Dame match-up.
There is more of a rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Irish in hockey than there is in football. That’s what makes these two teams playing each other so early in the B1G hockey season so amazing to watch. Friday night was everything an ND hockey fan could want in a hockey game. Scrappy, hard nosed, and defensive game from both sides of the ice.
The first period was a defensive battle between both teams. Both teams went up and down the ice looking or the weak point in the other teams defensive end of the ice. The angst between these two teams started early on in the period. The Buckeyes and the Irish took turns in the “Sin Bin” a total of five times in the period. Credit both teams for killing off the penalties they were up against. The Irish had to fight off three penalties in the period. A game misconduct by Jesse Lansdell started late in the period at 19:42.
The lone goal of the period came from Tanner Laczynski from the left side face off circle. Sneaking the puck by Cale Morris at 19:34. The Irish attempted thirteen shots of which five were on target. The Buckeyes attempted sixteen shots, eight of which were on target and one made the back of the net. The Buckeyes lead 1-0 after one period.
The second period saw a lot of the same action as the first period. The difference was that the Irish did not give into the bad decision making of getting baited into penalties. OSU visited the “Sin Bin” twice in the period. The Irish had to finish a 4:42 penalty kill left over from the first. Freshman had a memorable period on the ice. Solag Bakich scored his first goal of his collegiate career at 8:12 in the second period from the right hand side of Tommy Nappier. The Irish attempted 27 shots of which 18 were on target and the goal by Bakich that got by Nappier. The Buckeyes attempted fourteen shots, nine of which were on target. The Irish ties things up at 1-1 after two periods.
The Buckeyes won Round One, the Irish won Round two, who would win Round Three? While watching a game like this analyzing the play sometimes makes the game move faster. In this case I don’t know where the third period went. I knew I was deep in an analogy when OSU scored. I was just saying in that conversation that “who is going to blink first.” With that, the Buckeyes Carson Meyer fires a shot on goal that lights the lamp at 16:43. It’s not what the Irish wanted for sure, a late game goal by the Buckeyes. The score is now 2-1 OSU with 3:17 left in requlation.
The Irish showed true grit in the closing moments of the period. Another Freshman steps up and puts the biscuit in the net. Trevor Janicke from just outside the right face-off circle, gets the equalizer with 1:57 remaining in regulation. Sixty minutes would not be enough, because at the end of sixty minutes both teams were tied 2-2.
Sudden Death OT
The rules for Sudden Death play in the B1G: 5-5 in the first Sudden Death period. If there is a tie after that, 3-3 Sudden Death if they are still tied after that, they go to Penalty Shots.
Pierce Crawford did not want to go to 3-3 or Penalty Shots. He took the puck and on diving play puts the puck in the net to get the game winner at 3:59. The Irish complete the come from behind victory over the Buckeyes. Notre Dame is now (6-0-1, 3-0-1-0 B1G) and in first place in the B1G.