Coming off last weekends road split against the Nittany Lions , the Fightin’ Irish look to build another win streak. With the season wrapping up in March, it is GO TIME for the Fightin’ Irish. If the Irish are going to make a move for the Frozen Four Tournament, there is no better time than now to step up their game. The Fightin’ Irish have the talent, now it’s about settling down and taking care of business from here. The Irish have been a road team for sure this season as they are 5-1 going into
Start Fast and Finish Strong, is Coach Jackson’s motto. Starting fast doesn’t necessarily mean scoring a goal in the first minutes of the game. Winning four face-offs consecutively is a another way of doing that. The Irish were playing aggressive and it paid off at 9:04. Spencer Stastney lights the lamp for the first goal of the game thanks to Alex Steeves and Graham Slaggert to put the Irish up 1-0 in the first period.
Two minutes later, Nate Clurman is sent to the sin bin for Checking From Behind. After review, the he is charged with a five minute major and a game misconduct that sends him to the shower early on Friday afternoon. Three minutes into the five minute Buckeye power play, Landon Slaggert gets tagged for a Hooking penalty and puts the Buckeyes on a 5-3 (two man advantage) for another long period of time. The Fightin’ Irish killed off both penalties.
The Irish continued to play strong, and went on a power play at 18:01 when Patrick Guzzo was tagged with two minute Hooking penalty. The Irish go into the first intermission up 1-0. OSU out shot ND 9-7, ND won 15-21 Face-offs and OSU was 0-3 on the power play.
The second period will be a period the Fightin’ Irish will not forget for a while. Coming out of the intermission, the Irish Puckers were pure fire. Shooting often on their offensive end, the Irish did not waste time lighting the lamp. Matt Steeves goal at 3:44 continued the Irish dominance against the Buckeyes. The Irish lead is now 2-0 early in the period. At 8:54 in the period his older brother, Alex Steeves would join the Irish scoring party with help from the Slaggert brothers to put the Irish up 3-0. As the Irish continued to hammer Tommy Nappier of the Buckeyes, Tate Singleton figured out a way to get one by Irish goaltender Dylan St Cyr and draw the game to a 3-1 to one Irish lead.
A strong team will never allow for another team to change the games momentum. Two minutes after the Buckeyes goal, Jesse Lansdell got an unassisted goal at 18:45 to further add to the Irish scoring to 4-1 with 1:15 left in the period. A penalty by the buckeyes on the face-off circle put the Irish back on the power play. Twenty five seconds into the power play, Landon Slaggert score the fourth Irish goal of the period to put the Irish up 5-1 going to the second intermission. ND led the shots on goal 18-5 and face-off wins 10-6. while ND was 1-2 on the power play.
The third period saw the Fightin’ Irish protecting their four goal lead. Though the Irish had two opportunities on power plays early in the period, the Irish continued to play great offense and defense. Also improved is the Fightin’ Irish penalty kill. The Irish shut down the Buckeyes fourth power play of the afternoon after Ryder Rolston went to the sin bin at 7:06 in the period for Hooking. Just after the end of Buckeyes power play, Nick Lievermann scores what would be the last goal of the game at 9:07 assisted by A. Steeves and Solag Bakich. The Irish dominate the Buckeyes 6-1 on Friday after at Ohio State.
The Irish outshoot the Buckeyes 38-24, St Cyr had 23 saves on the afternoon, ND goes 1-5 on the power play, won 35 face-offs. The Irish improve to 9-9-1 (overall), 7-7-1-1-2-1 (B1G Conference)
The Irish came out for game two of the weekend from where they left off Friday afternoon. Setting the tempo and looking for the weekend sweep. The sophomore goalie Ryan Snowden got the start for the Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon. Early in the first period the Buckeyes and Irish had matching penalties that led to 4-4 action at 7:25. Snowden showed some prowess as he saved the first 10 shots on goal by the Irish. Similar to Friday afternoon, the Buckeyes were forced to a face a five minute major and a game misconduct penalty as Evan McIntyre was ejected from the game for Checking From Behind at 14:18. Forty five seconds (15:03) into the five minute power play, Colin Theisen scores on the power play, assisted by Slaggert brothers. The Irish go up 1-0 and the power play continues.
As luck would have it, the Irish dominated the five minute major. Spencer Stastney scored on the power play at 18:21 assisted by Trevor Janicke and Jesse Lansdell to go up 2-0 with plenty of time on the extended Irish power play. Twenty nine seconds later, Nick Leivermann scores on the power play to put the Irish up 3-0 with the assist coming from Colin Theisen and Alex Steeves. A 3-0 lead after one period is the way you want to start a game off. The Irish led shots on goal 16-7, led 11-4 on face-offs and an amazing 3-4 on the power play. That is dominance of the Fightin’ Irish past.
There was no letting up by the Irish. With a 3-0 lead, you use that time to work on what needs correcting. The Fightin’ Irish worked hard offensively and defensively. At 9:42m, Cam Burke assisted by Pierce Crawford and Ryder Rolston puts the Irish up 4-0 and fifteen seconds later off the face-off at 9:57, after getting the assist on the Burke goal, Pierce Crawford assisted by Cam Burke and Ryder Rolston, the same line that score the previos goal, put it back in the net again for a 5-0 lead in the period. Evan Moyse is the new goalie in for the Buckeyes after the last goal.
The Irish penalty kill also continued to dominate the Buckeyes. After a Jesse Lansdell penalty, the penalty kill team did just that. At 16:16 Graham Slaggert assisted by his brother Landon and Steeves gives the Irish a 6-0 lead going into the second intermission. This is by far the best hockey played by the Irish this season.
The third period is about playing defense, protecting the shutout and finishing the game. A penalty at 1:15 against Gustaf Westlund for Slashing, put the newly found Irish power play squad back on the ice. Twenty six seconds into the power play Leivermann scores his second goal of the afternoon assisted by Steeves and Graham Slaggert. The Irish increase their lead to 6-0.
The Buckeyes score their first goal of the game at 4:04 in the third period, to erase the shutout. The score one more time in the period at 10:42. This time, Solag Bakich puts it on goal to give the Irish a 8-1 lead and secures the weekend sweep of the Buckeyes.
The final stats for the game, ND 36-26 led shots on goal, Dylan St Cyr and Nick Sanford combined for 25 saves (St Cyr 24 saves and Sanford 1). ND led face-off wins 34-24 and 4-6 on the power play.
The Wrap Up
The Irish continue their road dominance and improve to 7-1 on the road. Their record gets better as well as The Irish improve to 10-9-1 (overall), 8-7-1-1-2-1 (B1G Conference). With the win on Saturday, the Irish move to third place in the B1G standings as well. The Irish need to keep pounding their opponents. They need to play for a higher seed in the B1G Conference tournament in March. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that counts. The Fightin’ Irish can help their own cause next weekend. Minnesota comes to town, in a weekend series at Compton Family Ice Arena next Friday February 12th at 7:30 PM.
Cheers and Go Irish! ☘🥅🚨🌩