Notre Dame was unable to built on its momentum from a home win last Saturday, as the Irish failed to win either game in their trip to Ohio State this weekend.
After falling 6-3 to the Buckeyes (11-11-6, 10-6-4-1 CCHA) on Friday, the Irish (16-11-1, 12-7-1-1) salvaged points in the conference standings with a 2-2 tie on Saturday. With the game tied at the end of overtime, the Irish won the resulting shootout after senior goaltender Mike Johnson stopped all the Buckeyes' shot attempts and junior captain and center Anders Lee scored the team's lone goal.
Johnson replaced junior goaltender Steven Summerhays in the third period of Friday's game. Irish coach Jeff Jackson said he is not sure if the move will be permanent.
"It's still to be determined," Jackson said. "Mike [Johnson] played well in the third period. Steven [Summerhays] hasn't been playing his best of late. We'll have to see how practice plays out this week."
On Friday, the Irish continued their trend of scoring early, as freshman forward Mario Lucia's ninth goal of the season gave them a 1-0 lead entering the second period. The Irish scored twice more on goals by junior defenseman Kevin Lind and junior forward Bryan Rust, but they were unable to stop the Buckeyes' offensive onslaught. Five goals, including two by sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel, in the second period chased Summerhays from the game, as the Buckeyes took advantage of penalties to score four power-play goals. Jackson said he was disappointed with his team's penalty kill this weekend.
"We have to get confidence back in that part of our game," Jackson said. "The penalty kill is something we'll have to spend more time on. It's also about the goaltending and controlling rebounds."
Three of the Buckeyes' goals Friday came off rebounds. In addition to Dzingel, sophomore forward Nick Oddo, junior forward Alex Szczechura and freshman forward Anthony Greco scored in the second. Sophomore defenseman Justin DaSilva finished off the scoring with a goal in the final period.
With Johnson starting the second game, the Irish were stingier on defense, holding the Buckeyes to a goal by sophomore forward DarikAngeli and a power-play goal by freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple. The Irish streak of six straight games with the first goal was broken, however, when Angeli scored a short-handed goal in the first period. Freshman forward Thomas DiPauli responded for the Irish to set up a 1-1 tie after one period. Jackson said he was pleased with how the freshmen have handled the team's recent struggles.
"[Dipauli and Lucia] and [freshman center] Steven Fogarty have been playing better," Jackson said. "When your young guys are stepping up in the second half [of the season], it helps a lot."
Senior defenseman Sam Calabrese gave the Irish the lead in the second period. A goal by Dalrymple quickly knotted it up, and a scoreless third and overtime sent the game to a shootout, where Johnson stymied the Buckeyes, and Lee sent the winning shot home past Ohio State goaltender Brady Hjelle.
Although the Irish did not get the regulation win, Johnson was pleased with his team's play Saturday.
"We need to be prepared next weekend like we did this Saturday," Jackson said. "We controlled the tempo, that's our game. That was Irish hockey ... the best game we've played in the second half."
The Irish will face off in a weekend rivalry series when Michigan visits Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday.
Contact Casey Karnes at firstname.lastname@example.org