Mens Hockey No 4 Ohio State to host No 11 Notre Dame

Ohio State senior goalie Sean Romeo (30), senior defenseman Sasha Larocque (3) and freshman forward Quinn Preston (16) protect the goal from Wisconsin senior Sean Dhooghe (24) at the Men’s Ice Hockey Game on Nov 16. Ohio State won to Wisconsin 27-21. Credit: Chris Gaerke | For The LanternThe No. 4 Ohio State men’s hockey team (15-5-4, 8-3-3 Big Ten) will face No. 11 Notre Dame (14-8-3, 7-6-2 Big Ten) at home this weekend following a bye week. The stakes are high: The Buckeyes have managed to keep their No. 1 ranking in the Big Ten, but the Fighting Irish are trailing just four points behind at No. 2.With six points on the line in the upcoming series against Notre Dame, redshirt junior defenseman Wyatt Ege understands the pressure coming in the matchup.“You’re never too safe in the Big Ten,” Ege said. “With us being a top-end team, we can’t give up any room.”The Fighting Irish are led by a pair of seniors in forward Dylan Malmquist and defenseman Bobby Nardella. Both players average a point per game with 25 apiece, while junior forward Cal Burke leads the team with nine goals. Expect a war of attrition in these upcoming matches: Both teams have allowed fewer goals than any other team during conference play, with Notre Dame allowing 42 and Ohio State allowing 29. Strong defense won the day the last time these two teams met in South Bend, Indiana, seeing Ohio State win 1-0 in the first game and Notre Dame win 2-1 the following night.Notre Dame runs through junior goalie Cale Morris, who was voted Big Ten Player of the Year a season ago.Morris has a .927 goals against average and a 2.40 goals against average, which are No. 11 and No. 28 in the NCAA, respectively.Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik said he is prepared for the defensive capabilities of the Fighting Irish.“I think our guys know we have to be at our best to beat them,” Rohlik said. “Over the last few years, every time we play them it seems like it’s a one-goal game; a very tight game, and I don’t expect anything different this weekend.”While Notre Dame has one of the strongest defenses in the Big Ten, it also has the lowest number of goals scored in Big Ten games, having scored 39 times as opposed to Ohio State’s 49.Both teams are currently riding a wave of momentum, with the Buckeyes having won their past three games and Notre Dame on a four-game winning streak.Senior forward Brendon Kearney said a matchup with Notre Dame brings plenty of excitement and a great atmosphere.“I think when we get out there, we know we’re going to have a good crowd,” Kearney said. “Buckeye Nation always seems to come out and support us in the Big Ten games, especially with Notre Dame. I think just being out there and hearing the support from them will really help us.”Ohio State and Notre Dame will play at the Schottenstein Center, with the first game against Notre Dame at 7 p.m. on Friday, and the second game at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

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