Hockey: Notre Dame gets swept, out of CCHA tourney
Douglas Farmer | Tuesday, March 16, 2010
A two-game sweep at Ohio State last weekend ended any Irish dreams of being Cinderella in the CCHA Tournament. The 3-1, 8-2 losses ended Notre Dame’s season – the first time the Irish have not played in the NCAA Tournament since 2006.
Notre Dame (13-17-8, 9-12-7-2) finished ninth in the CCHA regular season, just four points behind the eighth-place Buckeyes (14-16-6, 10-12-6-4).
In the first game of the series on March 5, Ohio State struck first with a goal early in the second period. Sophomore wing Richard Ryan evened the score seven minutes into the third period, but the Buckeyes got two more shots past Irish freshman goaltender Mike Johnson for the 3-1 victory.
“I thought Friday night we played fairly well early on, and we definitely had a lot of scoring chances,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “Their goaltender played well, and they capitalized in the third period which we couldn’t. When it’s all said and done, we out-chanced them pretty well, and still couldn’t score.”
Saturday night brought more scoring woes for the Irish, along with porous goaltending. Johnson gave up four goals in the first period, while only making five shots. Jackson said the freshman was hindered by a knee injury suffered the night before.
“[Johnson] got hurt and I still started him on Saturday,” Jackson said. “I probably shouldn’t have started him. I don’t think he was physically ready for that.”
Junior wing Calle Ridderwall cut the deficit to three early in the second period with his 19th goal of the season, but the Buckeyes added two more to their tally before the end of the period. Senior Tom O’Brien did his best to protect the net for Notre Dame over the last two periods, allowing four goals while making 12 saves.
“It was kind of tough because our team actually came out buzzing pretty good and had a number of scoring chances in the first 10 minutes,” Jackson said. “Then they came down and scored on the first shot, which is pretty disheartening for a team.”
Senior wing Christiaan Minella added a goal for the Irish in the third period, but by then it was too little, too late.
In the two games, the Irish went a combined 1-for-12 on the power play, compared to a 2-for-5 performance by Ohio State.
“I don’t care how good the goaltending is. At some point you have to finish,” Jackson said. “You always have to credit the opposing goaltender, but the thing is, we have to find ways to score goals. It’s been our M.O. all season long.”