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One and done

Justin Schuver | Friday, March 19, 2004

DETROIT – Another year, another early exit from the Joe.

Ohio State forward Tyson Strachan ended Notre Dame’s stay at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit as he scored at 9:49 of overtime, sending the Irish home with a 6-5 loss Thursday night..

It is the third straight time that the Irish have lost in the first round of the CCHA Super Six.

“From a spectator’s standpoint that was a pretty good college hockey game,” Irish coach Dave Poulin said. “From a coach’s standpoint, though, our strengths all year have been defense and penalty killing, and we give up six goals and three on the power play. It’s a little disappointing.

“We had our chances in overtime, but just couldn’t capitalize.”

The Irish now have to wait to see if they will receive an NCAA at-large bid. With 20 wins on the season, Notre Dame has an impressive resume that includes wins over several ranked teams.

“We talked before the game about not wanting to put our NCAA future in someone else’s hands, and keeping it in our own hands,” Poulin said. “We’re certainly still going to practice on Saturday morning preparing as if we’re going to keep playing.”

It didn’t take long for the Irish to get going, as they scored the first goal of the game just 5 minutes, 32 seconds into the first period. Forward Rob Globke showed off his skating ability, taking the puck down the left side while avoiding several defenders, and whipped a low wrist shot past Ohio State’s Mike Betz that beat the goalie to the stick side.

Notre Dame increased its lead to two goals just a little over a minute later, when Betz gave up a long rebound to the slot and Aaron Gill buried the puck in the back of the net while the goalie was out of position.

Despite coming into the game with the CCHA’s leading penalty kill, the Irish were unable to stop the Ohio State power play, as the Buckeyes quickly tied the game back up with power play goals by Rod Pelley and Dave Steckel.

Notre Dame responded with a power play goal of its own with 1:30 left in the first period, as Aaron Gill scored on a slapshot from just outside the left circle. The teams went into the intermission with the score 3-2 in favor of the Irish, in a wacky first period that saw a combined 31 shots on goal (Notre Dame with 15, Ohio State with 16).

The Buckeyes only needed 16 seconds to score the first goal of the second period and tie the game again. Scott May skated unimpeded to the middle of the ice and whipped a shot over Irish goalie David Brown’s glove.

Notre Dame managed to retake the lead at 4:43 of the second, as Gill scored his third goal of the game off a Ohio State turnover. A Buckeye defenseman tried to pass the puck from behind the Ohio State net, but instead it went to the middle of the ice and Gill was able to poke it home.

The Irish took their second two-goal lead of the game a little less than 6 minutes later, as forward Mike Walsh picked up a rebound of a Gill shot and pushed it past Betz. Dave Caruso replaced Betz in goal after Notre Dame’s fifth score of the game.

The change energized the Buckeyes, who cut the lead to one before the end of the second period as Matt Beaudoin scored on a rebound of a Tyson Strachan shot.

The Irish tried to hold on in the third period for the victory, but Beaudoin scored his second goal of the game at 17:34 of the third period and sent the Irish to their second straight overtime game.

With the loss, Notre Dame’s record currently sits at 20-14-4. The NCAA selection committee will meet Sunday to decide if the Irish continue to play this season or not.