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Hockey: Squad splits series vs. OSU

Dan Murphy | Monday, February 9, 2009

With the final seconds ticking away Friday night, No. 15 Ohio State looked poised to skate away with a much-needed win over No. 2 Notre Dame. The Buckeyes led 3-2 after looking to be in control throughout most of the game.

All of that changed in the blink of an eye.

Sophomore defenseman Ian Cole, operating with a 6-on-4 advantage, patiently handled the puck at the blue line as the clock crept below ten. He avoided a Buckeye defender and slipped a pass to freshman Billy Maday. Maday ripped a shot from the tops of the circles, the rebound bounced towards Irish captain Erik Condra and with just over a second remaining the senior buried a game-tying goal.

Less than a minute later, sophomore Calle Ridderwall buried another Irish powerplay goal giving Notre Dame a 4-3 overtime win.

Cole started things off early for Notre Dame with a blast from the point only five minutes into the game. The Buckeyes fought back over the next two periods, taking the lead twice before the Irish finally pulled away in dramatic fashion.

Ohio State got goals from Corey Elkins and Sergio Somma to take the lead in the second period. Midway through the third, Condra started the comeback with his first of two powerplay goals.

After falling behind once again with three minutes remaining the Irish got the break they needed.

Buckeye freshman Ian Boots got tagged with a five-minute major for spearing. The penalty gave Notre Dame a man advantage for the rest of the game. Condra and Ridderwall were both able to advantage and stretch Notre Dame’s road win streak to 12 games.

The win did not come without a hefty price for the Irish though.

Junior right wing Ryan Thang left the game in the third period with what appeared to be a serious lower leg injury. Thang’s left leg got caught when chasing down a puck along the boards and buckled awkwardly underneath him. The junior, who has nine goals so far this season, had to be helped off the ice and did not dress for Sunday afternoon’s game.

No members of the team were available to comment on the extent of the injury due to travel.

Without Thang on the ice, Notre Dame fell to the Buckeyes in the Sunday matinee 4-1.

Junior Christiaan Minella started things off with his sixth goal of the season midway through the second period.

The goal, Notre Dame’s fourth powerplay score on the weekend, came off of a rebound from a Kevin Deeth shot. The Irish converted only one of their six man advantages after going 3-for-5 Friday night.

The Buckeyes answered with a flurry of goals late in the second stanza. Less than a minute after Minella’s goal senior John Albert tied the game up with his tenth tally of the season. Albert also picked up assists on goals from Shane Sims and Taylor Stefishen later in the period.

The pace settled down in the third as Ohio State goalie Dustin Carlson held off all of Notre Dame’s chances before the Buckeyes added an empty netter at the end. Carlson finished with 32 saves.

The loss was the first for Notre Dame on the road since opening the season with a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Denver. However, due to Friday night’s win and other games in the conference this weekend, the Irish did lock up a first round bye and home ice in the second round of the CCHA tournament this weekend.