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ND heads to Columbus for conference rivalry series

| Friday, February 5, 2021

Notre Dame hockey will take on Ohio State this weekend in a Big Ten showdown.

The Buckeyes (5-12-1, 5-11-0-0-1-0 B1G) come into this game in a slump, losing six of their last seven games, all by two or more goals. The Irish (8-9-1, 6-7-1-1-2-1 B1G) hope to take advantage of that and continue a more flattering streak of their own, having won five of their last six games on the road, including series sweeps of then-No. 3 Michigan and then first-ranked Minnesota.

The Irish went to overtime in both of their games against Penn State last weekend, losing the first 2-1 before taking the second 3-2. Junior forward Alex Steeves scored a goal in both games, taking his goal streak up to three.

Notre Dame has already faced Ohio State this season, taking a game apiece at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Notre Dame grabbed a 3-0 win before losing a heartbreaker, taking a 2-0 lead before conceding three consecutive powerplay goals. The Irish hope to stem that issue here, as they have gone 12-12 on the penalty kill this season while on the road.

These two teams have a history of being evenly matched. Ohio State holds the slight edge in the total matchups (39-38-11), but Notre Dame has reversed the trend since joining the Big Ten (8-6-1).

This has been a bit of a down year for both programs, especially considering their recent success. Since Notre Dame joined the conference, at least one of these two teams has finished in the top two of the Big Ten, with Notre Dame capturing the last two Big Ten championships. As it stands right now, Notre Dame is in fourth in the Big Ten, while Ohio States sits in sixth. Both teams will be hoping to use this series as a way to bounce back to the level they would expect.

The puck will drop for the first game of the series Friday at 4:30 p.m. and action will continue will continue with the second game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on BTN.

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