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Men’s Hockey: No. 5 Ohio State drops Big Ten championship game 3-2 in overtime to No. 1 Notre Dame

Ohio State defender Matt Miller fights with Notre Dame hockey players in the Notre Dame zone on Nov. 4. Credit: Courtesy of Ric Kruszynski

On St. Patrick’s Day, with the Big Ten championship on the line in overtime, Notre Dame sophomore forward Cam Morrison had the luck of the Irish.

The No. 5 Ohio State men’s hockey team (24-9-5, 17-9-2-1 Big Ten) fell in overtime 3-2 to No. 3 Notre Dame (25-9-2, 19-6-1-1 Big Ten), which captured the Big Ten tournament championship at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana, on Saturday.

Morrison potted the golden goal 9:23 into overtime while Notre Dame sophomore goaltender Cale Morris proved why he was selected as both Big Ten player and goaltender of the year, making 41 saves on 43 shots.

Just under 10 minutes into overtime, Morrison took a pass from senior forward Jake Evans that sprung him down the left side of the Buckeye zone. Morrison ripped a shot past the glove hand of Romeo into the top corner of the net to seal the Big Ten tournament championship.

The Buckeyes made a valiant effort to force over time, clawing their way back after falling behind two goals early in the game. Ohio State senior defenseman Matt Miller had a goal and an assist, while redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo made 35 saves on 38 shots in the loss.

Ohio State was without it’s overtime hero from a week ago, senior forward Matthew Weis, due to an upper-body injury sustained in practice, according to the Big Ten Network.

The Fighting Irish started the title game with suffocating pressure in the Buckeyes’ zone and got on the scoreboard four minutes into the game with a seemingly harmless shot from senior forward Jake Evans that took a lucky bounce into the net.

The Buckeyes took a penalty late in the first period and the Irish made them pay. Freshman defenseman Matt Hellickson blasted a slap shot from the top of the right circle off the far post and into the net for a two-goal lead before the start of the second period.

Ohio State roared back with a dominant period of its own in the second, highlighted by a goal from junior forward Brendon Kearney, who tipped in a shot from Miller to cut the deficit to one goal.

Just 1:07 into the third period, Miller gathered the puck at the point and feathered it through a maze of players past Morris to tie the game at two.

The third period continued with a goaltending battle between Morris and Romeo. Each goaltender answered the other with save after save.

This is the second overtime loss for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament championship game. The other came in the inaugural tournament in 2014 when they lost to Wisconsin.

Shots in overtime favored Notre Dame 9-7, but shots totaled 43-38 with the edge to Ohio State.

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