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Ohio State men’s ice hockey crashes out of playoffs

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Members of the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team came into their series against Notre Dame wanting to start the postseason fresh after ending the regular season on a sour note. The end result of two games against the Fighting Irish, however, was more of the same of what had transpired over the past two months.

Notre Dame (19-16-3) swept OSU (15-15-5) in a best-of-three series in the first round of the CCHA tournament. The No. 9 seed Buckeyes fell to the No. 8 seed Fighting Irish, 4-2, Saturday night, following a 2-0 loss Friday.

OSU’s season is over. The Buckeyes, who rose to a No. 2 national ranking in early January, will miss out on the NCAA Tournament, finishing the year on a 1-11-4 skid.

OSU senior goalie Cal Heeter made 52 saves during the two games. Buckeye seniors, defenseman Sean Duddy and forward Danny Dries, each scored in Saturday’s loss.

The Buckeyes took a rare early lead on Saturday, scoring twice in the game’s opening period. OSU had last led after 20 minutes on Feb. 11 in a 4-3 win at Western Michigan.

Duddy notched his second-career goal at 4:35 in the first stanza. OSU junior forward Alex Carlson won a faceoff and sent the puck to Duddy at the point, whose wrist shot found the back of the net. Notre Dame answered at 9:20, but Dries got the lead back for the Buckeyes with a power-play goal at 17:19.

Notre Dame rallied with three unanswered goals on way to their 4-2 victory.

OSU had chances to tie the game in the third period, but failed to convert on two power plays.

Friday night, the Fighting Irish took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal at 9:08. The Buckeyes had opportunities to score, but went 0-2 on the power play and Notre Dame led, 1-0, after twenty minutes.

In the second stanza, Notre Dame converted on the power play at 2:50 extending their lead to 2-0.

OSU trailed, 2-0, for the remainder of the game. The Buckeyes failed to execute on three more power plays in the defeat.

The series capped the careers of four Buckeye seniors — Dries, Duddy, Heeter and forward Cory Schneider.

Heeter finishes third OSU history in career goals-against average (2.58) and career save percentage (.915). His .918 save percentage this season is the fifth-best in the history of OSU.

OSU sophomore forward Chris Crane and freshman forward Ryan Dzingel end the year tied for the team lead with 24 points.

 

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