SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Jake Pivonka and Cam Burke netted third-period goals as the fifth-ranked Irish came back to defeat No.8/9 Ohio State, 2-1, on Saturday night inside a sold out Compton Family Ice Arena (4,858).
With the victory, the Irish remain unbeaten at 7-0-1 on the season and hold a 3-0-1-0 mark in Big Ten play.
Cale Morris stopped 24 shots to earn the victory in net for the Irish, which was the 50th of his career. Tommy Nappier finished with 27 saves for Ohio State.
Each team went 0-for-3 on the power play.
How It Happened
Neither side could find the back of the net in the first period despite a pair of power plays for each team.
Morris made the best stop of the period early in the frame with a point-blank save on Quinn Preston.
The Irish failed to convert on an extended power play late in the period after Preston received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for contact to the head. Nappier made 12 stops for Ohio State in the first, while Morris finished with 10 saves.
The Buckeyes broke the deadlock at 10:02 of the second period when an Austin Pooley chip towards the front of the net was tipped by Gustaf Westlund past Morris for a 1-0 lead.
Ohio State held the one-goal advantage into the second intermission despite a 23-19 Irish edge in shots on goal after 40 minutes.
Notre Dame killed off an early Ohio State power play early in the third, holding the Buckeyes to zero shots on goal during the man advantage.
Then after some heavy forechecking, Pivonka tied things up at 1-1 with his third goal of the season. He took a Charlie Raith feed from below the goal line, cut in front and shifted to his backhand to lift it past Nappier. Jesse Lansdell also assisted on the play, while it marked Raith’s first career assist.
With 7:55 left in the third period, Cam Burke buried a slapshot from the slot to give the Irish a 2-1 lead. Matt Steeves slid a puck from the side of the net out to Burke, who one-timed it past Nappier for the go-ahead goal. Spencer Stastney also earned an assist on the play.
The Buckeyes pulled Nappier in favor of the extra attacker in the closing moments, but the Irish held on for the 2-1 victory and clinched the weekend sweep.
Notre Dame hits the road for the first of back-to-back Big Ten road series, beginning with a two-game set at Wisconsin (Nov. 15-16).
Both games are set for 8 p.m. ET starts, while Friday’s game will be televised on FoxSports Midwest.
Notre Dame has opened the season unbeaten through the first eight games for the first time in program history while competing at the NCAA Division I level.
The Irish have now won 10 consecutive games at Compton Family Ice Arena dating back to the start of the 2018 Big Ten Tournament (March 9, 2018).
This weekend marked the first time Notre Dame has swept a series against a top-10 opponent since November 24-25, 2017 when the Irish topped sixth-ranked Minnesota 1-0 and 5-2.
Cam Burke’s goal marked his first point of the season and he became Notre Dame’s 14th goal scorer this season.
Burke now has two game-winning goals in his career, with the other coming on November 16th, 2018 in Notre Dame’s 3-1 victory at Michigan State.
Senior goaltender Cale Morris is now 50-21-5 in his Irish career and now owns the fifth-most wins by an Irish goaltender.
Only four other Notre Dame goaltenders have reached the 50-win plateau including: Jordan Pearce (2005-09; 59 wins), Steven Summerhays (2010-14; 57 wins), David Brown (2003-07; 55 wins) and Cal Petersen (2014-17; 55 wins).