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Men’s Hockey: No. 16 Ohio State to host No. 13 Notre Dame in crucial Big Ten series

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Ohio State then-freshman forward Patrick Guzzo (71) eyes the puck during the puck drop during the Ohio State-Notre Dame game Feb. 5, 2021. Ohio State lost 1-6. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo Editor

Two of the biggest teams in the Big Ten will share the ice this weekend in Columbus.

No. 16 Ohio State (15-6-1) will host No. 13 Notre Dame (15-6-0) at the Schottenstein Center Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. The Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish split a two-game series earlier this season Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, 2021, in South Bend, Indiana.

Revisiting the previous games against the Irish was a large part of Ohio State’s preparation for this series, Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik said.

“You always have to go back and look and see some of the things that worked and some of the things we have to get better at, and we’ve already done that,” Rohlik said. “Ultimately we’ve got to be a better hockey team than we were when we were there.”

Ohio State won 4-2 in the first game of the previous series, but Notre Dame defended its home ice in the finale, winning 5-1.

As a result of the December road series, Rohlik emphasized the importance of going ahead early in Ohio State’s first game against the Irish.

Senior forward Jake Wise commented on how well Notre Dame plays defense and said passing and offensive movement were important parts of this week’s practices.

“They play really hard defensively and it obviously helps their goalies,” Wise said. “We’ve just got to work extra hard on the forecheck and put the puck in good places to get it back. I think if we do that, we can create some offense against them.”

One of the notable differences between the previous series and the current one for freshman forward Cam Thiesing is having home-ice advantage.

Thiesing recalled the noise generated by the Knucklebucks student section and the scarlet and gray faithful in Ohio State’s home series against Michigan.

“I think it plays a big role, especially when crowds like that come,” Thiesing said. “That fires me up. I know it fires my teammates up as well.”

Friday’s game will be streamed on BTN+ and Saturday’s will be televised on Big Ten Network.

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