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    Fighting Irish

    Jan. 25, 1998

    Notre Dame Drops 5-3 Decision to Ohio State

    Box Score

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - Eric Meloche broke a 3-3 tie with his second goal of the game less than two minutes into the third period and the Ohio State Buckeyes went on to a 5-3 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in ice hockey action at the Ohio Exposition Center.

    With the victory, Ohio State improves to 14-10-1 overall and gains sole possession of fifth place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association with a 11-9-0 league record. Notre Dame drops to 13-11-1 overall and 8-8-3 in CCHA play, remaining in a tie for seventh place in the league with Lake Superior State.

    Meloche knocked in a rebound for the first goal of the game at 6:14 of the first period. The Buckeyes quickly made it 2-0, as Jean-Francois Dufour lit the lamp just 11 seconds later. The Irish pulled to within 2-1 just before intermission in a four-on-four situation when Benoit Cotnoir converted on a slap shot from the center of the blue line for his eighth tally of the season.

    Ohio State re-gained a two-goal advantage on a shorthanded goal by Neal Rech, the first shorthanded goal allowed by Notre Dame all season. The Irish were caught with just one defenseman on the ice when OSU's Chris Richards led an odd man rush on the right side before crossing the puck to Rech, who beat Notre Dame goaltender Matt Eisler.

    Notre Dame answered with a power-play goal by Aniket Dhadphale, who fired a shot through traffic from the top of the left circle past Ohio State goaltender Ray Aho for his team-leading 17th goal of the year. Notre Dame then tied the score at three when John Dwyer redirected a shot from the point by defenseman Mark Eaton.

    Less than two minutes into the third period, the Irish surrendered another shorthanded goal as Meloche converted a breakaway opportunity for his 17th goal of the season. The Buckeyes added an insurance goal 11:42 into the period when Vinnie Grant took a feed from Brandon LaFrance in the slot and sent a one-timer past Eisler for a 5-3 Ohio State lead.

    Notre Dame returns to action on Friday, January 30 against the CCHA-leading Michigan Wolverines at the Joyce Center. The game is sold out.

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