The way the shot totals and scoring chances piled up against the Ohio State men's hockey team coaches felt like they were watching a replay of the season-opening 6-2 loss at Minnesota Duluth.
But in a sign of how far the young Buckeyes have come, they played sub-par for the first time in weeks yet escaped with a valuable point in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings following a 2-2 tie with Notre Dame on Saturday in Value City Arena.
The Irish won the shootout 1-0 in four rounds to claim the extra point and snap OSU's three-game winning streak.
"It's not concerning because we know how the guys are going to respond," Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki said. "It's one of those things. We stole a point. It wasn't a perfect game for us."
OSU (11-11-6, 10-6-4-1 CCHA) got a career high 45 saves from senior Brady Hjelle and goals from sophomore Darik Angeli and freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple. The Irish (16-11-1, 12-7-1-1) scores came from freshman Thomas DiPauli and senior blueliner Sam Calabrese.
Notre Dame held a 14-3 shot advantage in the third against a defensive corps missing the veteran presence of junior Curtis Gedig, injured late in Friday's 6-3 win vs. the Irish.
"We thought as a staff that was the first game of the year at Minnesota Duluth," Osiecki said. "I don't know if it's because Geds was out and that made a difference on our blue line. We had a hard time getting out of our zone.
"I don't want to take too much away from Notre Dame. They played extremely well. They were desperate and they had us on our heels. The one thing we did is we hung tough."
OSU managed only 22 shots on goal and had few good looks over the final 25 minutes before Anders Lee scored the only goal of the shootout.
"Taking points is important, especially this time of the year, and I thought our guys played extremely well," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. "Hjelle is a great goalie and you really have to earn your goals."
Ohio State overcome adversity to forge a 2-2 tie heading into the third period thanks a wicked 5-on-3 goal from Dalrymple at 18:55 of the second.
The Buckeyes scored four power-play goals in the middle stanza Friday but Notre Dame wasn't sent to the box until late in the second period of the rematch.
Meanwhile, OSU had to kill four penalties and although it had a short-handed tally by Angeli in the first, the Irish assumed a 2-1 lead on a fluky man-up marker by Calabrese at the 11:22 mark in the second when his centering pass went into the goal off the right skate of OSU freshman defenseman Sam Jardine.
But the Buckeyes responded emphatically during 85 seconds of a two-man advantage. Using 73 seconds of it, Dalrymple ripped a one-timer from deep in the left faceoff circle off pass by sophomore Tanner Fritz. Dalrymple has two goals.
"He gave me a great pass and I put it home," Dalrymple said. "I felt good about that one going in."
A controversial goal by the Irish with 6.7 seconds left to tie the game at 1 spoiled an otherwise solid opening 20 minutes for the Buckeyes, who killed the only two penalties and scored short-handed on the second at 11:11.
Sophomore Chad Niddery won the faceoff in the Buckeyes' end and sent the puck behind the net to Jardine. He whipped it around the boards to center ice where Angeli picked it up.
With the Niddery streaking down the right side, Angeli used him as a decoy then fired past senior goalie Mike Johnson for his second goal.
The Buckeyes were ready on the brink of getting out the period unscathed but a scrum in front of their net somehow produced the equalizer.
After wild scramble, it appeared that DiPauli may have been pushed into the goal by DiPauli's glove. The play was reviewed but ruled inconclusive to overturn.
"I was happy it went in. I didn't know how," said Notre Dame junior and Columbus Blue Jackets draftee T.J. Tynan.
Osiecki was pretty sure, " I'd love to see the replay (the officials) had. The replay we had there was no stick involved and you see an arm move."
The goal was typical of how Notre Dame created havoc in front of the goal the whole game.
"That was part of their game plan to get as many guys in front of me as they could" Hjelle said. "That's probably the most traffic I've seen all year by far."
Yet, the Buckeyes persevered and carry some confidence into net weekend's series at Alaska.
"It was one of those games," Osiecki said. "You can't play on top of your game like we literally have for four weeks in a row where you're going, 'That's unbelievable hockey.'
You have to find a way to gut it out. I thought our guys gutted it out, starting with (Hjelle), and we were able to steal a point... That speaks volumes what we have in the locker room."