WHO: #3 Notre Dame (8-1-1, 4-1-1-0 B1G) at Michigan State (5-5-0, 3-1-0-0 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, November 22 & Saturday, November 23 – 7 p.m. ET
WHERE: Munn Ice Arena, East Lansing, Mich.
WATCH: Friday – BTN+ ($) & Saturday – BTN+ ($)
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
GAME NOTES (PDF)
- The Fighting Irish continue a stretch of four straight road games with a weekend series at Michigan State (Nov. 22-23).
- Heading into the series, the Irish (13 points) and Michigan State (nine points), which swept Michigan last weekend, rank second and third in the Big Ten standings.
- Third ranked Notre Dame is coming off a 5-4 overtime win at Wisconsin to split last weekend’s series at the Kohl Center (Nov. 15-16).
- Alex Steeves had the overtime game winner, while Colin Theisen scored the game-tying goal at 13:36 of the third period.
- Notre Dame has now posted six comeback wins this season, including three third period comebacks (both wins over Ohio State and the overtime victory at Wisconsin).
- Since joining the Big Ten, the Fighting Irish are 8-1-1 against the Spartans.
- Cale Morris has been the goaltender of record in all 10 of those games, posting a .956 save percentage and a 1.39 goals-against average to go along with three shutouts.
- Last season, Notre Dame went 5-0-1 against Michigan State, including sweeping the Spartans in the Big Ten Tournament by scores of 1-0 and 2-0 (March 8-9).
- At 3.80 goals per game, the Irish enter the weekend with the nation’s seventh-ranked offense (second in the Big Ten).
- Notre Dame’s .850 (8-1-1) winning percentage ranks tied for third in the country.
- At .588, the Fighting Irish are tied with Minnesota State for the NCAA lead in faceoff winning percentage.
- Sophomore Nate Clurman ranks first in the country with a +14 plus/minus rating, with North Dakota’s Collin Adams and Harvard’s Henry Thrun tied for second at +12.
- Senior Mike O’Leary ranks second in the Irish with 12 points (5-7-12) and dating back to last season’s series at Wisconsin on Jan. 18-19, 2019, O’Leary has 28 points (9-19-28) in his last 29 games played (career: 123 GP, 16-30-46).
- Freshman forward Jesse Lansdell became the latest Fighting Irish player to score when he netted his first career tally at Wisconsin in the 5-4 overtime win (Nov. 16), becoming Notre Dame’s 16th goal scorer this season.
THE NOTRE DAME – MICHIGAN STATE SERIES
- Former CCHA rivals, the Irish and Spartans have met 123 times dating back to their first meeting in 1926, which was played at the University Rink in East Lansing, Michigan (Notre Dame won the first game, 3-1).
- All-time, the Spartans lead the series 63-48-12, including a 37-17-4 mark when playing at home.
- The first meetings as a Notre Dame varsity sport were in the 1970-71 season when the Spartans came to South Bend and split a weekend series: Michigan State took the first game 10-5, before the Irish bounced back for a 4-3 victory the second night.
- Since the turn of the century (2000-01 season), the Irish hold the narrow advantage as Notre Dame is 22-18-7 against Michigan State since 2000.
- Of those 47 games, eight have gone to overtime and 15 have been decided by a single goal.
- Irish head coach Jeff Jackson is 31-16-9 all-time against his alma mater Michigan State (including his time at Lake Superior State).
- Jackson graduated from Michigan State in 1978 with a degree in communications, followed by an education degree in 1979.
- Jackson coached current Michigan State head coach Danton Cole and current Spartan assistant Chris Luongo during their junior hockey days with the Detroit Falcons and then Jackson also coached Cole during the 1983-84 season with the Fraser Flags of the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League (GLJHL).
- The current Notre Dame roster features three Michigan natives: Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Michigan), Max Ellis (Canton, Michigan) and Colin Theisen (Monroe, Michigan).
VERSUS THE SPARTANS IN THE B1G
- Since joining the Big Ten, Notre Dame is 8-1-1 against Michigan State including a current six-game unbeaten streak after going 5-0-1 against the Spartans last season.
- Last season’s meetings included a home sweep by the Irish in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
- Notre Dame won game one by a score of 1-0 and then took game two by a 2-0 score as Cale Morris stopped all 55 shots he faced in the series.
- Mike O’Leary had the game one game winner, while Pierce Crawford (GWG) and Graham Slaggert scored in game two.
- Notre Dame’s career offensive leaders versus the Spartans include Mike O’Leary (10 GP; 2-4-6), Cal Burke (8 GP; 3-2-5), Colin Theisen (10 GP; 3-2-5) and Michael Graham (6 GP, 2-3-5).
- Cam Burke has scored two of his six career goals against the Spartans, including his first career goal which was the game winner in Notre Dame’s 3-1 win at Michigan State on Nov. 16, 2018.
- In net, Cale Morris is 8-1-1 against the Spartans with an impressive .956 save percentage to go along with a 1.39 goals against average and three shutouts.
- Notre Dame’s unbeaten streak to open the 2019-20 season was snapped at eight games (7-0-1), which marked the best unbeaten streak to start a season in program history.
- The subsequent 8-1-1 start by the Irish is the best start since also opening with an 8-1-1 record in 2006-07 (finished 32-7-3).
- On Nov. 8-9, the Irish swept a pair of tightly contested games with Ohio State by erasing one-goal, third period deficits in both games: wining game one 3-2 in overtime and game two 2-1.
- With that weekend sweep of the Buckeyes, the Irish extended their winning streak at Compton Family Ice Arena to 10 games dating back to the start of the 2018 Big Ten Tournament (March 9, 2018).
- It also marked Notre Dame’s first sweep of a top-10 opponent since Nov. 24-25, 2017 when the Irish topped sixth-ranked Minnesota 1-0 and 5-2.