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#3 Irish Set To Tussle With Spartans

Nov. 29, 2017

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 4/3 University of Notre Dame hockey team will take its nine-game winning streak north this week as the Irish take on former WCHA and CCHA foe Michigan State for the first time as Big Ten Conference opponents in East Lansing, Michigan.

Games 17 & 18: #4/3 Notre Dame (12-3-1, 6-0-0-0 B1G) vs. Michigan State (7-6-1, 1-4-1-1 B1G)
When: Friday, Dec. 1, 7:05 p.m. ET | Saturday, Dec. 2, 7:05 p.m. ET
Where: East Lansing, Mich. | Munn Ice Arena
TV (Stream): None | BTN Plus
Listen: WZOC 94.3 FM & | Darin Pritchett (PxP)
Series History:
MSU leads 62-40-11
Notes: Notre Dame
Social: @NDHockey

The Irish (12-3-1, 6-0-0-0 B1G) are coming off a weekend home sweep of Minnesota and have won nine games in a row, while the Spartans (7-6-1, 1-4-1-1) went 0-1-1 (with a shootout win) at Penn State last weekend.

Notre Dame is 6-0-0-0 in conference action, making it the first Big Ten team ever to win its first six conference contests of the season.

Nine-Game Winning Streak

  • Notre Dame is on a nine-game winning streak, which is the longest active winning streak in the country.
  • It marks Notre Dame’s first winning streak of at least nine games since Feb. 13 – March 21, 2009 when it won 10 straight games.
  • The Irish did have a seven-game unbeaten streak last year from Feb. 3-24, 2017 (5-0-2).
  • Cale Morris has started each game in goal during the current nine-game winning streak, posting a 1.44 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage to go along with three 1-0 shutout wins.
  • Jake Evans (3-10-13), Cal Burke (5-3-8) and Jordan Gross (2-5-7) have led a balanced Irish offensive attack during the win streak.
  • Fifteen Irish skaters have totaled at least three points during the winning streak, while 10 players have scored at least two goals.

Notes To Know

  • Jake Evans enters the weekend at the nation’s top scorer with 25 points on six goals and 19 assists (which also lead the nation). Evans also leads the nation with 229 faceoff wins, 18 even-strength points and five games with at least three points. Evans’ 1.56 points per game average ranks fourth nationally.
  • Jordan Gross (5-10-15) and Bobby Nardella (4-10-14) rank third and tied for fourth, respectively, in the country in scoring by defensemen (they rank first and second in the Big Ten among defensemen scoring).
  • Nardella’s nine power-play points (2-7-9) are tied for second among defensemen.
  • Gross’ 68 shots on goal lead all defensemen and rank second among all skaters, while his 4.25 shots on goal per game average ranks first among defensemen and tied for seventh overall.
  • Cale Morris‘ .952 save percentage ranks first in the country (minimum 33% team minutes played), while his 11 wins are second. With an 11-1-0 record, Morris has the nation’s top winning percentage (.917) and his 1.62 goals-against average ranks second.
  • Notre Dame (12-3-1) has won 12 of its first 16 games for the first time since the 2012-13 season when the Irish got off to a 12-4-0 start (12th win came on Dec. 7, 2012 vs. Michigan State).
  • For the third consecutive week, goaltender Cale Morris was named the Big Ten’s First Star of the Week the conference announced on Tuesday morning (Nov. 28). It marked the first time a player earned three consecutive First Star honors.
  • Morris led the Irish to a weekend sweep over Minnesota, posting a 44-save shutout in the 1-0 game one win (Nov. 24) and then a 40-save showing in game two’s 5-2 victory, with Minnesota’s two goals coming on the power play.

Series Quick Hits

  • Former opponents in both the WCHA and the CCHA, Notre Dame and Michigan State will be meeting for the 114th and 115th times overall but for the first time since Jan. 12, 2013
  • Michigan State won that most recent game, 4-1 at the Munn Ice Arena, which was the second night of a two-game series (Anders Lee had the lone Irish goal).
  • The previous night, then second-ranked Notre Dame won 1-0 on a 30-save shutout by Steven Summerhays to go along with a Robbie Russo goal.
  • Notre Dame has won three of the last four meetings between the two teams and the Irish are 11-2-3 in the last 16 meetings – a span that dates back to the 2007-08 season.
  • Head coach Jeff Jackson graduated from Michigan State in 1978 with a degree in communications and he followed by getting an education degree in 1979.
  • Jackson is 23-15-8 all-time against the Spartans, including a 5-1 mark in postseason play.
  • Jackson coached current Michigan State head coach Danton Cole and current Michigan State assistant coach 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).

  • Current Notre Dame volunteer assistant coach Zach Cisek is a 2015 Michigan State graduate and a former Spartan goaltender.
  • The current Notre Dame roster features three Michigan natives: Dawson Cook (Cadillac, Michigan), Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Michigan) and Colin Theisen (Monroe, Michigan).