Oct. 5, 2017
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The eighth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team will open the 2017-18 regular season this weekend with a home series against Alabama Huntsville (Oct. 6-7).
Matchup: Notre Dame vs. Alabama Huntsville
Date: Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 | Saturday, Oct. 7
Time: 7:35 p.m. ET | 7:05 p.m. ET
Site: Notre Dame, Ind.
Arena: Compton Family Ice Arena
TV: NBC Sports Chicago Plus
Live Streaming: NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app
Live Radio | Audio: WZOC 94.3 FM | WatchND
Play-by-Play: Darin Pritchett
Live Updates: @NDHockey
- Notre Dame opens the 2017-18 season with a home series against Alabama Huntsville.
- It will mark the first and second of eight consecutive non-conference home games for the Irish in the month of October.
- The Irish are 6-6-0 in season openers under Head Coach Jeff Jackson.
- Notre Dame and Alabama Huntsville will be meeting for the first time since the 2013-14 season when they played three times at the Compton Family Ice Arena, including a 5-2 Notre Dame win in the Shillelagh Tournament (Nov. 29, 2013) and a series sweep (Jan. 10-11) that included wins of 7-1 and 5-0 by Notre Dame.
- Notre Dame is 6-1-0 in games against the Chargers under head coach Jeff Jackson.
- The Irish have won each of the last four meetings between the two teams and have also won eight of the last nine.
ALABAMA HUNTSVILLE AT A GLANCE
- Members of the WCHA, the Chargers wen 9-22-3 overall and 9-16-3 in league play in 2016-17 which included three road series sweeps
- Huntsville native Josh Kestner returns after posting a career-best 22 points on nine goals and 13 assists last season.
- Eight players who had at least 10 points last season return to the Chargers’ lineup this season.
- The Chargers also return all but one defensemen from its 2016-17 roster.
- The UAH program dates back to 1986 and the Chargers won NCAA Division II Championships in the 1995-96 and 1997-98.
NOTRE DAME 4, USNTDP 3
- Behind third period goals from Joe Wegwerth and Colin Theisen, the Fighting Irish opened the 2017-18 season with a 4-3 exhibition win over the U.S. National Team Development Program (U18) on Sunday night (Oct. 1) at the Compton Family Ice Arena (2,697).
- Cam Morrison finished with a goal and an assist and Jake Evans had two assists to lead the Irish.
- Additional goal scorers included Tory Dello, Joe Wegwerth and Colin Theisen (GWG).
- In the Notre Dame net, sophomore Cale Morris started and stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced in 30:48 of work, while freshman Dylan St. Cyr played the final 29:07 and turned aside 10 of the 11 shots he faced to earn the win.
- Twenty-two skaters and two goaltenders were used by head coach Jeff Jackson, including Irish debuts for Theisen, Pierce Crawford, Matt Steeves, Max Eisenmenger, Felix Holmberg, Matt Hellickson and St. Cyr.
- Jackson served as the first head coach of the USNTDP from 1996-2000.
- In addition to Jackson, 36 Notre Dame hockey players have come through the U.S. National Team Development Program, including current players Dawson Cook, Hellickson, St. Cyr and Wegwerth.
YEAR ONE IN THE B1G
- Notre Dame embarks on its first season as an affiliate member of the Big Ten Conference in 2017-18.
- Coach Jackson will oversee the Fighting Irish in a third conference, having spent his first eight seasons with the Irish in the CCHA and the previous four seasons in Hockey East.
- Big Ten hockey will feature seven teams this season and each team will play 24 conference games.
- For all conference games as well as home non-conference games, the Irish will follow B1G protocol and if the game remains tied after a five minute overtime, there will be a shootout (three players per team).
- The 2018 Big Ten Tournament will feature a three-weekend format with all games taking place on the campus of the higher-seeded teams.
- The tournament will open March 2-4 with three best-of-three quarterfinal series, as the second-, third- and fourth-seeded teams will each host a series.
- The top-seeded team will have a bye to the single-elimination semifinals, which are scheduled for Saturday, March 10.
- The highest-seeded team remaining after the semifinals will host a championship game scheduled for Saturday, March 17.
- Notre Dame will once again be one of college hockey’s most televised teams in 2017-18.
- The NBC Sports Group will televise and/or stream 19 Notre Dame regular-season home games, including NBCSN games against Denver (Oct. 13-14), Penn State (Nov. 11), Minnesota (Nov. 24), Michigan (Jan. 7), Wisconsin (Jan. 21) and Ohio State (Feb. 9).
- It marks the fifth consecutive season of NBC Sports coverage for the Irish.
- Additionally, NBC Sports Chicago Plus will also pick up Notre Dame home games against Alabama Huntsville (Oct. 6-7), Sacred Heart (Oct. 19-20), Nebraska Omaha (Oct. 26-27), Penn State and Minnesota (Nov. 25).
- Seven Notre Dame road games will be televised this season, including Notre Dame’s first Big Ten conference game at Ohio State on Friday, Nov. 3 (BTN).
- The Big Ten Network will also televise Notre Dame games at Wisconsin (Dec. 8), at Michigan (Jan. 5) and at Penn State (Feb. 2).
- ESPN2 will carry the road game at Minnesota on Friday, Jan. 26.
- Additionally, Fox Sports Wisconsin Plus (at Wisconsin on Dec. 9) and Fox Sports North Plus (at Minnesota on Jan. 27) will also televise Fighting Irish road games.
— ND —
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).