- Notre Dame comes off a bye weekend with three games in a five-day stretch, beginning with Tuesday night’s game against Michigan.
- The Wolverines are coming off a weekend sweep of Michigan State, winning game one 5-3 at the Yost Ice Arena (Feb. 8) and taking game two 5-2 at the Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit (Feb. 9).
- The Fighting Irish (25 points in 17 games played) are currently fifth in the Big Ten standings and trail second-place Michigan by five points (30 points in 19 games played).
- After first-place Ohio State (41 points), the six remaining Big Ten teams are separated by just eight points in the league standings.
- Tuesday night’s game will be the final mid-week game of the Big Ten schedule as the seven teams will then play Friday-Saturday series for the following three weekends to close out the regular season.
THE MICHIGAN SERIES/CONNECTIONS
- All-time, Michigan leads the series 78-60-5, however, since their final season in the CCHA (2012-13), the Irish hold the edge with an 9-5-0 record.
- Three of those five losses were by a single goal, including an overtime loss at the U.S. Bank Arena in the NCAA Regionals (UM 3-2; March 25, 2016).
- Prior to that 2016 NCAA meeting, the teams’ last meetings came during the 2012-13 season when Notre Dame went 5-0-0 against the Wolverines, including a 3-1 victory in the championship game of the final CCHA tournament.
- Last season, in their inaugural season in the Big Ten, the Irish and Wolverines met five times, with the Irish claiming three victories, including a last second win at the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four.
- As time ran down in the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal (April 5), Cam Morrison slid the puck back to Jake Evans in the slot, who shot it five-hole for the game-winner with five seconds remaining – sending Notre Dame to the national championship.
- Notre Dame and Michigan’s other meeting in the NCAA Tournament came at the 2008 Frozen Four (Denver, Colorado) when the Irish posted a 5-4 overtime win to advance to the NCAA championship game for the first time in program history.
- Calle Ridderwall scored the game-winning goal in that contest at the 5:44 mark of overtime.
- The Irish and Wolverines met each season from 1991-92 to 2012-13.
- Notre Dame recognizes the first official meeting as a 3-2 overtime win by the Fighting Irish on Jan. 17, 1922 at the Weinberg Coliseum in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- Head Coach Jeff Jackson is 30-29-8 all-time against Michigan (including his time at Lake Superior State), while he is 12-6-0 all-time against the Wolverines in the playoffs.
- Jackson named current Michigan head coach Mel Pearson as one of his Team USA assistant coaches for the 1997 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Jackson and Pearson helped lead USA to the silver medal in that tournament in Switzerland.
- The current Notre Dame roster features two Michigan natives: Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Michigan) and Colin Theisen (Monroe, Michigan).
AGAINST THE WOLVERINES
- Notre Dame and Michigan’s last meeting came January 5, 2019, in an outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium, as the two teams utilized the same ice as the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins of the NHL for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
- The Let’s Take This Outside game featured the largest crowd to attend a home hockey game for the Irish, as 23,422 fans settled into their seats to take in the contest.
- It was the first time Notre Dame had hosted an outdoor hockey game since January 20, 1927 against Michigan College of the Mines (now Michigan Tech).
- Michigan claimed the 4-2 win over the Irish.
- Cam Morrison and Alex Steeves both netted goals in the loss, while Andrew Peeke, Dylan Malmquist and Jake Pivonka tallied assists.
- Alex Steeves now boasts four career points against the Wolverines, having scored his first collegiate goal and point at Michigan earlier this season as part of a three point night (Nov. 10).
- Earlier this season, the teams split a weekend series at the Yost Ice Arena (Nov. 9-10), with Michigan winning game one 2-1 and Notre Dame bouncing back to take game two by a score of 6-2.
- Cal Burke (1-2-3) also had a three point night the game two victory.
- Matt Hellickson notched a goal in game one before assisting on two on the second night for a three-point weekend (1-2-3).
- Dylan St. Cyr made his second start of the 2018-19 season against the Wolverines, stopping 29 shots in the Irish 6-2 victory to conclude the trip to Ann Arbor.
- Current offensive leaders against the Wolverines include Matt Hellickson (8 GP, 4-3-7), Cal Burke (8 GP, 2-3-5), Dylan Malmquist (9 GP, 0-5-4), Alex Steeves (3 GP, 3-1-4), Jack Jenkins (10 GP, 2-1-3) and Bobby Nardella (9 GP, 2-1-3).
- Hellickson has now recorded at least one point in five of his eight career games against Michigan.
NARDELLA MOVING UP
- Senior defenseman Bobby Nardella is moving up Notre Dame’s career points by a defenseman list and approaching 100 career points:
1. John Schmidt (1978-82); 28-95-123
2. Jeff Brownschidle (1977-81); 39-92-122
3. Jordan Gross (2014-18); 36-85-121
4. Bob Thebeau (1982-86); 40-63-103
5. Jack Brownschidle (1973-77); 31-78-109
6. Paul Clarke (1973-77); 38-62-100
7. Bill Green (1969-73); 30-66-96
7. Kevin Markovitz (1986-90); 24-72-96
9. Bobby Nardella (2015 – pres.); 23-72-95
10. Robbie Russo (2011-15); 28-66-94
B1G PLAYOFF FORMAT
- For the second consecutive season (since Notre Dame joined the league), the No. 1 team in the regular season standings will earn a bye to the conference semifinals.
- The remaining teams will seeded into best-of-three quarterfinals to determine the three remaining teams (March 8-10).
- All games will be played at the home arena of the team with the higher seed throughout the playoff (unless scheduling conflicts exist).
- The semifinals (March 16) and championship (March 23) will be played as single games.
B1G OT AND STANDINGS POINTS
- The Big Ten Conference will follow a new overtime protocol and points system for the 2018-19 season, including the addition of a 3-on-3 overtime period.
- Any regular season conference game that remains tied after regulation will play the NCAA-mandated five-minute, 5-on-5 sudden-death overtime period.
- If the game remains tied, the two teams will then play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime period.
- If the game is still tied following both overtime periods, then the game will move to a sudden-death shootout.
- Teams will be awarded three points in the conference standings for a win in regulation or the 5-on-5 overtime period.
- If the game is tied following the 5-on-5 overtime, both teams will receive one point, with a second point being awarded to the team that wins in either the 3-on-3 overtime period or the shootout.