NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The #2/3 Notre Dame hockey team will open the 2018-19 season with a home exhibition contest versus the U.S. National Team Development Program at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
The Fighting Irish are coming off back-to-back Frozen Four appearances, including a run to the 2018 national title game. Last season in its first as an affiliate member in the Big Ten, Notre Dame swept both the regular season and tournament titles.
After Sunday’s exhibition contest, the Irish will head to Erie, Pennsylvania for the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament (Oct. 12-13). Notre Dame’s regular-season home schedule will begin with a two-game series against Minnesota Duluth (Oct. 26-27) in a 2018 NCAA title game rematch.
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Last Season Versus The USNTDP
- It is Notre Dame’s third consecutive exhibition opener against USNTDP, and the fourth straight season in which the Irish will face off against the program.
- Last season behind third period goals from Joe Wegwerth and Colin Theisen, Notre Dame opened the 2017-18 season with a 4-3 exhibition win over the USNTDP at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Cam Morrison finished with a goal and an assist and Jake Evans had two assists to lead the Irish.
- In the Notre Dame net, Cale Morris started and stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced in 30:48 of work. Freshman Dylan St. Cyr played the final 29:07 and turned aside 10 of the 11 shots he faced to earn the win.
- Head coach Jeff Jackson was one of the masterminds behind the U.S. National Team Development Program as he laid out the plan for what would become the USNTDP while interviewing with USA Hockey.
- Jackson then served as the first head coach of the USNTDP from 1996-2000.
- In addition to the Jackson connection, 39 Notre Dame hockey players have come through the U.S. National Development Program, including current players Matt Hellickson, Dylan St. Cyr, Jake Pivonka, Graham Slaggert, Spencer Stastney and Joe Wegwerth.
- Current Under-18 Team head coach John Wroblewski and intern assistant coach Kevin Lind will be returning to their alma mater.
- Wroblewski played for the Irish from 1999-2003, and was a team captain during his senior season.
- Lind played four seasons at Notre Dame from 2011-14 and then was an assistant coach for the 2016-17 season when Notre Dame advanced to the Frozen Four in Chicago.
NHL Opens With Program Alums Aplenty
- The National Hockey League opened the 2018-19 season on Oct. 3 and eight former Irish players on seven NHL teams to kick off the 101st year of play in the league.
- The former players on opening night rosters include Anders Bjork (Boston Bruins), Ian Cole (Colorado Avalanche), Vinnie Hinostroza (Arizona Coyotes), Stephen Johns (Dallas Stars; will start on IR), Anders Lee (New York Islanders), Kyle Palmieri (New Jersey Devils), Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Riley Sheahan (Pittsburgh Penguins).
- Lee, who was one of eight NHLers to hit the 40-goal mark last year, was named the 15th captain in New York Islanders history on Thursday, Oct. 5.
— ND —