WHO: #17 Notre Dame (17-12-3, 10-10-2-2 B1G) vs. #18 Penn State (18-12-2, 10-11-1-1 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, March 1 – 7 p.m. ET | Saturday, March 2 – 7 p.m. ET
WHERE: Compton Family Ice Arena
WATCH: Friday – NBCSN | Saturday – NBC Sports Chicago+, CSN Mid-Atlantic & SNY
LISTEN: Friday Radio Broadcast | Saturday Radio Broadcast
TICKETS: Click here
- For Friday’s game, Notre Dame hockey will be partnering with the 525 Foundation’s Drop 2 Stop program, which aims to raise awareness about opioid misuse and abuse.
- There will be an information table set up just inside the main entrance at the Compton Family Ice Arena during the game with the Nittany Lions, where fans will be able to drop off expired or unneeded pills as part of the Drop 2 Stop “pill drop” program.
- Then on Saturday, March 2 the Irish will honor seniors Jack Jenkins, Dylan Malmquist, Bobby Nardella and Joe Wegwerth in a pregame ceremony. Jim Cornelison of the Chicago Blackhawks will sing the national anthem as part of the senior night festivities and early arriving fans will receive a senior class poster.
- Pittsburgh Penguins’ organist Tim DeBacco will serve as the guest organist for both
CLASS OF 2019
- The senior class has played in three NCAA Tournaments and is only the second class in program history to reach two NCAA Frozen Fours (Class of 2008).
- The quartet also played a central role in Notre Dame’s 2017-18 Big Ten Regular Season and Tournament Championships.
- Entering Play this weekend, the group has totaled 87 wins in four seasons which ranks sixth in Irish history.
B1G PLAYOFF PICTURE
- With a victory in 3-on-3 overtime over Michigan last weekend, Ohio State (43 points) clinched the 2018-19 Big Ten regular-season championship and the top seed (and bye) in the upcoming Big Ten tournament.
- After first-place Ohio State the next five teams are separated by nine points in the standings.
- The race for home ice in the quarterfinals is down to Minnesota (36 points, no B1G games remaining), Michigan (34 points, at Wisconsin), Notre Dame (34 points, home vs. Penn State), Penn State (32 points, at Notre Dame) and Wisconsin (28 points, home vs. Michigan).
- The first tie-breaker is conference wins, followed by head-to-head results.
- With a regulation win on Friday night, the Irish would clinch home ice for the quarterfinals (in that scenario Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan State would not be able to catch the Irish).
THE SERIES VS. PENN STATE
- The Irish lead the all-time series against the Nittany Lions 6-3-2 since Penn State moved to NCAA Division I status (9-3-3 all-time including games against Penn State
- Last season, Notre Dame was undefeated in five contests against Penn State since joining the Big Ten, including a 4-0-1 record.
- Dating back to their inaugural season in the conference, the Irish now boast a 5-1-1 record against Penn State.
- In their previous meeting this season, the two teams split a weekend at Penn State with Notre Dame taking Friday night’s game, 5-4 with Penn State countering with a 9-1 win on Saturday.
- Ten Irish skaters tallied a point on the road at Pegula Ice Arena earlier this season.
- Matt Hellickson, Cam Morrison, Mike O’Leary, Andrew Peeke and Matt Steeves all found the back of the net in the Irish victory to start the four-game season series in December.
- Cam Morrison (2-1-3), Matt Hellickson (1-2-3) and Dylan Malmquist (0-3-3) all tallied three points in the weekend series including Morrison netting a goal in both games.
- Prior to this season, the two teams last met in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals when Jack Jenkins netted the game winner with 31 seconds left in regulation for a 3-2 win, propelling the Irish to the championship and sparking their “cardiac kids” run where they won five straight games by scoring the game-winner in the final minute of regulation or in overtime.
- At Pegula Ice Arena, Notre Dame holds the edge with a 4-1-2 record.
- 50 – Notre Dame is in the midst of its 50th season of varsity hockey at the University.
- 19 – Former Fighting Irish goaltender Cal Petersen, who led Notre Dame to the 2017 Frozen Four, made his NHL debut for Los Angeles on Nov. 13, becoming the 19th player to reach the NHL after skating for Jeff Jackson at Notre Dame.
- 15 – The Fighting Irish are undefeated in 15 games this season in which they have scored at least three goals (14-0-1). The one tie was in the season-opening 6-6 tie versus Mercyhurst (Oct. 12).
- 10 – On Jan. 4, former Notre Dame All-American Erik Condra made his season debut for the Dallas Stars, becoming the 10th former Irish player to appear in the NHL this season, tying the program record (also done in 2016-17).
- 10 – Freshman forward Michael Graham has 10 goals since Jan. 18 (the first Wisconsin series), which leads the NCAA over that span (10-3-13 points).
- 7.3 – At 7.3 penalty minutes per game, the Irish are the least penalized team in the country (Princeton is second with a 7.4 average).
- 7 – With the 2018 Big Ten tournament and regular season-titles, Notre Dame has now won seven conference championships in program history, each under Jeff Jackson (three regular-season).
- .927 – Cale Morris ranks ninth in the NCAA with a .927 save percentage, but among goaltenders who have played at least 80% of their team’s minutes in net he ranks fifth.
- .91 – At 0.91 points per game, senior Bobby Nardella ranks tied for 11th in the country and second in the Big Ten in points per game by a defenseman (32 GP, 7-22-29).
- The Irish enter the weekend with a 17-12-3 record after splitting their most recent weekend series at Minnesota.
- After giving up two first period goals, Notre Dame scored the game’s final three goals over the second and third periods to comeback and defeat Minnesota 3-2 on Friday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci (Feb. 22).
- It marked Notre Dame’s first two-goal comeback of the season to win (the Irish erased a two-goal deficit to eventually tie Mercyhurst 6-6 in their first game of the season on Oct. 12).
- Colin Theisen scored Notre Dame’s first goal on the power play and then notched what proved to be his first career game winner in the third period.
- It was Theisen’s second career two-goal game and his first multi-point game of the season (third of his career).
- Michael Graham has 10 goals since Jan. 18, which leads the NCAA over that span.
- The Irish are 14-0-1 on the season when scoring at least three goals.
- At 0.91, Bobby Nardella ranks tied for eleventh in the country in points per game among defensemen (32 GP, 7-22-29).
- Nardella enters the weekend with 98 career points (would become the 54th Notre Dame player to reach 100 career points and seventh defenseman).
- Cale Morris’ .927 save percentage ranks ninth nationally (fifth among goaltenders who have played at least 80% of their team’s minutes in net).
TRIO UP FOR HOBEY VOTE
- It was announced on Jan. 16 that forward Cal Burke, goaltender Cale Morris and defenseman Bobby Nardella have each been selected to Phase One of the Hobey Baker Award’s fan ballot (vote at www.hobeybaker.com).
- Awarded annually to college hockey’s top player, the Hobey Baker award includes candidates exhibiting the exceptional character traits of the award’s namesake, Hobey Baker, with consideration given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.
- Morris, who was awarded the 2018 Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goaltender, was named a Top-10 Finalist for the Hobey Baker Award last season.
- Morris was the fourth player in Notre Dame history to be among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker, joining Anders Bjork (2017), David Brown (2007) and Dave Poulin (1982).
- Morris, a Larkspur, Colorado native, was also the first player from the Centennial State to play his way into the Hobey Top 10.
- The Fan Balloting (Phase I) of the Hobey Baker award calendar will continue until March 10.
- On March 20, the Top 10 Finalists will be announced, at which time Phase II Fan Balloting will begin and run through March 31, 2019.
- The Hobey Hat Trick Finalist Announcement will be made on April 4.
- The 2019 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 12, 2019 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championship in Buffalo, New York.