WHO: #16 Notre Dame (16-11-3, 9-9-2-2 B1G) at Minnesota (16-11-3, 10-9-3-0 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, February 22 – 9 p.m. ET | Saturday, February 23 – 5:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Minneapolis, Minn. – 3M Arena at Mariucci
WATCH: Friday – Big Ten Network | Saturday – Fox Sports North
LISTEN: Friday Radio Broadcast | Saturday Radio Broadcast
THE SERIES VS. MINNESOTA
- The two teams met earlier this season at Notre Dame where the Gophers earned two victories (5-1, 2-1) to sweep the weekend series (Jan. 11-12).
- Nick Leivermann posted his first career goal, the lone Irish tally, in game one of the series with assists to Cam Morrison and Dylan Malmquist.
- On night two, Jack Jenkins netted one and Malmquist earned the primary assist for a two-point weekend.
- Notre Dame’s leader in points at the time, Cal Burke, also tallied an assist on the goal.
- Last season, the Irish and Gophers skated to overtime during their first tilt in Minneapolis, with Minnesota scoring in the extra frame to claim the victory 1-0 (Jan. 26).
- Minnesota leads the all-time series 29-18-3 dating back to 1924-25 when the Irish lost 2-1 in overtime in the first meeting.
- Notre Dame recognizes its first win over Minnesota in 1926-27 when the Irish shutout their opponent, 2-0, in Minneapolis.
- Twenty contests between the two teams have been decided by a single goal, with the Irish narrowly leading that category, 11-9.
- All-time, Minnesota leads at home 18-9-2.
- During the 2016-17 season, No. 4 seed/12th-ranked Notre Dame came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the top-seeded/fifth-ranked Golden Gophers, 3-2, in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Northeast Regional at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, N.H.
- Anders Bjork scored a pair of goals, including the game winner at the 8:42 mark of the third period.
- The teams have played each of the last seven seasons, largely overlapping with Mario Lucia’s time at Notre Dame from 2012-16 (Mario is the son of former Minnesota head coach Don Lucia – a 1981 Notre Dame graduate/former defenseman).
- 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.
- 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).
- 7.6 – At 7.6 penalty minutes per game, the Irish are the second-least penalized team in the country behind only Princeton (7.2).
- 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).
- 7 – Freshman forward Michael Graham’s seven power-play goals rank tied for ninth in the NCAA and tied for fourth in the Big Ten.
- .928 – Cale Morris ranks eighth in the NCAA with a .928 save percentage, but among goaltenders who have played at least 80% of their team’s minutes in net he ranks fourth.
- .97 – At 0.97 points per game, senior Bobby Nardella ranks ninth in the country and second in the Big Ten in points per game by a defenseman (30 GP, 7-22-29).
- Notre Dame heads to Minnesota after going 2-1-0 last week to move up to third in the Big Ten standings (31 points), while the Gophers return home after sweeping Ohio State in Columbus to take over second place (33 points).
- After first-place Ohio State (41 points), just eight points separate second through seventh place in the standings.
- Michael Graham has 10 goals since Jan. 18, which leads the NCAA over that span, and after scoring three goals last week he was named the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week.
- Juniors Tory Dello (0-4-4) and Mike O’Leary (0-3-3) each have three-game point streaks, tied for their career-long marks.
- The Irish are 13-0-1 on the season when scoring at least three goals.
- At 0.97, Bobby Nardella ranks ninth in the country in points per game among defensemen (29 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’ .928 save percentage ranks eighth nationally (fourth among goaltenders who have played at least 80% of their team’s minutes in net).
- Over the last two seasons, Morris has played five games against Minnesota, posting a 3-2-0 record to go along with a 1.59 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage.
- Dylan St. Cyr is 0-1-0 against Minnesota with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
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.