March 1, 2016

By Dan Colleran

, Ind. – With a thrilling 1-0 win over ninth-ranked Boston University in the final game of the 2015-16 regular season (Feb. 27), the Notre Dame hockey team locked up third place in the Hockey East standings and secured a first round bye for the upcoming Hockey East Tournament.

Home Quarterfinal Series
— Notre Dame has a first round bye and will play host to a quarterfinal series at the Compton Family Ice Arena on March 11-13, 2016 (Sunday, March 13 will be if necessary).

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— Based on seeding, Notre Dame’s opponent for the best-of-three quarterfinal series will be decided after this weekend’s opening round series:
No. 12 Massachusetts at No. 5 Boston University
No. 11 Maine at No. 6 Northeastern
No. 10 New Hampshire at No. 7 Merrimack
No. 9 Vermont at No. 8 UConn

— The third-place finish marked Notre Dame’s highest regular-season finish in three seasons of play in Hockey East (fifth in 2015 and seventh in 2014).

In the Rankings
— After the series split with Boston University, the Irish remained 10th in both the and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.

— It marked the 16th-consecutive week the Irish have been ranked in the national polls.

— In the Pairwise rankings, which are used for NCAA Tournament selection purposes, Notre Dame sits at ninth.

Gross Offensive Totals Lead League
— Sophomore defenseman Jordan Gross finished the regular season as Hockey East’s leading scorer among defensemen in both league games (22 GP, 6-16-22) and in all games (34 GP, 8-22-30).

— Gross’ 30 points rank second nationally among defensemen, trailing only Ethan Prow of St. Cloud State (7-24-31).

— Gross’ 22 points in Hockey East play was the highest total since 2012-13 when current Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk also posted 22 points in Hockey East play while skating for New Hampshire.

Coach Jackson and the First Round Bye
Now in his 11th season at Notre Dame, Irish Head Coach Jeff Jackson has now lead Notre Dame to a first round bye six times (the previous five byes came when Notre Dame played in the CCHA).

— In each of those seasons that Notre Dame earned a first round bye under Jackson, it went on to win its quarterfinal series and three of the five times (2007, 2009 and 2013) it won the tournament championship.

— 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 men’s 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).