Jan. 8, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
The conference logos on the jerseys may have changed recently, but Notre Dame and Western Michigan’s hockey rivalry continues this weekend as the long-time CCHA foes face off in a home-and-home series. The Irish head north to Kalamazoo, Michigan, Friday night for a 7:30 faceoff at Lawson Arena, broadcast live on CBS College Sports. The Broncos return the favor on Saturday night, travelling south to the Compton Family Ice Arena for a 6:05 faceoff with TV coverage provided by the NBC Sports Network.
Western Michigan and Notre Dame have played annually since 1991-92, sometimes as often as five times in the same season. The Broncos hold a 41-35-10 edge in the 86-game series with the last 10 meetings narrowly going to the Irish by a tight 4-3-3 count.
Notre Dame may be in its second year as a member of Hockey East and Western Michigan in its second year in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference after the 2013 dissolution of the CCHA, but the sides have remained familiar.
A year ago, Notre Dame swept a season-opening weekend series from Western Michigan, shutting out the Broncos in both games. Now, in its final non-conference set of 2014-15, the Irish will look to continue that winning streak.
The Irish will look to improve on its consistency this weekend in its first action after a Florida College Hockey Classic trip that saw the Irish upset No. 6 Miami but also lose to 4-17-1 Lake Superior State. The Irish took a few days off after that Dec. 30 contest with the Lakers and reconvened on campus, Sun. Jan. 4
“It was good to have a few days off at home to regroup, not think about hockey and have some personal time,” junior captain Steven Fogarty said. “Monday was a good pace. (Wednesday), the guys were tired but still did well. With another good day (on Thursday) we’ll be ready to go this weekend.”
Before stepping into a gauntlet of eight-straight Hockey East weekend series, beginning Jan. 16 with league-newcomer Connecticut, Fogarty is looking forward to one more weekend matchup against old familiar Midwestern faces.
“(Western Michigan) is a fun place to play,” Fogarty said. “The students are all over you – on top of you. It will be fun for all of the younger guys to experience it and I know us older guys are looking forward to it.”