WHO: Notre Dame (14-13-7, 9-9-6-4 B1G) vs. Minnesota (14-13-7, 9-8-7-4 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, February 6 – 8 p.m. ET | Saturday, March 7 – 8 p.m. ET | Sunday, March 8 – 7 p.m. ET* (if necessary)
WHERE: 3M Arena at Mariucci, Minneapolis, Minn.
WATCH: Friday – FS2 | Saturday – Fox Sports North+ | Sunday – FS2
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
TICKETS: Click here
GAME NOTES (PDF)
- Notre Dame will play a best-of-three Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series at Minnesota this weekend (March 6-8) as postseason play begins across the league.
- The Irish, who have won the last two Big Ten Tournament Championships, finished fifth (37 points) in the tightly contested Big Ten standings, while Minnesota (38 points) finished in a three-way tie for second and based on tiebreakers earned the No. 4 seed.
- This season, Notre Dame went 1-1-2 against the Gophers (1-0-1 mark at 3M Arena).
- Cam Morrison posted a goal and four assists for five points in those four games against the Gophers, while Nick Leivermann scored four goals this season against Minnesota.
- Last season in the 2019 Big Ten Tournament semifinals, the Irish posted a 2-1 overtime win against Minnesota on March 17 at Compton Family Ice Arena en route to claiming a second consecutive Big Ten Tournament Championship with Michael Graham scoring the game-winning power-play goal 53 seconds into overtime.
- Notre Dame is 6-0-0 in the Big Ten Tournament since joining the league. • Cale Morris has started all six of those games (each at home) and has a .968 save percentage (210/217) to go along with a 1.14 goals against average and he was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player each of the last two seasons.
- Now in 12 career playoff games (Big Ten Tournament and NCAA), Morris is 10-2-0 with a .947 save percentage and a 1.66 goals-against average
- Seniors Mike O’Leary (6 GP, 1-3-4), Cal Burke (6 GP, 1-3-4) and Cam Morrison (6 GP, 3-0-3) are Notre Dame’s leading scorers in those six Big Ten Tournament games.
B1G PLAYOFF FORMAT REVIEW
- The Big Ten Tournament features a three-weekend format with all games taking place on the campus of the higher-seeded teams.
- The tournament will open March 6-8 with three best-of-three quarterfinal series, as the second-, third- and fourth-seeded teams will each host a series.
- As the top seeded team, Penn State has a bye to the single-elimination semifinals, which are scheduled for Saturday, March 14.
- The highest-seeded team remaining after the semifinals will host a championship game scheduled for Saturday, March 21.
- Notre Dame’s penalty kill improved to 21-for-22 over the past eight games (series against Penn State, Minnesota, Michigan and Michigan State).
- Notre Dame’s strength of schedule is rated ninth in the NCAA.
- At 7.4 penalty minutes per game, Notre Dame ranks as the second-least penalized team in the country, while Minnesota ranks as the least penalized team (6.7).
- Jake Pivonka ranks eighth in the NCAA with a .607 faceoff winning percentage with 310 wins/201 losses (and he ranks sixth among players with at least 100 faceoffs this season).
- Tory Dello ranks tied for sixth in the country with 73 blocked shots, while Matt Hellickson is tied for eighth with 72 blocked shots.
- The Irish are 11-3-3 this season when Alex Steeves registers a point (6-1-1 when Steeves scored a goal) and 8-2-4 when Cal Burke notches at least one point (6-1-0 when Burke scores a goal).
- Freshman forward Max Ellis was the most recent Fighting Irish player to score a goal this season when he netted the game winner in Notre Dame’s 3-0 victory over Penn State (Dec. 14), becoming Notre Dame’s 17th goal scorer this season.
- The Fighting Irish have posted six comeback wins this season, including three third period comebacks (both wins over Ohio State and the overtime victory at Wisconsin
- Notre Dame has added third period comeback tie/shootout wins at Michigan State (Nov. 22), Penn State (Jan. 31) and versus Michigan State (Feb. 29).
- The Irish are 2-0-7 in overtime this season, with game-winning goals from Pierce Crawford (vs. Ohio State on Nov. 8) and Alex Steeves (at Wisconsin on Nov. 16).