WHO: Notre Dame (14-12-6, 9-8-5-3 B1G) vs. Michigan State (14-17-1, 10-11-1-0 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, February 28 – 7 p.m. ET | Saturday, February 29 – 6 p.m. ET
WHERE: Compton Family Ice Arena
WATCH: Friday – NBCSN & TSN (Canada) | Saturday –NBC Sports Philadelphia+
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
TICKETS: Click here
GAME NOTES (PDF)
- Notre Dame and Michigan State close out the regular season with a two-game series this weekend at Compton Family Ice Arena (Feb. 28-29).
- The Fighting Irish are coming off a weekend sweep at Michigan (Feb. 21-22) and are now 4-1-2 in their last seven games.
- The Spartans have suffered four losses in a row in a pair of series against Michigan and Ohio State.
- In last weekend’s sweep of the Wolverines, Cale Morris stopped 53 of the 54 shots he faced to lead the Irish and earn Second Star of the Week honors from the Big Ten.
- Morris enters the weekend tied for second all-time with 57 career wins at Notre Dame and he has made 99 career starts.
- Since February 1, Morris is 3-1-1 with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.
- Cam Morrison had a goal in each win over Michigan and he now has six points in the last seven games and fourth goals in the last five games.
- Notre Dame (35 points) enters the weekend in fourth place in the Big Ten standings, while Michigan State (31 points) is in sixth.
- In the tightly contested B1G standings, the Irish could finish anywhere from tied for first through sixth place and earn either the No. 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 seed for the upcoming Big Ten tournament.
- The top six teams are separated by 10 points in the standings (teams are awarded three points/win) with Penn State idle this weekend and Wisconsin playing at Ohio State and Michigan playing at Minnesota.
- Notre Dame could still clinch a share of the regular season title with 6 points against the Spartans and Minnesota claims 0-4 points and Ohio State claims 0-4 points.
B1G PLAYOFF FORMAT PREVIEW
- The Big Ten Tournament will feature a three-weekend format with all games taking place on the campus of the higher-seeded teams.
- Seeding amongst tied teams shall be determined by the greater number of Big Ten regular-season wins and then by the team with the best regular-season winning percentage against the other tied team(s).
- If it remains tied, seeding amongst tied teams shall be determined by the team with the fewest number of Big Ten regular season losses.
- 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.
- The top-seeded team will have 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.
THE NOTRE DAME-MICHIGAN STATE SERIES
- Former CCHA rivals, the Irish and Spartans have met 125 times dating back to their first meeting in 1926, which was played at the University Rink in East Lansing, Michigan (Notre Dame won the first game, 3-1).
- All-time, the Spartans lead the series 69-43-13 but at Notre Dame, the Irish lead 29-23-8.
- The first meetings as a Notre Dame varsity sport were in the 1970-71 season when the Spartans came to South Bend and split a weekend series: Michigan State took the first game 10-5, before the Irish bounced back for a 4-3 victory the second night.
- Since the turn of the century (2000-01 season), the Irish hold the narrow advantage as Notre Dame is 22-19-8 against Michigan State since 2000.
- Of those 49 games, nine have gone to overtime and 16 have been decided by a single goal.
- Irish head coach Jeff Jackson is 31-17-10 all-time against his alma mater Michigan State (including his time at Lake Superior State).
- Jackson graduated from Michigan State in 1978 with a degree in communications, followed by an education degree in 1979.
- Jackson coached current Michigan State head coach Danton Cole and current Spartan assistant Chris Luongo during their junior hockey days with the Detroit Falcons and then Jackson also coached Cole during the 1983-84 season with the Fraser Flags of the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League (GLJHL).
- The current Notre Dame roster features three Michigan natives: Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Michigan), Max Ellis (Canton, Michigan) and Colin Theisen (Monroe, Michigan).
VERSUS THE SPARTANS IN THE B1G
- Since joining the Big Ten, Notre Dame is 8-2-2 against Michigan State including a 5-0-1 against the Spartans last season.
- Earlier this season, Notre Dame went 0-1-1 in a pair of tightly contested games at Michigan State (Nov. 22-23).
- Game one of that series was a 1-1 tie in which Michael Graham scored and then Tory Dello secured the extra point with a shootout tally.
- The Irish dropped game two 3-2, with Mike O’Leary and Nick Leivermann scoring for Notre Dame.
- Last season’s meetings included a home sweep by the Irish in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
- Notre Dame won game one by a score of 1-0 and then took game two by a 2-0 score as Cale Morris stopped all 55 shots he faced in the series.
- Mike O’Leary had the game one game winner, while Pierce Crawford (GWG) and Graham Slaggert scored in game two.
- Notre Dame’s career offensive leaders versus the Spartans include Mike O’Leary (12 GP; 3-5-8), Colin Theisen (12 GP; 3-4-7), Cal Burke (10 GP; 3-3-6) and Michael Graham (8 GP, 3-3-6).
- Cam Burke has scored two of his six career goals against the Spartans, including his first career goal which was the game winner in Notre Dame’s 3-1 win at Michigan State on Nov. 16, 2018.
- In net, Cale Morris is 8-2-2 against the Spartans with an impressive .951 save percentage to go along with a 1.49 goals against average and three shutouts.