WHO: Notre Dame (11-11-4, 6-7-3-2 B1G) at #8/9 Penn State (17-8-1, 9-6-1-0 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, January 31 – 6 p.m. ET | Saturday, February 1 – 6 p.m. ET
WHERE: Pegula Ice Arena, State College, Pennsylvania
WATCH: Friday – BTN & Saturday – BTN+ ($)
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
GAME NOTES (PDF)
- The Irish enter the stretch run with a weekend road series at #8/9 Penn State (Jan. 31 & Feb. 1).
- Penn State (28 points) is tied with Michigan State for first in the league standings, while Notre Dame (23 points) sits in fourth entering the weekend.
- The top seed in the standings will receive a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament, while seeds two, three and four will host best-of-three quarterfinal series.
- Last weekend, Notre Dame split a home series against Wisconsin, winning game two by the score of 5-2 (Jan. 25).
- Cale Morris made 35 saves in the win, while Alex Steeves led the offense, which went 3-for-7 seven on the power play, with a goal and three assists for a career-high four points.
- In eight games since Notre Dame returned from winter break with a Jan. 3 game against Western Michigan, Steeves has five goals and five assists for 10 points, which is tied for the fourth most points in the country over that span and ranks first among Big Ten skaters.
- Spencer Stastney had a pair of assists in both games versus the Badgers for a twogame point streak (0-4-4).
- Additional Irish skaters on point streaks (all two games) include Nate Clurman (0-2-2), Cal Burke (2-0-2) and Michael Graham (2-1-3).
- 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) and added a third period comeback tie (and shootout win) at Michigan State on Nov. 22.
- The Irish are 2-0-4 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).
THE NOTRE DAME — PENN STATE SERIES
- Notre Dame enters the weekend with an 9-5-2 all-time record/series lead against Penn State in games played while both teams were at the NCAA DI level (12-5-3 including games against Penn State 1983-85).
- Earlier this season, the teams split a series at the Compton Family Ice Arena with Penn State taking game one 4-2 (Dec. 13) before the Irish answered with a 3-0 game two (Dec. 14) win.
- Cale Morris had 37 saves in the game two shutout (the ninth of his career and his second against Penn State), while Max Ellis, Alex Steeves and Graham Slaggert scored the goals.
- Last season the teams met five times, culminating in Notre Dame’s 3-2 win in the Big Ten Championship game on March 24, 2019.
- Spencer Stastney, Cal Burke and Cam Morrison (game winner) scored for the Irish in the championship game, while Morris made 46 saves en route to earning Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors for the second consecutive season.
- For Morrison, it marked his second consecutive Big Ten Championship game-winning goal after scoring the overtime game winner against Ohio State in 2018.
- The championship game win over Penn State marked the 500th career victory for head coach Jeff Jackson.
- Aside from the championship game, the teams split the regular-season series 2-2-0 with each team winning once at home and once on the road.
- In 2017-18, Notre Dame was undefeated in five contests against Penn State (4-0-1 and dating back to their inaugural season in the conference, the Irish boast a 8-3-1 record against Penn State over the past three seasons while skating in the same conference.
- In the 2018 Big Ten Tournament semifinals at the Compton Family Ice Arena, Jack Jenkins netted the game winner with 31 seconds left in regulation for a 3-2 win, propelling the Irish to the championship and sparking their “cardiac kids” run where they won five straight games by scoring the game-winner in the final minute of regulation or in overtime.
- Notre Dame’s career offensive leaders against Penn State include Matt Hellickson (12 GP, 2-9-11), Cal Burke (14 GP, 3-5-8), Mike O’Leary (14 GP, 3-5-8) and Cam Morrison (14 GP, 4-2-6).
- In net, Cale Morris is 8-3-1 in 12 career starts against Penn State with a 2.67 goals against average and a .937 save percentage.