WHO: #14/15 Notre Dame (8-6-2, 4-2-2-1 B1G) vs. #7 Penn State (12-5-0, 7-3-0-0 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, December 13 – 7 p.m. ET | Saturday, December 14 – 6 p.m. ET
WHERE: Compton Family Ice Arena
WATCH: Friday – NHL Network & NBC Sports Chicago+ | Saturday – NBC Sports Streaming
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
TICKETS: Click here
GAME NOTES (PDF)
- Notre Dame returns to Big Ten play this weekend (Dec. 13-14) to close out the first semester with a home series against seventh-ranked Penn State.
- At 7-3-0-0 (21 points), Penn State currently sits atop the Big Ten standings, while the Irish (4-2-2-1; 15 points) are in fourth (Notre Dame’s eight Big Ten games played are the fewest in the league).
- The teams will be meeting for the first time since the Fighting Irish ended the Nittany Lions’ season last year with a 3-2 win in the Big Ten Championship game on March 24.
- Cam Morrison had the game-winning goal in that contest, while Cale Morris made 46 saves.
- Last weekend, Penn State split a Big Ten series at Michigan, while the Irish were swept by fourth-ranked Boston College.
- This weekend’s series will mark Notre Dame’s fifth and sixth consecutive games against a ranked opponent and its ninth and 10th games versus a ranked opponent in its last 11/12 games.
- It will also mark Notre Dame’s first home series since sweeping Ohio State on Nov. 8-9.
- The Irish, who have played six of their last eight games on the road, have lost five straight games for the first time since dropping five in a row on Jan. 12-25, 2013.
- Mike O’Leary currently leads the Irish with 16 points (7-9-16) and dating back to last season’s series at Wisconsin on Jan. 18-19, O’Leary has 32 points (11-21-32) in his last 34 games (he had seven goals and 11 assist for 18 points in his first 96 career games).
- 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 2-0-2 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).
- Notre Dame is once again one of the nation’s least penalized teams, with its 7.3 PIM/ game ranking second-lowest in the country (Harvard has a 7.0 per game average).
- Sophomore forward Michael Graham became the most recent Fighting Irish player to score a goal this season when he netted the game-tying, extra attacker goal at Michigan State (Nov. 22) to become Notre Dame’s 17th goal scorer of the season.
THE NOTRE DAME – PENN STATE SERIES
- Notre Dame enters the weekend series with an 8-4-2 all-time record/series lead against Penn State in games played while both teams were at the NCAA DI level (11-4- 3 including games against Penn State 1983-85).
- 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, while Cale 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 7-2-1 record against Penn State over the past two seasons.
- 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 Cal Burke (12 GP, 3-5-8), Matt Hellickson (10 GP, 2-5-7), Mike O’Leary (12 GP, 3-4-7) and Cam Morrison (12 GP, 3-2-5).
- In net, Cale Morris is 7-2-1 against Penn State with a 2.91 goals against average and a .933 save percentage.
TEAM USA COMES CALLING
- Trevor Janicke, Jake Pivonka and Spencer Stastney have been named to the preliminary roster for the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team, USA Hockey announced via the NHL Network on Dec. 9.
- The 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship will be played from Dec. 26, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020, in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic.
- The 28-player preliminary roster will take part in a training camp in Plymouth, Michigan, at USA Hockey Arena on Dec. 16-17 before heading overseas.
- USA Hockey then expects to name the final 23-player roster on Dec. 24.
- In addition, Notre Dame’s Director of Hockey Operations, Nick Siergiej, will serve in a similar role for Team USA at this season’s tournament.
- Current Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke is the most recent Irish player to make Team USA’s World Junior Championship roster (2018).
- Dating back to 1997, twenty Notre Dame players have now taken part in the IIHF World Junior Championships.
- Current Boston Bruins forward Anders Bjork was the most recent Irish player to earn a medal at the event when Team USA secured the bronze in Helsinki (2016).
- Notre Dame’s other medalists include Mario Lucia (gold in 2013), Kyle Palmieri (gold in 2010 and bronze in 2011), Kyle Lawson (bronze in 2007) and Ben Simon (silver in 1997).