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Irish Return To The NCAA Championship Field

March 19, 2017

NCAA Bracket (web) | NCAA Bracket (PDF) | Irish NCAA Tournament Central

By Dan Colleran

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — For the second consecutive season and the ninth time in program history, the University of Notre Dame hockey team has made the NCAA Championship field.

The Fighting will be the No. 4 seed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester, New Hampshire, and will face No. 1 seed Minnesota at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at the SNHU Arena. The game will be broadcast by ESPNU.

The 2017 NCAA Northeast Regional’s other game will feature No. 2 seed UMass Lowell versus No. 3 seed Cornell. The winners of the opening round games will then play at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 26 for the right to go to the 2017 Frozen Four in Chicago.

It will mark the eighth NCAA Tournament appearance by the Irish under head coach Jeff Jackson, dating back to 2006. In 2008 and 2011, Jackson guided Notre Dame to Frozen Four appearances.

Notre Dame’s first ever NCAA Tournament appearance came against Minnesota in 2004 in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Golden Gophers won 5-2 on that day.

The Irish and Gophers most recently met on November 6-7, 2015 when Notre Dame hosted Minnesota for a weekend series the teams split, including a 4-3 win by the Irish in game one. Minnesota is led by head coach Don Lucia, a 1981 Notre Dame graduate and former Irish defenseman.

Most recently, Minnesota dropped a 4-3 double overtime decision to Penn State in the Big Ten semifinals (March 17). The Golden Gophers are 23-11-3 on the season and posted a 14-5-1 record to capture a fourth-straight Big Ten regular-season championship.

Notre Dame’s Northeast Regional History
Then called the Verizon Wireless Arena, Notre Dame’s last two NCAA Tournament wins came at the SNHU Arena in the 2011 Northeast Regional. In the opening round, the Irish defeated Merrimack in overtime, 3-2, and then downed New Hampshire, 2-1, to advance to the 2011 Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Against The 2017 NCAA Championship Field
The Irish are 7-6-2 against the NCAA Tournament field, including games against Minnesota Duluth (1-1-0), Penn State (0-1-1), UMass Lowell (1-2-0), Michigan Tech (1-1-0), Providence College (3-0-1) and Boston University (1-1-0).

Notre Dame’s All-Time NCAA Tournament Results
Notre Dame is 6-8-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament games (6-7-0 under Head Coach Jeff Jackson):

2004 – Midwest Regional (at Grand Rapids, Mich.)
L — Minnesota 5, Notre Dame 2

2006 – Midwest Regional (at Grand Rapids, Mich.)
W — Notre Dame 3, Alabama-Huntsville 2 (2 OT)
L — Michigan State, 2 Notre Dame 1

2008 – West Regional (at Colorado Springs, Colo.)
­W — Notre Dame 7, New Hampshire 3
W — Notre Dame 3, Michigan State 1
2008 – NCAA Frozen Four (at Denver, Colo.)
W — Notre Dame 5, Michigan 4 (OT)
L — Boston College 4, Notre Dame 1

2009 – Midwest Regional (at Grand Rapids, Mich.)
L — Bemidji State 5, Notre Dame 1

2011 – Northeast Regional (at Manchester, N.H.)
W — Notre Dame 4, Merrimack 3 (OT)
W — Notre Dame 2, New Hampshire 1
2011 – NCAA Frozen Four (at St. Paul, Minn.)
L — Minnesota Duluth 4, Notre Dame 3

2013 – Midwest Regional (at Toledo, Ohio)
L – St. Cloud State 4, Notre Dame 1

2014 – West Regional (at St. Paul, Minn.)
L – St. Cloud State 4, Notre Dame 3 (OT)

2016 – Midwest Regional (at Cincinnati, Ohio)
L – Michigan 3, Notre Dame 2 (OT)

— ND —

Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).