WHO: Notre Dame (12-12-6, 7-8-5-3 B1G) at Michigan (15-12-3, 10-8-2-1 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, February 21 – 6 p.m. ET | Saturday, February 22 – 4 p.m. ET
WHERE: Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor, Mich.
WATCH: Friday & Saturday – BTN
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
GAME NOTES (PDF)
- The Irish and Wolverines close out their regular-season series with two games at Yost Ice Arena this weekend (Feb. 21-22), both of which will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
- Notre Dame is coming off a 0-1-1 home weekend against Minnesota in a pair of tightly contested games featuring final scores of 3-3 and 2-1.
- Michigan is coming off a Friday-Monday sweep of Michigan State by scores of 5-1 (at Michigan State) and 4-1 (at Little Caesars Arena).
- With the sweep, Michigan moved into third place in the Big Ten Standings with 33 points, while the Irish are in sixth with 29 points.
- The top six teams are now separated by just seven points in the standings (teams are awarded three points/win) with two weekends of regular-season play remaining.
- Against the Gophers, the Notre Dame penalty kill went 7-for-8 last weekend and is now 13-for-14 over the last two series (versus Minnesota and at Penn State).
- On Saturday night against Minnesota (Feb. 15), Notre Dame donned special jerseys designed by sophomore Graham Slaggert and equipment manager Ron Grove in support of the 525 Foundation and the jerseys are now being auctioned to benefit the foundation (https://auctions.und.com/).
- 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 a third period comeback tie and shootout win at Michigan State (Nov. 22) and at Penn State (Jan. 31).
- The Irish are 2-0-6 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).
- Cam Morrison has notched at least 21 points for the fourth consecutive season (2019- 20: 30 GP, 8-14-22).
- Mike O’Leary has tied his career high with 21 points (also finished last season with 21 points).
- At 7.4 penalty minutes per game, Notre Dame ranks fourth as the least penalized team in the country (Michigan is sixth at 8.2).
- Jake Pivonka ranks 10th in the NCAA with a .600 faceoff winning percentage 265 wins/ 177 losses (and he ranks eighth among players with at least 100 faceoffs this season).
- Tory Dello ranks second in the country with 68 blocked shots, trailing Brinson Pasichnuk of Arizona State by one block.
- The Irish are 8-3-3 this season when Alex Steeves registers a point and 7-2-4 when Cal Burke notches at least one point (6-1-0 when Cal Burke scores a goal).
THE NOTRE DAME — MICHIGAN SERIES
- All-time, Michigan leads the series 80-61-5, however, since their final season in the CCHA (2012-13), the Irish hold the edge with a 10-7-0 record.
- Prior to Notre Dame’s 3-2 loss in overtime at the U.S. Bank Arena in the NCAA Regionals on March 25, 2016, the teams’ last meetings came during the 2012-13 season when Notre Dame went 5-0-0 against the Wolverines, including a 3-1 victory in the championship game of the final CCHA tournament.
- Earlier this season, the Wolverines swept a series at Compton Family Ice Arena, winning by scores of 3-0 (Jan. 10) and 3-1 (Jan. 11) as Strauss Mann stopped 57 of the 58 shots he faced in the series.
- Last season, the teams split the season series, going 2-2-0 against each other (with each team earning a home and road win).
- The 2018-19 series included the January 5, 2019 outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium, as the two teams utilized the same ice as the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins of the NHL for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
- The Let’s Take This Outside game featured the largest crowd to attend a home hockey game for the Irish (23,422) but Michigan claimed the 4-2 win over the Irish.
- In Notre Dame’s inaugural season in the Big Ten (2017-18), the Irish and Wolverines met five times, with the Irish claiming three victories, including a last second win at the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four.
- As time ran down in the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal (April 5), Cam Morrison slid the puck back to Jake Evans in the slot, who shot it five-hole for the game-winner with five seconds remaining – sending Notre Dame to the national championship.
- Notre Dame and Michigan’s other meeting in the NCAA Tournament came at the 2008 Frozen Four (Denver, Colorado) when the Irish posted a 5-4 overtime win to advance to the NCAA championship game for the first time in program history.
- Calle Ridderwall scored the game-winning goal in that contest at the 5:44 mark of overtime.
- The Irish and Wolverines met each season from 1991-92 to 2012-13.
- Notre Dame recognizes the first official meeting as a 3-2 overtime win by the Fighting Irish on Jan. 17, 1922 at the Weinberg Coliseum in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- Head Coach Jeff Jackson is 31-32-8 all-time against Michigan (including his time at Lake Superior State), while he is 12-6-0 all-time against the Wolverines in the playoffs.
- Jackson named current Michigan head coach Mel Pearson as one of his Team USA assistant coaches for the 1997 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Jackson and Pearson helped lead USA to the silver medal in that tournament in Switzerland.
- The current Notre Dame roster features two Michigan natives: Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Michigan) and Colin Theisen (Monroe, Michigan).
- Irish career offensive leaders against the Wolverines include Matt Hellickson (11 GP, 3-5-8), Cal Burke (11 GP, 2-3-5), Jake Pivonka (6 GP, 1-4-5) and Cam Morrison (1-3-4).
- Cale Morris is 4-6-0 against Michigan in 10 career starts and has a 2.13 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.