Jan. 19, 2017
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Fighting Irish return home to play host to a key Hockey East matchup against New Hampshire this weekend at the Compton Family Ice Arena (Jan. 20-21).
The teams are separated by just one point in the league standings and Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson knows his team has an important weekend series coming up.
“Obviously it’s a huge series, they’re a point ahead of us in the [Hockey East] standings and they’re right behind us in the NCAA rankings too,” Jackson said. “They’re a much improved team from last year and last year when we beat them twice in their building, which is not an easy thing to do. So I’m sure they’re coming back with the same idea in mind.”
The series will feature two of the nation’s top-five point scorers in New Hampshire senior forward Tyler Kelleher and Fighting Irish junior forward Anders Bjork. Kelleher currently ranks third in the country with 40 points (14-26-40), while Bjork is tied for fifth in the country with 35 points (15-20-35).
“There are some similarities between those two, Anders is a little bit bigger though,” Jackson added. “Kelleher is really a dynamic one-on-one guy, but has good instincts and can make plays, the same way Anders can.”
OVERVIEW | GAMES 24 & 25
Matchup: Notre Dame vs. New Hampshire
Date: Friday, Jan. 20 | Saturday, Jan. 21
Time: 7:35 p.m. (ET) | 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Site: Notre Dame, Indiana
Arena: Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022)
Live Streaming: NBC Sports App
Play-by-Play: Tony Simeone | Friday
Play-by-Play: Nik Valdiserri | Saturday
Analyst: Conor Clingen
Live Radio | Audio: WZOC 94.3 FM | WatchND
Play-by-Play: Darin Pritchett
Live Stats: UND.com
Live Updates: @NDHockey
Series History: ND trails, 5-7-0 (12 games)
NOTES TO KNOW
- Junior Anders Bjork (99 GP) is expected to skate in his 100th career game. He will become the fourth Irish player to reach that milestone this season, joining Jordan Gross, Jake Evans and Luke Ripley.
- Bjork has 35 points this season on 15 goals and 20 assists. His 35 points rank third in Hockey East and tied for fifth in the country, while his five game-winning goals are tied for the NCAA lead.
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen has started 73 consecutive games in the Irish net dating back to his freshman season, which is the 10th-longest streak in the NCAA Div. I records book.
- Petersen ranks 11th in the country with a 2.06 goals against average (third in Hockey East), while his .922 save percentage ranks 14th nationally (third in Hockey East).
NOTRE DAME – NEW HAMPSHIRE SERIES NOTES
- Notre Dame has won its last three meetings with New Hampshire, including a road sweep last year (Jan. 22-23).
- Notre Dame won last year’s games by scores of 5-1 and 3-2, with Mario Lucia scoring the third period, game winner in the game two win.
- The teams have met twice in the NCAA Tournament, including a 7-3 Notre Dame win in the first round of the 2008 NCAA West Regional (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and a 2-1 Notre Dame victory in the 2011 NCAA Northeast Regional Final (Manchester, N.H.).
- In the 2011 Northeast Regional Final win that sent Notre Dame to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota, Stephen Johns and Billy Maday scored for the Irish, Riley Sheahan notched two assists and Mike Johnson made 37 saves.
BJORK PLAYS LEADING ROLE
- Junior forward Anders Bjork, a 2014 fifth-round pick by Boston, is one of the country’s leading scorers with 15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points.
- Bjork has been held without a point in just five of Notre Dame’s 23 games this season (one of which was the 0-0, two-period tie at Northeastern on Nov. 13).
- Bjork has posted 11 multi-point games this season, including four-point games against Arizona State (Oct. 8) and UConn (Oct. 28).
- The Irish are 13-4-1 on the season when Bjork notches at least one point (8-2-0 when he scores at least one goal).
- Bjork reached the 25-point plateau in his 15th game of the season, marking the fastest any Notre Dame player has reach 25 points in the Coach Jackson era (and dating back to at least 2001-02).
- Cal Petersen has started 73 consecutive games in the Notre Dame net, dating back to a 5-1 win at Maine on Feb. 7, 2015.
Consecutive Goaltender Starts (NCAA DI)
- Ben Scrivens, Cornell (2007-10) 104
- David McKee, Cornell (2004-06) 102
- Andrew Volkening, Air Force (2007-10) 97
- John Muse, Boston College (2008-09) 81
- Andy Illes, Cornell (2011-14) 80
- Dan Murphy, Clarkson (1994-98) 80
- John Lothrub, Minnesota (1964-66) 78
- Joe Cannata, Merrimack (2009-12) 77
- Brant Nicklin, Minnesota Duluth (1996-98) 76
- Cal Petersen, Notre Dame (2014 -) 73
- Petersen has appeared in 74 straight games, dating back to a 4-4 tie at Maine on Feb. 6, 2015), which also ranks 10th in the NCAA DI records book.
— 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).