March 21, 2018
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The University of Notre Dame hockey team embarks on the 10th NCAA Championship in program history on Friday, March 23, when the top-seeded Irish take on fourth-seeded Michigan Tech. The puck drops at 3 p.m. ET from Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut and the game can be seen on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
Notre Dame is the top seed in the East Regional and number two national seed after winning the Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships. Notre Dame is the only program in the 16-team NCAA tournament field to have won both its conference regular-season and tournament titles.
Michigan Tech is the region’s fourth seed after winning the WCHA tournament. The Irish and Huskies are joined in Bridgeport by second-seeded Providence College, the Hockey East tournament runner-up, and ECAC runner-up Clarkson.
|NCAA East Regional – No. 1 Notre Dame (25-9-2) vs. No. 4 Michigan Tech (22-16-5)|
|WHEN||Friday, March 23 | 3 p.m. ET|
|WHERE||Bridgeport, CT | Webster Bank Arena|
|WATCH||ESPN2 | WatchESPN|
|LISTEN||94.3 FM (South Bend) | UND.com|
|SERIES||MTU leads 33-21-2 | MTU leads neutral ice 4-2-0|
|NOTES||Notre Dame | Michigan Tech|
|MORE||Irish NCAA Tournament Central|
Countdown To Puck Drop
155 | Senior defenseman Jordan Gross has skated in 155 consecutive games (each game of his Irish career).
93 | With 93 career assists, Jake Evans (38-93-127) ranks second in career assists by an active player (Brady Ferguson of Robert Morris has 101).
76 | Junior defenseman Dennis Gilbert ranks 15th nationally with 76 blocked shots this season. He totaled 70 blocks as a freshman and 78 as a sophomore.
27 | The Fighting Irish are outscoring opponents by a combined 27 goals over the second, third and overtime periods this season (80-53).
24 | With a 24-7-1 record, sophomore goaltender and Hobey Baker Top 10 Finalist Cale Morris leads the nation in victories.
20 | Notre Dame is 20-2-2 this season when scoring first.
13 | Head coach Jeff Jackson is in his 13th season behind the Notre Dame bench. He has led the Irish to nine NCAA tournament appearances and three Frozen Fours.
7 | With the 2018 Big Ten tournament and regular season titles, Notre Dame has now won seven conference championships in program history, each under Jeff Jackson (three regular season).
.946 | Hobey Baker Top 10 Finalist Cale Morris has a .946 save percentage, which leads the nation. He has posted the impressive save percentage while playing 21 games against the nation’s top-15 scoring offenses (ranked by goals per game).
- Notre Dame embarks on its 10th NCAA tournament on Friday, March 23, when the top-seeded Fighting Irish face fourth-seeded Michigan Tech at 3 p.m. in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It is the third consecutive NCAA appearance by the Irish, who are the only program in the 16-team championship field to have won their league regular season and tournament titles.
- The Irish are the second national seed in the field after going 25-9-2. Notre Dame won the Big Ten regular-season title with a 17-6-1-1 league mark before capturing the B1G tournament championship thanks to a 3-2 overtime victory over Ohio State.
- Notre Dame has won three previous conference tournament championships including CCHA Tournament titles in 2007, 2009 and 2013.
- Hobey Baker Top 10 Finalist Cale Morris leads the nation in save percentage (.946) and victories (24). The sophomore net minder was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year while collecting first team all-conference accolades.
- Morris was joined on the first team All-Big Ten by seniors Jake Evans and Jordan Gross. Evans leads the Irish with 40 points (11-29-40) on the season, while Gross has 25 points (8-17-25) and his plus-11 rating and 39 blocks both rank second on the team.
- Notre Dame is 8-9-0 all-time in the NCAA Tournament (8-8-0 under Jeff Jackson) and has advanced to the Frozen Four on three occasions. The most recent Frozen Four trip came a season ago, when the Irish won regional games against Minnesota and UMass Lowell before falling to eventual national champion Denver in the semifinals.
- Notre Dame enters the NCAA tournament having played more games against the field than any other institution (16). The Irish own a 10-4-2 record in games against the other 15 teams still competing, a record only topped by Denver’s 11-1-2 record versus the field. Along with Denver, Michigan (5-9-0) and Penn State (3-9-2) also own 14 games against the NCAA field.
- Jake Evans (39-93-132) now ranks tied for 23rd all-time in program history for career points and 16th in program history for career assists.
- Evans has skated in 127 consecutive games dating back to his freshman season.
- Dennis Gilbert is the only defenseman in the country with multiple shorthanded goals this season (two).
- Andrew Oglevie and Evans are tied for 18th in the country with four game-winning goals apiece.
- The Fighting Irish are eighth in the country in scoring defense with a 2.17 goals against per game mark and their penalty kill ranks second (88.6), trailing only Ohio State’s penalty kill of 89.3 percent. When the Irish and Buckeyes met for the B1G title, Notre Dame was 1-for-2 on the power play, while OSU went 0-for-1.
- Jordan Gross, who has played in all 155 games of his Irish career, leads all active defensemen with 116 career points on 34 goals and 82 assists (Mark Auk of Michigan Tech and Garret Cockerill of Northeastern are tied for second with 84 points each).
- The Irish are 14-6-2 against ranked opponents this season.
Michigan Tech Connections
- Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson was an assistant at Lake Superior State during Michigan Tech head coach Joe Shawahan’s senior season.
- This is the first time Jackson has coached against Michigan Tech in the postseason.
- The teams split a series last year at Compton Family Ice Arena, with the Irish taking game one, 3-1, before the Huskies rebounded to take the second game, 4-2.
- Offensive leaders from last season’s series with the Huskies include Andrew Peeke (2 GP, 0-3-3) and Jake Evans (2 GP, 1-1-2), while Bobby Nardella, Cam Morrison, Jack Jenkins and Joe Wegwerth each scored a goal in that series versus the Huskies.
- Michigan Tech junior goaltender Patrick Munson, who has started each of the Huskies’ last three playoff games, faced Notre Dame as Vermont’s starting goaltender during a two-game series during the 2015-16 season.
- Notre Dame went 2-0-0 against Munson (2.05 GAA, .929 Sv.%), including a 2-1 win (Feb. 5) and a 3-1 victory (Feb. 6).
- Jordan Gross led the Irish with a goal and three assists in that series versus Munson and the Catamounts, while Jake Evans (1-1-2) also had a goal against Munson.
The winner of the contest between the Irish and Huskies advances to the regional final against the winner of a game between second-seeded Providence and three seed Clarkson. That game will be back at Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena on Saturday, March 24, with a 6 p.m. ET face-off on ESPN2.
— ND —