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Trio Of Irish Icers, Jackson Named Big Ten Award Finalists

March 7, 2018 | Complete List of Finalists

By Michael Scholl

NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Three University of Notre Dame hockey players and head coach Jeff Jackson have been named finalists for the 2017-18 Big Ten hockey awards following a regular season in which the Irish won the regular season title in their first season in the league.

Fighting Irish sophomore goaltender Cale Morris, a Hobey Baker candidate, has been named a finalist for Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Goaltender of the Year. Senior forward Jake Evans and senior defenseman Jordan Gross are finalists for the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award and Jackson is a finalist for Coach of the Year.

The award winners and league’s All-Star teams will be announced on Tuesday, March 13.

Cale Morris | So. | Goaltender

Morris has posted a 22-7-1 record in the net this year, his first as the Irish starter. Morris leads the B1G in both save percentage and goals against average. His 22 wins are tied for the NCAA lead, while his .945 save percentage is second in the nation and his 1.92 goals against average ranks sixth. He has totaled 1,005 saves on the season, which ranks third in the NCAA.

Among the three finalists for each conference award, Morris is the only player who has been named a finalist in multiple categories. He is joined by Michigan’s Cooper Marody and Tanner Laczynski from Ohio State as a finalist for Player of the Year award. For Goaltender of the Year honors, Morris is joined by Hayden Lavigne and Sean Romeo, also of Michigan and Ohio State, respectively.

Jake Evans | Sr. | Forward

The Irish captain, Evans leads Notre Dame with 38 points on 11 goals and a team-leading 27 assists. He ranks third in the Big Ten with 0.79 assists per game. For his career, Evans has collected 130 points on 39 goals and 91 assists in 152 games. His 130 career points are tied for 25th in program history, while his 91 assists rank 16th in in the Notre Dame record book. A contributor on both the power play and penalty kill, Evans had four game-winning goals this season, which is tied for 12th in the country. He ranks second in the NCAA with 460 faceoff wins. He is also a finalist for for the Senior CLASS Award, which fans can vote on by clicking here. He has a +11 plus-minus rating this season, which is tied for second on the team.

Jordan Gross | Sr. | Defenseman

Gross has skated in all 153 games of his Irish career. This season, he has recorded seven goals and 17 assists for 24 points. He ranks third in the Big Ten in points per game among defensemen. Nationally, he leads all defensemen with 122 shots on goal and his 3.59 shots on goal per game also lead the country. He has a +11 plus-minus rating this season, which is tied for second on the team and he has blocked 38 shots.

Jeff Jackson | Head Coach

Jackson piloted the Irish to a 23-9-2 record and 17-6-1-1 mark in conference play, winning the Big Ten regular season title during Notre Dame’s first season in the league. The Irish cruised to the title, clinching it with five games left to play thanks in part to a 16-game winning streak which included sweeping a two-game series from all six teams in the conference the first time through the schedule. In his 13th season at Notre Dame, Jackson has now won six conference titles while leading the Irish in the CCHA, Hockey East and Big Ten.

B1G Playoffs

Top-seeded Notre Dame hosts a Big Ten semifinal game against fourth-seeded Penn State on Saturday, March 10, at Compton Family Ice Arena. The puck drops at 5:30 p.m. ET and the contest can be seen live on ESPNU and WatchESPN. Tickets are available by clicking here.

— ND —

Michael Scholl has been a member of the Fighting Irish Media communications staff at his alma mater since August 2016. He serves as the secondary contact for the Irish football and hockey teams while coordinating communications efforts for the women’s tennis program. Scholl has previously worked in communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Providence College, Vanderbilt University and the University of Cincinnati. The South Bend, Indiana, native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts and Letters in 2009.