Hockey: Notre Dame vs. Niagara

John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent
Notre Dame's Max Ellis (21) and Ohio State's Gustaf Westlund during the Notre Dame vs. Ohio State NCAA hockey game Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend.  Ellis is Notre Dame's leading scorer headed into weekend series against Niagara.

COLLEGE HOCKEY

Who: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-5-0) vs. Niagara Purple Eagles (4-10-2)

When: Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m.

Where: Lefty Smith Rink at Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022), South Bend.

TV/Streaming: Peacock TV and Peacock App. Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3) and UND.com.

Tickets: Mobile single-game tickets and plans available through UND.com/BuyTickets. … Face masks must be worn in Compton except when eating and drinking.

► More:Stastney’s two goals help No. 8 Notre Dame hockey team rally past Spartans 3-2

Recaps: Both teams coming off pre-Christmas splits. … In home-and-home Atlantic Hockey Association series, coach Jason Lammers’ Purple Eagles rebounded from 4-0 loss at Canisius on Dec. 9 with 3-2 overtime victory over visiting Canisius Dec. 10. … Coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish split two-game Big Ten Hockey Conference series with visiting Michigan State, winning 3-2 on Dec. 10 before falling 1-0 in overtime Dec. 11.

Rankings: Notre Dame is ranked No. 10 in latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) and USCHO.com (media) polls. … Niagara is unranked.

Rivalry: Notre Dame leads 2-0-1 in series which began with 3-3 overtime tie in consolation game of the Maverick Stampede at Omaha, Nebraska, on Oct. 14, 2000 (Irish won shootout to finish third). … Irish swept Purple Eagles 6-3 and 7-0 at Compton Family Ice Arena on Oct. 24-25, 2014.

Scouting Irish: Notre Dame enters series 6-1 in non-Big Ten Conference games and only has rescheduled home game with Boston College (Jan. 19) remaining in non-league action. ... Sophomore left wing Landon Slaggert was to miss series as he was supposed to play for Team USA in the World Junior Championships in Alberta. … The tournament has since been canceled due to a COVID outbreak. Team USA, which opened Sunday with 3-2 victory over Slovakia on Slaggert’s game-winning goal, was forced to forfeit second game Tuesday to Switzerland because of COVID-19 issues. … Junior right wing Max Ellis (11-9-20) leads Irish in scoring by four points over sophomore right wing Ryder Rolston (6-10-16) and six over senior defenseman Nick Leivermann (5-9-14). … Leivermann is one of four players with five goals – Landon Slaggert, junior right wing Trevor Janicke and senior center Graham Slaggert are the others. … Rolston leads Irish in game-winning goals with three, one more than senior center Cam Burke. … Two of Ellis’ goals have come while Irish were playing shorthanded. … Senior Spencer Stastney (2-7-9), grad-transfer Adam Karashik (0-9-9) and freshman Jake Boltmann (1-7-8) lead blueline corps. … Grad-transfer Matthew Galajda (1.72 goals-against average, .931 saves percentage and 8-2-0 record, two shutouts) and junior Ryan Bischel (2.08 average, .921 saves percentage, 4-3-0 record) split netminding chores against Michigan State. … Notre Dame has outscored opposition 23-7 in second period. … Notre Dame is fourth with 17 points in Big Ten behind league-leader Michigan (23), Minnesota (19) and Ohio State (18). … NCAA team statistics (59 schools ranked): Scoring offense, 3.41 goals per game (14th nationally); scoring defense, 1.94 goals per game (5th); scoring margin, 1.47 goals per game (7th); faceoff-wins percentage, 0.527 (512-459) (12th); power-play percentage, 0.190 (11 of 58) (27th); penalty-kill percentage, 0.922 (59 of 64) (2nd); penalty minutes per game, 10.18 (42nd). ... Next up: Irish are on road for Big Ten series at Penn State (Jan. 7-8) and Ohio State (Jan. 14-15).

Scouting Purple Eagles: Junior center Albin Nilsson, a native of Sweden, scored game-winning goal Dec. 10 against Canisius at 3:23 of overtime. … Nilsson (4-7-11) and junior right wing Ryan Naumovski (5-6-11) lead Niagara in scoring ahead of senior forwards Ryan Cox (4-4-8) and Luke Edgerton (1-7-8). … Senior Chris Harpur (0-6-6), sophomore Josef Mysak (2-2-4) and senior Zac Herrmann (1-3-4) lead defense. … Junior Chad Veltri (2.91 goals-against average, .896 saves percentage, 4-6-1 record) and freshman Jake Sibell (3.99 average, .880 saves percentage, 0-4-1 record) share netminding chores. … Niagara is tied for seventh with American International with 14 points, nine behind league-leader Bentley in the Atlantic Hockey Association. … NCAA team statistics (59 schools ranked): Scoring offense, 1.88 goals per game (52nd nationally); scoring defense, 3.56 goals per game (48th); scoring margin, -1.69 (57th); faceoff-wins percentage, 0.489 (476-497) (36th); power-play percentage, 0.186 (13 of 70) (31st); penalty-kill percentage, 0.738 (45 of 61) (50th); penalty minutes per game, 10.69 (35th).

—John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent

BIG TEN STANDINGS

(Conference)

Pts, GP, W-L-T, OW-OL, SW, GF-GA

Michigan 23, 12, 7-5-0, 0-2, 0, 45-34

Minnesota 19, 10, 6-4-0, 0-1, 0, 33-26

Ohio State 18, 10, 6-4-0, 0-0, 0, 32-24

Notre Dame 17, 10, 6-4-0, 2-1, 0, 29-22

Michigan State 14, 10, 5-5-0, 1-0, 0, 24-30

Wisconsin 9, 10, 3-7-0, 1-1, 0, 22-34

Penn State 8, 10, 3-7-0, 1-0, 0, 26-41

(Overall, W-L-T, .Pct, GF-GA)

Michigan 14-6-0, .700, 81-51; Minnesota 10-8-0, .556, 61-49; Ohio State 12-6-0, .667, 61-42; Notre Dame 12-5-0, .706, 58-33; Michigan State 10-7-1, .583, 44-45; Wisconsin 6-12-1, .342, 36-60; Penn State 11-8-0, .579, 65-58.

Tuesday, Dec. 28 schedule

Holiday Face-Off at Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wisconsin 3, Yale 2 (OT)

(Providence 6, Bowling Green 2)

Wednesday, Dec. 29 schedule

Great Lakes Invitational

Western Michigan at Michigan State, 7 p.m.

Michigan Tech at Michigan, 7 p.m.

Holiday Face-Off at Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wisconsin vs. Providence, 8:30 p.m., championship

(Bowling Green vs. Yale, 5 p.m., consolation)

Thursday, Dec. 30 schedule

Great Lakes Invitational

Michigan Tech at Michigan State, 5 p.m.

Western Michigan at Michigan, canceled

Friday, Dec. 31 schedule

Long Island at Ohio State, 7 p.m.

Maine at Penn State, canceled

Saturday, Jan. 1 schedule

Niagara at Notre Dame, 5 p.m.

Long Island at Ohio State, 7 p.m.

Maine at Penn State, canceled

Sunday, Jan. 2 schedule

Niagara at Notre Dame, 5 p.m.