Hockey: Notre Dame to host Minnesota this weekend. Here's what you need to know

By John Fineran
ND Insider
Notre Dame's Ryder Rolston (12) celebrates a hat trick during the Notre Dame vs. Boston College NCAA men's hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend.

COLLEGE HOCKEY

Who: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17-7-0 overall, 9-5-0 Big Ten for 24 points) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-10-0 overall, 9-5-0 Big Ten for 27 points)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. EST

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

TV/Streaming: Peacock

Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3) and UND.com

Tickets: Available through UND.com/BuyTickets. … Face masks must be worn in Compton.

► More:Rolston’s hat trick, Galajda’s 40 saves key 8-2 victory by No. 14 Irish over Eagles

Rankings: Notre Dame No. 11 in USCHO.com (media) poll and No. 12 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) poll. … Minnesota is ranked No. 10 in both polls. … In latest NCAA Tournament Pairwise Comparison Ratings, Minnesota is No. 11 and Notre Dame No. 12.

Recaps: Coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish were idle last weekend after beating Boston College 8-2 on Jan. 19 in South Bend. … Coach Bob Motzko’s Golden Gophers split two-game Big Ten home series with No. 4 Michigan, winning 2-1 in overtime Friday and losing 4-1 Saturday.

Rivalry: Minnesota leads series 37-24-5 after sweeping Notre Dame 4-1 and 3-2 Oct. 29-30 in Minneapolis. … Gophers have won four straight games against Fighting Irish starting with a pair of 3-0 shutouts by Jack LaFontaine when they visited South Bend last Feb. 12-13. 

Scouting Notre Dame

Since Jan. 1, Notre Dame is 5-2 overall, 3-1 in Big Ten. … Sophomore right wing Ryder Rolston (9-12-21) was named the Big Ten Third Star of the Week after his hat trick against Boston College. … Notre Dame has 12 players in double figures scoring led by junior right wing Max Ellis (14-10-14), Rolston, senior defensemen Nick Leivermann (6-12-18) and Spencer Stastney (5-12-17) and sophomore left wing Landon Slaggert (7-10-17). … Senior center Cam Burke and junior right wing Trevor Janicke each have eight goals. … Goaltenders are grad Matthew Galajda (10-3-0, 1.93 goals-against average, two shutouts, .929 saves percentage) and junior Ryan Bischel (7-4-0, 2.05 goals-against average, one shutout, .923 saves percentage) are among 28 goalies nominated for the Mike Richter Goaltender of the Year Award won by Notre Dame’s Cale Morris in 2018. … Galajda, whose next start will be the 100th of his career, was a Richter Award finalist in 1918 and 1920 at Cornell. … Senior captain Graham Slaggert (7-6-13) is one of 11 nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. … NCAA team statistics (out of 59 teams): Scoring offense, 3.54 goals per game (10th); scoring defense, 2.08 goals per game (8th); scoring margin, 1.46 goals per game (7th); faceoff-win percentage, 0.526 (739-666) (12th); power-play percentage, 0.205 (16 of 78) (20th); power-play goals scored, 16 (28th); penalty-kill percentage, 0.925 (86 of 93) (1st); shorthanded goals scored, 5 (4th); penalty minutes per game, 11.08 (30th).

Notre Dame's Matthew Galajda (35) stops Boston College's Nikita Nesterenko (13) during the Notre Dame vs. Boston College NCAA men's hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend.

Scouting Minnesota

Three members of the current Minnesota team will be on Team USA at Beijing Winter Olympics beginning Feb. 9. … Junior co-captain and center Ben Meyers (10-15-25) and freshman left wing Matthew Knies (9-14-23) will be joined by sophomore defenseman Brock Faber (2-9-11). … Former Gopher (2008-11) Aaron Ness, a defenseman for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, also is on Team USA. … Meyers and Knies and freshman right wing Chaz Lucius (8-7-15) make up Minnesota’s top line. … The second line is led by senior Grant Cruikshank (3-4-7), senior Blake McLaughlin (7-15-22) and senior right wing Sammy Walker (8-8-16). … Faber is joined on blueline by juniors Jackson LaCombe (1-11-12) and Ryan Johnson (2-10-12). … Since grad goalie Jack LaFontaine signed an NHL contract after the Gophers swept Michigan State on the road Jan. 7-8, Motzko has turned to junior Justen Close (2-2 record, 2.24 goals-against average, .897 saves percentage). … NCAA team statistics (out of 59 teams): Scoring offense, 3.33 goals by game (15th); scoring defense, 2.58 goals per game (22nd); scoring margin, 0.75 goals per game (17th); faceoff-win percentage, 0.512 (700-668) (18th); power-play percentage, 0.192 (15 of 78) (30th); power-play goals scored, 15 (34th); penalty-kill percentage, 0.836 (56 of 67) (24th); shorthanded goals scored, 1 (35th); penalty minutes per game, 8.88 (50th).

— John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent