Hockey: What you need to know when No. 2 Michigan visits No. 8 Notre Dame this weekend

John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent
Minnesota left wing Grant Cruikshank (21) scores against Notre Dame goaltender Matthew Galajda (35) in the first period at the Compton Family Ice Arena Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in South Bend.

College hockey

Who: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (23-9-0 overall, 15-7-0 Big Ten for 41 points and fourth place) vs. Michigan Wolverines (25-7-1 overall, 16-6-0 Big Ten for 51 points and first place)

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

► More:Trevor Janicke’s goal spree has others taking notice at Notre Dame

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

Recaps: Both teams coming off weekend sweeps. … Coach Jeff Jackson’s Irish stretched their winning streak to three games with 2-1 and 4-2 victories at Michigan State. … In the Friday victory, sophomore left wing Landon Slaggert had the game-winning goal at 4:23 of the third period, freshman center Hunter Strand had a goal and an assist and senior defenseman Nick Leivermann had two assists while grad goaltender Matthew Galajda made 36 saves. … In the Saturday victory, Notre Dame jumped to a 3-0 lead early in the second period behind goals by Justin Janicke, Jack Adams and Chase Blackmun; Janicke, Adams and senior defenseman Spencer Stastney each had a goal and an assist, and Galajda made 27 saves. … Coach Mel Pearson’s Wolverines have won seven straight games (and 11 of their last 12 since 2022 began) after sweeping visiting Ohio State 5-3 and 3-0 last weekend.

Rankings: Notre Dame No. 8 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) poll and No. 9 in (media) poll. … Michigan No. 2 in both polls. … In the latest NCAA Tournament Pairwise Comparison Ratings as of Thursday, Michigan is No. 1 and Notre Dame is No. 11.

Rivalry: Michigan leads series 82-67-5, including 30-29-2 in South Bend. … During last three seasons, the visiting team has swept five previous series. … Earlier this season in Ann Arbor, Ryder Rolston scored two goals, the second in overtime, as Irish rallied for 3-2 victory on Nov. 19. … The next night, Notre Dame again rallied from early 2-0 deficit to win 5-4 with Max Ellis scoring three straight goals, the last at 3:29 in overtime. … In 2019-20 season, Michigan swept at Notre Dame 3-0 and 3-1 in January, but Irish returned favor at Michigan 2-1 and 3-0 in February. … Last season, Irish won 3-2 and 2-1 in Ann Arbor in November, but Wolverines scored 5-1 and 3-1 victories in January at Compton.

Notre Dame’s Max Ellis (21) and Michigan’s Matty Beniers (10) collide during the Michigan at Notre Dame NCAA hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at the Compton Family Ice arena in South Bend.

Scouting Fighting Irish

Graduate goaltender Matthew Galajda (13-5-0 record, 2 shutouts, 2.02 goals-against average, .927 saves percentage) was the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week after allowing just three goals and making 63 saves in two victories at Michigan State. … Galajda has shared goaltending duties with junior Ryan Bischel (10-4-0, 2 shutouts, 2.08 average and .924 saves percentage). … Irish have 16 players with 10 or more points, five with 20 or more points and another five within three points of 20. … Junior right wing Max Ellis (16 goals, 12 assists, 28 points) continues to pace team in scoring followed by sophomore right wing Ryder Rolston (10-15-25), senior defenseman Spencer Stastney (6-18-24), sophomore left wing Landon Slaggert (10-12-22), senior defenseman Nick Leivermann (6-14-20) and junior right wing Trevor Janicke (12-7-19). … Graduate defenseman Adam Karashik (1-13-14) has blocked a Big Ten-leading 72 shots (tied for fifth nationally). … Notre Dame is 13-5 at home this season and is 16-1 when scoring first. … NCAA team statistics (out of 59 teams): Scoring offense, 3.47 goals per game (8th); scoring defense, 2.16 goals per game (7th); scoring margin, 1.31 goals per game (6th); faceoff-win percentage, 0.529 (973-866) (11th); power-play percentage, 0.198 (20 of 101) (29th); power-play goals scored, 20 (34th); penalty-kill percentage, 0.915 (108 of 118) (2nd); shorthanded goals scored, 6 (3rd); penalty minutes per game, 10.59 (32nd).

Scouting Wolverines

Scouting Wolverines: Michigan’s four Olympians — center Matty Beniers (16-20-36) and right wing Brendan Brisson (17-15-32) of Team USA and left wing Kent Johnson (6-24-30) and defenseman Owen Power (3-23-26) of Team Canada – will be in action this weekend. … Michigan was 7-1 in their absence. … Freshman defenseman Luke Hughes (16-16-32) won Big Ten First Star of the Week honors after scoring three goals in sweep of Ohio State. … The Wolverines have five players who were taken in the first round of the July 2021 NHL Draft – Powers (No. 1 Buffalo), Beniers (No. 2 by Seattle), Hughes (No. 4 by New Jersey), Johnson (No. 5 by Columbus) and right wing Mackie Samoskevich (No. 24 by Florida) – and Brisson was taken No. 29 in first round of 2020 NHL Draft by Vegas. … Nine Wolverines have scored 21 or more points, including four players with 30 or more points. … Sophomore goalie Erik Portillo earned his third shutout of the season and is now 25-7-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .927 saves percentage. … NCAA team statistics (out of 59 teams): Scoring offense, 4.03 goals per game (3rd); scoring defense, 2.21 goals per game (8th); scoring margin, 1.82 goals per game (4th); faceoff-win percentage, 0.504 (1,014-999) (27th); power-play percentage, 0.258 (31 of 120) (7th); power-play goals scored, 31 (7th); penalty-kill percentage, 0.832 (104 of 125) (20th); shorthanded goals scored, 6 (3rd); penalty minutes per game, 14.61 (2nd).


Jackson on Michigan: “You can’t give them power-play opportunities; they’ve just got too much offensive depth. … They play the game the right way and they’re a good transition team. … They bring energy into the building because it’s Michigan. … It’s a good way to finish the regular season, playing maybe the best team in the country.” 

On the horizon

First round of the Big Ten Postseason Tournament March 4-6. … A best-of-three series, Notre Dame will be a first-round host against either Wisconsin, Penn State or Michigan State. … Tickets are available.

— John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent




Michigan 51, 22, 16-6-0, 0, 0-3, 89-53

Minnesota 49, 22, 16-6-0, 0, 1-2, 77-50

Ohio State 42, 24, 13-9-2, 1, 1-1, 76-59

Notre Dame 41, 22, 15-7-0, 0, 5-1, 68-53

Wisconsin 20, 22, 6-15-1, 0, 1-2, 53-83

Penn State 17, 22, 5-16-1, 1, 1-1, 57-87

Michigan State 14, 22, 5-17-0, 0, 1-0, 46-81

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

Michigan 25-7-1, .773, 133-73; Minnesota 21-11-0, .656, 111-77; Ohio State 21-11-2, .647, 118-79; Notre Dame 23-9-0, .719, 111-69; Wisconsin 9-20-3, .328, 69-111; Penn State 14-17-1, .453, 101-107; Michigan State 11-20-1, .359, 70-101.

Friday, Feb. 25

Michigan at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.

Penn State at Michigan State, 7 p.m.

Wisconsin at Minnesota, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 26

Michigan at Notre Dame, 6 p.m.

Penn State at Michigan State, 6 p.m.

Wisconsin at Minnesota, 8 p.m.