Notre Dame hockey capsule

Staff reports
ND Insider

Who: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3-1, 4-0-0-0 Big Ten) vs. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers (2-5-3, 1-4-1 ECAC).

When: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

Where: Houston Field House, Troy, N.Y.

TV: None. Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3).

Polls: Notre Dame is 4th in both (writers) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls; RPI is unranked.

Last week: Notre Dame is coming off a 3-2, 1-0 home sweep of Big Ten Conference rival Penn State. … RPI split a pair of ECAC games at home, beating Quinnipiac 5-3 Friday and losing to Princeton 6-2.

Series notes: Series tied 4-4. RPI won 3-2 on Oct. 10, 2014 in IceBreaker Tournament at South Bend.

Ice chips: Notre Dame is working on a five-game winning streak going back to 5-4 victory against Omaha and back-to-back Big Ten Conference sweeps at Ohio State and home against Penn State. … Sophomore goalie Cale Morris, who has been in net for all five victories, was named the Big Ten’s First Star of the Week after his 40-save performance in Friday victory and first career shutout (33 saves) Saturday. … Morris’ .935 save percentage is sixth nationally. … Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson indicated he likely will give freshman Dylan St. Cyr a start but wouldn’t say which night. … Senior captain/center Jeff Evans continues to lead the nation in scoring with 19 points on four goals and nation-best 15 assists and he also leads the nation in faceoffs won with 176. … Senior defenseman Jordan Gross has not missed a game since arriving at Notre Dame, a streak of 131 games. … Gross (4-8-12) and junior Bobby Nardella (3-9-12) are tied for third in scoring among defensemen in the nation. … Notre Dame power-play unit is now 15th in the country at 23.68 percent (9 goals in 38 chances) while the penalty-kill unit is 13th at 86.1 percent (31 kills in 36 chances) … Dave Smith, an Ohio State graduate, is in his first season as RPI coach after 12 seasons at Canisius. … The Engineers skated to a pair of 1-1 ties at Ohio State Oct. 13-14. … Sophomore forward Jacob Hayhurst leads RPI with 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists).

Quoting Jackson: “Now that we have everyone back, we’re trying to solidify our lines. What it (the early injuries) has done is open up the door for others to identify a role on our team. … We’ve gotten a much better grasp of who are defensive corps is. The exciting thing for me is we have a lot of room growth. … Plus, Cale has had a good stretch here in the last month.”

Next series: Minnesota Nov. 24 (7:35 p.m.) and 15 (7:05 p.m.) on the Lefty Smith Rink at the Compton Family Ice Arena.