Notre Dame-Minnesota hockey capsule

Staff reports
ND Insider


WHO: Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-4-1 overall, 3-2-1-1 Big Ten) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-3-1 overall, 4-0-0-0 Big Ten).

WHEN: Friday at 7:35 p.m. and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET.

WHERE: Lefty Smith Rink at Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend.

TV: NBCSN (Friday), NBC Sports Chicago Plus (Saturday). Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3).

POLLS: Notre Dame is No. 4 in (writers) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls; Minnesota is No. 6 in both.

LAST WEEK: Notre Dame is coming off 4-1, 1-0 (OT) non-conference sweep at Rensselaer in Troy, N.Y. … Minnesota comes in after 4-2, 2-1 (OT) non-league sweep of Harvard in 3M Arena at Mariucci.

SERIES NOTES: Minnesota leads, 26-16-3. … The teams are meeting for the first time as Big Ten Conference rivals; the two programs used to play in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. … Minnesota coach Don Lucia, who played defense for Lefty Smith’s Irish from 1977-81, is in his 19th season in Minneapolis where he won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2002 and ‘’03. … Lucia’s son, Mario, played forward for Jeff Jackson’s Irish from 2012-16. … Last season, the Irish rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Minnesota, 3-2, in the first round of the NCAA Northeast Regional at Manchester, N.H., on way to the NCAA Frozen Four in Chicago.

ICE CHIPS: The Irish are riding a seven-game winning streak, their longest such streak since Feb. 13-March 21, 2009 when they won 10 straight. … Sophomore goalie Cale Morris has started each game in the winning streak … Morris, 9-1 this season, has a 1.75 goals-against average (7th nationally) and .945 save percentage (fourth). … Notre Dame has killed off 18 straight power-play opportunities and stands fourth nationally at 89.6 percent (43 of 48). … Senior center and captain Jake Evans is second in the NCAA in points (5-17-22) but leads the nation in assists (17), faceoffs won (207), even-strength points (15) and games with at least three points (4). … Sophomore forward Rem Pitlick leads the Gophers in scoring and is tied for 10th nationally at 7-10-17. … Junior goaltender Eric Schierhorn has a 2.26 average in 14 games for the Gophers.

QUOTING JACKSON: “Minnesota is one of the most talented teams in the country; they are very deep offensively (and) have three high-quality lines. … There’s a decent relationship with us and Minnesota with the family aspect with Don as an alum and Mario playing here and (Minnesota associate head coach) Mike Guentzel’s son Ryan playing here (2007-11).”

NEXT SERIES: The Irish travel Dec. 1-2 to Michigan State for a pair of 7:05 p.m. games.