Notre Dame hockey capsule: Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin
WHO: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-3-1 overall, 8-0-0-0 Big Ten) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (10-7-2 overall, 4-3-1 Big Ten).
WHEN: Friday at 9:05 p.m. ET; Saturday at 8:05 p.m. ET.
WHERE: Kohl Center (15,359), Madison, Wis.
TV: Big Ten Network Friday; FOX Sports Wisconsin Plus Saturday. Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3).
POLLS: Notre Dame is No. 4 in both the USCHO.com (media) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls; Wisconsin is No. 12 in both.
SERIES NOTES: Wisconsin leads the series 39-18-7. … The Badgers have won three straight … Notre Dame won the inaugural game in the series, 3-0, on the Badin Rink at Notre Dame during the 1921-22 season. … In Madison, the Badgers lead 20-8-2 but the Irish are 2-0-1 in their only visits to the Kohl Center, the last a 3-1 victory in the 2003-04 season.
ICE CHIPS: Sophomore goalie Cale Morris has played every minute of ND's 11-game winning streak. His winning percentage of .929 (13-1) and save percentage (.955) lead the nation; he’s second in goals-against average (1.47) and shutouts (four). … Senior center and captain Jake Evans leads the nation in scoring with 28 points (7 goals and a nation’s best 21 assists) and faceoff wins (250). … Senior defenseman Jordan Gross, who has skated in 137 straight games dating back to the first game of his career, is tied for second among defensemen in scoring with 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists). … Sophomore right wing Cal Burke has a team-high 9 goals … Notre Dame’s winning streak is the longest under coach Jeff Jackson and the longest since the Irish won 14 straight playing an independent schedule from Dec. 11, 1987 to Feb. 13, 1988 under then coach Ric Schafer. … The Irish had a 12-game unbeaten string (9-0-3) from Nov. 28, 2015 to Jan. 23, 2016 under Jackson … Wisconsin coach Tony Granato is head coach of Team USA for the 2018 Winter Olympics Games at PyeongChang, South Korea, Feb. 9-25. … The Badgers have nine players in double figures, led by 16-point scorers Ryan Wagner and Trent Frederic (who has a team-high 8 goals). … Goalie Jack Berry is 3-1 in four starts with a 1.95 goals-against average and .919 saves percentage with one shutout.
QUOTING JACKSON: “I think we’re playing more of a smart game now similar to (a 32-7-3 2006-07) team. Our execution without the puck is better, and a lot of that has to do with the fact we have a few seniors (Evans, Gross, Dawson Cook, Bo Brauer) who are actually our top players, and that’s a rarity nowadays (because of players leaving early to sign with NHL teams). Those guys are doing a good job setting the tone.”
NEXT: The Irish return home for first-semester final exams and papers before taking a short Christmas break. They return at Michigan Friday night, Jan. 5 at 6:30 p.m. and then host the Wolverines Sunday afternoon, Jan. 7 at 3:05 p.m.
John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent