Glance: Notre Dame hockey set for series with Michigan
WHO: Michigan Wolverines (14-13-3 overall, 9-10-3-2 Big Ten) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22-6-2 overall, 16-3-1-1 Big Ten).
HERE: Friday at 7:35 p.m. (NBC Sports Chicago Plus delayed Saturday at noon/WZOC-FM 94.3) on Lefty Smith Rink (5,022) in Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend, Ind.
THERE: Sunday at 5:35 p.m. (Big Ten Network/WZOC-FM 94.3) on Red Berenson Rink (5,800) in Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor, Mich.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame is No. 1 in the USCHO.com (media) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls. … Michigan is No. 18 and No. 17, respectively.
SERIES NOTES: The Irish have played Michigan 137 times (the most of any opponent) and trail 74-58 with five games ending in ties. … Notre Dame won on Jan. 5 in Ann Arbor and Jan. 7 in South Bend by 2-1 scores and has won seven of the last eight.
ICE CHIPS: Notre Dame's Jeff Jackson is second among active coaches (to Mike Hastings of Minnesota State) in winning percentage at .659 (472-225-79 in 19 years at Lake Superior State and Notre Dame, where he is in his 13th year). … Sophomore goalie Cale Morris leads the nation in save percentage (.950) and victories (21), is fourth in goals-against average (1.75) and tied for seventh in shutouts (4). … Senior center Jake Evans is second nationally in faceoffs won (403). … Senior defenseman Jordan Gross, who has not missed a game in his career (149), leads all defensemen with 108 shots on goal. … Junior defenseman Dennis Gilbert is eighth nationally in blocked shots (64) … The Irish have been outshot in 21 of 30 games this season.
QUOTING JACKSON: (Importance of series) “You’re playing teams that are desperate. Michigan is on the cusp for the NCAA tournament right now. They’re trying to get points to position themselves for home ice in the playoffs. We’re just not playing for pride right now; we’re playing for seeding in the NCAA tournament, too. There is importance for us.”
– John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent