College hockey: Notre Dame vs. Minnesota

Staff reports
ND Insider

WHO: Notre Dame (4-0-0) vs. Minnesota (3-3-0).

WHERE: 3M Arena at Mariucci (10,000), Minneapolis, Minn.

WHEN: Friday at 8:30 p.m.; Saturday at 5 p.m.

TV: Big Ten Network Friday; FOX Sports North Saturday.

RADIO: WZOC-FM (94.3) and und.com.

STREAMING: FOX Sports App Friday; FOX Sports Go Saturday.

RANKINGS: Irish No. 5 in USCHO.com (media) and No. 4 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls. … Golden Gophers receiving votes in media poll.

RECAPS: Notre Dame coming off 5-2, 6-4 sweep at home against Lake Superior State; Minnesota was swept by Minnesota Duluth 5-2 and 2-0.

RIVALRY: Gophers went 3-2 in five meetings last season to improve to 30-20-3 in series that began in 1925. … Irish won Big Ten Tournament semifinal 2-1 in overtime last March 16.

SHAVINGS: Coach Jeff Jackson’s Irish enter opening Big Ten series with nation’s top offense, averaging 5.25 goals in four games, and their scoring margin (goals for-goals against) of 2.75 is second best. … Notre Dame power play ranks No. 1 at 33.3 percent (5 of 15) and penalty kills tied for ninth at 90.9 percent (one goal in 11 attempts). … Center Mike O’Leary and right wing/captain Cal Burke, who each have four goals and seven assists for 11 points and share nation’s lead at 2.75 points a game, are the No. 1 and No. 2 Big Ten Stars this week. … Senior goalie Cale Morris likely will get Friday start after making his season debut in 6-4 Saturday victory over Lake Superior, though freshman and Minnesota native Ryan Bischel (2.00 average, .929 save percentage in three games) could see action. … Sophomore forward Sammy Walker leads coach Bob Motzko’s Gophers with four goals and seven points. … Freshman Jared Moe (2.01 average) and junior Jack LaFontaine (3.43) have each played three games in net.

QUOTING JACKSON: “The guys understand the challenge ahead of us. The conference is going to be very challenging again.”

QUOTING O’LEARY: “A lot of credit to my linemates — I think each one of us brings something different. ‘Theis’ (left wing Colin Theisen, who has seven points) is a physical guy; Cal is super fast and he dogs pucks. And I just try to get to the net and create a little havoc.”

— John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent

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