HOCKEY: Notre Dame vs. Penn State
WHO: Penn State Nittany Lions (12-5-0, 7-3-0-0 Big Ten) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-6-2, 4-2-2-1 Big Ten).
WHEN/WHERE: Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. at Charles W. “Lefty” Smith Rink (5,022) in Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend.
TV: Friday, NHL Network; Saturday, none.
STREAMING: NBCSports.com and NBC Sports App.
RADIO: WZOC-FM (94.3) and UND.com.
RANKINGS: Coach Guy Gadowsky’s Nittany Lions No. 7 in both the USCHO.com (media) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls; Coach Jeff Jackson’s Irish No. 15 in media poll and No 14 in coaches poll.
RECAPS: Penn State split Big Ten series at Michigan, losing 4-1 Friday and winning 3-1 Saturday; Notre Dame swept by Boston College, 4-0 Friday in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and 6-1 Sunday in South Bend.
RIVALRY: Notre Dame leads series 11-4-3, including 7-2-1 in South Bend. … Irish went 3-2 last season, beating Nittany Lions 3-2 March 24 at Smith Rink to capture second straight Big Ten Tournament title.
SHAVINGS: Nittany Lions test Irish with nation’s leading offense (4.29 goals per game; No. 2 power play 21/67 for 31.3 percent). … Irish scoring just 2.88 goals per game (28th), 18th in power play (10/47, 21.3 percent) and 53rd (of 60) in penalty kill (34/45, 75.6 percent). … Irish trying to break five-game losing streak and are 3-6-1 in last 10 to Nittany Lions’ 6-4-0. … Centers Nate Sucese (8-15-23) and Evan Barratt (6-15-21) lead Penn State in scoring; right wing Sam Sternschein has team-high nine goals. … Cole Hults (4-10-14) leads defense in front of goalie Peyton Jones (11-4-0, 2.39 average, .924 saves percentage). … Center Mike O’Leary (7-9-16) paces Irish in scoring; O’Leary and freshman right wing Trevor Janicke tied with seven goals. … Sophomores Nick Leivermann (3-5-9) and Spencer Stastney (2-6-8) lead defense in front of goalie Cale Morris (5-5-2, 3.07 average, .890 percentage). … Janicke, Stastney and sophomore center Jake Pivonka on initial roster for U.S. national team in World Junior championship Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Czech Republic.
QUOTING JACKSON: (Penn State) “They are not a whole lot different than Boston College. They have a lot of skill and speed and apply a lot of pressure. They’ve got a group that has been together for three years.” (Losing streak) “All we can do right now is get back to the basics, simplify things and get these guys feeling good about themselves. We have to focus how we play probably more (than) winning a game. Right now it’s about doing things the right way.”