College hockey: Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame

Staff reports
ND Insider

WHO: Wisconsin (0-0-0) vs. Notre Dame (0-0-0).

WHERE: Charles W. “Lefty” Smith Rink at Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend.

WHEN: Friday and Saturday nights, 7 p.m. EST

TV/INTERNET: NBCSN and NBCSports.com Friday; NBCSports.com and NHL Network Saturday.

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

RANKINGS: Wisconsin is 25th USCHO.com and 27th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll; Notre Dame is 20th in the USCHO.com poll and 19th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

RECAPS: Coach Tony Granato’s Badgers coming off 14-20-2 season that included 7-15-2-2 finish in the Big Ten. … Coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish finished 2019-20 season at 15-15-7 and 9-9-6-4 in Big Ten.

RIVALRY: Wisconsin leadS 43-25-8 in series that began with 3-0 victory by Notre Dame at outdoors Badin Rink during the 1921-22 season. … The Irish and Badgers were long-time rivals in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. … Since joining the Big Ten, Notre Dame has a 7-4-1 edge in the series. … Last season, teams split four games.

SHAVINGS: Because of COVID-19 protocols, only family members will have admission to games. … The Irish are playing a 28-game schedule that features four games against its six Big Ten brethren and four against independent Arizona State. … Jackson enters 16th season at Notre Dame as the all-time winningest coach with 334-206-64 record. … Under Jackson, the Irish have 10 NCAA appearances and made it to four Frozen Fours, finishing runner-up in 2008 and 2018. … Junior defenseman Nate Clurman is the Irish team captain. … Alex Steeves (11 goals, 17 assists, 28 points), Colin Theisen (8-12-20) and Michael Graham (4-16-20) lead the returning forwards. … The defense is anchored by Spencer Stastney (3-17-20) and Matt Hellickson (5-11-16). … Dylan St. Cyr returns after a redshirt season to share goaltending duties with Ryan Bischel. … Against the Badgers, Graham is 8-2-10, Theisen 3-7-10 and Steeves 2-4-6. … Forwards Cole Caufield (19-17-36) and Roman Ahcan (14-11-25) and defenseman Tyler Inamoto (2-5-7) return to lead the Badgers.

QUOTING JACKSON: “The guys are biting at the bit. They’re tired of practicing and hitting each other. They needed to play games.” … “I’ve been really impressed with our young goaltenders, but St. Cyr came back with a fire in his eyes.” … “Wisconsin has some tremendously skilled players and maybe the best player in the country in Cole Caufield.”

Irish to hit road for Big Ten hockey tourney. B6