Notre Dame hockey preview capsule

Staff reports
ND Insider


WHO: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Wisconsin Badgers.

WHERE: At LaBahn Arena, Madison, Wis.

WHEN: Friday at 8 p.m. EST and Saturday at 5 p.m. EST.

TV: Fox Sports Wisconsin.

STREAMING: Big Ten Network+.

RADIO: WZOC-FM (94.3) and

RECORDS: Coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish are 10-11-1 overall, 8-9-1-1-2-1 for 27 points and third place in Big Ten Conference standings. … Coach Tony Granato’s Badgers are 14-8-0 overall, 12-6-0-0-1-0 for 37 points and second place in Big Ten.

RANKINGS: Wisconsin No. 5 in both (media) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls. … Notre Dame receiving votes in poll.

RECAPS: Notre Dame coming off 3-0 shutout losses Friday and Saturday to visiting Minnesota, falling to 3-10-1 at Compton Family Ice Arena. … Wisconsin lost 5-1 Saturday before winning 3-2 Sunday at Michigan.

RIVALRY: Wisconsin leads series 45-25-8 after sweeping season-opening series Nov. 12-13 at Notre Dame by scores of 2-0 and 5-3.

SHAVINGS: Notre Dame’s 7-1 road record includes three straight victories. … Since Jan. 1, Fighting Irish are 6-6, having lost five of last eight, while Badgers are 9-3, winning five of last six. … Notre Dame’s top line remains junior right wing Alex Steeves (10-12-22), junior center Graham Slaggert (5-14-19) and freshman left wing Landon Slaggert (5-7-12). … Defense led by juniors Nick Leivermann (5-8-13) and Wisconsin native Spencer Stastney (5-6-11). … Senior Dylan St. Cyr (2.51 average, .912 saves percentage, one shutout) started his eighth straight game in goal Friday night against Gophers, but sophomore Ryan Bischel (2.87 average, .890 saves percentage) started Saturday. … Wisconsin sophomore right wing Cole Caufield (first-round NHL draft choice of Montreal Canadiens) leads nation in scoring at 17-16-33. … Other top scorers include senior left wing Linus Weissbach (8-18-26), sophomore center Dylan Holloway (8-17-25), senior center Ty Pelton-Byce (7-9-16), junior left wing Roman Ahcan (6-10-16) and junior right wing Brock Caufield (7-7-14). … Senior Tyler Inamoto (1-7-8) and junior Ty Emberson (2-4-6) anchor defense in front of goalies Robbie Beydoun (2.94 average, .909 save percentage, two shutouts) and Cameron Rowe (7-1 record, 1.61 average, .945 saves percentage, one shutout). … Wisconsin power play third nationally at 30.3 percent (20 of 65). … Irish penalty-kill unit is 17-for-17 on road and Irish power play is 7-of-20 (35 percent) on road to lead nation.

SPOTLIGHT: Spencer Stastney, 5-foot-11, 181-pound junior defenseman from Mequon, Wis. (a northern Milwaukee suburb 90 miles east of Madison) and draft choice of NHL Nashville Predators. … Sister Amelia and brother Pierce attend Wisconsin. … Former member of USA Hockey National Development Team for two years who twice played on Team USA in World Juniors. … In 97 career games, Stastney has nine goals, 26 assists and 35 points.

(Choosing Notre Dame) “My parents (North Dakota hockey fans) wanted me to go somewhere where academics were a priority. While Wisconsin is a very good school, Notre Dame had that extra something (he majors in business finance and film). As far as offers, Notre Dame was the first and only school I visited.”

(Wisconsin) “I’m familiar with a lot of their players (Caufield, Inamoto, Emberson and forward Owen Lindmark are former USNTDP teammates). They are very deep. It’s a matter of knowing who’s on the ice, shutting them down and sticking with them, to use some of our skill and speed as well.”

(Notre Dame’s road success) “In the time I’ve been here, we’ve been good on the road. This year, being on the road, in the hotel with all the guys, it just limits distractions. As coach Jackson says, it’s a business trip.”

(Bouncing back) “It was nice going to Ohio State and getting those big wins (6-1 and 8-1). Minnesota is a whole, another monster. I don’t know if we weren’t ready but we need to find a way to score against a good team with a good defense. This week will be another challenge.”

– John Fineran,

Tribune Correspondent

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