Opponent Preview: Notre Dame

Anders Lee

Hockey fans will be treated to a midweek clash on Tuesday as the No. 1 Gophers take on the No. 2 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame at Mariucci Arena. Game time is set for 7:00 pm and will be broadcast on FOX Sports North PLUS.

No. 1 Minnesota (13-3-3, 6-3-3 WCHA) vs. No.2 Notre Dame (14-4-0, 10-1-1 CCHA)
Minneapolis, Minn. – Mariucci Arena
7:00 p.m. CT – FOX Sports North PLUS (Doug McLeod, Kevin Gorg)

PREGAME NOTES

Storyline
The two top-ranked teams in the country will meet on Tuesday as Minnesota takes on the visiting Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The Gophers are fresh off an impressive 8-1 victory over then No. 1 Boston College while Notre Dame has won eight of their last nine contests. Fans should expect a high-energy game that will have NCAA Tournament implications.

Season to Date
Notre Dame is ranked second in the nation for a reason. The 14-4-0 Irish hold wins over Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, and sweeps against Michigan and Michigan State. One of their four losses came at the hands of Boston College who beat Notre Dame 3-1 in early November.

Coaching Preview
Jeff Jackson is in his eighth season behind the bench for Notre Dame. He holds a career record of 174-101-10 with the Irish, while leading his team to four NCAA appearances and two Frozen Fours.

Last Meeting
The last meeting between these top programs took place a year ago in the College Hockey Hall of Fame Game at Mariucci Arena. The Irish took the contest by a score of 4-3 despite late third period goals by Zach Budish and Nick Bjugstad.

Series History
Minnesota and Notre Dame have met 38 times with the Gophers holding a commanding 22-13-3 advantage. The Maroon and Gold have also found success at home against the Irish, compiling a 14-8-2 record when playing in Minneapolis.

A Family Affair
Tuesday will pit Minnesota coach and Notre Dame alum Don Lucia against his son, Mario, who is a freshman forward for the Irish. The younger Lucia recently won a gold medal with Team USA at the IIHF Under-20 World Championship.

Players to Watch
Anders Lee – The Edina (Minn.) native is a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder with an incredible array of skills. He currently leads the Irish with 11 goals to go with six assists.

Robbie Russo – The talented defensemen is an offensive threat for the Irish. The sophomore blueliner has tallied four goals and a team-high 11 assists this season.

Background
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Enrollment: 8,452
Conference: CCHA
Mascot: Fighting Irish
Coach: Jeff Jackson (8th Season)

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