The success of Notre Dame hockey this season has come down to the team’s leadership, tactics between the pipes, and youngest talent. Three Fighting Irish players have been nominated for Big Ten hockey individual awards.
Jeff Jackson: Coach of the Year nominee
Notre Dame’s coach has distinguished himself in one of the NCAA’s most storied athletic programs. This season saw Jackson break Lefty Smith’s record for most wins in Notre Dame hockey history. An impressive 18 players under his leadership at Notre Dame have gone on to play in the NHL. With the Irish, Jackson has four Frozen Four trips behind him, and a fifth is still attainable as the team sits 15th in the PairWise rankings. His leadership has brought cohesion and discipline to characterize the season.
Cale Morris: Goaltender of the Year nominee
The Irish goalie is in the running to win this award for the second year in a row. Morris claims four shutouts for the season, and a nomination for the Hobey Baker award. His reliability in the net has earned him the 2018 Mike Richter award and could carry the team beyond the Big Ten tournament.
Michael Graham: Freshman of the Year nominee
The first year players have been indispensable to this year’s squad. Graham is an especially notable rising scorer, ranking highest among all Big Ten freshmen with 10 goals. He has been essential on the Fighting Irish power play this season, claiming 7 power play goals. Graham’s offense has been one of the most critical elements of this season’s success.
Award winners will be announced March 19. The Fighting Irish will go head to head with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers at 7 Saturday night. To watch the game, check out Big Ten Network on TV or stream online with BTN2Go.
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