clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Notre Dame Hockey: Northeast Regional Final VS UMass Preview

New, 5 comments

The Fighting Irish need one more victory to make it three straight trips to the Frozen Four

Twitter | @ndhockey

At the conclusion of the regular season, this year’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish knew that if they were going to be playing for a national championship, they’d need to go on a run similar to last season, where every victory in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments were thrillers. So far, that’s been the case. Cam Morrison’s goal at 15:53 into overtime against the Clarkson Golden Knights on Friday night got the Irish one step closer to their third straight Frozen Four. To get there, they’ll need to defeat the UMass Minutemen on Saturday.

WHERE, WHEN, AND HOW TO WATCH

Where: SNHU Arena, Manchester, NH
When: Saturday, Mar. 30, 6:30 PM ET
Watch: ESPNU

While it took a nail-biter for the Irish to advance to Saturday’s contest, the same couldn’t be said for the Minutemen. UMass had their way with the Harvard Crimson on Friday, sending them packing after a 4-0 win. Senior forward Brett Boeing had a pair goals, but the real star was the Minutemen defense, allowed Harvard to get only 17 shots.

UMass was consistently ranked in the top 5 for much of this season. That was thanks in part to their explosive offense, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the country. The top 4 scoring leaders in the Hockey East were all Minutemen, lead by sophomore defenseman Cale Makar and senior forward Jacob Pritchard.

While this is the first time the Irish and Minutemen have met this season, Jeff Jackson’s team is no stranger to their former Hockey East foe. In fact, Notre Dame was a perfect 4-0 against Hockey East opponents this season. The only Big Ten action UMass has seen this year was a series split against the Ohio State Buckeyes in October.

PREDICTION

It’s hard to top the excitement of the last two Notre Dame games we saw, but this is one that I’m very excited to watch. On Friday, UMass looked every bit of the national championship contender that people thought they were coming into the tournament, but the Notre Dame defense and goaltending has looked spectacular awesome. I’m predicting another overtime, and another Frozen Four appearance for the Irish.