The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team has received a bid to their fifth straight NCAA Tournament as the #4 seed in the Albany Regional. Albany is one of the two regional sights that will allow fans into the arena, so Notre Dame will be playing in front of a crowd, if a limited one.
The Irish will play their first game against the Boston College Eagles on Saturday March 27 at 1pm. Boston College is the #1 seed in the Albany Regional and the #2 overall seed in the tournament, so the Irish will have a tough matchup right from the start. The rest of the region includes the St. Cloud St. Huskies and the Boston University Terriers.
Earlier today it was announced that the St. Lawrence Saints, who received an automatic bid for winning the ECAC Conference Tournament, had to withdraw from the NCAA Tournament due to a positive COVID test. Notre Dame, along with the Omaha Mavericks, were the beneficiaries as the two teams who were under consideration for final spot in the tournament both received bids according to Committee Chair Mike Kemp.
Notre Dame finished the season at 14-13-2 overall but were eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament in the first round. Many believed the season was over at that point, but with a second life Notre Dame will now be looking to capitalize and make a deep run. If that script sounds familiar to Notre Dame fans it should, as it was back in 2018 that the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs were the last team in the tournament before beating Notre Dame in the National Championship.
The Irish have certainly shown that they are talented enough to beat anybody on the schedule, they just haven’t played with enough consistency. The single game elimination format of the tournament will give them a chance to make a run despite their lack of consistency. Stay tuned for full coverage of the Irish in the NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament.