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Notre Dame Hockey: Irish are #19 in Pairwise Rankings

Within striking distance

COLLEGE HOCKEY: NOV 23 Notre Dame at Boston University Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team isn’t having a great start to the 2022-2023 season, but there is plenty of season left for them to make some real noise in the Big 10 and nationally.

Speaking of the Big 10... Notre Dame is off this weekend, but they play host to the #1 team in the country for a series next weekend — the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Irish are on the bottom of the barrel in the conference right now — but there’s still quite a bit of hockey left. Frankly, the Minnesota Gophers are going to be hard to take down in the regular season (ND was swept in a series earlier this year in Minneapolis).

While conference standing are important and all, the overall goal remains an NCAA Tournament berth and advancing to the Frozen Four. With the way this season has unfolded — the latter is probably something we should put in a drawer.

Making the field of 16, however, is still a very achievable goal (and then we can go from there). Currently the Irish are ranked #19 in the Pairwise Rankings. Only conference champions and those withing the top 16 will make the NCAA Tourney, but with five other Big 10 schools ranked ahead of the Irish, there’s ample opportunity to rise in the standings.