After going on the road for one game last weekend, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team returns home to South Bend for two games against the #6 ranked Boston University Terriers. The Irish lost last weekend meaning they enter the series with a 1-2 record and unranked. A tough matchup against a good team awaits as the Irish look to get back on track with winning hockey.
Where, When, How to Watch
- Where: Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame, IN
- When: Friday, October 20, 7:05pm ET; Saturday, October 21, 6:05pm ET
- How to Watch: Both games streaming on Peacock
Last Weekend Notre Dame travelled to RIT and watched their goal scoring dry up, losing the game 3-0. That follows a two game series where the Irish managed just four goals. So far the offense has lagged behind but the encouraging thing for Notre Dame is that they’ve controlled the shot advantage in every game that they’ve played and dominated last weekend. Continue to take shots and the goals should come, especially if they can create those shots in high danger scoring chances.
Part of Notre Dame’s struggles on offense has been the slow start for their power play. The chances are there they just haven’t converted, scoring only once on their 13 attempts with the man advantage. Converting some of those man up chances will go a long way towards getting the offense going. Another area of struggle has been at the start of games. Through three games Notre Dame has been outscored in the first period 3-0. If they can jump out to an early lead at all this weekend they have a good chance of holding on.
The reason Notre Dame has a good chance of holding onto a lead is because of the man in net, Ryan Bischel. Bischel has started the year extremely strong allowing 5 goals in 3 games. That equals a 1.69 GAA and .928 SV%. While the Irish have struggled with the man advantage, they’ve excelled while down a man. They’ve allowed just one power play goal against early in 8 attempts, killing 87.5% of the penalties they’ve taken. The Irish will need the defense to continue their strong play while the offense catches up. When it does they are poised to do damage in the Big Ten.
Boston University comes into the series with two game splayed and a 1-1 record. Their early season has been the opposite of Notre Dame though, as they’ve scored 7 goals in their first two games. While the offense has been clicking they’ve struggled on the penalty kill and in net. The Terriers have allowed 3 power play goals on 7 attempts (57.1% kill rate). That matchup may be just what Notre Dame needs to get going. Goalie Mathieu Caron has also struggled early saving only .862% of shots he’s faced. What may be an issue for the Irish is that more than half of the Terriers goals have come in the first period. The early minutes of these games may go a long way to determining the winner.
The two teams have faced each other 16 times with Notre Dame holding an 8-6-2 record. Their only matchup last year in Boston was won by the Terriers though. Still, based on the early season trends this looks to be a good matchup for Notre Dame to take advantage, despite the higher ranking of the Terriers.
While the statistics show that this is a good matchup to get the Irish offense going it is still very early in the season and these numbers can be misleading. Boston University is ranked #6 in the country for a reason, they are a talented team with high expectations for the year. Home ice is an advantage though that Notre Dame can take advantage of but I would expect a series split with a chance of an Irish sweep.