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Notre Dame Hockey: Mercyhurst Series Preview

The Irish welcome the Lakers in their last series before beginning conference play

X @NDHockey

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team played last weekend exactly like they did most of last season, splitting the series with a pair of Jekyll & Hyde performances. The Irish won game one against Boston University 4-1 before losing game two 8-2. They now enter their last series before conference play begins by welcoming the Mercyhurst Lakers to South Bend for two games on Thursday and Friday.

Where, When, How to Watch

  • Where: Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend, IN
  • When: Thursday, October 26, 7:36pm ET; Friday, October 27, 7:35pm ET
  • How to Watch: Streaming on Peacock

Notre Dame came out strong in game one last weekend and got a struggling power play going, scoring twice and winning the game behind excellent goaltending. Game two was a completely different story with Notre Dame giving up 8 goals in a game that was over within the first period. The silver lining for Notre Dame is twofold though. First off as mentioned the Irish got the power play going after a terrible start. Secondly, Six different players scored for Notre Dame over two games as they continue to spread the offense around and get everybody involved.

In net, Ryan Bischel started the season strong for the Irish and continued that in game one with another strong performance. He gave up five goals in game two though before getting pulled, but has been excellent otherwise. His poor performance will throw off his stats for a bit until he gets a larger sample under him but that should happen in short order. The other big defensive strength from Notre Dame has been their penalty kill once again. They’ve killed off 18 of 20 penalties taken which has afforded the offense time to keep the team in games.

The two strongest starts on offense from Notre Dame have come from senior captain Landon Slaggert who leads the team with three goals and freshman Danny Nelson who is the only other player on the team with more than one goal. As a team the Irish are scoring only 2 goals per game so there is plenty of room for improvement and signs of life beginning to show. If the offense can catch up to the defense then the Irish will be in excellent position for Big Ten games to begin.

Notre Dame and Mercyhurst have played five times previously with Notre Dame going undefeated with a 4-0-1 record. Mercyhurst enters the series winless in regulation so far this season with a 0-1-2 record. Their offense is struggling so far this season and it presents an opportunity for Notre Dame to take advantage and head into conference play on a strong foot. The Lakers are scoring 3 goals per game but are giving up 3.33 goals per game. They’re also allowing their opponents to take nearly double their shots each game.

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What Notre Dame really needs most is consistency and this matchup provides them an opportunity to move in that direction. This series is a chance for the Irish to tale both games and they need to grab hold of it with two wins.