Men’s Hockey: Non Conference Preview

Coming off their season opening win, the #17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team will take to the road this weekend for a pair of non-conference games against teams from Michigan. Notre Dame starts the weekend on Friday against the #16 Michigan Tech Huskies before a Saturday night game against the Northern Michigan Wildcats.

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Where, When, How to Watch

  • Where: MacInnes Student Ice Arena, Houghton, MI (Fri. Oct. 15); Berry Events Center, Marquette, MI (Sat. Oct. 16)
  • When: Friday, October 15, 7:00pm ET; Saturday, October 16, 6:30pm ET
  • How to Watch: Streaming only on FloHockey.tv

Notre Dame enters this weekend coming off of a 5-2 win against the Long Island Sharks in their season opener. The offense was in excellent form in the opener, scoring five times in in the first two periods. The Irish also saw five different goal scorers in their first game with contributions spread throughout the entire lineup. For a team that often struggled with inconsistency last season, especially at home, that was an encouraging sing. Returning four of their top five scorers from last season should also help the Irish on offense this year.

Graduate transfer Matthew Galajda started in goal for Notre Dame last weekend and was strong, but also relatively untested. Galajda has a strong track record in college though, joining Notre Dame after three seasons at Cornell, where he posted a save percentage of .921 or better with a GAA of 1.85 or below every year. His 19 career shutouts are also second among active NCAA goaltenders. Look for Galajda to start at least one game for Notre Dame and possibly both. If not Galajda, junior Ryan Bischel seems the most likely candidate to start a game as the only returning goaltender with experience at Notre Dame.

While it is probably too early in the season to tell too much about most teams, Michigan Tech enters this weekend with a 2-0 record and ranked one spot ahead of Notre Dame. The Huskies are coming off of a road sweep against the Wisconsin Badgers by a total score of 10-3. They also lead the all time series against Notre Dame 31-22-2.

Northern Michigan also comes into the weekend with a 2-0 record following two big wins against St. Thomas (Minn.). The Wildcats sit just outside of the top 20 rankings but will be looking to jump up if they can beat Notre Dame. The Irish lead the all time series 24-21-8, but these two teams haven’t met since 2018, with only four players still on Notre Dame’s roster from that game.

Prediction

Facing two different teams in two days is never easy. It is made even more difficult when both of those games are on the road against quality competition. Notre Dame was a strong road team last season though and if they can continue that they have a good chance of finishing the weekend successfully. Still, given the situation, it feels like a split of the two games is the most likely outcome here and that is an outcome that Notre Dame should be just fine with at this point in the season.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nhl/notre-dame-hockey-weekend-preview-vs-michigan-tech-and-northern-michigan/ar-AAPxjke

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