Notre Dame hockey set for Top-10 matchup with Minnesota
Notre Dame hockey hasn't lost a game yet in the month of November, and will look to continue that run on its home ice this weekend.
The fourth-ranked Fighting Irish welcome sixth-ranked Minnesota, and return to conference play riding a seven-game winning streak. That ties the longest active winning streak in the country.
Though the Irish are coming off a road series against RPI, they have already played two Big Ten series and swept both. Though Notre Dame is undefeated thus far in its first Big Ten season, head coach Jeff Jackson knows how tough it will be to keep that perfect mark against a team of Minnesota's caliber.
"They'll be a challenge for us. It's going to be the biggest challenge for us since [top-ranked] Denver," he said. "We have to be prepared to match our depth with their depth."
When moving to the Big Ten, Jackson was adamant that the competition would be tough, but that the regional matchups would create excitement among the team and its fanbase.
"We cross paths a fair amount recruiting-wise," he siad. "We'll probably have a lot of Minnesota guys pumped up to play this weekend. It could be a good rivalry for us as time goes on. That's what makes the conference so interesting to me. You've got not just the high-profile programs but you're going to be playing in venues that'll be intimidating."
Though the venues on the road may be intimidating, this matchup is taking place in the comforts of Compton Family Ice Arena, and Jackson hopes the atmosphere will become one of the Big Ten's best.
"This is going to be good for us, going through these situations so next time we get into those high-profile, high-pressure environments, playing at Minnesota or Wisconsin with 12- to 15-thousand fans. It's going to be intimidating when we get in to those places so we have to make this place intimidating as well."
The two game series takes place on Friday and Saturday.