Nov 23, 2012, 10:16 AM EST
So far this season, there have been a few “first since” comments about the hockey team.
For instance, this weekend Notre Dame will playing North Dakota at home for the first time since 1981. The Irish are coming off a road sweep of rival Michigan for the first time since 1978. When they face Lake Superior State Nov. 30, it will be the first time since Oct. 13 that the Irish play an unranked team.
When you have as brutal a stretch as Notre Dame has had this season, it comes with the territory.
On Friday the team formerly known as the Fighting Sioux will make the trip to South Bend for the first time since the two teams were WCHA conference foes. Since then, the two teams have only met five times – four in Grand Forks and once in the Shillelagh Tournament in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
The games on Friday and Saturday will be the 10th and 11th consecutive games against ranked opponents for Notre Dame. So far, the Irish are 6-3, coming off that sweep of Michigan in Yost Arena. As I said, the first since 1978, when team parents Kevin Nugent, Sr. and Don Lucia played for the Irish.
Don’s son, freshman Mario Lucia, actually played his first minutes for Notre Dame last weekend, recovering from a broken leg he suffered in the offseason. He scored a goal in the 4-1 victory on Friday night.
This weekend might have a little extra meaning for Lucia, since his father, Don, is the coach of Minnesota’s hockey team – the archrival of the former Fighting Sioux. Don’t be surprised if some of the North Dakota players finish their checks on Lucia a little more thoroughly this weekend.
If the Irish can take one or two from this series, they will be in good shape when they continue conference play – Notre Dame has the best conference record in the CCHA at 5-1. Head coach Jeff Jackson has said he likes scheduling difficult nonconference matchups – such as Minnesota-Duluth, Boston College, North Dakota, and Minnesota – to better prepare his team for league games.
So far, it looks like his philosophy has been successful. Notre Dame has lost two of its nonconference games, but is poised to make a run in the CCHA if successful this weekend.
The last time the Irish swept North Dakota? 1977. In a season of “first since” comments, here’s hoping for one more.
- M. Ice Hockey. Vince Hinostroza Added To Preliminary USA Roster For 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships
- M. Basketball. Fighting Irish To Battle The Bison On Wednesday
- M. Lacrosse. Jim Marlatt And Stephen O'Hara To Captain The Irish
- W. Volleyball. Houser Earns AVCA East Coast All-Region Honors
- M. Swimming. Stephens, Coumos Named ACC Weekly Award Winners
- M. Soccer. #3 Irish Face #7 Lobos In First College Cup Appearance
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame vs. Bryant - Postgame Quotes
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame vs. Bryant - Postgame Notes
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame Rolls Past Bryant, 70-59
- Softball. Softball Accepting Registration For January 19 Clinic
Fighting Irish on YouTube
2013 Season Preview - Notre Dame Men's Soccer
Length: 2:20 | August 22, 2013
2013 Season Preview - Notre Dame Women's Soccer
Length: 1:52 | August 19, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Demetrius Jackson - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:08 | August 1, 2013
Irish In The ACC - Swimming & Diving
Length: 3:09 | July 31, 2013
- Meet @NDFIDM's Student Athlete of the Week, @NDwSwimming's Emma Reaney! bit.ly/19hKbdO #GoIrish! 14 minutes ago
- RT @NDFootball: #NEPBTrophyTour Schedule - 3pm @HammesNotreDame - 4:30 LaFortune - 6:30 @NDmbb - 8:30 Brother's Thursday - 10am Hesburg… 56 minutes ago
- RT @NDFootball: To win the @PinstripeBowl tickets, tweet a pic of you with the trophy with the hashtag #NEPBTrophyTour & they will pick the… 56 minutes ago
- Afternoon Irish Headlines pt2 - @NDHockey Vince Hinostroza bit.ly/1iWyMWQ #GoIrish 1 hour ago
- Afternoon Irish Headlines pt1 - @NDLacrosse Captains bit.ly/1cAVyhV - @NDSwimming ACC Awards bit.ly/1bWq07G ... 1 hour ago