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.
- Baseball. Streaking Irish Open ACC Play At Georgia Tech
- M. Tennis. No. 23 Irish Prep For ACC Play
- W. Basketball. IRISH EXTRA: ACC Legend Achonwa Told It Like It Was
- W. Tennis. Tennis Runs In The Family
- Softball. Irish Softball Strikeout Cancer Trivia Night Sponsorship Opportunities Available
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame Men's Basketball Postgame Quotes
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame Men's Basketball Postgame Notes
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame Pulls Away From Louisville, 71-59
- W. Basketball. #2 Irish Head To Greensboro For ACC Championship
- W. Basketball. Loyd Named ACC Player of the Year, Turner Is ACC Freshman of the Year
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- Love the behind the scenes pics from the @UnderArmour Chicago store opening? Follow @NDLicensing for more sneak peeks http://t.co/aEAYpTHVUo 7 hours ago
- RT @CoachBrianKelly: Such an exciting time for @NDFootball to be part of the @UnderArmour family. #UABrandHouse #UAChicago #SubwayAlums htt… 7 hours ago
- RT @NDLicensing: The @FightingIrish are on display at the new @UnderArmour Chicago! #UAChicago #NotreDame #FightingIrish http://t.co/cTn0yO… 8 hours ago
- RT @NDLicensing: Spotted at #UAChicago: @CoachBrianKelly enjoying the @FightingIrish festivities. #NotreDame http://t.co/eJzHn1RPTG 8 hours ago
- RT @NDsoftball: ICYMI: Our annual Strikeout Cancer Trivia Night is on Friday, April, 17th. For more info on how to sponsor click here http:… 8 hours ago