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.
- Football. Sunday Brunch: Irish Defeat Came That Close to Victory
- Football. Notre Dame Vs. Stanford Postgame Notes
- Football. No. 4 Notre Dame falls to No. 13 Stanford 38-36
- M. Ice Hockey. No. 18 Irish Bounce Back to Defeat Western Michigan 3-1
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame Meets Alabama In Final Game Of 2015 AdvoCare Invitational
- W. Basketball. Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 92, UCLA 84 (OT)
- W. Basketball. #3 Irish Defeat UCLA 92-84 in Overtime
- M. Soccer. Keys To The Game: NCAA Championship Round of 16
- M. Basketball. Postgame Notes
- M. Basketball. Notre Dame Vs. Iowa Quotes
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- 🍀 3RD PERIOD STUNNER #18 @NDHockey beats Western Michigan 3-1, with two goals scored in the last 5 minutes of play amp.twimg.com/v/9dbda5ab-182… 3 hours ago
- Sanders' Run: ✔️ Fuller's Catch: ✔️ Kizer's TD: ✔️ See the Top Plays of @NDFootball's battle with Stanford amp.twimg.com/v/541e47e9-1df… 11 hours ago
- 🏈 It's been a remarkable season for Team 127. See the highlights of their final regular season battle vs. Stanford. amp.twimg.com/v/f4cf0744-2a7… 20 hours ago
- 🏈 DESHONE KIZER FOR THE TD! LET'S GO! #6 @NDFootball - 36 #9 Stanford - 35 https://t.co/Do7BcTLVtn 22 hours ago
- RT @WWESheamus: What a Touchdown ND. C'mon da Irish. @NotreDame @FightingIrish #NDvsSTAN 23 hours ago