March 29, 2013
Toledo, Ohio - The Notre Dame hockey team hit the ice for its practice day at the Huntington Center on Friday afternoon as they prepare for their NCAA Midwest Regional contest on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. versus the St. Cloud State Huskies.
The Irish, who won the 2013 and final CCHA championship last Sunday at Joe Louis Arena bring a 25-12-3 record into the game versus the Huskies and have won six straight games and are unbeaten (7-0-2) in their last nine games since Feb. 17. Notre Dame is the top seed in the Midwest Regional and is ranked fourth in both polls this week.
St. Cloud State is the fourth seed in the regional and is 23-15-1 on the year. The Huskies won a share of the WCHA regular season title with an 18-9-1 mark in league play. They lost to Wisconsin, 4-1, in the WCHA Final Five. St. Cloud enter the regional ranked ninth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and 11th in the USCHO.com poll. The Huskies practiced at the Huntington Center on Friday prior to Notre Dame's practice time.
Notre Dame and St. Cloud State have met 10 times in the all-time series with the series even at 5-5-0. The last time the teams met was on Oct. 17-18, 1997 with the Irish sweeping the Huskies at the National Hockey and Event Center (NHEC), 4-1 and 4-3 in overtime.
The second game of the regional features Miami (24-11-5) against Minnesota State (24-13-3) at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The RedHawks are ranked 11th in the USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine poll and eighth in the USCHO.com poll. They won the CCHA regular-season title and advanced to the conference semifinals where they lost to Michigan, 6-2.
The Notre Dame- St. Cloud State will be televised by ESPN Syndication and ESPN3 on Saturday and can be seen in the South Bend area on WHME-TV, channel 46. It also can be seen on various cable networks throughout the country. Check local listings for more information.
The Midwest Regional Championship game will be played at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 31 and the game will be televised live on ESPNU. The winner will advance to the Frozen Four at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 11-13.
Notre Dame is making its fifth appearance since 2007 and sixth overall in the 45-year history of the program. The last time the Irish were in the tournament was 2010-11 when they were a No. 3 seed in the Northeast Regional where they defeated Merrimack, 4-3 in overtime and then New Hampshire, 2-1, to take the Regional Championship. In the Frozen Four, the Irish lost to eventual champion, Minnesota-Duluth, 4-3, in the semifinals. All-time, Notre Dame is 6-5 in NCAA games.
St. Cloud State is making its ninth trip to the NCAA Championship since 1989 and the first for the Huskies since 2010. Overall, they are 1-9 in NCAA action.