The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's ice hockey team is the college ice hockey team at the University of Notre Dame, competing at the NCAA Division I level and is an associate member of the Big Ten Conference.
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish|
|University||University of Notre Dame|
13th season, 293–176–54 (.612)
Jordan Gross, Luke Ripley, Andrew Oglevie
Compton Family Ice Arena|
|Location||Notre Dame, Indiana|
Blue and Gold|
|NCAA Tournament Frozen Four|
|2008, 2011, 2017, 2018|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018|
|Conference Tournament championships|
|CCHA: 2007, 2009, 2013; Big Ten: 2018|
|Conference regular season championships|
|Big Ten: 2017–18|
Prior to the 2013–14 season, the team competed in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, and also won its last ever conference championship. In the 2013–2014 season, the team began to play in the Hockey East conference, where it played until the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season. Beginning in the 2017–2018 season, the team joined the Big Ten Conference.
Ice hockey has existed on and off as both a club and varsity sport at Notre Dame since 1912. The modern era of Notre Dame hockey began in 1968, when the Fighting Irish began to play as a Division I independent. In 1971, the team joined its first conference, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). The team continued playing in the WCHA for a decade until moving to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) with the conference's three Michigan schools in 1981.
The Fighting Irish lasted only two years in the new CCHA, when ice hockey was downgraded to a club sport for the 1983–1984 season. During that season, the Fighting Irish played in the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL). Notre Dame finished that season second in the CSCHL with a record of 13–2–0. In 1984–1985 Notre Dame Hockey was once again elevated to varsity status with the team playing as a Division I independent. In 1992 Notre Dame rejoined the CCHA. The Irish struggled to remain competitive in the CCHA, but began to improve under head coach Dave Poulin. In 2004, Poulin led the team to its first ever NCAA Tournament. However, the following season was dramatically different. They only won five games, the worst season in school history. Poulin resigned after the season.
In 2005, Jeff Jackson took over as head coach. Jackson, who had already won two national championships at Lake Superior State University, had an immediate impact at Notre Dame. In his first season with the Irish, the team greatly improved upon the five-win season, boosting its record to 13–19–5. 2007 was even more successful. The Irish achieved their first ever number one ranking in both the Uscho.com and USA Today Polls and their first number one seeding for the NCAA Tournament. The following year, the Irish finished fourth in both the CCHA's regular season and playoffs, and again made the NCAA Tournament. Once there, the Irish went on to beat top-seeded New Hampshire 7–3 and third-seeded Michigan State 3–1 to advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in school history. From there, they defeated first-seeded Michigan in overtime to advance to the national title game, ultimately losing to Boston College 4–1. Notre Dame also became the first four-seed to advance to the national semi-finals, and eventually to the national title game since the new 16-team format was introduced in 2003. In the 2008–2009 season, the Irish added another CCHA regular season title and a CCHA Tournament title, defeating Michigan 5–2 in the title game. Notre Dame advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament where the Irish was upset by 16th seeded Bemidji State 1–5.
The following season, Notre Dame finished with a record of 13–17–8 and ended the season after being swept by Ohio State two games to none in the three game opening round series of the CCHA Playoffs. The Irish rebounded in the 2010–11 regular season at 23–13–5, and clinched their second trip to the Frozen Four in program history by defeating New Hampshire 2–1 in the Northeast Regional Final. The Fighting Irish faced the East Regional Champion Minnesota-Duluth in the National Semi-finals. The Irish fell to the eventual national champion 3–4.
In October 2011, Notre Dame announced the team will join Hockey East starting in the 2013–14 season, in response to the conference realignment. The university also announced an expanded television broadcast deal with NBC. The Fighting Irish Hockey began the 2011–12 season in the Edmund P. Joyce Center and played the last hockey game at the Joyce Center on October 15, 2011 against Ohio State. The team opened the university's new 5,000-seat Compton Family Ice Arena on October 21, 2011 against Rensselaer. Following the move into the new arena the Irish improved to a 7–3 home record in the new facility that included wins over future Hockey East rivals, Boston University, ranked 3th in the NCAA, Boston College, ranked 4th, and 8th ranked Western Michigan. On January 4, 2012, former coach and long-time Notre Dame Athletic Department employee, Charles "Lefty" Smith died. Smith coached the team from 1968 to 1987 as the first varsity ice hockey after helping the program transition from club to varsity status. Following his coaching career, he continued at Notre Dame in the athletic department until retiring just three days before his death. The Fighting Irish finished the regular season with an overall record of 17–16–3 and a conference record of 12–13–3. The team defeated Ohio State in the opening round of the 2012 CCHA Tournament, sweeping the Buckeyes in two games by scores of 2–0 and 4–2. In the second round of the CCHA Tournament, the team was defeated by the Michigan Wolverines in two games in a series that saw the first game go into a double overtime. The team was defeated in the first round of the NCAA regional playoffs in 2013 and 2014, both times by the St. Cloud State Huskies.
As of completion of 2017–18 regular season
|Totals||8 coaches||58 seasons||854–860–153||482|
The Fighting Irish have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 10 times.
|2004||No. 4||Midwest Regional Semi-final||No. 1 Minnesota||L 5–2|
|2007||No. 1||Midwest Regional Semi-final
Midwest Regional Final
|No. 4 Alabama-Huntsville
#3 Michigan State
|2008||No. 4||West Regional Semi-final
West Regional Final
|No. 1 New Hampshire
#3 Michigan State
#2 Boston College
|2009||No. 1||Midwest Regional Semi-final||No. 4 Bemidji State||L 5-1|
|2011||No. 3||Northeast Regional Semi-final
Northeast Regional Final
|No. 2 Merrimack
#4 New Hampshire
|2013||No. 1||Midwest Regional Semi-final||No. 4 St. Cloud State||L 5-1|
|2014||No. 2||West Regional Semi-final||No. 3 St. Cloud State||L 4-3|
|2016||No. 3||Midwest Regional Semi-final||No. 2 Michigan||L 3-2|
|2017||No. 4||Northeast Regional Semi-final
Northeast Regional Final
|No. 1 Minnesota
|2018||No. 1||East Regional Semi-final
East Regional Final
|No. 4 Michigan Tech
No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth
As of September 26, 2017.
|No.||S/P/C||Player||Class||Pos||Height||Weight||DoB||Hometown||Previous team||NHL rights|
|1||Dylan St. Cyr||Freshman||G||5' 9" (1.75 m)||170 lb (77 kg)||1999-05-23||Northville, Michigan||USNTDP (USHL)||—|
|2||Tony Bretzman||Senior||D||5' 11" (1.8 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||1994-11-10||Mendota Heights, Minnesota||Langley (BCHL)||—|
|3||Jordan Gross (A)||Senior||D||5' 10" (1.78 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1995-05-09||Maple Grove, Minnesota||Green Bay (USHL)||—|
|4||Dennis Gilbert||Junior||D||6' 2" (1.88 m)||220 lb (100 kg)||1996-10-30||Buffalo, New York||Chicago (USHL)||CHI, 91st overall 2015|
|5||Matt Hellickson||Freshman||D||6' 0" (1.83 m)||181 lb (82 kg)||1998-03-21||Rogers, Minnesota||Sioux City (USHL)||NJD, 214th overall 2017|
|6||Tory Dello||Sophomore||D||6' 0" (1.83 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1997-02-14||Crystal Lake, Illinois||Tri-City (USHL)||—|
|8||Matt Steeves||Freshman||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||1997-10-04||Bedford, New Hampshire||Muskegon (USHL)||—|
|9||Dawson Cook||Senior||F||6' 2" (1.88 m)||215 lb (98 kg)||1995-06-15||Cadillac, Michigan||Green Bay (USHL)||—|
|11||Cal Burke||Sophomore||F||5' 10" (1.78 m)||184 lb (83 kg)||1997-03-19||Boxborough, Massachusetts||Cedar Rapids (USHL)||—|
|12||Felix Holmberg||Sophomore||F||5' 10" (1.78 m)||178 lb (81 kg)||1996-04-25||Stockholm, Sweden||AIK J20 (J20 SuperElit)||—|
|13||Colin Theisen||Freshman||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||188 lb (85 kg)||1997-04-24||Monroe, Michigan||Dubuque (USHL)||—|
|14||Max Eisenmenger||Freshman||F||6' 3" (1.91 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1998-08-21||Münster, Germany||Djurgården J20 (J20 SuperElit)||—|
|15||Andrew Oglevie (A)||Junior||F||5' 10" (1.78 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||1995-02-16||Fullerton, California||Cedar Rapids (USHL)||—|
|17||Pierce Crawford||Freshman||F||5' 9" (1.75 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1997-06-23||Park Ridge, Illinois||Youngstown (USHL)||—|
|18||Jake Evans (C)||Senior||F||6' 1" (1.85 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1996-06-02||Toronto, Ontario||St. Michael's (OJHL)||MTL, 207th overall 2014|
|19||Mike O'Leary||Sophomore||F||6' 1" (1.85 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||1998-01-01||Halifax, Nova Scotia||Dubuque (USHL)||—|
|20||Justin Wade||Senior||D||6' 1" (1.85 m)||220 lb (100 kg)||1994-04-13||Aurora, Illinois||Cedar Rapids (USHL)||—|
|21||Joe Wegwerth||Junior||F||6' 3" (1.91 m)||225 lb (102 kg)||1996-06-16||Brewster, New York||Cedar Rapids (USHL)||FLA, 92nd overall 2014|
|22||Andrew Peeke||Sophomore||D||6' 2" (1.88 m)||208 lb (94 kg)||1998-03-17||Parkland, Florida||Green Bay (USHL)||CBJ, 34th overall 2016|
|23||Luke Novak||Sophomore||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||187 lb (85 kg)||1995-02-27||Waukesha, Wisconsin||Jersey (USPHL)||—|
|24||Luke Ripley (A)||Senior||D||6' 5" (1.96 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||1994-06-14||Kitimat, British Columbia||Powell River (BCHL)||—|
|25||Dylan Malmquist||Junior||F||5' 11" (1.8 m)||181 lb (82 kg)||1996-08-18||Edina, Minnesota||Edina (USHS–MN)||—|
|26||Cam Morrison||Sophomore||F||6' 3" (1.91 m)||215 lb (98 kg)||1998-08-27||Aurora, Ontario||Youngstown (USHL)||COL, 40th overall 2016|
|27||Bobby Nardella||Junior||D||5' 9" (1.75 m)||178 lb (81 kg)||1996-04-22||Rosemont, Illinois||Tri-City (USHL)||—|
|28||Jack Jenkins||Junior||F||5' 11" (1.8 m)||192 lb (87 kg)||1995-07-11||Lake Bluff, Illinois||Fargo (USHL)||—|
|29||Bo Brauer||Senior||F||6' 3" (1.91 m)||210 lb (95 kg)||1995-04-20||Edina, Minnesota||Nanaimo (BCHL)||—|
|32||Cale Morris||Sophomore||G||6' 1" (1.85 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1996-05-22||Larkspur, Colorado||Waterloo (USHL)||—|
|33||Nick Sanford||Freshman||G||6' 1" (1.85 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||1996-12-15||Morristown, New Jersey||Boston Jr. Bruins (USPHL)||—|
In February 2009, The University of Notre Dame announced it will begin construction on a new, freestanding, on-campus ice arena designed to meet the needs of both the Irish hockey team and the local community. Construction on the 5,022-seat arena began on March 15, 2010 with the venue opening in the Fall of 2011. The arena held its first Notre Dame hockey game on October 21, 2011 when a sellout crowd saw Notre Dame defeat Rensselaer 5–2.
The new ice arena is located south of the Joyce Center, just north of Edison Road, and just west of where the new Irish track and field facility is being constructed. The majority of the general public arena seating is of the chair-back variety with bleacher seating in the student section. The Compton Family Center replaced the rink inside the Edmund P. Joyce Center. During the time that the Irish played at the Joyce Center, the facility was the second smallest home rink in the CCHA with a hockey capacity of 2,857. All seats were benchers, and most of the seating consists of temporary bleachers. In 2007, the Irish compiled an impressive 14–2–2 home record at the Joyce Center.