Notre Dame’s chances to win the B1G came down to overtime against Minnesota, but they got it done on the power play and will play in the B1G Final.
The calendar year began with a bang for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who hosted the 2019 NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. Then they got to play on that ice themselves. Now they are looking to win their conference and make noise in the NCAA College Hockey tournament.
The Irish are on to the B1G championship game. They defeated the Minnesota Gophers 2-1 in overtime on Saturday night. It was a very tight game all around. They won when Michael Graham scored a power-play goal in overtime and sent them on their way.
Notre Dame got to this game by defeating Michigan State in a three-game series in the B1G quarterfinals the round before. They swept them 2-0 in order to have the right to face Minnesota in the Semifinals.
Now, they await the winner of today’s game between fourth-seeded Penn State and top-seeded Ohio State. They will take on whoever that might be in the B1G Final on either March 23rd or 24th. You would think that you are rooting for the lesser seed to win but rooting for an opponent never works. Both of those teams would be very tough for the Irish to beat and would need a top level effort to defeat them.
It was an up and down season for Notre Dame in a mediocre B1G conference this year. They went 11-11-2-2 this season for 37 points. That was good for 37 points and second place behind only Ohio State. They might have a chance to play Ohio State in the finals and prove they are just as good if not better. The Irish (15) and the Buckeyes(5) are the only two teams from the Big Ten that are ranked in the top 15 in the nation. That would be an incredible showdown if they were to meet in the finals.
After that championship game would be the tournament. Similar to how the March Madness basketball tournament goes in terms of selection, except it is only a bracket of 16 to start instead of 64. Notre Dame has a good chance to be selected, and that would be even better if they were to win the conference tournament. Keep an eye out for the winner of Penn State/Ohio State to see who it will be for the Irish.
If they make it to the tournament there is hope that they could make a little run. This is a team that isn’t a stranger to making it to the Frozen Four. They made it in 2017 when the United Center hosted it. This year it will be held in Buffalo. Good luck to the Irish in the conference championship and beyond.