Michigan vs. Notre Dame 8:30 p.m., ESPN2
Records: Michigan 22-14-3, Notre Dame 27-9-2
Route to St. Paul: Michigan defeated Northeastern 3-2 and Boston University 6-3 to win Northeast Regional. Notre Dame defeated Michigan Tech 4-3 in overtime and Providence 2-1 to win East Regional.
Last meeting: Michigan defeated Notre Dame 1-0 on Feb. 18.
Series record: Michigan leads 77-56-5.
Wolverines at a glance: Michigan has had a strong second half of the season, going 10-2-1 in February and March. That included a sweep over Notre Dame on Feb. 16 and 18, which helped the Wolverines finish third in the Big Ten, a quick rebuild in Mel Pearson’s first season as Wolverines coach. Michigan has a solid 1-2 scoring punch in junior forward Cooper Marody (16-33—49) and senior forward Tony Calderone (24-18—42). Freshman defenseman Quinn Hughes (5-24—29) has solidified the blue line. The Wolverines took off the second half of the season when sophomore goalie Hayden Lavinge took over. He is 18-10-3 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.
Key stats for the Wolverines: Michigan split its four games against Notre Dame this season, with three of the four being decided by one goal. The Wolverines did not allow more than two goals against the Fighting Irish in any of those games.
Fighting Irish at a glance: Notre Dame bolted out of the gate, winning their first 13 Big Ten games and putting the conference race basically out of reach by mid-January. The Irish stumbled down the stretch in Big Ten play, losing four of six to end the regular season, but rebounded to win the Big Ten tournament with one-goal wins over Penn State and Ohio State (in overtime). Goalie Cale Morris, a Mike Richter Award finalist, keyed Notre Dame’s season. He’s 26-7-1 with a nation’s best .945 save percentage and 1.91 GAA (sixth nationally). Senior forward Jake Evans (11-31—42) and junior forward Andrew Oglevie (13-23—36) are the top two scorers for the Irish, while senior defenseman Jordan Gross of Maple Grove (10-18—28) provides punch from the blue line. Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson was named the Spencer Penrose Award winner as Division I coach of the year.
Key stats for the Fighting Irish: In its East Regional wins, Notre Dame beat Michigan Tech 4-3 on a goal by Gross 16:24 into overtime and beat Providence 2-1 on a goal by Edina’s Dylan Malmquist with 27 seconds left in the third period.