The Irish got a stellar performance from sophomore goaltender Ryan Bischel, who stopped 55 of the 58 shots he faced over the two wins against the Wolverines. He was named the Big Ten’s First Star of the Week.
Notre Dame’s next opponent is the 20th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils, a team that is coming off a great weekend in which they put up 11 goals in their sweep of the Wisconsin Badgers. The Sun Devils present a difficult matchup for the Irish as Notre Dame hopes to keep their winning ways going.
The 2-2 Irish have yet to establish a consistent level of play. They’ve scored just eight goals in their first four contests, including being shut out in their first game of the season. Even though the Irish have outshot their opponents in three of those four games, it is not always translating into goals. The bright spot for Notre Dame is their defensive play. In their two wins against Michigan, the Irish allowed just three goals.
The Sun Devils had a very similar start to their season. In their first four games, they went 0-3-1 and scored just two goals while being shut out twice. But in their next two games, they exploded for 11 goals to sweep Wisconsin. Which Sun Devils team will show up against Notre Dame this weekend?
Players to Watch
Grant Silianoff – Notre Dame
Freshman Grant Siliaoff tallied his first collegiate goal in Notre Dame’s 3-2 win over Michigan last Friday. Silianoff looked nothing like a first-year player when he received the long stretch pass and beat the Wolverine netminder on a breakaway.
A big part of being a successful hockey player is having confidence in your own abilities. There’s no doubt Silianoff is going into this weekend’s series against Arizona State with a strong belief in himself and a desire to build off of his performance against Michigan.
Graham Slaggert – Notre Dame
Junior Graham Slaggert is poised for a breakout weekend against the Sun Devils. The South Bend-native has yet to light the lamp this season, but it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. He has contributed with two assists and four shots on goal, but there is more to his game that has yet to be seen. He has a nose for the net and works tirelessly on the forecheck.
Expect Slaggert to get his first goal of the season this weekend.
Matthew Kopperud – Arizona State
Freshman Matthew Kopperud is off to a blazing start to his collegiate career. Kopperud has tallied five points (two goals, three assists) in his first six games and is ready for more. He is an undersized player at just 5-foot-10, but that doesn’t stop him from making his presence known. He has scored in two consecutive games and will be looking to keep the streak alive this weekend.
Jax Murray – Arizona State
After a pointless freshman season, Jax Murray has started his sophomore campaign at a point-per-game pace. After missing the team’s first three games, Murray scored his first career collegiate goal and added another later in the same game. He will definitely be a major focus of Notre Dame’s scouting report.
Both games of the weekend series are scheduled for 6 PM CT start times. You can catch Friday’s game on NHL Network and Saturday’s on NBCSN.