Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sizing Up The Irish

The Frozen Four gets underway in ~1 week. Between now and faceoff, we'll take a look at the teams that are still alive in the National Tournament. We start with the surprising Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the #4 seed from the West Regional.

Will the Holy War rivalry spill over onto the ice this year? According to our sidebar poll, no one seems to think so ... the Irish have no small task in knocking off the East's #1 Michigan. Eagles fans are more than familiar with the Irish on the gridiron, but here's a look at their hockey team and their surprising run to the Frozen Four.

Team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Location: South Bend, Indiana

Record: 26-15-4
Conference: Central Collegiate Hockey Association
PairWise Ranking: tied #13
National Ranking: #12

Road to Frozen Four: Defeated fellow Hockey East member New Hampshire 7-3, defeated defending champ Michigan State 3-1, at-large conference bid. Notre Dame was one of the last at-large selections in the tournament.
Fact: Notre Dame became the first team to ever make the Frozen Four as a #4 seed

Previous Frozen Four Appearances: 0
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 3 - 2004, 2007, 2008

History (vs. the Eagles)

For a university that calls BC "Fredo" due to our severed ties to the Big East conference in all other sports, the Irish sure have moved around quite a bit with their conference affiliation in hockey. They started as an D-I independent in 1968, were members of the WCHA from 1971-1981, jumped to the CCHA from 1981-1983, decided to test the waters as an independent from 1983-1992, [realized that there wasn't a lucrative NBC television contract to be scored in college hockey,] then rejoined the CCHA in 1992.

BC typically schedules Notre Dame every year in a non-conference battle in September-October. The teams compete for the Snooks Kelley-Lefty Smith Award, an award named after the two program's notable coaches. The last time BC faced ND was in 2006, a game in which we got blasted in Conte, losing 7-1. BC holds a 14-10-2 record in the all-time series.

How They Can Advance to the Title Game

Solid defense and goaltending. Stay out of the penalty box. Keep the pace of the game manageable to counter Michigan's high-powered offense. Get Mark Van Guilder in the box score.

Entrance Music

The Dream, "Shawty is da sh*!"


Sebastian said...

I'm not trying to start some rabid message board war, but I don't think they call BC Fredo because BC left the Big East, necessarily. I think it's more along the lines of putting BC in a "little brother who tries hard but just can't do it" spot.

I'm a recent ND grad and I love the rivalry with BC (yes, it is a rivalry). It's spirited and it's pretty fun to be a part of. That said, I'm not big on what seems like genuine hate that boils over from either side. I'll hate you on the field/court/ice, but I don't hate you as people. I'd say there are more like me, but it's usually the nuts that get the attention.

Good luck, and hopefully we'll have an all-Catholic title game!

Brian said...

** Fredo is the mentally challenged brother in The Godfather who betrays the family out of his own stupidity. He ends up at the bottom of Lake Tahoe. It's used in the Big East to describe the way BC betrayed the conference.

That's where we got the notion it was about the Big East ...

Agreed though, we don't hate you people. Just when we have to play you. Good luck Thursday. Go BC!