Minnesota-Duluth vs. Notre Dame Preview

The first semifinal between the Bulldogs of Minnesota-Duluth and the Irish of Notre Dame features two high-powered offenses.

Led by its top-line of Jack Connolly centering Mike Connolly and Justin Fontaine — all with over 50 points — UMD plays at its best when the game is back-and-forth with good pace. Notre Dame, with freshmen T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee leading the way offensively, likes to jump out to leads and hold them – something they did exceptionally well against New Hampshire in the Northeast Regional final.

Both teams will be playing for their first national championship this weekend, and as it does so often in playoff hockey, the opening match of the Frozen Four will likely come down to who plays better in their own end and gets the bigger saves from the guys between the pipes. Notre Dame’s Mike Johnson and Minnesota-Duluth’s Kenny Reiter don’t have jaw-dropping numbers, but both are more than capable of shutting the door on opponents.

Players to watch

UMD’s Jack Connolly (17-41—58) leads the Bulldogs in points, but Mike Connolly (27-26—53) might be Minnesota-Duluth’s most-complete player. He plays in all scenarios, leads the team in goals and isn’t one to shy away from the physical, grinding aspects of the game.

The Irish will counter with a talented group of freshmen, including Minnesotan Anders Lee (24-20—44). Lee, who played his high school hockey just minutes from St. Paul, is a big-body with great hands and a knack for the net.

Numbers

Notre Dame (3.44 goals-per-game) and Minnesota-Duluth (3.40) rank tenth and 11th nationally in offense. UMD has a much better power play, however, clicking at a 22.55 percentage rate, while the Irish are only scoring on 16 percent of their man-advantage chances.

Neither team has an exceptional penalty kill, something that could add up to a high-scoring game at the Xcel Energy Center this afternoon.

Lineups:

UMD

Forwards

Mike Connolly—Jack Connolly—Justin Fontaine

Kyle Schmidt—Travis Oleksuk—JT Brown

Mike Seidel—Jake Hendrickson—Joe Basaraba

Dan DeLisle—Keegan Flaherty—David Grun

Defense

Justin Faulk—Mike Montgomery

Wade Bergman—Brady Lamb

Drew Olson—Trent Palm

Goalies

Kenny Reiter

Aaron Crandall

Notre Dame

Forwards

Anders Lee—Ben Ryan—Ryan Guentzel

Nick Larson—Riley Sheahan—Bill Maday

Calle Ridderwall—TJ Tynan—Bryan Rust

Jeff Costello—David Gerths—Mike Voran

Defense

Stephan Johns—Sam Calabrese

Shayne Taker—Sean Lorenz

Joe Lavin—Jared Beers

Goalies

Mike Johnson

Steven Summerhays

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.