In their first season in the conference, the #3 Irish hockey team completed the Big Ten Tournament and regular season sweep after beating #4 Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. Cam Morrison scored nine minutes into the overtime period on a pass from Jake Evans to clinch the title for ND. The win earns the Irish a bid to the NCAA Tournament, and locks up the #2 overall seed. Notre Dame will head to Bridgeport, Connecticut as the top seed in the East Region. They’ll face Michigan Tech in the first round on Friday, March 23rd. Should they advance, they’ll take on the winner of Clarkson and Providence the following day with a shot at another Frozen Four on the line.
Notre Dame took an early lead on a goal by Bo Brauer four minutes into the game. They doubled their advantage on a one-timer by defenseman Matt Hellickson on the power play later in the period. The Irish looked to be cruising into the first intermission, but struggled through most of the second and third periods. The Buckeyes scored early in the second period on a goal by Brenden Kearney to halve the lead. Ohio State defenseman Matt Miller tied it less than two minutes into the third. The damage could have been worse, but Irish goaltender Cale Morris made 42 saves on the night. The Irish had a couple chances late in regulation, but Buckeyes netminder Sean Romeo kept the game tied after 60 minutes. The Irish dominated the OT period forcing Romeo into multiple tough saves. Dennis Gilbert wrung the post on a shot from the point that fooled a number of home fans into thinking the game was over. A couple minutes later, Morrison ended the game with his snipe that beat Romeo. Irish captain Jake Evans assisted on the first and third goals for ND, and collected the trophy following the game.
Did you miss Morrison’s game-winning goal to give the Irish the Big Ten Tournament title?
— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) March 18, 2018
Irish Earn Lots of Hardware
Unsurprisingly, the Irish, who ran away with the Big Ten regular season title after winning their first 13 conference games, cleaned up the end of season awards. Evans, Morris, and defenseman Jordan Gross were named to the All Big Ten First Team. Morris also earned Goaltender of the Year and Player of the Year honors. Morris, Morrison, and Gross made the All Tournament Team with Morris collecting the tournament MVP. The Irish already raised one banner for the regular season title, and will add another for the tournament crown. At this time, 18 Stripes staff and friends are debating the best course of action for all of this Big Ten memorabilia. Leading candidates include destroying all B1G awards, trophies, and banner via bonfire and/or steamroller during a tailgate before the Michigan football game next fall, storing them in the old trough-style urinals from the old football stadium, or petitioning the league to rename the hockey conference to something more Irish-appropriate (feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below).
Really looking forward to seeing how the ND Architecture students or engineers or whomever is gonna transform the old ND Stadium bathtub urinals into a trophy case for this B1G championship trophy
— Paul… (@PaulRRigney) March 18, 2018