Notre Dame Hockey Officially Joins Big Ten

Notre Dame Hockey Officially Joins Big Ten
Photo: © Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
In March 2016, the Big Ten announced the addition of Notre Dame as its seventh men's hockey team.

Fifteen months later, the Fighting Irish are on the brink of their first season in the conference, which also includes Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin.

Previously, Notre Dame was independent of a conference label and was granted the ability to pick and choose which sports to affiliate itself with, so long as the chosen conference accepted.

As the Irish were officially welcomed into the fold earlier this month, the Big Ten announced that conference play would shift from a 20-game format to a 24-game layout with the addition of the new team.

Notre Dame is entering its 58th season and its 12th under the watch of coach Jeff Jackson. In Jackson's tenure, the Fighting Irish have reached the NCAA tournament eight times and have made three Frozen Four appearances, including in the 2016-17 season.

Notre Dame is scheduled to make its Big Ten debut in a series at Ohio State on November 3-4 -- the Irish's first game against the Buckeyes since the 2014 Shillelagh Tournament and first trip to Columbus since 2013.

The Fighting Irish will host their first Big Ten series the following weekend against defending Big Ten Tournament champion Penn State on November 10-11.

The gold helmet clad team will wrap up non-conference play the weekend of November 17. The winter semester will see the Irish play 12 consecutive games against their Big Ten opponents before heading into the 2018 Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, which newly formatted to take place in the first three weekends of March at the higher-seeded teams' campuses.


Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @JMessing23.
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