NCAA Hockey championship 2018 Live Stream Watch online, Championship Game Preview: Notre Dame vs. Minnesota-Duluth, Frozen Four championship preview: Minnesota Duluth vs. Notre Dame Live Stream, Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth enter Saturday’s national championship game (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) after taking similar roads to St. Paul. Both teams were right here, at the Frozen Four, one year ago and saw their seasons end in defeat. Now, they’re both back, getting ready to play on college hockey’s biggest stage.
Exactly what happens in the NCAA men’s hockey championship game Saturday night in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is anyone’s guess.
That’s because the Irish have cornered the market on winning (against only three losses) in single-goal differentials. They did it again Thursday night in their 4-3 Frozen Four semifinal victory over Michigan–giving them 14 one-goal triumphs in 2017-18.
That’s more than double the number played by title-game opponent Minnesota Duluth (six) and significantly more than the other Frozen Four entrants (both Michigan and Ohio State finished with eight after Thursday action).
But for Irish coach Jeff Jackson’s squad, there’s been far more to it than simply holding a one-goal lead when the final horn blares.
Notre Dame has played fast and loose with the heartstrings of its own fans, college hockey fans in general since the 2018 NCAA Championship began–and even its own head coach.
The press conference moderator in the bowels of the Xcel Energy Center, who has a folksy, conversational way of performing his duties, asked the Irish players with the clock ticking after midnight Thursday if they had considered what the last few weeks had done to their coach’s heart and if they had considered apologizing.
Notre Dame lost in the national semifinals, getting blitzed by the eventual national champions, Denver, 6-1. UMD also lost to the Pioneers after defeating Harvard in the semifinals.
“We came into (last year’s Frozen Four) probably being a little more satisfied than we should have in that we were stunned beating UMass Lowell in overtime (in the Regional final),” said Notre Dame’s Bo Brauer. “I think not having as much experience under the bright lights last year hurt us. And taking that as motivation to get us back to here really has helped us. Being calm and just staying positive throughout, it has really helped us.”