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Hockey Series Preview: No. 8 Michigan Wolverines at No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Michigan seeks revenge after getting swept by the Irish in November.

NCAA HOCKEY: APR 05 Frozen Four Semifinal - Michigan v Notre Dame Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

That is more like it. The Michigan Wolverines came out of winter break exactly how they needed to, sweeping Ohio State at home to earn some much needed points in the Big Ten standings. While they still sit in just fourth, this weekend is a prime opportunity to keep moving upward, as Notre Dame is only one point ahead.

The Irish got both wins last times the teams played, each by a single goal. As indicated by their national rankings, the Wolverines look like the better of the two squads, but contrasting playing styles make it anyone’s game. Still, Michigan is fully capable of taking six more points this week.

Series Info & How to Watch

Teams: No. 8 Michigan Wolverines (8-6-0, 17 pts) at No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-6-1, 18 pts)
Location: South Bend, IN
Game 1: Thursday, Jan. 21, 6:30 pm ET — NBCSN
Game 2: Friday, Jan. 22, 6:30 pm ET — NBCSN

Notre Dame is coming off an impressive sweep of first place Minnesota, but the team still has a negative goal differential this year. The Irish are all about clogging up the neutral zone and slowing the game down, and this strategy worked against the Wolverines in their series earlier this season. This will be their gameplan yet again.

Michigan can — and should — be able to out-skate just about anyone in the Big Ten, and the youthful side has gotten some growth in since Notre Dame visited Ann Arbor. While this series is not quite as imbalanced as last weekend, the Wolverines showed exactly what they can do against the Buckeyes with eight different players scoring and zero even-strength goals allowed.

The time is now for the Wolverines; this will be the case from here on out. The team has already shown it is good enough to earn a tournament bid, but the ceiling is much higher than that. Two wins against the Irish to avenge November’s tough defeats would be a clear demonstration of how Michigan has progressed and what could lie ahead.