NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame has accepted sport affiliate membership into the Big Ten Conference for men’s ice hockey and will begin Big Ten play with the 2017-18 season.
“While we have enjoyed our affiliation with Hockey East, the opportunity to participate in Big Ten hockey is a compelling one from the perspective of our student-athletes. The move will significantly reduce the time our team spends traveling, increase the broadcast exposure for our program and allow us to take advantage of the natural rivalries that exist with the Big Ten schools that participate in hockey,” said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame vice president and James E. Rohr director of athletics.
Notre Dame will join Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin to form a seven-team hockey conference.
Notre Dame has been a member of the Hockey East Association since the 2013-14 season and will continue to compete in that league for one additional season in 2016-17.
Prior to joining Hockey East, Notre Dame played in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). The Irish had two stints in the CCHA, first playing from 1981-83 and then again from 1992-93 through the 2012-13 season. During that time, the Irish won both CCHA regular-season and postseason tournament titles in 2007 and 2009 and competed against Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
From 1971-72 to 1980-81, the Notre Dame competed alongside Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
Notre Dame played two-game regular-season series against Minnesota and Penn State in 2015-16 and will renew its rivalry with Michigan at 5:30 p.m. EDT Friday (March 25) at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship.