Irish say home ice gives them 'huge advantage' against Minnesota

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Tomorrow is a huge day for the Irish hockey team. Notre Dame goes head to head with Minnesota in the single elimination Big Ten tournament semi-finals.

The Irish have not fared well against the Gophers this season. Notre Dame finished 1-3 against Minnesota on the year and were outscored by six goals in the three losses.

"We still control our own destiny," Irish head coach Jeff Jackson. "We worked hard to finish in second to be able to play at home this weekend. Last year I thought it helped us. We put ourselves in position to be on the bubble and now we have to put ourselves in position to get off of it."

However, the Irish do have a big advantage on Saturday - home ice. For the second straight week, Notre Dame will host a Big Ten tournament game and the Irish think it will give them an edge tomorrow night.

"It's a huge advantage," Irish junior defenseman Tory Dello said. "That's what we've worked for all year is to get a good spot in the standings. Home ice is huge for us. We can sleep in our own beds, pregame here we don't have to travel so obviously playing on ice we are comfortable with is a big advantage for us."