Jackson says Notre Dame's nonconference schedule is sneaky

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame Hockey continues to gear up for its season opener Friday night.

But it won't be until November when the Irish face some Big Ten Conference opponents.

Head coach Jeff Jackson says it's important his team starts out strong because the nonconference schedule is tougher than it appears.

“Our nonconference schedule is really sneaky,” he said. “We're going to have to be prepared starting this weekend with Air Force. Frank Serratore is a good friend of mine. I know how he coaches. He's had that team in the NCAA tournament a lot over the last 10 years. They play in the Atlantic Conference but the service academies those teams work harder than any team in the country. So, I expect we'll have our hands full this weekend, and the biggest thing for me is going to be progress. College hockey is so close right now. It doesn't matter who you're playing, so the only name that we need to look at on the jersey is ours and make sure that we're working toward getting better.”

The Blue and Gold kick off their season with two-game series against Air Force. The season opener is Friday night at 7 at Compton.