ST. PAUL, MN - APRIL 07: Mike Johnson #32 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish clears the puck against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs during semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Men's Frozen Four on April 7, 2011 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
In one of the first signs that NBC Sports plans to cram more Irish hockey down our throats, Versus will air "Onward To Victory - Notre Dame Hockey" on New Year's Eve at 9:30 p.m. The one-hour feature "gives viewers a look at the Notre Dame hockey program including retrospectives from its early days to its current status as one of the top college hockey programs in the nation."
"It's a great honor for Irish hockey to be recognized by VERSUS/NBC Sports in it's first college hockey programming and we look forward to our future relationship with the network," said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
"Onward to Victory" will be a real treat for those who follow the University of Notre Dame, Irish Hockey or college hockey in general. This show gives our fans an up-close and personal look at our program."
The show will follow Versus' broadcast of No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Boston University (December 31, 7:05 p.m.). I may just have to root for Boston U. in this one.
As a reminder, Notre Dame has been a Division I-A program for just 44 years. The Irish have made two Frozen Four appearances in program history and won two CCHA titles and zero National Championships. Notre Dame is set to join Hockey East for the 2013-14 season. Boston College? Twelve conference championships, 30 NCAA tournament appearances, 22 Frozen Four appearances and four National titles.
Can we stop acting like Notre Dame hockey is something special? Still think it was a good idea to invite the Irish to Hockey East? Any additional exposure is good for the sport of college hockey, right?
So glad BC hockey will be trading in nine games a year against more traditional HEA rivals -- Boston University, Northeastern, New Hampshire and Maine -- for four against Notre Dame and a 12th to be named later. Let's say UConn, a program that BC has never faced. But BC-UConn hockey is the next Duke vs. Carolina, right?