Penn State Hockey

Notre Dame hockey to officially join Big Ten starting in 2017-18

CDT Photo.
CDT Photo.

The Big Ten officially announced the addition of Notre Dame hockey Wednesday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish will be added as a sport affiliate member starting with the 2017-18 academic year, and will be the seventh team in the conference alongside Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

“Notre Dame hockey has a long history of competing with Big Ten programs and we’re pleased to renew those rivalries as part of conference hockey competition,” Big Ten deputy commissioner Brad Traviolia said in a statement.

“The Big Ten continues to grow the sport of hockey in our conference and the addition of Notre Dame as a sport affiliate assists in that goal.”

The Fighting Irish are independent of a conference in football but are part of the ACC in all other sports except fencing.

Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said in a statement that he’s looking forward to facing the Nittany Lions’ new conference opponent.

“We are excited to welcome Notre Dame into Big Ten hockey,” he said. “They are a great fit as a high academic institution that greatly values the student-athlete experience. We look forward to great hockey games against them.”

Penn State and Notre Dame faced off for the first time in Penn State’s home opener last season. The Fighting Irish won the first of the two-game series 7-4, but the Nittany Lions took the win the next night 5-3.

The two teams are scheduled for a nonconference series in South Bend in 2016-17 before meeting on the ice as Big Ten opponents the year after.