Chicago Blackhawks prospect Dennis Gilbert and Notre Dame will face Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA national championship game Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Gilbert, a 2015 third-round pick and left-handed defenseman, blocked one shot in the Irish’s 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Big 10 foe Michigan in semifinals. The 21-year-old has 10 blocked shots through three tournament games.
Notre Dame has only made the national title game once in 2008, when it fell to former Hockey East foe Boston College.
Minnesota-Duluth defeated Ohio State 2-1 in the first semifinal to advance to the championship game for a second straight year. The Bulldogs lost in last year’s title game to Denver and Blackhawks prospect Blake Hillman at the United Center in Chicago.
This year’s national title game is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, the same venue Minnesota-Duluth won its first national title in 2011 over Michigan.
While Gilbert, a former Chicago Steel player, is the lone Blackhawks prospect in the Frozen Four, he’s not the only one with Illinois ties left in the tournament. There are five Illinois natives on the Irish roster: forwards Pierce Crawford (Park Ridge) and Jack Jenkins (Lake Bluff) and defenseman Tory Dello (Crystal Lake), Bobby Nardella (Rosemont) and Justin Wade (Aurora).
How to watch
The Game will be streamed live on the WatchESPN app.
Saturday, April 7
Championship: Minnesota-Duluth vs. Notre Dame, 6:30 p.m. ESPN2