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Notre Dame Goalie Situation

Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson has surprised nearly everyone in college hockey by quickly turning Notre Dame into one of the top programs in the country. The Irish spent part of last season ranked number one, and were a top seed in last year's NCAA tournament. This year's team could be even better as it is Jackson's first full recruiting class in South Bend, which includes the program's first ever first round NHL draft pick in defenseman Ian Cole.

The one question mark for Notre Dame going into this season, however, will be in goal. They lost Hobey Baker finalist David Brown to graduation. The competition for the starting job will be between junior Jordan Pearce and incoming freshman Brad Phillips. Pearce split time with Brown to start his freshman season before Brown won the full-time starting job. Pearce only saw three starts last season against weaker opponents. Brad Phillips played with the NTDP U18 team last season, and this summer, was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jackson did tip his hand a little bit in an article in the Notre Dame Observer:
"It's too early for me to say," Jackson said. "I have all the confidence in the world in Jordan Pearce. He's going to come in here and compete to take that No. 1 spot, but we recruited Brad Phillips for a reason. I assume that I'll probably do exactly what I did two years ago when I started here. I'm going to play a couple guys early on."
Reading between the lines, I would expect Phillips to get every opportunity to earn the starting job, while Pearce will have an uphill climb to see playing time in the second half of the season.