Oct. 19, 2009
Boston, Mass. –
â€¢ The Games: #10/#9 Notre Dame (2-2-0) at #3/#3 Boston University (0-1-0)â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 â€¢ Agganis Arena â€¢ 7:05 p.m.
â€¢ The Game: #10/#9 Notre Dame (2-2-0) vs. #15/#14 Boston College (0-1-0)â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Friday, October 23, 2009 â€¢ Joyce Center â€¢ 7:35 p.m.
â€¢ Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish. Television: Tuesday's game at Boston University will be televised live on ESPNU.
â€¢ Internet: Both games versus Boston University and Boston College will have live audio streamed on Notre Dame's website at und.com. Friday's game versus Boston College will have live video streaming on und.com free of charge.
IRISH TAKE ON DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will meet the defending NCAA national champion Boston University Terriers on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in a 7:00 p.m. game at BU’s Agganis Arena in Boston. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and is the first of 11 televised games for the Irish. Notre Dame enters the week with a 2-2-0 record and is ranked 10th in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and ninth by the USCHO.com poll. Notre Dame is coming off a split at home with Providence College last week, losing 3-2 and winning a 2-0 verdict on Friday night. Boston University comes into the game with an 0-1-0 record after dropping its opener at Massachusetts, 3-2, last Friday night. The Terriers are ranked third in each poll. Following the rare Tuesday night game for the Irish, Notre Dame returns home to face Boston College in a single game on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7:35 p.m.
IRISH VERSUS TERRIERS: Notre Dame and Boston University have met just twice in the two program’s histories with the Terriers holding a 2-0-0 edge. The first meeting came on Dec. 29, 1970 in the opening game of the Boston Christmas Tournament at Boston Arena with BU taking a 7-3 decision. The second meeting came on Dec. 29, 1995 in the championship game of the Bank One Badger Hockey Showdown with the Terriers taking a 7-3 win in that game.
HOCKEY/FOOTBALL WEEKEND: The #15/#14 Boston College Eagles will visit the Joyce Center on Friday, Oct. 23 for a 7:35 p.m. game as part of the annual Boston College-Notre Dame hockey/football weekend as the two school’s football programs will meet at Notre Dame Stadium at 3:35 on Saturday, Oct. 24. Friday’s hockey game will be streamed live free of charge on the Notre Dame website at und.com.
IRISH AND THE EAGLES: Notre Dame and Boston College have met 28 times in the all-time series with the Eagles owning a 15-11-2 edge in those games. The Irish have won four of the last five meetings, dating back to the 2003-04 season. The lone Boston College win came in the 2008 NCAA Championship game, a 4-1 victory, at Denver, Colo. Last season, the two teams met at Kelley Rink with the Irish taking a 4-1 win on Nov. 7, 2008. Garrett Regan `09, Christian Hanson `09, Billy Maday (So., Burr Ridge, Ill.) and Kevin Deeth (Sr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) scored one goal each and Jordan Pearce `09 made 27 saves in the win.
TWO WEEKS IN HOCKEY EAST: With this week’s games versus Boston University and Boston College, Notre Dame will close out its two-week run of four games against Hockey East opponents. The Irish faced Providence College twice at home last week, splitting with the Friars, losing 3-2 on Oct. 15 and then winning, 2-0, on Friday, Oct. 16. All-time, Notre Dame is 26-32-4 versus teams from Hockey East. The Irish are 3-2-0 versus Providence, 0-2-0 against Boston University and are 11-15-2 versus Boston College. Following these four games, the Irish will have just two non-league games left on the docket with both of those coming in the Shillelagh Tournament versus Colgate and either Niagara or North Dakota.
A STUNNING START: Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) wasted little time making a name for himself in his rookie debut against Providence on Oct. 16. Johnson stopped all 29 shots he faced in blanking the Friars, 2-0, at the Joyce Center in his first game. With that shutout, Johnson becomes the second Irish goaltender to record a shutout in his first career contest. He joins teammate Tom O’Brien (Sr., Mokena, Ill.) who picked up a shutout in his first start last season, a 7-0 blanking of Sacred Heart on Oct. 18, 2008.
Thursday, October 15 – Providence College’s Aaron Jamnick scored at 16:14 of the third period to give the Friars a 3-2 win in front of 2,471 at the Joyce Center. Jamnick’s goal snapped a 2-2 tie to hand the Irish their second home loss of the season. Providence took a 1-0 first-period lead on Mark Fayne’s first goal of the year at 2:59. Ryan Thang (Sr., Edina, Minn.) evened the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal at 16:07 of the opening period. Providence would retake the lead at 18:32 of the second period when Matt Bergland scored his first of the year at the Friars led 2-1 after two periods. Notre Dame got the equalizer at 9:15 of the third period when Dan Kissel (Sr., Crestwood, Ill.) picked up his first goal of the season to make it 2-2. Alex Beaudry made 31 saves in the win for Providence while Brad Phillips (Jr., Farmington Hills, Mich.) had 26 for the Irish.
Friday, October 16 – Freshman Nick Larson (Apple Valley, Minn.) picked up his first career goal at 10:13 of the second period and junior Calle Ridderwall scored a power-play goal at 5:13 of the third period to give Notre Dame a 2-0 victory in the second game of its series with Providence. Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson recorded 29 saves in the game for his first collegiate shutout in his first career game. Notre Dame out shot the Friars, 30-29, in the game.
SWEEPLESS IN SOUTH BEND: For the second weekend in a row, Notre Dame found itself in a position of something that hasn’t happened very often over the last four seasons – looking at a possible opponent sweep. Since Jeff Jackson took over behind the Irish bench for the 2005-06 season, the Irish have lost back-to-back games on a weekend just eight times. Five of those series losses came during the 2005-06 season with two coming in 2007-08 and one last year (2008-09). The last time the Irish dropped a weekend series came on Oct. 24-25, 2008 when they lost twice to Miami at the Joyce Center.
HOME ICE STRUGGLES: A year ago, the Irish were 13-3-2 at the Joyce Center and over the last three years were 37-9-7 on home ice. Already this season, the Irish are just 2-2-0 in their own barn. Last season, the Irish were 11-2 in one-goal games. After last Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Friars, the Irish already have two home losses on the year to go with a pair of one-goal losses.
OUT OF ACTION: Junior defenseman Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.) has missed the first four games of the season due to a lower body injury. He will not play in this week’s games against Boston University and Boston College.
BEST OFÃ¢â‚¬Ë†THEÃ¢â‚¬Ë†BEST: Over the past three-plus seasons, the Notre Dame hockey program is tops in the nation. Since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Irish have won 92 games and own a .727 winning percentage over that period. Notre Dame leads Michigan (89) in wins and winning percentage (.713). Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage since 2006-07.
WINS WINNINGÃ¢â‚¬Ë†.PCTNotre Dame 91 Notre Dame (.725)Michigan 89 Michigan (.713)Miami 84 Miami (.693)North Dakota 79 Boston Univ. (.665)Boston University 74 New Hampshire (.655)
CENTURY CLUB ADDITIONS: Two members of the 2009-10 Notre Dame hockey team are on the verge of moving into the “Century Club” for career points. Senior Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) comes into the Boston University game needing just one point to reach 100. He has played in 131 career games with 32 goals and 67 assists for 99 points. Deeth has started the year with a four-game scoring streak (0-4-4). Senior teammate Ryan Thang has now played in 126 career games, scoring 49 goals with 46 assists for 95 points. He needs just one goal to reach the 50 mark and a goal and four assists to join the 50/50 club for players with 50 goals and 50 assists in a career. To date, there are 43 players with 100 or more points in the Notre Dame record books.
CHART CLIMBING: With his power-play goal in Thursday night’s game versus Providence, senior Ryan Thang moved into a tie for ninth place on Notre Dame’s all-time power-play goal list with 22 in his career. The top 12 list:
Power-Play Goals Name (Seasons) PPG1. Greg Meredith (1976-80) 432. Dave Poulin (1978-82) 323. Mike McNeill (1984-88) 314. Lou Zadra (1988-92) 285. Aniket Dhadphale (1995-99) 25 Tim Kuehl (1986-90) 25 Kirt Bjork (1979-83) 258. Brian Walsh (1973-77) 249. Ryan Thang (2006- ) 22 David Bankoske (1988-93) 22 Tim Harberts (1993-97) 22
BACK BETWEEN THE PIPES: Junior goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) returned to the Irish lineup, making his first start in the season opener, since Jan. 19, 2008. The 6-2, 187-pound goaltender missed all of last season due to a knee injury suffered in the preseason that required surgery. Phillips, who made five starts in his freshman year (2007-08), stopped a career-high 28 shots in the 3-2 loss to Alabama-Huntsville. As a freshman, Phillips was 4-1-0 with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage to go with one shutout. In two starts this season, Phillips is 0-2-0 with a 3.03 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS: During the 2008-09 season, Notre Dame excelled on special teams. The Irish led the nation in power-play percentage, going 51-for-226 for a 22.6% success rate. On the penalty kill, Notre Dame was third overall, giving up just 20 power-play goals in 190 chances for an 89.5% success rate, just .3% behind national leader Yale as the Bulldogs were at 89.8%.
PICKING UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF: A year ago, Notre Dame led the nation with a 22.6% conversion rate on the power play. So far this season, the Irish have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their four games, going 5-for-24 for a 20.8% success rate. On the penalty kill, the Irish were third in the nation and so far this season, they have killed 18-of-19 chances and are on a streak of 12 straight since giving up a power-play goal on opening night.
LIGHTING THE LAMP: When senior defenseman Brett Blatchford (Temperance, Mich.) scored his power-play goal in the first period of the Oct. 10 game with Alabama-Huntsville, it was his first time lighting the lamp since his freshman year. Blatchford’s last goal came on Jan. 20, 2007 when he scored versus Western Michigan. Since that goal, Blatchford went 99 games without a goal. The Temperance, Mich., native would rather set them up than score them as he now has three career goals to go with 54 assists for 57 points. He was second on the team in assists in 2008-09 when he had 25 helpers on the year.
FRESHMEN FIRSTS: Notre Dame freshmen forwards Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine’s, Ont.) and Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) wasted little time getting on the scoresheet in the 3-2 loss to Alabama-Huntsville on Oct. 9. Sheahan scored on his first career shot, scoring on the power play at 3:02 of the first period to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead. He joins Billy Maday (So., Burr Ridge, Ill.) im Wallace `06 as recent Notre Dame players to score on the first shots of their college careers. Palmieri joined in with a second-period power-play goal to get his first career score in his first game. He added a second goal on Saturday in the 3-1 victory. Palmieri led the team with 12 shots on goal for the weekend while Sheahan had 10 in the series.
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Notre Dame senior captain Ryan Thang has been named one of 20 nominees for the 2009-10 Lowes Senior CLASS Award. The award is given annually to an NCAA Division I student-athlete in nine sports based on achievement’s in the “Four C’s” of classroom, character, community and competition. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. Last season, two members of the Irish hockey team – Erik Condra `09 and Jordan Pearce `09 – were selected as one of 10 finalists for the honor. For the 2007-08 campaign, captain Mark Van Guilder `08 made it to the list of 10 finalists. For the 2006-07 season, goaltender David Brown `07 was selected as the first winner of the hockey award. The list of 20 candidates will be narrowed down midway through the season with the final 10 going on a ballot to select the national winner.
START A NEW STREAK: Notre Dame saw its string of consecutive sellouts snapped on Oct. 15 versus Providence as a crowd of 2,471 saw the game. A sellout at the Joyce Center is 2,713. A new streak started the following night as a standing-room only crowd of 2,857 saw the Irish defeat the Friars, 2-0. Notre Dame has now sold out 12 of its last 13 home games, dating back to Dec. 13, 2008 versus Bowling Green. Last season, the Irish played in front of a sold-out Joyce Center in 13 of its 18 home games. The opening night crowd of 2,994 against Alabama-Huntsville is the largest crowd to see a home opener since 1995 as the buildings seating capacity was reconfigured following that year with 2,713 being a sellout since then.
CLOSE ONES: During the 2008-09 season, Notre Dame was 25-0-0 when leading after two periods of play. Already this season, the Irish are 2-1-0 when leading after two as they dropped the season opener, 3-2, a game that Notre Dame led, 2-1, after two periods of play.
CAPTAINS: Senior left wing Ryan Thang will serve as Notre Dame’s captain for the 2009-10 season. Joining Thang as alternate captains in `09-’10, are senior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.), senior center Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) and junior defenseman Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.). Thang and Lawson served as alternate captains in 2008-09, while this is the first season as captain for Deeth and Ruth.
LEADERÃ¢â‚¬Ë†OFÃ¢â‚¬Ë†THEÃ¢â‚¬Ë†PACK: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson begins his fifth season behind the Irish bench in 2009-10. In his first four years he compiled a 103-48-14 (.667) record, highlighted by a 32-7-3 mark in `06-’07, a 27-16-4 record on the way to the first-ever Frozen Four appearance for the Irish in `07-’08 and last year’s 31-6-3 campaign. The `06-’07 CCHA coach-of-the-year and Spencer Penrose Award winner as the national coach-of-the-year, Jackson enters the `09-’10 season with the best winning percentage among Division I coaches with 10 or more years. His current overall record stands at 285-100-39 for a .718 success rate. His 285 wins rank him 12th on the list of active coaches. In six seasons at his previous collegiate stop – Lake Superior State (1990-96) – Jackson’s teams were 182-52-25 with two national championships, two CCHAÃ¢â‚¬Ë†regular-season titles and four CCHA tournament championships. Included in his 285 career wins are 50 postseason victories (50-15 in postseason) and a .769 winning percentage. In 10 trips to the CCHA postseason, Jackson’s teams are 34-7 (.829). Ã¢â‚¬Ë†Those totals include a 24-2 mark at Lake Superior and a 10-5 record at Notre Dame. In those 10 seasons, Jackson has seen his teams advance to the CCHA finals nine times, winning six tournament championships (four at Lake Superior and two at Notre Dame).
STINGY IRISH: Over the last three seasons, the Irish have been ranked first in the nation twice in lowest goals-against average. For the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame was best in the nation with a 1.67 goals against. The Irish followed that in 2007-08 with a 2.13 goals-against average to rank fifth in the country and last year the goals-against average was best with a 1.73 average.
CLUTCHÃ¢â‚¬Ë†SCORER: During his first three seasons at Notre Dame, senior left wing Ryan Thang has proven to be a clutch player. In those three seasons, Thang has amassed 13 game-winning goals, getting six in 2006-07, five in 2007-08 and two last season. He is currently tied for the top spot with 13 game-winning goals. That ties him with Rob Globke `04, Brian Urick `99 and Dave Poulin `82, with all three having 13 game winners.
FAMILY GUYS: Three members of the Notre Dame hockey team – junior goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) and freshmen forwards Kevin Nugent (New Canaan, Conn.) and Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine’s, Ont.) – have family ties to the Irish athletics program. Phillips’ uncle is former Irish quarterback Terry Andrysiak `89, who played at Notre Dame from 1985 to 1988. Nugent’s father, Kevin Nugent, Sr. `78, played hockey for the Irish between 1974-78, scoring 54 goals with 75 assists for 129 career points. Kevin, Jr., becomes the second Notre Dame hockey player to follow his father to South Bend. He follows goaltender Rory Walsh `06 who followed his father, Brian Walsh `77 who was a teammate of the elder Nugent, playing for coach Lefty Smith. Sheahan is a second cousin of former Irish defenseman Brock Sheahan `08 who played for the Irish from 2004-08.
ALL-AMERICANS: Two Notre Dame players were selected AHCA/Reebok All-Americans following the 2008-09 season. Current junior defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was selected as a first team All-American while right wing Erik Condra `09 was selected second team. That marked the third time in the program’s history that the Irish had two players selected All-American in the same year. The previous times came in 1972-73 when Eddie Bumbacco `74 and Bill Nyrop `74 were chosen and again in 1976-77 when Jack Brownschidle `77 and Brian Walsh `77 were honored.
SHILLELAGH TOURNAMENT: Notre Dame will host the second ever Shillelagh Tournament on Jan. 2-3, 2010 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The tournament will feature North Dakota, Niagara and Colgate. On Saturday, Jan. 2, North Dakota and Niagara will meet in the 3:05 p.m. (CT) game with the Irish facing Colgate at 6:05 p.m. (CT). On Sunday, Jan. 3, Colgate will face either North Dakota or Niagara at 2:05 p.m. (CT) with Notre Dame playing either the Fighting Sioux or the Purple Eagles at 5:05 p.m. (CT). The Irish won the first tournament last season with 3-1 wins over Union College and Minnesota-Duluth in the championship game.