Jan. 17, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Series: #3/#3 Notre Dame (19-4-1/13-2-1) at Western Michigan Broncos (8-12-1/7-9-1)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Fri.,-Sat., Jan, 19-20 â€¢ 7:35 p.m./7:35 p.m. â€¢ Lawson Arena (3,667)
â€¢ Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert calls the action for the Irish. Television: Saturday’s game will be televised live by Comcast Local. Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin will provide the play-by-play and color commentary. The games will be carried in South Bend on Comcast’s local access station.
â€¢ Internet: Irish hockey can be heard on the internet at the Notre Dame website – www.und.com. All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.
ALL ALONE AT THE TOP: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish return to action this weekend with a pair of games at Western Michigan on Jan. 19-20. Game time both nights at Lawson Arena is 7:35 p.m. Saturday’s game will be televised live by Comcast Local with Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin calling all the action. The games can be seen in South Bend on Comcast’s local access channel. Notre Dame enters the weekend with a 19-4-1 overall record and a 13-2-1 mark in the CCHA. The 27 points in league action puts Notre Dame in first place in the conference, two points ahead of the Miami RedHawks with two games in hand. The Irish have a six-point lead on third-place Michigan State with one game in hand and a seven-point lead on fourth-place Michigan. Notre Dame’s sweep at Lake Superior State gives the Irish nine wins in their last 10 games going back to Dec. 2nd. Included in that streak are eight straight wins in CCHA play. Notre Dame moved up to third in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and the USCHO.com/CSTV polls. Western Michigan is coming off a split last weekend with Miami as the Broncos lost the series opener on Friday, 5-3, then defeated the RedHawks, 5-3 on Saturday. Western Michigan is 8-12-1 overall and 7-9-1 in the CCHA. Notre Dame has 12 regular-season CCHA games left with six at home and six on the road.
IRISH VERSUS BRONCOS: The two teams have met 62 times in the all-time series with Western Michigan owning a 33-24-5 record. At Kalamazoo, the Broncos are 20-8-4 versus the Irish. The two teams split a home-and-home series last season with Western Michigan winning 4-3 at Lawson Arena and Notre Dame taking a 3-0 win at the Joyce Center. Three of the last four meetings in the series have come at Lawson Arena with the Irish going 1-1-1 in those three games. Notre Dame’s last win at Lawson was on Nov. 13, 2004, a 3-2 victory.
THE REAL THANG: Freshman left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) was named the CCHA rookie of the week for his play in the weekend series at Lake Superior. Thang scored two goals and added an assist for three points in the Irish sweep. The two goals, one in each game, extended Thang’s goal-scoring streak to four games, the longest for any Irish player this season. He is now fourth in scoring for the Irish with 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points this season. Thang has been named rookie of the week twice (Nov. 13) this year.
Hobey Baker candidate David Brown leads the nation with 18 wins. He is tops in the CCHA with a 1.76 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
HOBEY WATCH: Two Notre Dame players – goaltender David Brown (Sr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) and right wing Mark Van Guilder (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) – are among 40 players listed by the Hobey Baker Award website as candidate’s for the prestigious honor. Phase one of – Vote For Hobey – is now underway. Fans now have the opportunity to select their favorite candidate for the list of top ten finalists on the new Hobey Baker Award website (www.hobeybaker.com). Fans may vote for one candidate at a time, but can vote multiple times per day. The standings will run concurrently on the Hobey Baker website. Voting in phase one will end on March 4. Phase two will begin on March 15 after the top ten finalists have been announced. To vote, visit the Vote For Hobey link on the Hobey Baker website, or just click on the Vote For Hobey button on the site’s homepage. Brown comes into the Western Michigan series with an 18-3-1 record to go with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. His 18 wins lead the nation while his goals against leads the CCHA and is second in the country. Brown’s save percentage is second in the conference and 12th nationally. Van Guilder is in the midst of a career season as he leads Notre Dame with 13 goals with 12 assists for 25 points to rank third on the Irish in scoring. Brown is currently listed by Inside College Hockey.com as its leading candidate for the Hobey Baker Award while CSTV.com’s Hobey Watch has Brown listed as second behind Miami’s Nathan Davis.
LAKE SUPERIOR RECAP: The Irish traveled to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., where they took a pair of wins from the Lakers, winning 4-3 in overtime on Jan. 12 and 4-1 on Jan. 13. In the series opener, Erik Condra (So., Livonia, Mich.) scored with 1:36 left in overtime to give Notre Dame a 4-3 victory. The overtime win was the first for the Irish since Dec. 10, 2004, a 3-2 win over Michigan State. The Irish scored first in the game with Evan Rankin (Jr., Portage, Mich.) scoring at 5:41 of the opening period for the only goal of the first period. In the second stanza, the team’s traded four goals. Nik Sellers scored his third of the year at 3:58 when his centering pass went of a skate and deflected past David Brown (Sr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) to tie the game at 1-1. Ryan Thang put the Irish ahead 2-1 with his 12th goal of the season at 10:27. Laker defenseman Barnabas Birkeland tied the game at 2-2 with a power-play goal at 14:39. Notre Dame retook the lead at 16:51 when Jason Paige (Sr., Saginaw, Mich.) batted a Garrett Regan (Jr., Hastings, Minn.) centering pass out of the air past LSSU’s Jeff Jakaitis for his eighth of the season and a 3-2 Irish lead. That edge would last for 57 seconds in the third period when the Lakers tied it on a Dan Eves goal. In overtime, Lake Superior got the first two shots of the period that Brown stopped. Defenseman Wes O’Neill (Sr., Essex, Ont.) blocked a shot in the slot and Condra picked it up and headed towards the Laker net. With Thang going hard to the net, Condra tucked a wrist shot from the top of the left wing circle inside the left post for the win. The Irish out shot Lake Superior 29-24 in the game. Brown finished with 21 saves while Jakaitis had 25. In Saturday’s game, Notre Dame scored the first three goals of the game on the way to a 4-1 win. Josh Sciba (Sr., Westland, Mich.) got the Irish on the scoreboard first with a power-play goal, his seventh goal of the season, at 11:12 of the first period. Condra made it 2-0 at 11:39 of the second period with a power-play goal, his 10th goal of the year. Thang scored his second goal of the weekend at 3:54 of the third to make it 3-0 with his 13th goal. With over seven-and-a half minutes left in the game, the Lakers pulled goaltender Jeff Jakaitis for a sixth attacker. The move worked at 14:11 of the period with John Scrymgeour scoring off a scramble in front. With the goaltender still on the bench, the Irish sealed the win when Regan scored into the open net for his ninth of the season at 18:02 for the 4-1 win. Notre Dame out shot the Lakers with a season-high 40 shots on goal while Lake Superior had 31. Brown finished with 30 saves in the game. The Irish killed 12-of-13 Laker power-play chances on the weekend.
CCHA WINNING STREAK: Notre Dame comes into the series at Western Michigan with an eight-game winning streak in the CCHA, the longest conference winning streak for the Irish in their 17 years (1981-83, 1992-07) in the league. The previous best win streaks were five games (Oct. 9-Oct. 23, 1998 and Feb. 9-Mar. 2, 2002).
SICK BAY: The Irish will be without the services of sophomore center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) for the series with Western Michigan. Hanson is sidelined with mononucleosis and is expected to miss three to four weeks of action.
Sophomore Erik Condra leads the irish in scoring with 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points. He is one point off his career high of 34 set last season.
CLUTCH SCORER: Sophomore Erik Condra made the most of his two goals at Lake Superior. Both of Condra’s goals proved to be the game winners each night. His goal on Friday night came in overtime and was his third game winner. On Saturday, a second-period power-play goal proved to be the game winner. Condra now has a career-high 10 goals with four of them winning games. His four game winners tie him with teammate Ryan Thang for the most in the CCHA and tie him for second in the nation. Condra now has 16 career goals with five of them game winners.
ALL TIED UP: Notre Dame’s 4-3 overtime win at Lake Superior on Jan. 12 marked the third time this season that the Irish played overtime hockey. Notre Dame and Ohio State battled to a 1-1 tie on Nov. 4 after the Irish dropped a 3-2 overtime decision at Minnesota State on Oct. 14. The Irish are now 1-1-1 in extra time this year. The overtime win for Notre Dame was the first since Dec. 10, 2004 when the Irish defeated Michigan State, 3-2, at the Joyce Center. Since that game, Notre Dame was 0-4-7 in overtime.The last time that the Irish won an overtime game on the road was March 9, 2002, a 2-1 win at Nebraska-Omaha in the CCHA playoffs. In 56 overtime games since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish are 8-7-41 in overtime.
ROAD SWEEPS: Notre Dame’s weekend sweep at Lake Superior on Jan. 12-13 was the first CCHA road sweep for the Irish since Feb. 14-15, 2003 when they won a pair of games at Bowling Green.
ONE IS BETTER THAN TWO: Notre Dame’s 19 wins this season are the most for the Irish since a 20-win season in 2003-04 when the Irish advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program’s history. The 19 wins are also more than the Irish combined to win in the last two seasons. In 2004-05, Notre Dame won five games and followed with a 13-win season a year ago for a two-season mark of 18 wins.
LATEST FOR FIRST: With a 13-2-1 record in the CCHA, Notre Dame find itself in first place in the CCHA standings, two points ahead of second-place Miami with two games in hand. This is the latest in the season that any Notre Dame team has been in first in the CCHA. The previous late date for the Irish to be in first place was Dec. 8, 2003 when the Irish were tied for first with Ohio State.
BETTER THAN LAST YEAR: With 94 goals in the first 24 games this season (3.92 goals-per-game), Notre Dame has already surpassed its goals scored from a year ago when the Irish had 89 goals in 36 games for a 2.47 goals-per-game average.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU: Senior goaltender David Brown made the most of his one-game break (Jan. 7 vs. Robert Morris) by returning between the pipes for both games at Lake Superior and winning both contests to run his personal winning streak to nine straight games. Brown has not lost since Nov. 25 at Nebraska-Omaha. In his nine-game winning streak, Brown has a 2.21 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. Overall, he has now appeared in 22 of Notre Dame’s 24 games and has a 1.76 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage to go with an 18-3-1 record. The Hobey Baker candidate is first among CCHA goaltenders in wins (18) and goals-against average (1.76), second in save percentage (.927) and third in minutes played (1,330:22). He ranks first nationally in wins, second in goals-against average, third in minutes played and 12th in save percentage. His .841 winning percentage is first in the CCHA and third nationally. Brown and the Irish defense are first in the nation, giving up just 1.79 goals-per-game (43 in 24 contests). The senior goaltender now has 43 career wins at Notre Dame to rank fourth on the all-time wins list. Brown has twice been named CCHA goaltender of the week this season (Oct. 23 and Nov. 6) and was also the all-tournament goaltender at the Lightning College Hockey Classic. This season, Brown has taken over Notre Dame’s all-time top spot for career goals-against average (2.53), save percentage (.913) and shutouts (8).
THE KID LINE: Notre Dame’s line of Ryan Thang, Kevin Deeth (Fr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) and Erik Condra (two freshmen and a sophomore) has been the team’s top scoring trio this season. The threesome accounted for four goals and four assists for eight points in the weekend sweep at Lake Superior State. From the left side, Thang had two goals (ppg) and an assist, Deeth, at center, had two assists and Condra (RW) had a pair of goals (1 ppg, 2 gwg) and one assist. For the season the trio now has 34 goals and 48 assists for 82 points. Included in the 34 goals are 14 power-play goals, three short-handed goals and nine game winners. The three players are a combined +52. The trio ranks 1-2-3 in the CCHA in +/- with Condra (+19), Deeth (+18) and Thang (+15).
WILD THANG: Freshman Ryan Thang is fourth on the team in scoring with 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points. His 13 goals tie him with Mark Van Guilder for the team lead in that category. Thang had two goals and one assist in each of the last two series with Robert Morris and Lake Superior. He ranks fourth among CCHA freshmen in scoring and was selected CCHA rookie of the week for the second time this season this past week. Thang’s four game-winning goals tie him for first in the CCHA and are tied for second in the nation. Of Thang’s 13 goals, five are via the power play, one came short-handed and four are game winners.
MAD HATTER: Freshman Kevin Deeth recorded his first career hat trick in the Jan. 5, 6-2 win over the Robert Morris. The hat trick was the third of the year for the Irish as Deeth joins Mark Van Guilder and Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) with three goal games. The last time the Irish had three hat tricks in a season was the 1991-92 campaign when they had four. Deeth is second on the team in scoring with 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points. He is tied for the team lead with five power-play goals.
CONDRA CAPERS: Sophomore right wing Erik Condra has picked up where he left off as a freshman when he led the Irish in scoring (6g, 28a) as he again leads the team with 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points. Condra scored two goals and added an assist in the sweep at Lake Superior with both his goals being game winners and now has four on the season. He recorded a career-high five-point game at Robert Morris on Jan. 5, the first five-point game by an Irish player since Dec. 20, 2000 when Brett Lebda `04 had five points (1g, 4a) in a 7-4 win at Nebraska-Omaha. Condra has four games this season with three or more points.
PLAYING IN HIS BACK YARD: Junior right wing Evan Rankin (Portage, Mich.) returns to the area that he grew up – Kalamazoo, Mich. – this weekend when the Irish face Western Michigan. Rankin often skated at Lawson Arena and owns a goal and an assist in four games against the Broncos. On the year, Rankin has three goals and three assists for six points in 17 games for the Irish.
ON A TEAR: Sophomore left wing Garrett Regan saw a seven-game point streak snapped on Jan. 5 at Robert Morris but wasted little time in starting a new streak as he has now scored in three straight games. Regan has points in 10 of Notre Dame’s last 11 games (6g, 6a) and is now sixth on the team in scoring with career highs in goals (9), assists (7) and points (16). As a freshman, Regan had three goals and four assists for seven points in 30 games.
BACK WITH A BRONZE MEDAL: Notre Dame freshman defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) returned to the Irish lineup at Lake Superior State after missing four games while playing for the U.S. Junior National Team at the 2006-07 World Junior Championships in Sweden. Lawson, an alternate captain for the U.S. team, and his teammates collected a bronze medal in the tournament. Lawson picked up assists in each game versus the Lakers and is tied for first among Irish defensemen in scoring with two goals and 10 assists for 12 points. His +15 is tied for third on the Irish and in scoring among Irish defensemen with two goals and eight assists for 10 points. Lawson is the 10th Notre Dame player to be selected to the U.S. Junior National Team and the first since Rob Globke `04 and Brett Lebda `04 played for the 2001-02 team. Besides Globke and Lebda, the seven other Irish players to play in the world juniors are: Jack Brownschidle (`76-’77 and `78-’79), Ben Simon (`96-’97 and `97-’98), Joe Dusbabek (`97-’98), Dan Carlson (`98-’99), Connor Dunlop (`99-’00 and `00-’01), Brett Henning (`99-’00), David Inman (`99-’00). Globke was a member of the 2000-01 and `01-’02 teams while Lebda was on the `01-’02 teams.
Junior Mark Van Guilder leads the Irish with 13 goals and his 25 points rank him third on the team. He is among 40 Division I college hockey players with a chance to win the 2007 Hobey Baker Memorial Award
MR. STEADY: Junior center Mark Van Guilder continues to be Notre Dame’s steadiest player as he is third on the team in scoring with 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points and is sixth with a +12. The Hobey Baker Award candidate has been held off the scoresheet just nine times this season and he leads the Irish with eight multiple-point games on the year. Prior to the series with Alaska (Dec. 2-3), Van Guilder moved from center to right wing and responded with three goals against the Nanooks. His 13 goals are a career high, surpassing his eight goals of a year ago. The Roseville, Minn., native now has played in 98 consecutive games in his career.
THE LAST TIME: The last time the Irish won 19 games in a season was the 2003-04 campaign when they finished the year with a 20-15-4 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. That team won its 19th game on March 12. Only once in the program’s history have the Irish recorded 19 wins by the 24th game of the season. The first time came in the 1987-88 season when Notre Dame was 20-2-2 after 24 games on the way to a 27-4-2 record.
SCORING IN BUNCHES: Through the first 24 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored two or more goals in a period a total of 26 times. That includes 16 periods with two goals, eight periods with three goals, one period with four and one with five lamplighters.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame’s loss to Robert Morris on Jan. 7 snapped an 8-0-0 start for the Irish at the Joyce Center. A year ago, Notre Dame was 7-11-3 on home ice. Through the first 24 games, the Irish have played just nine games at home and 15 on the road (four neutral site games). The Irish are 7-3-1 in away games and 4-0-0 in neutral site games. The last time the Irish won more than seven games on the road was in 2002-03 when they were 10-9-2 away from the Joyce Center.
SCORING BY CLASS: Here’s how Notre Dame scoring breaks down by classes this season.
Class (Skaters) Goals Assists PointsFreshmen (6) 32 50 82Seniors (7) 20 53 73Sophomores (4) 25 36 61Juniors (5) 17 23 40Totals 94 162 256
PLAYING WITH THE LEAD: Through the first 24 games of the season, Notre Dame has played a total of 1453:09 minutes. In those 24 games, the Irish have trailed for just 150:54 minutes (or 10.4% of the time). On the year, the Irish have been in the lead or tied for 89.6% of the time or 1302:15 minutes. That breaks down to being tied for 479:49 minutes (33.0%) and leading 822:26 (56.6%).
SHARE THE WEALTH: Through the first 24 games of the season, all but two Notre Dame players – defensemen Wes O’Neill (Sr., Essex, Ont.) and Dan VeNard (Jr., Vernon Hills, Ill.) – have scored goals. Notre Dame has nine players with four or more goals so far this season led by Mark Van Guilder and Ryan Thang with 13 goals. Last season, in 36 games, the Irish had just eight players with four or more goals.
SCORING MACHINE: While the Irish own the best defense in the nation (1.79 goals per game), the Notre Dame offense has done its share to help the team to a 19-4-1 overall record. In 24 games, the Irish have recorded 94 goals for a 3.92 average per game to rank sixth in the country. The last time a Notre Dame team averaged 3.92 goals-per-game or better was the 1990-91 season when the Irish had 4.06 goals per contest.
STREAKING IRISH: Notre Dame’s 4-2 loss to Robert Morris on Jan. 7 snapped a seven-game winning streak, the longest for the Irish since Nov. 13 to Dec. 4, 1987. The Irish have now won nine of their last 10 games and 13 of their last 16 since Nov. 10. The Robert Morris loss also ended Notre Dame’s eight-game home winning streak to start the season. That was the longest home win streak since Nov. 23, 1990 to Jan. 26, 1991 when that team was in the midst of a 12-game win streak. The Irish are now 8-1-0 at home this season.
FIRST-PERIOD GOALS: The Irish have given up just eight first-period goals this season while scoring 26 of their own. Notre Dame has scored the first goal of the game 19 times this year and is 15-3-1 in those games. Versus Michigan on Dec. 10, Notre Dame surrendered two goals in the first period for the only time this season and trailed the Wolverines 2-1 after one period. Notre Dame is 13-2-0 when they lead after one period and 4-2-1 when tied after one period.
TURN THE PAIGE: Senior center Jason Paige (Saginaw, Mich.) is on pace to surpass his career- best totals for goals, assists and points this season. Through the first 24 games this year, Paige has eight goals and five assists for 13 points. His previous best season came in 2003-04 when he had 10 goals and six assists for 16 points, all career highs. He recorded the second two-goal game of his career in the win over Michigan State on Nov. 17. His previous two-goal game came on Feb. 27, 2004, in his freshman year against Michigan. He has already surpassed his totals from last season (4g, 1a, 5pts). One of the top defensive forwards in the CCHA, Paige continues as Notre Dame’s top face-off man winning 291-of-480 for a 60.6% success rate.
JUST JOSHING: Josh Sciba scored his seventh goal of the season at Lake Superior on Jan.13 in the 4-1 Irish win. He now has seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points to rank fifth on the team. Sciba had a career-best six-game point streak (2g, 5a) snapped in the 2-0 loss at Michigan State (Nov. 18). Nine of his points (4g, 5a) have come on the power play. For his career, Sciba now has 37 career goals with 19 of them coming with the man advantage.
KID STUFF: Notre Dame’s freshman class continues to have an excellent rookie season. In the first 24 games, the freshmen have combined for 32 goals and 50 assists for 82 points, 12 power-play goals, three short-handed tallies, seven game-winning goals and are a combined +62. Leading the way is Kevin Deeth (11g, 15a) with 26 points. He is tied for the team lead with five power-play goals and is second in the CCHA among rookie scorers. Thang (13g, 10a) follows with 23 points. He now has five power-play goals and four game winners, which is tied for tops in the CCHA and second in the nation. Defenseman Kyle Lawson has two goals and 10 assists on the year and is tied for second on the team with Deeth with a +15. Fellow blueliner Brett Blatchford has ten points on one goal and nine assists and is +7. Left wing Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) has four goals and three assists for seven points in 11 games. Christian Minella (1g, 3a) scored his first goal in his first game against Bowling Green and added a two-assists game versus Alaska for four points on the year. The freshman class has accounted for eight of Notre Dame’s 19 game-winning goals (Thang – 4, Kissel – 2 and Blatchford and Deeth with one each).
TWO-GOAL GAMES OR MORE: Scoring is definitely contagious. Through 24 games this season, the Irish have seen players score two or more goals in a game 12 times. Last season, Notre Dame had a total of seven multiple-goal games, including two hat tricks.
Mark Van Guilder - 3 times10/12 - 2 vs. Minn. St.10/20 - 3 at Boston College12/3 - 2 vs. Alaska
Ryan Thang - 2 times10/20 - 2 at Boston College11/10 - 2 vs. Bowling Green
Garrett Regan - 2 times10/12 - 2 vs. Minnesota State12/10 - 2 vs. Michigan
Kevin Deeth - 2 times10/14 - 2 at Minn. St. 1/5 - 3 at Robert Morris
Dan Kissel - 1 time10/21 - 3 vs. Providence
Erik Condra - 1 time11/11 - 2 vs. Bowling Green
Jason Paige - 111/17 - 2 vs. Michigan State