Kevin Deeth scored the game winner in Notre Dame's 2-1 win over Bowling Green.  The goal was his 13th of the season.

#6/#5 Irish Face #4/#4 Michigan State In A Home-And-Home Series Notre Dame puts eight-game unbeaten (7-0-1) streak on the line versus Spartans.

Nov. 15, 2006

Notre Dame, Ind. –

Complete Release in PDF Format
dot.gifspacer.gifDownload Free Acrobat Reader

• The Series:  #6/#5 Notre Dame (8-1-1/3-0-1) vs. #4/#4 Michigan State (5-2-1/3-2-1)
• Date/Site/Time: Fri., Nov. 17 • 8:07 p.m. • Joyce Center (2,713) • Notre Dame, Ind. Sat., Nov. 18 • 7:06 p.m. • Munn Arena (6,470) • East Lansing, Mich.
• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 South Bend'sSportsCenter. Mike Lockert, "the voice of Irish hockey" will bring you all the play-by-play action. Television: Friday night's game will be televised live by College Sports Television(CSTV) with Matt McConnell and Dave Starman providing the play-bt-play and coloranalysis. Saturday's game will be available on Comcast Local with Ben Holden and LylePhair calling the action.
• Internet: At the Notre Dame website - www.und.com. All CCHA games available ongametracker.

TOP 10 SHOWDOWN: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish bring an 8-1-1 overall record and a 3-0-1 mark in the CCHA into this weekend’s home-and-home series with the Michigan State Spartans (5-2-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the CCHA). The two teams will meet on Friday, Nov. 17 at the Joyce Center in a game that will start at 8:07 p.m. and televised nationally by CSTV. On Saturday, Nov. 18, the two teams meet in East Lansing, Mich., for a 7:05 p.m. game that will be televised by Comcast Local. For the first time since the 1998-99 season, the Irish will be involved in a game featuring two top-10 ranked teams. Notre Dame comes into the week ranked sixth in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and fifth in the USCHO.com/CSTV poll, their highest rankings since being ranked fifth the week of Nov. 23, 1998. Michigan State comes into the game ranked fourth in both polls and both teams are tied for fourth in the CCHA with seven points in early-season action. Coincidentally, the last time the Irish faced a top-10 team when they were ranked in the top 10 came versus Michigan State. That came on Feb. 19, 1999 when the teams met in East Lansing with Notre Dame ranked seventh and the Spartans third. The two teams actually met on three straight weekends (Feb. 5, 12 and 19) that year while ranked in the top 10. On Feb. 5, the Irish were ninth and Michigan State was fourth with the game ending in a 2-2 tie at the Joyce Center. On Feb. 12, the Irish were sixth and the Spartans third with MSU taking a 1-0 win at Munn Arena. The Feb. 19 game was a 3-1 Spartan win and started the Irish on an 0-4-1 streak that saw them fall out of the Top 10.

IRISH VERSUS SPARTANS: Notre Dame and Michigan State have faced each other 94 times in the all-time series with the Spartans holding a 56-30-8 advantage. At the Joyce Center, the Spartans are 21-17-6 versus the Irish and at East Lansing, Mich., they hold a 33-13-2 advantage. Michigan State has won five straight in the series with the last Notre Dame win coming on Dec. 10, 2004, a 3-2 overtime win at the Joyce Center. The last time the Irish won at Munn Arena was Feb. 9, 2002, a 3-2 victory. Since the Irish returned to the CCHA in 1992-93, the Spartans have dominated the series, going 29-4-7 in 40 contests.

RED-HOT IRISH: Notre Dame’s 8-1-1 start this season is the best for the Irish since starting the 1998-99 season with an identical 8-1-1 record. The Irish tied game 11 and won game 12 that season to go to 9-1-2 and move to fourth in the nation, the highest they’ve been ranked since Jan. 31, 1977 when they were second in the nation. The 5-1-1 mark in seven consecutive games away from the Joyce Center is the best since the Irish were 6-0-1 over a seven-game span in the 1987-88 season. The eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1) is the longest for the Irish since that `87-’88 team won 14 in a row from Dec. 11 to Feb. 13.

TOP 10 MEETINGS: This weekend’s series with Michigan State is the first for the Irish since 1999 that pits two teams ranked in the Top 10. A look back through the records shows that the Irish have played in 30 games where both teams were ranked in the top 10.

1972-73:  8 games (3-4-1)1973-74:  6 games (2-3-1)1976-77:  6 games (2-2-2)1981-82:  2 games (0-2-0)1998-99:  8 games (3-3-2)Total:  30 games (10-14-6)

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Two Notre Dame players were honored by the CCHA this past week and one also added player of the week honors from Inside College Hockey.com. Sophomore left wing Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) was named the CCHA offensive player of the week and the INCH player of the week after scoring two goals and adding three assists for a five-point weekend against Bowling Green. Condra had three assists in the 5-2 win on Friday, Nov. 10 and followed that with a two-goal game, including the game winner, in the 4-0 win over the Falcons on Nov. 11. Freshman Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) was named the CCHA rookie of the week after recording the first three-point game of his career (2g, 1a) in the 5-2 win on Friday over Bowling Green. His second goal of the game was the game winner. For the weekend he had two goals and one assist and was +4.

BOWLING GREEN RECAP: Senior goaltender David Brown (Stoney Creek, Ont.) made 28 saves and Erik Condra scored a pair of goals to lead Notre Dame to a 4-0 win over Bowling Green in game two of the weekend series. Freshman Christiaan Minella (Aurora, Colo.) and Mark Van Guilder (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) added single goals in the win. The shutout was the second of the year for Brown and the eighth of his career. He now has three career shutouts against Bowling Green. For the season, Notre Dame now has three shutouts. Irish penalty killers blanked the Falcons in both games of the series, killing all 11 power-play chances. On Friday night, freshman Ryan Thang scored twice, including the game winner, and added an assist while Mark Van Guilder, Kevin Deeth (Fr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) and Josh Sciba (Sr., Westland, Mich.) scored single goals to pace Notre Dame to a 5-2 win over Bowling Green at the Joyce Center. Condra had three assists in the game. For the first time in 10 games, Notre Dame’s opponent scored in the first period as defensman Kevin Schmidt scored at 10:14 of the opening period for a 1-0 lead. That lasted just 14 seconds as Van Guilder replied for the Irish at 10:28. After two periods, the score was tied 2-2, before the Irish scored three in the third goals by Thang, Sciba and Deeth. The Irish out shot the Falcons, 33-26, in the game. David Brown made 24 saves for the Irish while Eddie Neville had 28 stops for Bowling Green. The Falcons were 0-5 on the power play while the Irish scored twice on nine chances.

A GAMER: Freshman Ryan Thang has proven to be a clutch scorer in his first 10 games as a member of the Notre Dame lineup. In those 10 contests, he has scored six times with three of them being game-winning goals. The freshman is tied for the CCHA and national lead with Lake Superior’s Jeff Rainville with three game-winning goals. Thang’s three-point game against Bowling Green was the first of his career.

WHAT BROWN DOES FOR THE IRISH: Senior goaltender David Brown started his Notre Dame career with a brilliant freshman season and looks like he plans on ending his career with an even better senior campaign. Through the first 10 games of the season, Brown is 7-1-1 with a 1.20 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage with two shutouts. He leads the CCHA and the nation in both categories as he and the Irish blueliners have teamed up to form the nation’s top defensive team, giving up just 1.10 goals per game. 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 (2.58), save percentage (.914) and shutouts (8).

POWER OUTAGE: Notre Dame’s penalty killers lead the nation, killing 51-of-55 opponent power plays for a 92.7% success rate. The Irish have yet to give up a power-play goal at home this year (17-for-17) and over the last seven games have killed off 31-of-32 (96.9%) man-down situations. The lone goal given up since Oct. 20 came at Ohio State with 2:22 left in the third period by Tommy Goebel to tie the game at 1-1.

FIRST TIMER: Freshman right wing Christiaan Minella had to wait until the 10th game of the season to see his first collegiate hockey action but wasted little time making the most of it. Minella scored his first collegiate goal on his first shot at 9:04 of the first period to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. The last Notre Dame player to score on his first career shot was Tim Wallace `06 who did it on Oct. 11, 2002 at Minnesota-Duluth.

KID STUFF: Notre Dame’s eight-man freshman class has made major contributions early in the season. Six of the eight have seen action this season and in the first 10 games, they have combined for 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points, six power-play goals, two short-handed tallies, four game-winning goals and are a combined +27. Leading the way are center Kevin Deeth (5g, 6a) with 11 points. Ryan Thang (6g, 3a) follows with nine points. They are followed by left wing Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) who has three goals and an assist for four points in five games. On defense, Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) has four assists while Brett Blatchford (Temperance, Mich.) has two helpers. Christian Minella scored his first goal in his first game against Bowling Green.

FIRST PERIOD FUN: Notre Dame has outscored the opposition, 12-1 this season in the first period. The lone goal came in the first period of last Friday’s 5-2 win over Bowling Green when Kevin Schmidt scored at 10:14. The Falcons had that lead for 14 seconds as Mark Van Guilder answered back at 10:28. The Irish are now 7-1-1 on the year when they score first in a game and 7-1-0 when they lead after one period of play. GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame’s defensemen got involved in the action against Bowling Green as they picked up eight assists in the weekend series with Bowling Green. In Friday’s 5-2 win, five different defenseman picked up assists and on Saturday, in the 4-0 win, Kyle Lawson (Fr., New Hudson, Mich.), Dan VeNard (Jr., Vernon Hills, Ill.) and Noah Babin (Sr., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) each added their second assists on the weekend. Notre Dame defensemen have yet to score a goal this season and have recorded 20 assists on the year.

VAN GUILDER MARKS THE SPOT: Junior center Mark Van Guilder has already equaled his goal out put from a year ago as he has lit the lamp eight times in the first 10 games of 2006-07. Last year, Van Guilder had eight goals in 36 games for the Irish. In the first 10 games of the year, the Roseville, Minn., native has five multiple-point games this season with three games with three points and two with two points. Van Guilder leads the Irish with eight goals and six assists for 14 points on the year. He has now played in 84 consecutive games at Notre Dame.

JUST JOSHING: Josh Sciba ran his current point streak to a personal best of five games (2g, 4a) with a goal and assist on the weekend versus Bowling Green. For the season, Sciba is fourth on the team with three goals and seven assists for 10 points. Seven of his points (3g, 4a) have come on the power play. For his career, Sciba now has 33 career goals with 18 of them coming with the man advantage.

YOUNG GUN: Freshman center Kevin Deeth quietly goes about his business for the Irish at 5-7, 161 pounds, but he has a way of making his presence felt. Through the first 10 games of the season, Deeth has five goals and six assists for 11 points to rank third on the Irish in scoring. The 11 points ties him for first in the CCHA among rookie scorers and ties him for 12th nationally. Of Deeth’s five goals, three have come on the power play and one was short-handed.

TURN THE PAIGE: Senior center Jason Paige (Saginaw, Mich.) has already exceeded his point scoring output from last season. Through 10 games, Paige has three goals and four assists for seven points. A year ago, in 36 games, Paige recorded four goals and one assist for five points. One of the top defensive forwards in the CCHA, Paige continues as Notre Dame’s top face-off man winning 132-of-215 for a 61.4% success rate.

BACK IN THE RANKINGS: For the fourth week in a row, the Irish find themselves in the national rankings. They enter the weekend vs. Michigan State ranked 6th in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and fifth in the USCHO.com/CSTV polls. Notre Dame is ranked for the first time since the end of the 2003-04 season when they finished the year ranked 12th. Notre Dame was ranked for six weeks that season, including the final four weeks of the year. Week-by-week with the Irish this season:

2006-07 Irish National Rankings

Date     USA TODAY   USCHO.com10/02      ----        ----10/09      ----        ----10/16      ----         RV10/23      11th        12th10/30      10th        10th11/6        9th         9th11/13       6th         5th

Notre Dame hasn’t been ranked often in their 39-year hockey history. During the 1972-73 season, the Irish finished ranked fourth overall in the WMPL radio poll and were ranked for eight weeks during the year. That season, Notre Dame lost to Wisconsin in the WCHA finals. The following year (1973-74), the Irish opened the season ranked second (WMPL) and stayed as high as No. 2 through the first four weeks of the year before dropping out. In 1976-77, the Irish were ranked in the final seven weeks of the season, reaching as high as No. 2 on Jan. 31, finishing the year ranked third in the WMPL radio poll. They lost to Minnesota in the WCHA playoffs in a total-goal series. Notre Dame would not be ranked again until October 26 of the 1981-82 season when they reached 10th but weren’t ranked again. In 1998-99, the Irish spent 16 consecutive weeks (Oct. 19-Feb. 16) in both the USA Today and USHCHO.com polls, before falling out at the end of the year. In 2002-03, the Irish were ranked for one week and in 2003-04, they were ranked six weeks in total, including the final four weeks in a row to finish 12th in the USA Today Poll and 13th in the USCHO.com final polls.

POWER-PLAY PRODUCER: Wes O’Neill (Jr., Essex, Ont.) is Notre Dame’s top scoring defensemen with six points this season on six assists. He has led Irish defensemen in scoring in each of the last three seasons. So far this season, three of his six assists have come on the power play. For his career, O’Neill has scored 10 goals and 27 points on the power play. In 122 all-time games, the veteran defenseman has 14 goals and 49 assists for 63 career points.

CONDRA CAPERS: Sophomore left wing Erik Condra has picked up where he left off in the scoring department as a freshman. Condra, Notre Dame’s rookie of the year and a CCHA all-rookie team selection, led the Irish with six goals and 28 assists for 34 points. In 10 games this year, he has four goals and nine assists for 13 points to rank second in scoring on the team. In 46 career games, Condra has 10 goals and 37 assists for 47 points.

GOAL-SCORING MACHINE: Part of the reason for Notre Dame’s fast 8-1-1 start this season has been the Irish ability to put the puck in the net. Through the first 10 games, Notre Dame has outscored the opposition by a 40-11 margin (4.00 to 1.10 per game). The Irish are ranked ninth in the nation in goals-per-game and tops in goals-against. The +2.90 margin of victory is also tops in the nation. Last year, in 36 games, Notre Dame scored just 89 goals (2.47 per game).

POOLEY POWER: Notre Dame associate head coach Paul Pooley had his number as a player at Ohio State retired in a ceremony held on Sat., Nov. 4 when Notre Dame played at Ohio State. A 1984 graduate of Ohio State, Pooley is still the Buckeyes all-time leading scorer with 114 goals and 156 assists for 270 points. A member of the CCHA’s all-Decade Team for the 1980s, Pooley was the CCHA player of the year in 1984 and a first team All-American as he led the nation in scoring with 32 gosl and 64 assists for 96 points in 41 games.A three-time CCHA all-academic selection, Pooley was an Academic All-American in his senior year. He began his coaching career at Ohio State as an assistant before joining Jeff Jackson’s staff at Lake Superior in 1992. During his three seasons in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., the Lakers went to the NCAA Tournament three times, winning the title in 1992 and 1994. Pooley became the head coach at Providence College in 1994 and was the there for 11 seasons where his teams compiled a 185-187-40 record, won one Hockey East title (1995-96) and advanced to the NCAA tournament twice (1996 and 2001). He was selected to the OSU Hall of Fame in 1994. He is the first Ohio State hockey player to have his number retired.

HANSON HAS IT: Sophomore center Christian Hanson saw his streak of goals in three consecutive games snapped in the 1-1 tie with Ohio State on Nov. 4. Prior to that he had collected goals in the 4-2 win over the Buckeyes and a goal in each game of the Lightning College Hockey Classic versus Army and Air Force. At the Lightning College Hockey Classic, he was named to the all-tournament team and was the tournament MVP. He has now tripled his goal output of his freshman year when he had one goal and two assists for three points. This season, he has scored three goals with no assists.

BEATING THE BEST: Notre Dame has defeated the No. 1 ranked team nine times in the program’s 39-year history. Each of the last three times have come at the expense of the Boston College Eagles (`03-’04, `04-’05 and `06-’07). Here’s the list of Irish wins versus top-ranked teams in the 39-year history of the program.

10/20/06 - at Boston College, 7-110/22/04 - vs. Boston College, 3-210/23/03 - at Boston College, 1-01/3/99 - at North Dakota, 4-311/20/78 - at Minnesota, 3-21/13/78 - vs. Denver, 5-31/18/74 - vs. Michigan Tech, 7-12/24/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 4-32/23/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 8-5

BACK-TO-BACK: The Irish recorded back-to-back hat tricks in the games at Boston College and Providence. In the 7-1 win on Friday night, Mark Van Guilder picked up the second, three-goal game of his career. The following night, Dan Kissel scored three times in the 6-1 win over the Friars. That marked the first time since Feb. 7-8, 1992 that Notre Dame players recorded hat tricks in back-to-back games. On Feb. 7, 1992, Lou Zadra had three versus Western Michigan in a 10-4 loss to the Broncos. The following night, Sterling Black scored three times in a 7-5 loss at Western Michigan.

FOR OPENERS: With the 6-1 win on Oct. 12 versus Minnesota State, the Irish improved to 20-17-2 in the opening game of the season. The home win gave Notre Dame a 21-17-1 record in home openers. The 3-2 overtime loss on Oct. 14 dropped the Irish to 14-22-3 in road openers. Last season, the Irish dropped both the road opener (3-1 at Colorado College) and the home opener (5-3 to Princeton).

ALL TIED UP: Notre Dame’s 1-1 tie against Ohio State on Nov. 4 was the second overtime game for the Irish this season. On Oct. 14, Notre Dame dropped a 3-2 overtime decision at Minnesota State and are now 0-1-1 in extra play this year. Last season, Notre Dame was 0-0-4 in four overtime games. In 55 overtime games since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish are 7-7-41 in overtime. The last overtime win for the Irish came on Dec. 10, 2004 in a 3-2 victory against Michigan State. That win snapped a 16-game winless skid (0-2-14) during the regular season that started on Jan. 25, 2002.

TWO-GOAL GAMES OR MORE: Scoring is definitely contagious. Through eight games this season, the Irish have seen players score two or more goals in a game six times. Last season, Notre Dame had a total of seven multiple-goal games, including two hat tricks. Mark Van Guilder and Dan Kissel have had hat tricks against Boston College and Providence, respectively. Freshman Ryan Thang scored twice against Boston College. Sophomore left wing Garrett Regan (Hastings, Minn.) scored twice, including the game winner in the 6-1 win win on Oct. 12. Junior center Mark Van Guilder scored twice in the same game while recording a three-point game. On Oct. 14, it was freshman Kevin Deeth’s turn as he collected a short-handed goal and a power-play tally in the 3-2 overtime loss.

MINNESOTA MAGIC: Notre Dame’s five Minnesota natives had strong weekends in the home-and-home weekend with Minnesota State. Junior Mark Van Guilder had two goals and one assist in the 6-1 win on Thursday. Sophomore Garrett Regan had two goals in the 6-1 win against the Mavericks. Freshman Ryan Thang had a goal and an assists in the season opener. Seniors Tom Sawatske (Duluth, Minn.) was +1 on the weekend and T.J. Jindra (Faribault, Minn.) was even. An adopted son, Kevin Deeth who played two years of prep hockey at Shattuck St. Mary’s (Faribault, Minn.), also had two goals and an assist in two games versus MSU.

FAMILY MATTERS: Two members of the Notre Dame hockey team – forwards Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Garrett Regan (Hastings, Minn.) – have family ties to the Irish hockey program. Condra’s uncle is All-American forward Kirt Bjork (`83) who played at Notre Dame from 1979-83. He scored 76 goals with 85 assists for 161 career points in 141 career games. He took All-America honors in 1983 when he had 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points. Regan’s uncle – Sean Regan – was a defenseman for the Irish from1981-83 before finishing his career at the University of Minnesota.

TURNAROUND YEAR: A year ago, the Notre Dame hockey team turned in a 13-19-4 record in Jeff Jackson’s first season behind the bench. A closer look at the mark shows vast improvement for the Irish. Through the first 13 games of the season, Notre Dame was 3-9-1. Over the remaining 23 contests, the Irish were 10-10-3. In CCHA play, Notre Dame went from 3-20-5 in `04-’05 to 11-13-4 in `05-’06, a 15-point improvement from one season to the next. Only Miami’s 16-point improvement in the standings was better than Notre Dame’s 15-point turnaround.

OLD-TIME DEFENSE: Notre Dame’s defense is made up of three seniors, three juniors and two freshmen this season. The three seniors – Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Wes O’Neill and Tom Sawatske will team with junior Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) to form the team’s top four. The final two spots will be a battle between juniors Dan VeNard and Brian D’Arcy (Western Springs, Ill.) and freshmen Kyle Lawson and Brett Blatchford (Temperance, Mich.). O’Neill comes into his final year as a candidate for all-CCHA and All-America honors.

NHL DRAFTEES: The Irish have four players on the 2006-07 roster who have been selected in the National Hockey League’s Entry Draft. Last June, sophomore right wing Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) was selected in the seventh round, 211th overall by the Ottawa Senators. He is joined by freshman defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) who was selected in the 2005 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes in the seventh round, 198th overall. Condra and Lawson are joined by senior defenseman Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) who was chosen in the fourth round of the 2004 Entry Draft, 115th overall by the New York Islanders. Also selected in 2004 was senior goaltender David Brown (Stony Creek, Ont.) who went in the eighth round, 228th overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

PLAYING IN THE NHL: At times during the 2005-06 season, Notre Dame had five former players in the NHL at the same time. The five were: Ben Simon `00 (Columbus), Rob Globke `04 (Florida), Brett Lebda `04 (Detroit), Mark Eaton (Nashville) and Yan Stastny (Edmonton-Boston). Only one other time, have the Irish had five players in the NHL in one season. That came during the 1982-83 campaign when the Irish had five players see time, in the NHL. That group included: Jim Brown `82 (three games with Los Angeles), Jack Brownschidle `77 (72 games with St. Louis), Jeff Brownschidle `81 (four games with Hartford), Don Jackson `78 (71 games with Edmonton) and Dave Poulin `82 (two games with Philadelphia). As of Oct. 17, Eaton (Pittsburgh), Lebda (Detroit) and Stastny (Boston) were skating with NHL teams.