Nov. 24, 2008
Farmington Hills, Mich. – The Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced today that Notre Dame junior defenseman Brett Blatchford (Temperance, Mich.) and senior center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) have been selected as the CCHA’s defensive and offensive players of the week respectively for the week ending Nov. 23.
Blatchford recorded four assists on the weekend and was +3 against Bowling Green while Hanson turned in a six-point weekend with two goals and one assist in each game as the Irish handed the Falcons 5-1 and 9-1 defeats on Nov. 21-22. For Hanson, the three-point games were career highs for the big center iceman.
The two wins improved Notre Dame to 9-3-1 overall and 5-2-1-1 in the CCHA, good for a 12 points and a second-place tie with Nebraska-Omaha, seven points behind first-place Miami. The Irish are now unbeaten in their last eight games (7-0-1), including five straight victories away from the Joyce Center.
On Friday night at the Joyce Center, Hanson got the Irish offense off to a fast start, scoring a power-play goal at 16:04 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. He would later pick up an assist on a Christiaan Minella (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) goal that made it 4-1 and he closed out the scoring with an even-strength goal at 19:59 of the second to close out the scoring in the 5-1 win. Blatchford picked up his lone assist in the game on a Billy Maday (Fr., Burr Ridge, Ill.) power-play goal that made it 3-1. In the game, the Irish were 2-6 on the power play.
Saturday night, the two teams traveled to Bowling Green, Ohio for a rematch that saw Notre Dame break open a close game with six goals in the third period on the way to a 9-1 win over the Falcons. For the night, the Irish were 6-for-12 on the power play. Blatchford equaled his career-best with three assists on the night with two of the three setting up Calle Ridderwall (So., Stockholm, Sweden) power-play tallies, one in the second period and one in the third. His third assist of the night came on a Ryan Guentzel (So., Woodbury, Minn.) goal at 3:06 of the third period that made it a 4-1 game.
Hanson scored twice, once on the power play and once at even strength. His lone assist came on Ridderwall’s power-play goal at 6:14 of the third period that made it 5-1. Hanson got both his goals in the third period, scoring at 16:13 and 19:21 to close out the scoring for Notre Dame.
For the season, Hanson now leads the Irish in scoring with eight goals and six assists for 14 points in 13 games. Blatchford has already surpassed his point output from a year ago as he has collected 13 assists for 13 points. That ranks him second in the CCHA in assists and second in points by a defenseman overall.
The Irish, ranked second in the nation in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CBS College Sports poll, return to the Joyce Center this weekend for a home series with Western Michigan. Friday’s game (11/28) has a 7:35 p.m. start time while Saturday’s contest (11/29) will begin at 7:05 p.m.