Jan. 24, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Series: #3/#3 Notre Dame (20-5-1/14-3-1) vs. #9/#8 Miami (18-8-2/13-5-2)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., Jan, 26-27, 2007 â€¢ 7:35 p.m./7:05 p.m. â€¢ Joyce Center (2,713)
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: Friday’s game will be televised live by Comcast Local. Ben Holden and Lyle Phair will provide the play-by-play and color commentary. The game is expected to be carried in South Bend on Comcast’s local access station. Game also available on South Bend Comcast Channel 37 (Comcast Chicago) on tape delay at 8:30 p.m.
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. Video Streaming: The January 27 game versus Miami will be available via Fighting Irish All-Access on the Notre Dame website at und.com. To view the game, the viewer will need to be using Internet Explorer 6 with Windows Media Player 9 or higher.
A BATTLE FOR THE TOP SPOT: Notre Dame returns home after spending the last two weekends on the road for one of the biggest series every played at the Joyce Center. This weekend, Jan. 26-27, the Irish play host to the Miami RedHawks in a series that will go a long way towards deciding the CCHA regular-season title. Friday’s game will start at 7:35 p.m. and will be televised by Comcast Local in Detroit. Ben Holden and Lyle Phair will bring the play-by-play and color commentary. South Bend’s Comcast is expected to carry the game live on Local Access Channel 3 and will also have the game on tape delay at 8:30 p.m. on Chicago Comcast channel 37. Saturday’s game has a 7:05 p.m. scheduled start and will be streamed live at und.com via Irish All-Access. To view the game, the viewer will need to be using Internet Explorer 6 with Windows Media Player 9 or higher. Notre Dame comes into the weekend with a 20-5-1 overall record and a 14-3-1 mark in the CCHA, good for 29 points. Miami is 18-8-2 overall and 13-5-2 in the conference for 28 points with Notre Dame having two games in hand on the RedHawks.The Irish play six of their final 10 games at home while the RedHawks play six of their last eight conference games on the road. Notre Dame is third in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and the USCHO.com/CSTV polls while Miami is ranked ninth and eighth in each poll respectively.
IRISH VERSUS REDHAWKS: The Irish are looking for their first win against Miami since March 16, 2003 and are 0-6-2 in the last eight meetings. All-time, Miami leads the series, 26-13-5 in 44 meetings, including a 10-6-4 mark at the Joyce Center. The two teams were cluster partners last season with the RedHawks going 2-0-2 in the four games, winning once in Oxford and once at Notre Dame with one tie at each location. The last time the Irish defeated Miami at home was on Nov. 9, 2002, a 2-1 Irish win at the Joyce Center. After that win, the two teams played nine straight games at Oxford before last season’s two January meetings in South Bend.
Hobey Baker hopeful David Brown leads the nation in wins with 19 while owning a 1.74 goals-against average.
HOBEY HOPEFULS: 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.
David Brown: Brown comes into the Miami series with a 19-4-1 record to go with a 1.74 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. His 19 wins lead the nation while his goals against leads the CCHA and is third in the country. Brown’s save percentage is second in the conference and 11th nationally. He has led the Irish to the second best defense in the nation, giving up just 1.75 goals-per game. He is tied for the CCHA lead with three shutouts and is tied for third in the nation in that category. Brown is currently third in both the Inside College Hockey.com and CSTV.com Hobey Watch.
Mark Van Guilder: Van Guilder is in the midst of a career season as he is tied for the team lead in goals (13) and is tied for second on the team with 26 points.
Team captain T.J. Jindra set up Tom Sawatske’s game-winning goal and led an irish penalty-killing unit that killed 11 consecutive WMU power plays.
WESTERN MICHIGAN RECAP: The Irish lost for the first time on a Friday night in a CCHA series this season at Western Michigan, falling 3-2 to the Broncos, but then bounced back with a 3-0 shutout win on Saturday (Jan. 20). In Friday’s loss, the Irish surrendered the first goal of the game for just the sixth time this season as Western Michigan scored once in every period on the way to a 3-2 win at Lawson Arena. Patrick Galivan opened the scoring when he redirected a centering pass behind David Brown at 7:17 of the opening stanza to give the Broncos the 1-0 lead. The score would stay that way until the 5:47 mark of the second period when Jeff LoVecchio made it 2-0 with a short-handed goal. The 2-0 lead for Western marked just the third time this season that Notre Dame trailed in a game by two goals. The Irish rallied in the third period when Kyle Lawson (Fr., New Hudson, Mich.) scored on the power-play at 6:19 of the third to make it 2-1. Just 1:30 later, Notre Dame tied the game as Garrett Regan (So., Hastings, Minn.) scored short-handed to even the score at 2-2. Western then got the game-deciding goal at 17:14 when Jeff Pierce steered a rebound on a backhander past Brown for the 3-2 final score. Notre Dame out shot the Broncos, 31-19 in the game. Brown finished with 16 saves while Daniel Bellissimo had 29. The Irish were 1-for-9 on the power play while Western was 0-for-4. Saturday night, Notre Dame got 25 saves from Brown in goal for his third shutout of the season and goals from Tom Sawatske (Sr., Duluth, Minn.), Brett Blatchford (Fr., Temperance, Mich.) and Erik Condra (So., Livonia, Mich.) on the way to the 3-0 blanking of the Broncos. After a scoreless first period, Notre Dame’s defense went on the offensive as Sawatske converted a T.J. Jindra (Sr., Faribault, Minn.) pass for his third goal of the year at 7:21 of the second for a 1-0 Irish lead. Blatchford, a freshman defenseman, made it 2-0 at 12:42 of the second period when he blasted a shot from the left point past Bellissimo for his second goal of the year. Condra closed out the scoring at 14:29 with his 11th goal of the season for the final of 3-0. Sophomore left wing Justin White (Traverse City, Mich.) had the first multiple-point game of his career with two assists on the night. Notre Dame out shot Western by a 26-25 margin. Bellissimo finished with 23 saves. The Irish were 0-for-6 on the power play while the Broncos were 0-for-4.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE: Irish goaltender David Brown recorded his third shutout of the season with 25 saves in the 3-0 win at Western Michigan on Jan. 20. The shutout was the ninth of his career. Brown holds Notre Dame’s single-season shutout record (4, in 2003-04) and the career record with the nine blankings.
FRIDAY NIGHT FUN: Notre Dame’s 3-2 loss at Western Michigan on Jan. 19 marked the first time the Irish lost the opening game of a CCHA series this season. Notre Dame is now 8-1-0 in the first game of the series and 6-2-1 in the second game.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Through the first 26 games of the season, Notre Dame has surrendered the first goal of the game just six times this season and are 4-2-0 when they opposition takes the first lead. The Irish are 16-3-1 when they score the first goal of a game.
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.
TOP 10 MEETINGS: This weekend’s series with #9/#8 Miami marks the third series for the Irish this season where both teams are ranked in the Top 10. Earlier this season, the Irish faced Michigan State and Michigan when they were in the top 10. Over the program’s history, Notre Dame has played in 34 games when both teams were top-10 teams. Here’s a look at the record in those games.
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)2006-07: 4 games (3-1-0)Total: 34 games (13-15-6)
CCHA WINNING STREAK: Notre Dame saw its eight-game CCHA winning streak come to an end with the 3-2 loss at Western Michigan on Jan. 19. The streak started on Dec. 2 versus Alaska and included two wins versus the Nanooks, two versus Michigan, two against Northern Michigan and a pair versus Lake Superior State. The streak was the longest conference win 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).
20 WINS: Notre Dame’s 3-0 win at Western Michigan on Jan. 20, gives the Irish 20 wins on the season. In the 39-year history of the program, this is just the eighth 20-win campaign. The others are:
2003-04: 20-15-4 (CCHA)1987-88: 27-4-2 (Div. 1 Independent)1983-84 22-6-1 (Club)1981-82: 23-15-2 (CCHA)1976-77: 22-13-3 (WCHA)1972-73: 23-14-11 (WCHA)1969-70: 21-8-1 (Independent)
CCHA WINS: With 10 regular-season CCHA games left on the docket, the Irish have already won 14 league games. The most CCHA games the Irish have ever won is 15 in 1981-82 (15-13-2) and in 1998-99 (15-11-4). Notre Dame had 14 league wins in 2003-04 (14-11-3).
LATEST FOR FIRST: With a 14-3-1 record in the CCHA, Notre Dame finds itself in first place in the CCHA standings, one point 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 place 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.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU: Senior goaltender David Brown continues to be one of the leading contenders for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award for college hockey’s top player. Brown bounced back from his first loss in 10 games (3-2 on Jan. 19 at Western Michigan) to record his third shutout of the season, winning at Western, 3-0 on Jan. 20. Prior to the Jan. 19 loss, Brown had not lost a game 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 24 of Notre Dame’s 26 games and has a 1.74 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage to go with an 19-4-1 record. The Hobey Baker candidate is first among CCHA goaltenders in wins (19) and goals-against average (1.74), second in save percentage (.927) and third in minutes played (1,449:27). He ranks first nationally in wins, third in goals-against average, third in minutes played and 11th in save percentage. His .812 winning percentage is first in the CCHA and third nationally. Brown and the Irish defense are second in the nation, giving up just 1.75 goals-per-game (49 in 26 contests). The senior goaltender now has 44 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 (2.50), save percentage (.913) and shutouts (9).
BETTER THAN LAST YEAR: With 99 goals in the first 26 games this season (3.81 goals-per-game), Notre Dame has already surpassed its goal total from a year ago when the Irish had 89 goals in 36 games for a 2.47 goals-per-game average. This year’s Irish offense ranks sixth in the nation and the +2.04 goals margin of victory is second best in the country.
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 was split up for the Jan. 20 game at Western Michigan for the first time all season, but was reunited in the third period and on power plays and accounted for Condra’s 11th goal of the season in the third period. For the season the trio now has 35 goals and 50 assists for 85 points. Included in the 35 goals are 14 power-play goals, three short-handed goals and nine game winners. The three players are a combined +50. The trio ranks 1-2-7 in the CCHA in +/- with Condra (+19), Deeth (+17) and Thang (+14).
THE REAL THANG: Freshman left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) ran his point-scoring streak to a career high six games (4g, 4a) with a pair of assists in the weekend series against Western Michigan. He saw his four-game goal-scoring streak snapped in the series. He is fourth on the team in scoring with 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points. He has been named the CCHA rookie of the week twice this year (Jan. 15 and Nov. 13).
ON A TEAR: Sophomore left wing Garrett Regan has points in 11 of his last 13 games (7g, 6a) as his most recent three-game point streak (2-1-3) was stopped on Jan. 20 at Western Michigan. Earlier this season, Regan had a team and personal best seven-game point streak (5g, 5a) from 11/25 to 12/31. Regan is now fifth on the team in scoring with career highs in goals (10), assists (7) and points (17). As a freshman, Regan had three goals and four assists for seven points in 30 games.
ONE IS BETTER THAN TWO: Notre Dame’s 20 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 20 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.
MR. STEADY: Junior center Mark Van Guilder continues to be Notre Dame’s steadiest player as he is tied for second on the team in scoring with 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points and is sixth with a +11. The Hobey Baker Award candidate has been held off the scoresheet just 10 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 his eyes set on Notre Dame’s “Iron Man” record of 153 consecutive games, set by Tim Wallace (2002-06) as he has now played in 100 consecutive games in his career.
SCORING IN BUNCHES: Through the first 26 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored two or more goals in a period a total of 28 times, including two goals in the third period in both games at Western Michigan. That includes 18 periods with two goals, eight periods with three goals, one period with four and one with five lamplighters.
FIRST-PERIOD GOALS: In Friday’s (Jan. 19) loss to Western Michigan, Notre Dame surrendered the first goal of the game for just the sixth time this season (4-2-0 when that happens). On the year, the Irish have given up just nine first-period goals while scoring 26 of their own. Notre Dame has scored the first goal of the game 20 times this year and is 16-3-1 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 5-2-1 when tied after one period. Friday’s loss for the Irish was the first for them when trailing after one period (2-1-0).
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 winner. His goal on Jan. 12 came in overtime and was his third game winner. On Saturday, Jan. 13, a second-period power-play goal proved to be the game winner. Condra now has a career-high 11 goals with four of them winning games. His four game winners tie him with teammate Ryan Thang for the team lead. Condra now has 17 career goals with five of them the game-deciding goal.
IRISH RANKING HISTORY: Notre Dame hasn’t been ranked often in its 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.
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.
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 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 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 WITH THE LEAD: Through the first 26 games of the season, Notre Dame has played a total of 1573:09 minutes. In those 26 games, the Irish have trailed for just 194:12 minutes (or 12.3% of the time). On the year, the Irish have been in the lead or tied for 87.3% of the time or 1487:57 minutes. That breaks down to being tied for 523:52 minutes (33.3%) and leading 855:05 (54.4%).
BACK WITH A BRONZE: 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 has continued his strong rookie season play since returning with a goal and two assists for three points in his four games back in the lineup. He is now second among Irish defensemen in scoring with three goals and 10 assists for 13 points. His +17 is tied for second on the team and is the best among Irish defensemen. 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.
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 26 games, the Irish have played just nine games at home and 17 on the road (four neutral site games). The Irish are 8-4-1 in away games and 4-0-0 in neutral site games. The last time the Irish won more than eight games on the road was in 2002-03 when they were 10-9-2 away from the Joyce Center.
SHARE THE WEALTH: Through the first 26 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 now has five players with double-figure totals in goals and nine players have four or more goals. Mark Van Guilder and Ryan Thang lead the team with 13 goals. Last season, in 36 games, the Irish had just eight players with four or more goals.
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 10 of their last 12 games and 14 of their last 17 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.
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 26 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 320-of-528 for a 60.6% success rate.
KID STUFF: Notre Dame’s freshman class continues to have an excellent rookie season. In the first 26 games, the freshmen have combined for 34 goals and 52 assists for 86 points, 12 power-play goals, three short-handed tallies, seven game-winning goals and are a combined +65. 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, 12a) follows with 25 points. He now has five power-play goals and four game winners, which is tied for second in the CCHA and third in the nation. Defenseman Kyle Lawson has three goals and 10 assists on the year and is tied for second on the team with Deeth with a +17. Fellow blueliner Brett Blatchford has 11 points on two goals and nine assists and is +9. Left wing Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) has four goals and three assists for seven points in 12 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 20 game-winning goals (Thang – 4, Kissel – 2 and Blatchford and Deeth with one each).