Jan. 16, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. –
The Irish return to the ice this weekend with games three and four of their current six-game home stand at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The Lake Superior State Lakers visit Notre Dame for a CCHA reunion weekend, as the two teams were rivals in that league for 23 seasons.
The Lakers and the Irish will meet at 7:35 p.m. on Jan. 17 with the start time set for 7:05 p.m. the following night. The NBC Sports Network will televise Friday’s game while Saturday’s contest will be streamed live by NBCSports.com.
Notre Dame won its first two games on the home stand last weekend with 7-1 and 5-0 wins over Alabama Huntsville. That improved the 15th-ranked Irish to 12-8-1 on the season. They remain in eighth place in Hockey East with a 3-5-1 mark, good for seven points in the standings.
The Lakers enter the weekend with a three-game losing streak after dropping a pair at home in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to Bemidji State last weekend by 5-2 and 3-1 verdicts. Lake Superior State is 11-10-1 overall and is in sixth place in the WCHA with a 7-9-0 record.
Notre Dame and Lake Superior have met 64 times in the all-time series with all the games being played during the two teams 23 seasons (1981-83 and 1992-2013) in the CCHA. The Irish lead the all-time series with a 32-25-7 record and are 20-9-4 against the Lakers at home, including a 2-0-0 mark at the Compton Family Ice Arena with those games played there last season. Notre Dame is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games at home versus Lake Superior since the 2005-06 season. With Jeff Jackson behind the Irish bench, Notre Dame is 16-3-3 against the Lakers since `05-’06, including 3-1-0 in the CCHA playoffs.
Jackson hopes to be able to continue playing former CCHA rivals in future seasons.
“Keeping things alive with the former CCHA teams is a good thing, especially from a geographical standpoint,” says Jackson, now in his ninth season behind the Notre Dame bench.
“We have developed relationships with those teams and their coaches. Obviously with my relationship with Lake State, I hope we can keep playing them and maybe get up there again too, not just down here. For all these programs, I think it helps them to continue to play some of the former league rivals. Lake State fans associate with us and Michigan and Michigan State. It’s important for those programs to keep that rivalry mentality.”
JACKSON AND THE LAKERS
For Notre Dame hockey fans that don’t know, Jeff Jackson got his start in college hockey at Lake Superior State as an assistant coach to Frank Anzalone from 1986-90 and was an assistant on the Lakers first NCAA championship team in 1988.
In 1990, when Anzalone moved to the professional hockey ranks, Jackson took over as head coach and over a six-year period (1990-96) had one of the top programs in NCAA history. In that span, his teams were 182-52-25 (.751) and went to three consecutive NCAA title games (1992-94), winning twice (1992, 1994). His teams won two CCHA regular season and four CCHA tournament championships and he was the CCHA coach of the year in 1990-91.
At Lake Superior State, Jackson coached 12 All-Americans (five first team and seven second team) and had one Academic All-American. The list of his former players to play in the NHL includes: Doug Weight, Jim Dowd, Brian Rolston, Keith Aldridge, Blaine Lacher, John Grahame and Bates Battaglia. Two members of his Notre Dame staff were with him during his Laker career – associate head coach Paul Pooley and equipment specialist Dave Gilbert. Jackson left Lake Superior following the 1995-96 season to start the U.S. National Team Developmental Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.
From 2000 to 2004, Notre Dame’s lineup featured a 6-2, 214-pound right wing from West Bloomfield, Mich., who at that time was one of the top players ever recruited at Notre Dame. His name was Rob Globke and he would be among the team’s leading goal scorers and scores in his four seasons with the Irish. In 145 career games, Globke had 68 goals and 56 assists for 124 points to rank 30th on the all-time points list. He led the team in scoring in 2002-03 and 2003-04 and is tied for second all-time with 13 game-winning goals. Drafted by the Florida Panthers with the second pick, 40th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, the talented Globke was an alternate captain on the first Irish team to make the NCAA Tournament. This weekend, another Globke will be playing at Notre Dame as Rob’s younger brother, Alex, will play for Lake Superior State. The freshman center is the Lakers’ leading scorer with eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 22 games.
SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON
Fighting Irish Digital Media, in collaboration with 3 Penny Films, has produced a half-hour, behind-the scenes show highlighting the Notre Dame hockey team’ s Fenway Park experience, titled “Shipping Up To Boston.” The show, presented by Coca-Cola will air at 10 pm on the NBC Sports Network, immediately following the Notre Dame-Lake Superior State hockey game on Friday, Jan. 17. The show will re-air on Jan. 23 at 1:30 a.m., on Jan. 29 at 12:30 a.m. and again on February 8 at 10:30 p.m.
STOPPING THE PUCK
Senior goaltender Steven Summerhays continues to move up the all-time lists for Notre Dame goaltenders. His 5-0 shutout last weekend versus Alabama Huntsville was his fourth this season and has him tied for the national lead with Quinnipiac’s Michael Garteig. He now has 10 shutouts in his career and ranks third on the all-time Irish list behind David Brown `07 and Jordan Pearce `09. Summerhays is 10-7-1 this year with a 1.90 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. He is fifth in the CCHA in goals-against average, eighth in save percentage and tied for third in wins. For his Irish career, Summerhays ranks fifth in wins (46), third in shutouts (10), second in goals-against average (2.20), third in save percentage (.913) and second in winning percentage (.583).
His success is due to lots of hard work and his ability to improve his game.
“Consistency and work ethic are the two areas of my game that I have improved in the last couple of years,” says Summerhays.
“Freshman and sophomore year I didn’t care about what I was eating or working out or anything. I have focused on that the last couple of years. There was room for improvement. Coach has been working with me on practice habits and over the four years I have improved in that area.”
Jackson believes that Summerhays shutouts this season are a result of his mental toughness and maturity in the goal.
“Steven (Summerhays) has had a variety of shutouts this year,” says Jackson.
“He’s had a few where he had to be the difference maker. Some have been easier like the last one when he didn’t have to be the difference maker. In the past, those have been challenging for him, getting 15-20 shots and giving up two goals. That’s just mental toughness and maturity. That’s why he’s had more success with shutouts this season.”
When Irish head coach Jeff Jackson united Sam Herr at left wing, T.J. Tynan at center and Bryan Rust at right wing, he was looking to get some consistent offense from the newly formed trio. In their first three games together, the trio has produced the results that their head coach was looking for.
Versus Boston College at Fenway Park, the line scored a pair of goals (Tynan and Rust) with Herr assisting on both goals and Tynan and Rust assisting on the one they didn’t score for a six-point night (2g, 4a).
In the series opener versus Alabama Huntsville, Rust and Tynan turned in four-point games as Rust collected his first career hat trick while assisting on another goal. Tynan was busy setting up goals as he had one lamplighter and chipped in three assists. Herr scored once and added an assist for a pair of points in the 7-1 win.
The four-point game was the third of Tynan’s career and the second for Rust in his four seasons.
In the series finale, the trio was back at it. Herr scored once (the game-winning goal) while Tynan had a pair of assists and Rust had his third straight multi-point game with a goal and an assist.
In the three games together, the line of Herr-Tynan and Rust combined for nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points, an average of seven points per game.
THE PLUS OF TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Senior defenseman Kevin Lind’s name is not going to show up often on the Notre Dame scoresheet in the offensive column very often. In 21 games this season, the 6-3, 222-pound blue liner has just one goal with a pair of assists for three points. In 132 career games, he has just five goals and 17 assists for 22 points.
While fans might not notice him, his coaches and his teammates definitely do and it’s for numbers he produces that don’t always show up in the box score.
So far this season, Lind leads the Irish in plus-minus with a +12 and in blocked shots with 47. That means he has been on the ice for 12 more even-strength goals than he has been for goals given up. The second number tells us that he isn’t afraid to put his large frame between a shooter and the Notre Dame goal.
“Kevin is an unheralded guy. He does his job and does it well every night,” says Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“He doesn’t get a lot of accolades and doesn’t get to play on the power play. He’s just a very sound, defensive defenseman. He’s developed his game to the point that he is tough to play against. He plays with a little more physicality and has learned to play under pressure. He has developed into a sound, trustworthy defenseman.
The Homer Glen, Ill., resident doesn’t mind being known for his defensive skills. As a junior he also led the team with a +21 and 75 blocks while notching a pair of goals and three assists for five points.
“As a defensive defenseman, I try to focus on my own end of the ice,” explains Lind.
“Some guys are looking at points and getting goals but for my trade I focus on not getting scored on. Sometimes I am just lucky when I am on the ice and we score. Most of the time I am just worried about protecting our goalies and our own zone.
The Anaheim Ducks draft choice has always been known for his defensive skills and his shot-blocking prowess. With time at Notre Dame his game and confidence has grown.
“When I first got to college, I started off as a sixth or seventh defenseman so I didn’t get that much ice time,” says Lind.
Keeping the other team’s third and fourth line off the scoresheet wins games, so I guess that’s where I embraced that style of play. With the help of coach Jackson and coach Pooley and especially coach (Jason) Nightengale last season, its just about fine-tuning your game, especially when it means moving up from playing third and fourth lines to facing the first or second line. It’s about being more thorough, more aggressive and willing to block shots.”