Oct. 9, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. –
Â• The Game: USA Hockey Hall of Fame Game Â• Denver, Colorado #4/#4 Notre Dame (27-16-4) vs. #6/#6 Denver (26-14-1)
Â• Date/Site/Time: Saturday, October 11, 2008 Â• Magness Arena (6,082) Â• 7:07 p.m. (MT)
Â• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM in South Bend. Mike Lockert, now in his seventh season will call all the action for the Irish.
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.
A NEW YEAR WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will open their 41st season on Saturday, Oct. 11 when they travel to Denver, Colo., to face the University of Denver Pioneers at Magness Arena. Opening faceoff is set for 7:07 p.m. (MT) in the Mile High City. It seems like just yesterday that Notre Dame was traveling to Denver for the school’s first appearance in the Frozen Four. At the Pepsi Center, Notre Dame knocked off Michigan, 5-4 in overtime in one semifinal and then lost in the national championship game to Boston College, 4-1. Nineteen members of that team return for the 2008-09 season and will look to duplicate the success of last season. During the 2007-08 campaign, the Irish finished 27-16-4 and were 15-9-4 in the CCHA, good for fourth place in the conference. In the CCHA postseason, the Irish advanced to Joe Louis Arena to lose in the semifinals, 2-1 in overtime, to Miami and then lost to Northern Michigan in the third-place game, 2-1.
HALL OF FAME GAME: Notre Dame makes its second appearance in the Hall of Fame game, having faced Minnesota on Oct. 7, 2000 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. The Irish fell to the Gophers, 7-3, in that contest. The USA Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, Oct. 10 at Denver’s Magness Arena. The 2008 Hall of Fame class includes: NHL stars, Brett Hull, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch and women’s hockey standout Cammi Granato.
PIONEER SPIRIT: Notre Dame and Denver will meet for the second year in a row and the third time in the last four seasons when the two teams tangle on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Magness Arena. Both teams come into the game ranked nationally. The Irish start the week ranked fourth in both the USA Today/American Hockey magazine poll and the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports polls. The Pioneers are sixth in both polls. The two teams have met 47 times in the all-time series with Denver holding a 34-10-3 lead in those games. At Denver, the Pioneers are 21-2-2 versus the Irish. The two teams were members of the WCHA for 10 seasons from 1971-1981. They met twice in South Bend last year with Notre Dame winning the series opener, 4-3 and Denver taking the second game, 3-1 on Oct. 18-19. The Irish win snapped a 9-0-1 unbeaten streak for the Pioneers that extended back to the 1978-79 season. Since leaving the WCHA, Notre Dame has met Denver five times and is 1-3-1 in those games. Jeff Jackson’s teams are 1-2-0 versus the Pioneers since 2005-06.
MORE PIONEERS: Notre Dame will see more Pioneers the week of Oct. 17-18 when the Irish open their home schedule against the Sacred Heart University Pioneers at the Joyce Center. This group of Pioneers are members of Atlantic Hockey and were 16-19-3 overall and 14-11-3 in their conference during 2007-08. Sacred Heart played three teams that the Irish faced in 2007-08 – Rensselaer, Mercyhurst and Denver – and was 2-4-1 in those games.
ON THE SIDELINES: The Irish will be without the services of sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) for the entire season. Phillips injured his right knee in the preseason and will be out of action for the year. He was 4-1-0 as a freshman with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
WINNING TEAMS: Over the past two seasons, Notre Dame’s hockey team has won a total of 59 games. That ties the Irish with Michigan for the most wins over the last two years. Notre Dame’s .702 winning percentage since the 2006-07 season ranks the Irish third among all Division I teams in that two-year span. Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage.
Wins Winning Pct.Notre Dame 59 Michigan (.732)Michigan 59 Miami (.708)Miami 57 Notre Dame (.702)Boston College 54 New Hampshire (.695)North Dakota 52 Boston College (.680)
ON A ROLL: Goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska) finished the 2007-08 season making 19 consecutive starts from Jan. 25 – April 12. He also appeared in 23 consecutive games from Jan. 11 until the end of the year. In his 19 consecutive starts, Pearce was 9-7-3 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Over the 23 consecutive appearances, Pearce was 9-9-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. The last game that Pearce did not see action in for the Irish was on Jan. 5, 2008, a 2-1 win at Northern Michigan with Brad Phillips in goal.
ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN HONORS: Goaltender Jordan Pearce was selected as an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American during the 2007-08 season. Pearce, with a double major in anthropology/pre-med, was a second team selection on the At-Large team. He owns a 3.816 grade-point average and has made the Dean’s List in four of his first six semesters. Pearce became the first Notre Dame hockey player to take Academic All-American honors since Dan Carlson `01 and the fifth player overall. He joins Carlson (third team), Andy Jurkowski `00 (third team), Forrest Karr `99 (second team) and Steve Noble `97 and `98 (first team and second team). Two other Irish players were selected to the all-Region V team in `07-’08 – Mark Van Guilder `08 and Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.)
BACK-TO-BACK: Following the 2007-08 CCHA regular season, goaltender Jordan Pearce won the league’s top goaltender award based on his 1.80 goals-against average in CCHA games. Pearce followed David Brown `07, who had a 1.77 goals-against average to win the 2006-07 award. This marks the fourth time since the 1982-83 season that the same school has won back-to-back goaltending titles with different goaltenders between the pipes. Pearce and Brown are joined on that list by:
1988-89 Bruce Hoffort - LSSU (2.67)1989-90 Darin Madeley - LSSU (2.37)
1997-98 Chad Alban – MSU (1.63)1998-99 Joe Blackburn – MSU (1.34)1999-00 Ryan Miller – MSU (1.34)
CAPTAINS: Senior right wing Erik Condra will serve as Notre Dame’s captain for the 2008-09 season. Joining Condra as alternate captains in `08-’09, are senior center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) along with junior left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) and junior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.). Condra served as an alternate captain in 2007-08 while this is the first season as captains for Hanson, Thang and Lawson.
CLUTCH SCORERS: Over the past two seasons, junior left wing Ryan Thang has led Notre Dame in game-winning goals with six in 2006-07 and five in 2007-08. Thang is already fifth all-time with 11 game-winning tallies. The career record for the Irish is 13 and is held by Rob Globke `04, Brian Urick `99 and Dave Poulin `82. Senior Erik Condra is tied for 10th on the all-time list with nine career game winners.
CRAFTY CONDRA: Erik Condra enters the 2008-09 season ranked 33rd on the school’s all-time scoring list with 35 goals and 85 assists for 120 career points. The crafty playmaker’s 85 assists ties him for 17th on the all-time assist list with his uncle, former All-American, Kirt Bjork `83
Seniors Erik Condra and Jordan Pearce don’t have much in common on the ice as one is known for shooting pucks and the other for stopping them. Off the ice, the senior duo have a great deal in common as they are both pre-med majors at Notre Dame, balancing the books and hockey and doing both rather well. Condra has a double major in psychology and pre-med whil Pearce has his double major in anthropology and pre-med. On the ice, Condra is the team’s top returning scorer as he led the Irish with 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points as a junior. Pearce started 43 games in goal for the Irish, going 23-15-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. He had the best goals against in the CCHA with a 1.80 mark in conference games. The native of Anchorage, Alaska was the team’s Most Valuable Player and won the Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award while being selected to the CCHA’s Scholar-Athlete team and a second team Academic All-American.
DROP THE PUCK: For the fourth year in a row, Notre Dame hockey opened its season with the annual “Drop The Puck Reception” at the Joyce Center for season ticket holders and fans. This year’s event was held on Oct. 6 and featured Brian Burke, the executive vice-president and general manager of the Anaheim Ducks and the G.M. of the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Burke joins former Detroit Red Wings’ player and current team vice-president Steve Yzerman (2007), Chicago Black Hawk and Versus/NBC TV analayst Ed Olczyk (2006) and Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, who handled the honors at the first Drop The Puck reception on Sept. 6, 2005 with over 400 fans in attendance. Bowman, who won nine Stanley Cups in his illustrious coaching career, also was invited by Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis to address his team at practice that day, just four days prior to the upset win at Michigan.
FAMILY GUYS: Three members of the Notre Dame hockey team – senior forwards Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Garrett Regan (Hastings, Minn.) and sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) – have family ties to the Irish athletics 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. Bjork 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 from 1981-83 before finishing his career at the University of Minnesota. Phillips’ uncle, is former Irish quarterback Terry Andrysiak `89, who played at Notre Dame from 1985 to 1988.
FAMOUS FATHERS: Two members of the 2007-08 Notre Dame hockey team – senior center Christian Hanson and sophomore goaltender Brian Brooke (Eden Prairie, Minn.) – have hockey in their blood as their fathers played at the highest level in the National Hockey League. Hanson’s father, Dave Hanson, played 10 years of prossional hockey between 1974-75 and 1983-84, including stints with the Detroit Red Wings and the Minnesota North Stars and the World Hockey Association’s (WHA) Minnesota Fighting Saints and the New England Whalers. Fans might also be familiar with Dave Hanson, as one of the famed Hanson Brothers, made famous in the hockey movie – Slapshot. Hanson is still involved in hockey as he currently serves as the director of the Island Sports Center, home of Robert Morris University’s hockey team, in suburban Pittsburgh. Brooke’s father, Bob Brooke, played seven seasons in the NHL between 1984 and 1990 with the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and New Jersey. A 1983 hockey All-American at Yale, Brooke also was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team.
FULL HOUSE: Notre Dame hockey games became a tough ticket during the 2007-08 season as the Irish closed out the regular season with seven consecutive sellouts (2,763) and for the year had sellouts in 11 of 18 home games. For the year, the Irish had 11 sellouts (2,763) in 17 home dates and averaged 2,683 fans per game, the most since the building was reconfigured to 2,713.
HOW SWEDE IT IS: Freshman left wing Calle Ridderwall obviously enjoys performing on the big stage. The native of Stockholm, Sweden saved his best for last during the 2007-08 season when he scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, five minutes into overtime to defeat Michigan, 5-4, in the semifinal game of the Frozen Four on April 10. Ridderwall came into the NCAA Tournament with just three goals on the year before scoring twice in one of the biggest wins in Irish hockey history. He finished the season with five goals and two assists for seven points.
HOMETOWNS: The 2008-09 Notre Dame hockey team features players from 10 states, one Canadian province and Sweden. Over the past 14 seasons, the Irish have had monogram winners from 21 different states and provinces – those listed below, plus: Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Sophomore Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm) become the first Notre Dame hockey players from Sweden during the 2007-08 season.
2008-09 NOTRE DAME HOCKEY- BY STATE, COUNTRY OR PROVINCE:
Alaska (1): Jordan Pearce
New Jersey (1): Kyle Murphy
Ohio (1): Eric Ringel
Ontario (1): Richard Ryan
Sweden (1): Calle Ridderwall
Washington (1): Kevin Deeth
LEFTY’S RINK: When Notre Dame’s new ice hockey arena, located within the Joyce Center is built, the new ice hockey rink will be named the Charles W. “Lefty” Smith, Jr., Rink, in honor of the first coach in the program’s history, Charles “Lefty” Smith. The announcement was made in April of 2008 at the team’s annual awards banquet.
The plans for naming the new ice surface in honor of Smith were made possible by the generosity of the John and Mary Jo Boler family of Inverness, Ill., and Sanibel Island, Fla., their daughter Jill Boler McCormack `84 and her husband, Dan; and their son Matthew Boler `88 and his wife, Christine. They were joined by the family of Frank `57 and Mary Beth O’Brien of Albany, N.Y., who have six children who all graduated from Notre Dame. Their late son, Frankie, played both lacrosse and hockey for the Irish from 1984-88.
Smith came to Notre Dame in 1968 to start the varsity hockey program and coached the Irish for 19 years, retiring in 1987 with 307 career victories. Under his tutelage, Notre Dame produced six All-Americans but most importantly, all 126 student-athletes who played for him completed their collegiate eligibility and earned college degrees.
Smith, who continues to work as the director of the Loftus Sports Center on campus, served two years as the president of the American Hockey Coaches Association. He was inducted into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992. He played an integral in bringing the International Special Olympics to Notre Dame in 1987.
Married for 56 years, Lefty and his wife, Mickey, are parents of seven living children, with 16 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
IRON MAN: When senior forward Mark Van Guilder `08 graduated from Notre Dame in May of 2008, he left the University as the hockey program’s all-time “Iron Man.” Van Guilder did not miss a game during his career and finished by playing in 163 consecutive contests, finishing first on the all-time games played list. He passed former Irish right wing Tim Wallace `06 who held the previous mark with 153 consecutive games played. Graduated defenseman Brock Sheahan `08 finished his career second all-time in games played with 161, missing just two games from 2004-08.
LEADER OF THE PACK: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson begins his fourth season behind the Irish bench in 2008-09. In his first three years he has compiled a 72-42-11 (.620) record, highlighted by a 32-7-3 mark in 2006-07 and last season’s 27-16-4 record on the way to the first-ever appearance for the Irish in the Frozen Four. The `06-’07 CCHA coach-of-the-year and Spencer Penrose Award winner as the national coach-of-the-year, Jackson enters the `08-’09 season with the best winning percentage among Division I coaches with five or more years. His current overall record stands at 254-94-36 for a .708 success rate. His 254 wins tie him for 17th on the list of active coaches. In six seasons at his previous collegiate stop – Lake Superior State (1990-96) – Jackson’s teams were 182-52-25 with two national championships, two CCHA regular-season titles and four CCHA tournament championships. Included in his 254 career wins are 46 postseason victories (46-14 in postseason) and a .767 winning percentage . In nine trips to the CCHA postseason, Jackson’s teams are 30-7 (.811). Those totals include a 24-2 mark at Lake Superior and a 6-5 record at Notre Dame. In those nine seasons, Jackson has seen his teams advance to the CCHA finals eight times, winning five tournament championships (four at Lake Superior and one at Notre Dame).
LORD STANLEY, LORD STANLEY: Former Irish defenseman Brett Lebda `04 became just the third player in Notre Dame hockey history to play on a Stanley Cup championship team when he helped the Detroit Red Wings to the 2008 Cup. The talented blueliner joins Bill Nyrop `74 and Don Jackson `78 on the list. Nyrop played on three Stanley Cup winners with the Montreal Canadiens (1975-78) and Jackson was a member of three Cup-winning teams with the Edmonton Oilers (1982-85).
MINUTES MAN: Goaltender Jordan Pearce entered the 2007-08 season having played in just 12 games and 622 minutes in the first two years of his Irish hockey career. During the `07-’08 campaign, Pearce showed everyone that he could play as he set Notre Dame goaltending marks for games played (43), games started (42) and minutes played (2,557:46). He finished the season ranked second in the nation in minutes played behind Boston College’s John Muse who saw action in 2,725:06 minutes for the Eagles.
NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM: Sophomore defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) became the 11th Notre Dame hockey player to participate in the World Junior Championships when he played for the United States last Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2007 in the Czech Republic. He played in all six games and had six penalty minutes as the U.S. finished fourth. Cole, along with Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.) and Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) were invited to the 2009 Junior National Evaluation Camp this past August as they tried out for a berth on this winter’s team that will play in Ottawa, Ontario. Cole joins Jack Brownschidle (`76-’77, `78-’79), Ben Simon (`96-’97, `97-’98), Joe Dusbabek (`97-’98), Dan Carlson (`98-’99), Connor Dunlop (`99-’00, `00-’01), Brett Henning (`99-’00), David Inman (`99-’00), Rob Globke (`00-’01, `01-’02), Brett Lebda (`01-’02) and Kyle Lawson (`06-’07) as former Irish players to play in the World Junior Championships.
NCAA ACTION: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team has participated in three NCAA Tournaments in the program’s history. The first time came in the 2003-04 season when they advanced to the Midwest Regional, losing 5-2 to Minnesota in the opening game. During the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame made its second trip, this time as the top seed in the Midwest Regional at Grand Rapids, Mich. The Irish won the opening game, 3-2 in double overtime, versus Alabama-Huntsville. They then lost in the regional final, a 2-1 loss to eventual champion, Michigan State. Last season, 2007-08, Notre Dame had its finest moment in the school’s short NCAA Tournament history. The 12th seed (the final at-large team in the tournament), the Irish won the West Regional in Colorado Springs, Colo., defeating New Hampshire (7-3) and Michigan State (3-1) to advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in the 40-year history of the program. At Denver, Notre Dame stunned the tourney’s top seed, Michigan, with a 5-4 overtime win in the semifinals to advance to the national championship game with Boston College. In the title game, the Eagles prevailed, 4-1.
NHL DRAFTEES: The Irish have eight players on the 2008-09 roster who have been selected in the National Hockey League’s Entry Draft. Just one incoming freshman – defenseman Sean Lorenz – was selected in the 2008 draft as he was picked by the Minnesota Wild in the fourth round, 115th overall. In the previous draft in June of 2007, Notre Dame saw five of its players selected. Leading the way was current sophomore defenseman Ian Cole who was a first-round selection of the St. Louis Blues who took him with the 18th pick overall. Cole became the first Irish player ever selected in the first round and was selected earlier than any other Notre Dame player (Rob Globke `04 was the previous highest selection when he was picked 40th overall by Florida in 2002). Cole was followed by fellow defenseman Teddy Ruth who went in the second round, 46th overall to the Washington Capitals. Ryan Thang was selected in the third round, 81st overall by the Nashville Predators. Sophomore center Ben Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) joined Thang when the Predators made him the 114th pick (fourth round). Goaltender Brad Phillips rounded out the Notre Dame selections in the 2007 draft when the Philadelphia Flyers selected him in the seventh round, 182nd overall. They join senior right wing Erik Condra who was selected in the seventh round, 211th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2006 and junior defenseman Kyle Lawson who was selected in the 2005 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes in the seventh round, 198th overall.
TRADING PLACES: Sophomore Irish defenseman Teddy Ruth was a second round draft choice of the Washington Capitals in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The rugged defenseman won’t have a chance to play for the Capitals though. At the 2008 NHL trading deadline, Ruth saw his rights traded even up to the Columbus Bluejackets for future Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov.
USA…USA…USA: Notre Dame will have seven players on the 2008-09 roster who have cut their teeth with the U.S. National Team Developmental Program. The list includes: senior Jordan Pearce, junior Kyle Lawson, sophomores Ian Cole, Teddy Ruth and Brad Phillips and newcomers Patrick Gaul (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Sean Lorenz. Since the program started, the Irish have 21 former USNTDP alums play at Notre Dame since the program began in 1997-98. Along with