Freshman defenseman Robbie Russo is the fourth Irish defenseman to be selected to the CCHA all-rookie team.

Freshmen Defenseman Robbie Russo Selected to 2012 CCHA All-Rookie Team

March 5, 2012

Farmington Hills, Mich. – Notre Dame freshmen defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) has been selected to the 2012 CCHA all-rookie team in voting done by the conference’s coaches. The team of six will be honored in Detroit on Thursday, March 15 at the 2012 CCHA Awards Show at the Fox Theatre.

Four other schools had players selected to the all-rookie team with a total of 16 freshmen in the conference receiving votes. Joining Russo on the team were forwards Austin Czarnik (Miami), Alex Guptill (Michigan) and Max McCormick (Ohio State). Lining up on defense with Russo is Western Michigan blue liner Garrett Haar while Frank Slubowski (Western Michigan) is the top rookie goaltender.

Russo is the 14th Notre Dame player to take CCHA all-rookie honors, joining Anders Lee (2010-11), T.J. Tynan (2010-11), Mike Johnson (2009-10), Billy Maday (2008-09), Kevin Deeth (2006-07), Kyle Lawson (2006-07), Ryan Thang (2006-07), Erik Condra (2005-06), Brett Lebda (2003-04), David Inman (1998-99), Mark Eaton (1997-98), Joe Dusbabek (1996-97) and Jamie Ling (1992-93).

He is the first defenseman selected since 2006-07 when Kyle Lawson `10 was named to the team. Russo joins Lawson, Lebda `04 and Eaton as the four Notre Dame defensemen to be named to the all-rookie team since 1992-93.

In his first season with the Irish, Russo has played in all 38 games and is second among Notre Dame defensemen in scoring and seventh on the team with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points. All four of his goals have come on the power play and one was a game winner.

Among CCHA rookies, Russo is tied for 15th in overall scoring and was the top freshmen defenseman in scoring with 15 points. On the power play, the 2011 New York Islanders’ fourth-round draft choice, is among the top-10 point producers in the conference as he is tied for ninth in power-play scoring with four goals and eight assists for 12 points when Notre Dame has the man advantage. His 12 points are tops among all CCHA defensemen on the power play.

Russo and the Irish return to CCHA playoff action this weekend when Notre Dame (19-16-3) travels to Michigan (21-11-4) for the best-of-three second round series versus the Wolverines, March 9-11. Game time all three nights (if necessary) is 7:35 p.m.

2011-12 CCHA All-RookieTeam
Name Position School Hometown
Austin Czarnik Forward Miami Washington, Mich.Alex Guptill Forward Michigan Newmarket, Ont.Max McCormick Forward Ohio State De Pere, Wis.Garrett Haar Defenseman Western Michigan Huntington Bch., Calif.Robbie Russo Defenseman Notre Dame Westmont, Ill.Frank Slubowski Goaltender Western Michigan Prince Rupert, B.C.

Honorable Mentions – Forwards: Ryan Dzingel, Ohio State; Phil Di Guiseppe, Michigan, Matt Berry, Michigan State, Jimmy Mullin, Miami; Defense: Jason Binkley, Ferris State, Kevin Czuczman, Lake Superior; Simon Denis, Ferris State; Jake Baker, Northern Michigan; Al McLean, Ohio State; Goaltender: C.J. Motte, Ferris State.