Junior defenseman Andy Ryan leads Hockey East in blocked shots with 31 after 16 games.

Irish Close Out First Half On The Road At Massachusetts

Dec. 3, 2014

Notre Dame, Indiana –

Notre Dame Hockey Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Fri. Video Stream ($) | Sat. Video Stream ($)

– The Games: University of Notre Dame (6-8-2/2-2-2) at University of Massachusetts (4-9-0/1-7-0)

– Date/Site/Times:Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 – Mullins Center (8,389) – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 – Mullins Center (8,389) – 7 p.m.

– Broadcast Information: Radio: Both games of the University of Massachusetts series will be broadcast live on New Country 99.9 FM in South Bend and at UND.com (WatchND). Darin Pritchett, the voice of the Irish, will call the action.

– Internet: Audio: Live audio streaming for both games of the series with Massachusetts will be available at the Notre Dame website at UND.com (WatchND) free of charge. Video: Live streaming for both games of the series with Massachusetts will have live video streaming at the Massachusetts website (http://www.umassathletics.com/collegesportslive/). There is a charge to view these games. Statistics: Livestats can be found on GameTracker on the Notre Dame website at UND.com. Twitter: Follow Irish hockey on Twitter at @NDHockey.

ON THE ROAD IN HOCKEY EAST: The University of Notre Dame returns to Hockey East play this weekend with a pair of road games at Amherst, Massachusetts, on Dec. 5-6. The Irish will meet the University of Massachusetts Minutemen in a pair of 7 p.m. games at the Mullins Center on Friday and Saturday night. This is Notre Dame’s first appearance in Amherst, Mass., since Dec. 30-31, 1994, when the two teams split a series at the Mullins Center. The Irish will be looking to get back on track, as they are in the midst of a five-game winless skid (0-4-1) after dropping two games at the Shillelagh Tournament last weekend. Notre Dame dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime game to Union College on Nov. 28 with the Dutchmen scoring in the extra stanza with 22 seconds left. The Irish then dropped a 5-1 decision to Ohio State in the third-place game on Nov. 29. Notre Dame brings a 6-8-2 overall record into the series and is 2-2-2 in Hockey East, good for a sixth-place tie with Boston College. The Minutemen enter the weekend with a 4-9-0 overall record and are currently 1-7-0 in conference play and are tied with New Hampshire for 11th in Hockey East. Massachusetts is coming off a split with 15th-ranked Quinnipiac over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Minutemen handed the Bobcats a 3-2 loss at Quinnipiac on Nov. 28 and then dropped a 3-1 decision at home the following night.

IRISH VERSUS MINUTEMEN: Notre Dame and Massachusetts have met seven times in the all-time series with UMass holding a 4-3-0 advantage. Last season, the first for the Irish in Hockey East, saw the teams split a pair of games at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Notre Dame took a 5-3 win on Dec. 6 while the Minutemen won game two by a 3-2 score. In four games at Notre Dame, the series is even at 2-2-0. The only time the two teams have ever played in Amherst was Dec. 30-31, 1994, with the Irish winning 6-3 before UMass won the second meeting 4-3 in overtime. The seventh meeting came on December 28, 2007, in the opening round of the Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Florida. The Minutemen won that game 4-3.

2014 SHILLELAGH RECAP:Friday, Nov. 28 - Western Michigan  6, Ohio State  2Union College 3, Notre Dame 2 (ot)
Saturday, Nov. 29 -Third-Place Game:Ohio State 5, Notre Dame 1Championship Game:Western Michigan 8, Union College 2
All-Tournament TeamG - Lukas Hafner, Western MichiganD - Kenney Morrison, Western MichiganD - Jeff Taylor, Union CollegeF - Frederik Tiffels, Western MichiganF - Nolan LaPorte, Western MichiganF - Justin Kovacs, Western Michigan (MVP)

GAME 1: In the opening game of the tournament, Western Michigan’s Frederik Tiffels recorded a hat trick and the Broncos got single goals from J.T. Osborn, Michael Rebry and Kenney Morrison on the way to a 6-2 win over Ohio State. Anthony Greco and Chad Niddery scored for the Buckeyes. The Broncos out shot Ohio State by a 36-22 margin. Lukas Hafner had 20 saves in the win while Buckeyes’ goaltender Matt Tomkins had 30 saves in the Ohio State goal.

GAME 2: Union College right wing Matt Wilkins scored his second goal of the night and the game winner with 22 seconds left in overtime to give the Dutchmen a 3-2 win over the University of Notre Dame in the opening round of the 2014 Shillelagh Tournament. The Irish led in the game against Union 2-0 on goals by Sam Herr (Jr., Hinsdale, Ill.) and Austin Wuthrich (Sr., Victoria, B.C.). Despite the stellar goaltending of sophomore Chad Katunar (So., Victoria, B.C.), the Irish could not make the lead stand up as Union got third-period goals from Spencer Foo and Wilkins to tie the game, setting up Wilkins for his late game heroics at 4:38 of overtime. Colin Stevens made 25 saves in goal for Union.

THIRD-PLACE GAME: Ohio State’s Tanner Fritz scored a pair of goals and the Buckeyes got single goals from Blake Doerring, Victor Bjorkung and Darik Angeli as they handed Notre Dame a 5-1 loss in the third-place game of the 2014 Shillelagh Tournament. Irish junior captain Steven Fogarty (Edina, Minn.) scored the lone goal in the loss, as Notre Dame finishes fourth for the first time in the five Shillelagh Tournaments. The loss was the fourth in the last five games for Notre Dame. Notre Dame out shot Ohio State in the game by a 30-28 margin. Cal Petersen (Fr., Waterloo, Iowa) finished the night with 23 saves while Christian Frey made 29 saves for the Buckeyes.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: In the championship game of the Shillelagh Tournament, Western Michigan scored five times on the power play on the way to the 8-2 victory over Union College. Nolan LaPorte led the way with three goals while Sheldon Dries had two goals and two assists with Matt Stewart, Colton Hargrove and J.T. Osborn rounding out the scoring. Justin Kovacs added five assists in the game and had seven in the tournament. Jeff Taylor and Roman Ammirato scored for the Dutchmen. The Broncos were five-for-10 on the power play while the Dutchmen were two-for-10. The 2014 Shillelagh Tournament all-tournament team was made up of Bronco goaltender Lukas Hafner, Union defenseman Jeff Taylor and Western Michigan defender Kenney Morrison. The three forwards also were from Western Michigan and included LaPorte, Kovacs and Frederik Tiffels. Kovacs was selected as the tournament’s most valuable player with seven assists in the two games.

RANKINGS: Notre Dame and Massachusetts are not ranked in either the USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine rankings or the USCHO.com polls this week.

A LOOK AHEAD: Following this weekend’s visit to the University of Massachusetts, Notre Dame will break for finals and the Christmas holidays before returning to action at the Florida College Hockey Classic (Dec. 28-29) at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, the home of the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. The Irish will face Miami at 4:05 p.m. on Dec. 28 while Cornell will play Lake Superior State at 7:35 p.m. The third-place game will be played at 4:05 on Dec. 29 with the championship game set for 7:35 p.m. The game versus Miami will be the first for the Irish against the Red Hawks since Feb. 17, 2013 when they defeated their former CCHA foe at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, 2-1. This is Notre Dame’s second appearance in the Florida College Hockey Classic. The Irish played there in Dec. 2003, finishing third with a loss to Cornell and a win over Maine.

A NOVEMBER TO FORGET: After starting the season with a 5-2-0 mark in October, the Irish fell on hard times in November, turning in a 1-6-2 record and enter December with a 6-8-2 overall ledger. The last time that Notre Dame had a losing mark after 16 games was the 2005-06 campaign when the Irish were 5-10-1 heading into their 17th game of the year.

WORST LEAD IN HOCKEY: Notre Dame has built 2-0 leads in eight of its 12 home games this season and is 5-1-2 in those contests. The loss and the two ties have come in each of the last three home games that the Irish have had that two-goal lead versus Vermont (Nov. 1), against UMass Lowell (Nov. 21) and versus Union College (Nov. 28). In two of the three games, Notre Dame has had the two-goal lead in the third period.

CAREER YEAR: Irish junior left wing Thomas DiPauli (Caldaro, Italy) has already reached career highs in assists (10) and points (13) in the first 16 games this season. The speedy forward had just three goals and two assists for five points in 26 games during an injury-filled 2013-14 season. As a freshman, he had his previous best season with five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 41 games. Through 16 games this year, he leads Notre Dame in scoring.

SPECIAL TEAM STRUGGLES: Notre Dame’s struggles on the power play continued in the two losses of the Shillelagh Tournament. In the 3-2 overtime loss to Union College, the Irish were 0-for-3 with the man advantage. They followed that with an 0-for-3 mark in the 5-1 loss to Ohio State. That gives the Irish a streak of 21 consecutive power-play chances without scoring a goal since Nov. 9. For the year, Notre Dame is four-for-61 on the power play for a 6.6% success rate. The Irish have scored their four power-play goals in two games this season – three vs. Niagara (Oct. 25) and one against Minnesota (Nov. 9).

THE BIG KAT: For the third consecutive game, sophomore goaltender Chad Katunar set a career high for saves in a game, making 35 stops in the overtime loss to Union College on Nov. 28. Two weeks ago, in back-to-back games against UMass Lowell (Nov. 20-21), Katunar had a then career-high, 32-save game in back-to-back contests against the River Hawks. In his last three starts, two games went to overtime and Katunar is 0-2-1 with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. For the year, Katunar is 3-3-1 on the year with a 2.57 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

EXTRA HOCKEY: With the 3-2 overtime loss to Union College (Nov. 28), Notre Dame is now 1-1-2 this season in overtime and has played the extra period in four of its last nine games. The Irish picked up their overtime win on Nov. 14 with a 3-2 victory at Merrimack. The overtime win was the first for Notre Dame since March 1, 2014 when the Irish took a 2-1 overtime win at Boston College’s Conte Forum. The first overtime game this season came on Nov. 1 with a 2-2 tie versus Vermont. The other tie was another 2-2 tie, this time versus UMass Lowell on Nov. 21.

STANDING TALL: Freshman goaltender Cal Petersen made his first start since Nov. 14 in the 5-1 loss to Ohio State (Nov. 29). Petersen made 23 saves versus the Buckeyes, dropping his fourth straight decision. Petersen’s last win came on Oct. 31, a 3-2 home win against Vermont. The former Waterloo Black Hawk made five consecutive starts from Oct. 25 through Nov. 9, going 2-2-1 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. For the season, Peteren is now 3-5-1 with a 2.98 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.

HERR TRIGGER: Junior left wing Sam Herr saw his three-game goal and point scoring streak stopped in the 5-1 loss to Ohio State. Prior to that, he had scored one goal in each game of the UMass Lowell series and then against Union College in the opening round of the Shillelagh Tournament. Herr ranks fifth on the Irish in scoring with six goals and three assists for nine points this season.

SCORING FIRST: The Nov. 28th game against Union College marked the 10th time this season that Notre Dame scored the first goal of the game. The Irish are 6-2-2 when they score first. They also are 6-2-1 when they lead after one period of play. Friday’s game was the first loss of the season when Notre Dame led after two periods, as the Irish are now 5-1-2 in those contests. On the other side of the coin, Notre Dame is 0-6-0 when giving up the first goal of the game and 0-5-0 when trailing after one period. The Irish are 0-7-0 when trailing after two periods of play.

JACKSON ON THE RADIO: Catch Notre Dame hockey head coach Jeff Jackson during the season on Weekday Sportsbeat with Jeff Jackson beginning in January. Along with play-by-play announcer Darin Pritchett, Coach Jackson will talk Irish hockey live from CJ’s Pub in South Bend on WSBT Radio 96.1 FM and 960 AM on January 12 and 26, February 9 and 23 and March 2 or 9 and March 23.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: Senior defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) has been held scoreless in each of his last four games after scoring 12 points in the team’s first 12 games. Russo is second on the Irish in scoring with five goals and seven assists for 12 points and ranks second among Hockey East blue liners with the 12 points (trails Vermont’s Mike Paliotta who has 15 points). His five goals ties Paliotta for the league lead among defensemen in goal scoring. He is tied for fifth nationally among defensemen in points and his five goals ties him with Paliotta and Denver’s Joey LaLeggia for the national lead. Russo also is +3 on the year and has 18 blocked shots for the Irish. He leads the squad with 52 shots on goal.

2014 WORLD JUNIOR A CHALLENGE: Two future Notre Dame players that have signed national letters of intent have been selected to play on the U.S. Junior Select Team in the World Junior A Challenge, Dec. 14-20, in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Forward Andrew Oglevie (Fullerton, Calif.), a member of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, will be joined by defenseman Bobby Nardella (Rosemont, Ill.) of the Tri-City Storm. Oglevie was a member of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge team that won the gold medal. Oglevie, who signed his letter of intent during the 2012-13 season, is currently second on his Cedar Rapids team in scoring with five goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 19 games. That ties him for fourth in the USHL scoring race. Nardella is fifth in scoring for Tri-City with two goals and 11 assists for 13 points in 19 games. He is tied for the team lead among Storm defensemen in scoring and is tied for fifth among USHL defensemen in scoring.

LIGHTING THE LAMP: Senior center Steven Fogarty’s goal against Ohio State (Nov. 29) was his first since Oct. 25 against Niagara and snapped a nine-game goal-less streak. He now has four goals and five assists for nine points. He is just two points away from his career high in points (11) set last season and one off his career high in goals (5) set as as freshman in 2012-13.

LEAGUE LEADER: Junior left wing Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) continues to lead Hockey East with nine goals on the season. His last goal came on Nov. 21 when he scored in the 2-2 tie with UMass Lowell. For the season, Lucia has nine goals and two assists for 11 points. That ranks him third on the Irish roster in scoring. His nine goals tie him for sixth on the national level.

BLOCK THAT SHOT: Defenseman Andy Ryan (Jr., Brighton, Mich.) leads Notre Dame with 31 blocked shots this season (1.94 per game). The 31 blocks is tops among all Hockey East players. He is followed by freshman Luke Ripley (Kitimat, B.C.) who has 26 blocks (1.62 per game in his rookie season. He is tied for fifth among Hockey East players.

RYAN FOR THE OFFENSE: Junior defenseman Andy Ryan scored the first goal of the game in the 3-2 overtime win against Merrimack on Nov. 14. His goal snapped a personal 33-game goal-less drought for the 6-0, 204-pound blue liner. His previous last goal came on Dec. 6, 2013 in a 5-3 win over Massachusetts.

PENALTY SHOTS: Freshman center Connor Hurley (Edina, Minn.) was awarded a penalty shot with 6:37 left in the third period on Nov. 15 versus Merrimack. After making a great move to deke goaltender Rasmus Tirronen, Hurley had the whole net to shoot at, but the puck rolled off his stick and wide of the goal. The penalty shot was the first for a Notre Dame player since Dec. 6, 2013, when Jeff Costello was awarded one versus Massachusetts and scored in a 5-3 win. The last time a Notre Dame player missed a penalty shot came on Jan. 26, 2013 when Anders Lee was stopped in a game versus Ferris State.

IT’S IN THE WATER: This year’s Notre Dame roster features seven Minnesota natives, including four from the town of Edina. The four, junior Steven Fogarty, sophomore Ben Ostlie and freshmen Connor Hurley and Bo Brauer, were all teammates with the Hornets in recent seasons, winning Minnesota State titles in 2010 (Fogarty and Ostlie) and in 2013 (Hurley and Brauer). Those four are following a long list of former Hornets to attend Notre Dame, a list that includes former captains Anders Lee, Ryan Thang and Dan Carlson. The remaining three Minnesota natives are junior Mario Lucia and freshmen Tony Bretzman (Mendota Heights, Minn.) and Jordan Gross (Maple Grove, Minn.).

BY THE CLASSES: Notre Dame’s 27-man roster includes six seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and 10 freshmen. The Irish return 11 monogram winners from last season with that group including seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Junior left wing Mario Lucia was named the Hockey East/Warrior player of the month for October. In seven games, Lucia had seven goals and two assists for nine points. He had 19 shots on goal with a 36.8% shooting percentage and was +5. Lucia scored his first career hat trick in October and added one game-winning goal. His season-best six-game point streak (7g, 2a, 9 points) and three-game goal streak (3g, 1a, 4 pts.) were snapped in the 5-0 shutout by Minnesota on Nov. 7. Lucia leads Notre Dame with nine goals and is third on the roster in scoring with 11 points (9g, 2a).