Feb. 25, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Game: #1/#2 Notre Dame (25-5-3/19-4-3-3) vs. Michigan State (10-19-5/7-15-4-3)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Friday, Feb. 27, 2009 â€¢ Joyce Center (2,713) â€¢ 7:05 p.m.
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Saturday, February 28, 2009 â€¢ Munn Arena (6,470) â€¢ 5:05 p.m.
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. Television: Friday’s game will be televised live by CBS College Sports beginning at 7:05 p.m. with Matt McConnell and Dave Starman calling the action. Saturday’s game, a 5:05 p.m., start will be carried live by FSN- Detroit. Matt Shepard and Fred Pletsch will handle the play-by-play and color commentary.
â€¢ Internet: All Notre Dame hockey games can be heard live on the internet via the Notre Dame website at www.und.com. All home games that are not televised will be streamed live on und.com. All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.
ANOTHER YEAR IN THE BOOKS: It seems like only yesterday that the Irish were getting set for their season-opening game at Denver on Oct. 11. Here it is late February and the 2008-09 regular season is coming to an end. Notre Dame closes out the `08-’09 campaign this weekend, Feb. 27-28, with a home-and-home series versus Michigan State. On Friday night, the teams will meet at the Joyce Center at 7:05 p.m., on Senior Night. That game will be televised live by CBS College Sports with Matt McConnell and Dave Starman calling the action. The following night the teams will meet in East Lansing, Mich., for a 5:05 p.m. game at Munn Arena. That contest will be televised by FSN Detroit with Matt Shepard and Fred Pletsch calling the shots. The Irish bring a four-game winning streak into the weekend and are 25-5-3 overall and 19-4-3-3 in CCHA play. With 44 points, they have clinched the league’s regular-season title. Notre Dame is coming off a road sweep at Nebraska-Omaha, winning a 4-3 overtime decision and a 1-0 shutout. The Spartans enter the weekend with a 10-19-5 record and are 7-15-4-3 in the CCHA, giving them 21 points and a tie for 10th with Lake Superior State. Michigan State is one point behind ninth-place Western Michigan and four behind eighth-place Ferris State with two games left this weekend. The Spartans are coming off a split against Bowling Green, winning, 3-2, before falling 4-0 in the second game.
IRISH VERSUS SPARTANS: The two teams have met 100 times in the all-time series with Michigan State holding a 59-32-9 edge in the series. At the Joyce Center, the Spartans are 21-18-7 while at Munn Arena, they hold a 35-13-2 advantage. The last time the Irish won at Munn Arena was on Feb. 9, 2002, a 3-2 win with Morgan Cey `05 besting Ryan Miller in goal. Since then, the Irish are 0-6-1 at Munn Arena. Since Notre Dame’s return to the CCHA in 1992-93, Michigan State is 32-5-8 against the Irish, including 18-2-1 at Munn Arena. The two teams met three times in 2007-08 with the series even at 1-1-1. Michigan State took a 3-1 win at Munn Arena on Jan. 11 with the Irish getting a 1-1 tie at the Joyce Center on Jan. 13. The teams met a third time in Colorado Springs, Colo., in the NCAA West Regional final with Notre Dame prevailing, 3-1.
RAISE A BANNER: Notre Dame clinched its second CCHA regular-season championship on Saturday, Feb. 21, with a 1-0 win at Nebraska-Omaha. This is the second regular season title won by the Irish in the last three years as they also won it in 2006-07.
SENIOR NIGHT: On Friday night, following the game with Michigan State, Notre Dame will honor its senior class of 2009. Being honored after the game, along with their parents are: Erik Condra (Sr., Livonia, Mich.), Christian Hanson (Sr., Venetia, Pa.), Luke Lucyk (Sr., Fox Point, Wis.), Jordan Pearce (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska); Garrett Regan (Sr., Hastings, Minn.) and Justin White (Sr., Traverse City, Mich.). Also being honored on Friday night will be senior manager Kyle Kron (Chicago, Ill.). This year’s senior class is the first to play all four years for head coach Jeff Jackson. They will be Notre Dame’s all-time winningest class as they go into the weekend with a 97-47-14 (.658) career record.
NEBRASKA-OMAHA RECAP: Friday, February 20 Freshman right wing Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) was the hero on Friday at the Omaha Civic Auditorium as he scored a pair of goals, including the game winner at 3:39 of overtime in the 4-3 overtime win versus the Mavericks. Maday snapped a wrist shot from the right hashmark past goaltender Jeremie Dupont off a Kevin Deeth (Jr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) setup for the winner. Christiaan Minella (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) and Christian Hanson scored the first two goals for the Irish. Minella’s goal gave the Irish a 1-0 lead after one period. Jeric Agosto tied the game at 1-1 39 seconds into the second period for the Mavericks. Hanson (4:32) and Maday (15:33) gave Notre Dame a 3-1 lead only to see UNO’s Matt Ambroz score on the power play at 16:38 to make it 3-2 after two periods. In the third, Nick Fanto tied the score at 8:10 for the only goal of the final period. For the night, the Irish out shot Nebraska-Omaha, 33-24. Jordan Pearce (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) made 21 saves in the win, while Dupont had 29 stops in the loss.
Saturday, February 21 Notre Dame ran its winning streak to four in a row on Saturday night with a dramatic, 1-0 shutout win over Nebraska-Omaha. Goaltender Jordan Pearce stopped all 17 shots he faced as the Irish defense shutdown the Mavericks’ offensive attack. Junior Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) teamed up with Erik Condra to score the game’s lone goal, converting a 2-on-1 chance at 6:31 of the third period. The Irish had a 24-17 shot advantage in the game. Jerad Kaufmann had 23 saves in the game. For Pearce, the shutout was his fifth of the season. The win clinched the CCHA regular-season title for Notre Dame.
CLOSE ONES: With a pair of one-goal wins at Nebraska-Omaha, Notre Dame is now 8-2 in close finishes. The Irish also own a 6-1 mark in goals decided by two goals. In overtime, Notre Dame is 2-0-3 and in the three ties, the Irish have been on the winning end of the CCHA’s shootout. Last season, the Irish were 11-6 in one-goal games. The .800 winning percentage this season is third best behind a pair of undefeated years – `87-’88 (6-0) and `68-’69 (4-0).
ROAD WARRIORS: With the two road wins at Nebraska-Omaha, Notre Dame set a new program record with 13 road wins this season. The Irish are now 13-2-1 away from home for an .844 winning percentage on the road, also a program best. The previous road mark was 12 wins and was done three times. Earlier this year, the Irish had a 12-game road unbeaten streak that started on Oct. 31 and ran through Feb. 8. The streak came to an end in a 4-1 loss at Ohio State.
MR. RELIABLE: Notre Dame’s All-American and Hobey Baker candidate – senior goaltender Jordan Pearce – has been a regular in the Notre Dame goal over the last two seasons. Since Jan. 5, 2008, Pearce has appeared in 55 of the last 56 Irish games. Of those 55 games, 54 have been starts. Pearce has now appeared in 30 straight games for the Irish, making 29 starts in that span. The last game he did not start was on Nov. 29 when Tommy O’Brien (Jr., Mokena, Ill.) made his second career start. Pearce came on in relief after 23:15 of action as O’Brien surrendered two goals on eight shots. Pearce has appeared in 32 of Notre Dame’s first 33 games this season and is 24-5-2 with a 1.79 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage with five shutouts. Pearce played in all 20 games of Notre Dame’s 20-game unbeaten streak, going 17-0-3 with a 1.36 goals-against average with a .944 save percentage and three shutouts.
MORE PEARCE: Jordan Pearce’s two wins over Nebraska-Omaha, gives him 24 wins on the season and a total of 53 in his career, moving him closer to the school’s all-time win mark of 55, held by Lance Madson `90. Pearce is currently third on the all-time wins list as he trails Madson and David Brown `07, who has 54 career wins. With his 24 wins this season, Pearce has now won 20 or more games in each of the last two seasons to become the first goaltender in the program’s history to win 20 or more games twice in his career.
HOW GOOD IS PEARCE: Going into this weekend’s series against Michigan State, Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce leads the nation in wins (24), is third in minutes played (1,906:47), is sixth in goals-against average (1.79), seventh in save percentage (.927), 5th in winning percentage (.797) and second in shutouts (5).
POWER OUTAGE: After scoring 10 power-play goals in the series against Northern Michigan (Feb. 13-14), the Irish were 0-for-10 last weekend against Nebraska-Omaha. In the previous four games prior to UNO, the Irish were 14-for-27 (51.9%) when playing with the extra man. For the season, the Irish are 48-for-200 for a 24.0% success rate on the power play. They lead the nation in power-play goals and percentage.
HONORING LUKE: Notre Dame senior defenseman Luke Lucyk was honored by South Bend’s Robinson Center on Feb. 20 when he received the Rev. Don McNeill, C.S.C. Award that is presented each year to a Notre Dame student whose commitment to service has strengthened the relationship between Northeast neighborhood residents and the academic community by building relationships with youth and/or adult participants. Due to the Irish playing in Omaha, teammate Ryan Thang (Jr., Edina, Minn.) accepted the award for Lucyk at the Robinson Center’s 8th anniversary party. The center presented Lucyk the award at the Joyce Center earlier in the week with his teammates in attendance. Lucyk was instrumental in starting a program with the Robinson Center to teach inner city kids about the game of hockey. The program was modeled after the NHL’s “Hockey in Harlem” program. Participants got a chance to skate at the Joyce Center, attend a Notre Dame hockey game and get weekly instruction from Lucyk and his teammates playing floor or street hockey at the Robinson Center.
WELCOME BACK: Senior center Christian Hanson returned to the Notre Dame lineup on Friday, Feb. 20 at Nebraska-Omaha after missing the previous three games with a slight concussion suffered on Feb. 6 at Ohio State. He picked up where he left off as he scored a goal and an assist for a two-point night in his successful return to the lineup. He leads the Irish with 15 goals this season.
ON THE SIDELINES: Junior left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) remains sidelined with a high ankle sprain, suffered on Feb. 6 at Ohio State. He is out indefinitely. He is joined by sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.), who has been out for the season, on the injured list. Phillips injured his right knee in the preseason and has not played this year. He was 4-1-0 as a freshman with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Two members of the Notre Dame hockey team are among the list of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Named to the list are senior forward Erik Condra and goaltender Jordan Pearce. The award is given annually to an NCAA Division I student-athlete in nine sports based on achievement’s in the “Four C’s” of classroom, character, community and competition. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. Last season, senior Mark Van Guilder `08 was one of 10 finalists for the award and in 2007, goaltender David Brown `07 was selected as the first winner of the hockey award.
BACK ON TOP: Notre Dame returned to the top of the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll this week and remains second in the USHCO.com/CBS College Sports poll. This is the second time this season that the Irish have occupied the top spot in a national poll. Earlier this year, the were ranked first in both polls from Dec. 1 through Jan. 26. This is the fourth time in the program’s history that the Irish have been ranked No. 1 in the nation.
WINNING TEAMS: Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame (84-28-10) has had the winningest hockey program in the country. The Irish have recorded 84 wins and a .730 winning percentage in that time frame. Michigan is second with an 83-30-5 record (.725) while Miami is third with a 75-31-10 record (.690). Here are the top six teams by wins and winning percentage (as of Feb. 26).
Wins Winning Pct.Notre Dame 84 Notre Dame (.730)Michigan 83 Michigan (.725)Miami 75 Miami (.690)North Dakota 72 New Hampshire (.673)Boston College 67 North Dakota (.650)New Hampshire 67 Boston College (.638)
A CHILL (ING) REUNION: When sophomore Calle Ridderwall and freshman Billy Maday were put on the same line with center Kevin Deeth in the second game of the Miami series (Oct. 25), it marked the first time that Ridderwall and Maday played together at Notre Dame. The two aren’t strangers though as they spent the 2005-06 season as linemates with the Chicago Chill Midget AA program, helping the Chill to a second-place finish at the USA Midget AA championships. Maday had 38 goals and 87 assists for 125 points in 74 games with the Chill while Ridderwall had 52 goals and 66 assists for 118 points that season. In 29 games together this season, the duo has combined for 25 goals and and 28 assists with Maday having 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points while Ridderwall has 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in those games.
SIX-PACK: Notre Dame’s six power-play goals versus Northern Michigan on Feb. 13 marked the second time this season that the Irish scored six power-play goals in a game. The first time came on Nov. 22 in a 9-1 win at Bowling Green. They were 6-for-12 that night.
A FIVE SPOT: Senior captain Erik Condra recorded the third, five-point game of his career in the 9-5 win over Northern Michigan on Feb. 13. He also had five point games in his sophomore year versus Lake Superior State (2g, 3a) and Robert Morris (1g, 4a). He followed that up with two assists in the 5-2 win on February 14. The seven-point weekend gives him the team lead in scoring with 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points. For his career, Condra now has 45 goals and 107 assists for 152 career points to move into 14th on the all-time points list as he moved past Tim Kuehl `90 (145), Jeff Logan `82 (146) and Bill Rothstein `82 (147). His 107 assists move him into a tie for eighth on the all-time assist list with Dave Poulin `82, who recruited him to Notre Dame.
THE PASSMASTER: Junior center Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) has become the team’s top playmaker, dishing out a team and personal best 24 assists this season to go with four goals for 28 points. His 24 assists tie him for third in the CCHA in that category. For his career, Deeth has played in 120 games and now has 32 goals and 60 assists for 92 points.
POWER-PLAY PRODUCERS: Six Notre Dame players currently rank in the top 13 in the CCHA for power-play point production. Left wing Calle Ridderwall is tied for second (11-9-20) while center Kevin Deeth (3-13-16) is tied for sixth. Freshman right wing Billy Maday (6-9-15) is tied for eighth and senior Erik Condra (5-9-14) is tied for 10th. Center Christian Hanson (6-7-13 ) and defenseman Brett Blatchford (0-13-13) round out the group as they are tied for 13th.
CCHA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame right wing Erik Condra (Sr., Livonia, Mich.) and junior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) were selected as the CCHA offensive and defensive players of the week for the week ending Feb. 15. Condra led Notre Dame to a pair of wins over Northern Michigan with a seven-point weekend (2g, 5a), including a five-point night (2g, 3a) on Feb. 13 in the 9-5 win. Lawson paced Irish defenders in scoring with a goal and four assists for five points. He had three assists in the 9-5 win and then scored the game-winning goal in Saturday’s 5-2 win. Both players were the Perani First Star of the game – Condra on Friday and Lawson on Saturday night.
SWEDISH POWER: Sophomore left wing Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm, Sweden) has had a break out season in 2008-09 as he is second on the Irish scoresheet with 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points. He has proven to be a sniper supreme on the power play as he leads the Irish and the CCHA with 11 power-play goals this season. That ranks ties him for third nationally. Ridderwall also is tied for the team and CCHA lead with four game-winning goals this year.
COLE ON A ROLL: Sophomore defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) picked up the first four-point game of his career, scoring a pair of power-play goals with two assists in the 9-5 win over Northern Michigan. He followed that up with an assist in the 5-2 win on Saturday, Feb. 14. A week ago (Feb. 6) at Ohio State, Cole had a goal and two assists in the 4-3 win over the Buckeyes. Cole has now scored in four of his last six games, getting nine points (3g, 6a). He leads Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with 22 points on six goals and 16 assists. Cole also leads the team with a +11.
LAW(SON) AND ORDER: Junior defenseman Kyle Lawson equaled a career high with three assists in Notre Dame’s 9-5 win over Northern Michigan. He followed that with the game-winning goal and an assist the following night to record a five-point weekend. He ranks third on the Notre Dame defense in scoring with three goals and 16 assists for 19 points. The game-winning goal was the third of his career. The leader and warrior on Notre Dame’s defense is second on the team with a +10.
FIRST AND LAST: Senior left wing Garrett Regan had two goals and an asssist for three points in the series sweep of Northern Michigan. Regan’s first goal came on the power play at 1:21 of the first period to start the weekend’s deluge of power-play goals. Regan then scored the final goal of the weekend at 12:55 of the second period. This one came at even strength, one of just four even-strength goals for the Irish on the weekend.
RYAN’S STORY: Sophomore center Ben Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) has gotten the hot hand at the right time this season. In the series against Northern Michigan, Ryan had a pair of multi-point games, scoring a goal and two assists in the 9-5 win and then getting a goal and an assist the following night. After a slow start to the season, Ryan now has 21 points on nine goals and 12 assists. As a freshman last season, he had 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points.
LATEST AND FASTEST: Erik Condra’s goal with 1.3 seconds left on Feb. 6 against Ohio State was the latest goal in regulation scored by the Irish to send a game into overtime. That was followed by Calle Ridderwall’s overtime game winner that was the fastest that a Notre Dame team has ever scored in overtime – 49 seconds. That beat the previous quickest overtime game winner by Dan Carlson `01 who scored just 52 seconds into overtime on Jan. 21, 2000 to beat Western Michigan, 4-3.