Sophomore Dan Kissel has career highs in goals (7), assists (12) and points (19) in this his sophomore season.

Irish Close Regular Season With Home-And-Home Series Versus Western Michigan

Feb. 27, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Series: #11/#11 Notre Dame (21-11-4/14-8-4) vs. Western Michigan (7-24-3/3-31-2)

• Date/Site/Time: Fri., February 29, 2008 • Lawson Arena (3,667) • Kalamazoo, Mich. • 7:35 p.m.

Sat., March 1, 2008 • Joyce Center (2,713) • Notre Dame, Ind. • 7:05 p.m.

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on WDND ESPN Sportscenter 1490 with Mike Lockert calling all the action for the Irish.

Television: Friday’s game from Western Michigan will be televised live by Comcast Local with Dan Gutowsky and Sean Ritchlin calling the action.

• Internet: Irish hockey can be heard on the Internet at the Notre Dame website – Saturday’s game will have live video streaming via All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.

IRISH CLOSE OUT REGULAR SEASON: A home-and-home series with the Western Michigan Broncos brings down the curtain on the 2007-08 regular season for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this weekend. On Friday, February 29, the Irish travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., for a 7:35 p.m. game versus the Broncos at Lawson Arena. That came will be televised live by Comcast Local with Dan Gutowsky and Sean Ritchlin calling the shots. The game can be seen in South Bend on Comcast Local channel 3. On Saturday, March 1, the two teams close out the regular season at the Joyce Center with a 7:05 p.m. game. That contest will have live video streaming on the Notre Dame website The Irish come into the final weekend, having clinched fourth in the CCHA and will have a bye next week in the first round of the playoffs. They will host a second round, best-of-three series on March 14-16. Notre Dame is 21-11-4 overall and 14-8-4 in the conference. Since Dec. 29, the Irish are 5-7-4. Western Michigan brings a 7-24-3 mark and a 3-21-2 record in the league into the weekend series. The Broncos are 12th in the CCHA and will open the playoffs on the road next weekend.

SENIOR NIGHT: On Saturday night at the Jocye Center, Notre Dame will honor its senior class and the players’ parents immediately following the game. Brian D’Arcy (Western Hills, Ill.), Evan Rankin (Portage, Mich.), Dan VeNard (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) and Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) will play their final regular season games for the Irish.

IRON MAN: Senior center Mark Van Guilder will look to break the Notre Dame record for consecutive games played this weekend. He comes into the series with Western Michigan having played in all 36 games this season and 152 consecutive games for his career. The record of 153 straight games was set by Tim Wallace `06 who did not miss a game in his four seasons. Van Guilder also has played in every game of his career.

IRISH VERSUS THE BRONCOS: The two teams have met 66 times in the all-time series with Western Michigan holding a 34-27-5 edge in the games played. At the Joyce Center, the Irish are 17-12-1 versus the Broncos while at Lawson Arena, WMU has a 21-10-4 lead. The teams have met twice this season, on Nov. 16-17, with Notre Dame winning 4-1 at home and 5-1 at Kalamazoo. Since the 2003-04 postseason, the Irish are 7-3-1 against Western Michigan, including three straight victories going back to Jan. 20, 2007.

OHIO STATE RECAP: Friday, February 22 – Ohio State got second period goals from Tommy Goebel and Patrick Schafer to wipe out a 1-0 Notre Dame lead to help the Buckeyes to a 3-1 win in front of a sellout crowd of 2,857 at the Joyce Center. Senior right wing Evan Rankin (Portage, Mich.) gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at 19:41 of the first period when he deflected a Christian Hanson (Jr., Venetia, Pa.) shot past goaltender Joe Palmer. The score would stay 1-0 until 16:37 when Goebel scored his 20th of the season. Schafer got the eventual game-winning goal at 19:53 of the second when he beat Jordan Pearce (Jr., Anchorage, Alaska) when he back-handed a rebound of Tom Fritche’s shot. Matt McIlvane closed the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:52 for Ohio State. The teams traded 23 shots with Palmer making 22 saves and Pearce 20 on the night.

Saturday, February 23 – Notre Dame and Ohio State closed out the weekend series with a 2-2 tie in front of a sellout crowd at the Joyce Center. The Buckeyes scored the lone goal of the first period as Todd Rudasill picked up his third of the season at 16:23. The Irish would tie the game just 12 seconds into the second stanza when Erik Condra (Jr., Livonia, Mich.) scored on the power play, his 13th goal of the season. OSU would take a 2-1 lead at 4:04 of the middle period when Sergio Somma scored off a face off for his eighth goal of the season. Dan Kissel (So., Crestwood, Ill.) tied the game at 14:56 when he ripped a shot from the left circle past Joseph Palmer for his seventh of the season and the final score of 2-2. Freshman defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) assisted on both goals for the first multiple-point game of his career. Notre Dame outshot Ohio State, 38-25, in the game with Palmer making 36 saves. Jordan Pearce had 23 stops for the Irish. The Buckeyes were 0-for-7 on the power play while Notre Dame was 1-for-6.

BUCKEYE JINX: With a win and a tie at the Joyce Center last weekend, Ohio State extended its unbeaten streak at the Joyce Center to 10 games (7-0-3). The Buckeyes have not lost in South Bend since a 3-0 Notre Dame win on Oct. 23, 1998.

PLAYOFF INFO: For the second year in a row, Notre Dame will have a bye in the first round of the CCHA playoffs and will host a second round series the following week. Tickets for Notre Dame’s second-round series, March 14-16, at the Joyce Center are available at the Notre Dame ticket office or by calling 574-631-7356. Tickets can also be ordered or purchased on

MILESTONE: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson needs just two more wins to give him 250 for his nine-year collegiate coaching career. Jackson brings a 248-88-36 overall record into Saturday’s game with Alaska. His .713 winning percentage is tops among active Division I coaches. In three seasons behind the Notre Dame bench, Jackson’s teams own a 66-36-11 record.

DEADLINE DEALS: While no former Notre Dame players were dealt during the NHL’s recent trade deadline on Tuesday, Feb. 26, one current Irish player saw his rights traded. Defenseman Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.), who was a second-round choice of the Washington Capitals in last June’s Entry Draft, saw his rights go to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for future NHL Hall-of-Famer Sergei Federov.

FEBRUARY STRUGGLES: With the loss (3-1) and tie (2-2) with Ohio State last weekend, Notre Dame saw its record in February fall to 1-2-3. In those six games, the Irish have scored 11 goals (1.83). Notre Dame has given up 14 goals (2.33) in those same six games.

PACKING THE PLACE: With sellout crowds of 2,857 at the Joyce Center for both games of the Ohio State series, the Irish have now had seven consecutive sellouts (including the U.S. Under-18 exhibition game). For the season, Notre Dame has sold out 10 of 15 home dates (including the exhibition game) and is averaging 2,725 fans per game.

GAMES PLAYED MARKS: Seniors Mark Van Guilder and Brock Sheahan continue to move on the Notre Dame games played list. Coming into the series with Western Michigan, Van Guilder has played in 152 career games while Sheahan has played in 150. Here’s where they rank on Notre Dame’s all-time games played list:

Games PlayedName (Seasons)                          Games1.   Dan Carlson (1997-01)       1582.   Evan Nielsen (1999-03)              1563.   Wes O'Neill (2003-07)               154     Jason Paige (2003-07)               1545.   Tim Wallace (2002-06)               153     Aaron Gill (2000-04)                1537.   Mark Van Guilder (2004- )           152     Brett Ledba (2000-04)               152     John Schmidt (1978-82)              15210.  Cory McLean (2001-05)               15111.  Brock Sheahan (2004- )              150     Jack Brownschidle (1973-77)         150     Michael Bartlett (2003-07)          150     T.J. Jindra (2003-07)               150

BACK ON TOP: Through the first 36 games of the season, Notre Dame ranks first in the CCHA and is second in the nation in killing penalties. The Irish have killed 149-of-166 opponent power plays for an 89.8% success rate. The Irish also are tied for fourth on the national level with eight short-handed goals. Since Jan. 19, Notre Dame has given up just three power-play goals in 39 chances for a 92.3% success rate.

THE LEADER: In CCHA conference games this season, Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce leads the conference with a 1.82 goals-against average. In 24 CCHA games (1,414:48 minutes), Pearce has given up 43 goals. He leads Miami’s Jeff Zatkoff (1.83) and Michigan State’s Jeff Lerg (2.02), going into the final two games of the season. Overall in the conference, Pearce ranks third in goals against average behind Zatkoff (1.70) and Billy Sauer (1.96).

PERSONAL STREAK: Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce is now 3-2-3 in his last eight starts. In those games, he has a 1.83 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. Earlier this season, Pearce had a personal seven-game winning streak between Nov. 16 and Dec. 8. During the streak, Pearce was 7-0-0 with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. For the season, Pearce is 17-10-4 with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage with two shutouts.

VAN GUILDER IN FINAL 10: Notre Dame team captain Mark Van Guilder has been selected as one of the 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award. Selected along with Van Guilder are: Mark Dekanich (Colgate), Bryce Hollweg (Army), Peter Mannino (Denver), Marty Mjelleli (St. Cloud State), Justin Pesony (St. Lawrence), Kevin Porter (Michigan), Frank Schiavone (Air Force), Topher Scott (Cornell) and Landis Stankievech (Princeton). The 10 players will go on a ballot for nationwide voting that will begin on Feb. 14 and conclude on March 28. Fan balloting is available on the award’s website at The CLASS award was designed to honor the attributes of seniors who remain committed to their university and elects to pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bring. This award provides a fitting honor for a senior leader that has stood up to the challenge. In the end, the award hopes to recognize the prestige and dignity of being a senior hockey player at the college level. Former Irish goaltender David Brown `07 won the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award following the 2006-07 season.

SECOND HALF NUMBERS: After starting the 2007-08 season with a 16-4-0 record through Dec. 8, the Irish are 5-7-4 during the second half. Over the last seven games, Notre Dame is 3-2-3. During the second half of the season that started on Dec. 29, the Irish have now scored 35 goals (2.19) while giving up 36 (2.25). In the first half of the year (20 games) the Irish averaged 3.55 goals per game and were ranked third in the country in scoring. They are now 20th, averaging 2.94 goals-per-game.

OFFENSIVE CATALYST: Freshman defenseman Ian Cole recorded the first multiple-point game of his career in the 2-2 tie with Ohio State as he assisted on both goals. For the year, Cole is second among Irish defensemen in scoring with four goals, seven assists and 11 points.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Notre Dame fell to 11th in the nation in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and polls, following the 3-1 loss and 2-2 tie with Ohio State. The Irish have been in the national rankings for all 20 weeks this season. 20 WINS: Notre Dame comes into the series with Western Michigan with 21 wins on the season. Combined with last year’s 32-win year, Notre Dame now has back-to-back 20-win campaigns for the first time in the program’s 40-year history.

HOT HANDS: Notre Dame’s trio of left wing Dan Kissel (So., Crestwood, Ill.), center Christian Hanson (Jr., Venetia, Pa.) and right wing Evan Rankin (Sr., Portage, Mich.) all have career highs offensively for the Irish this season. Kissel is tied for fifth in scoring with seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points, all career bests. He is followed by Hanson who has career highs in goals (9), assists (8) and points (17). Rankin has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points, also his best numbers in each category.

HOME SWEET HOME: After 14 home games this season, Notre Dame is 8-3-3 (.679) at the Joyce Center. A year ago, Notre Dame was 13-2-2 at home for an .824 winning percentage. That was the best mark since the 2003-04 season when the Irish were 14-2-2 at the Joyce Center for an .833 winning percentage. Only two other Irish teams have had better home records – 1987-88 team was 18-2-0 (.900) and the 1969-70 team was 12-1-1 (.893).

CLUTCH SCORER: Ryan Thang’s (So., Edina, Minn.) goal with 5:11 left in the Feb. 8 win at Alaska proved to be the game-winning goal. On the season, Thang now has 15 goals with five coming as game winners and one as a game-tying goal. On Jan. 13, he scored with 38 seconds left versus Michigan State for a 1-1 tie. In 78 career games, the sophomore left wing has 35 goals with 16 coming on the power play and 11 of them game winners. His 11 game winners rank him sixth all-time at Notre Dame in the game-winning goals department for the Irish.

Game-Winning GoalsName (Seasons)                          GWG1.  Rob Globke (2000-04)                 13    Brian Urick (1995-99)                13    Dave Poulin (1978-82)                134.  Dave Bankoske (1988-93)              125.  Ryan Thang (2006- )                  11    Paul Regan (1969-73)                 117.  Tim Kuehl (1986-90)                  10    Tom Mooney (1984-88)                 10    Greg Meredith (1976-80)              10

FATHER’S DAY IN FEBRUARY: The last three Saturday nights have been like Father’s Day for Notre Dame as all three games have ended with ties. Last Saturday (Feb. 23) was a 2-2 tie with Ohio State. The previous Saturday (Feb. 16 was a 1-1 tie at Alaska and the month started with a Saturday tie (Feb. 9) with Ferris State. The fourth tie came on a Sunday afternoon (Jan. 13) with Michigan State. On the year, the Irish are 0-0-4 in overtime. Last season, they were 3-1-3 in overtime. The three overtime wins were the most for the Irish in a single season. In two-plus seasons under head coach Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame is 3-1-11 in extra play.

ON THE PLUS SIDE: Senior defenseman Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) is one of the CCHA’s top defensive defensemen. As a junior, he was a finalist for the conference’s top defensive defenseman award. This season, Sheahan continues to be a force on the Irish blue line. He is currently +21 for the year to lead the team in that category. His +21 mark ranks him sixth overall in the CCHA.

TAKE THE HIGHWAY: With the win and tie at Alaska on Feb. 15-16, Notre Dame is now 10-5-1 (.656) on the road this season. A year ago, the Irish were 12-4-1 (.735) away from the Joyce Center. The 12 road wins equaled a school record (1979-80 and 1997-98) for road wins. Only the 1983-84 team’s 10-3-1 road mark (.750) is better. The 10 road wins mark the ninth time in the program’s history that the Irish have had 10 or more road wins in a season.

NANOOKS NUMBER: The win and the tie at Alaska improved Notre Dame to 7-0-1 in its last eight meetings with the Nanooks. The Irish were 6-0-0 in 2006-07, playing Alaska in four regular-season games and two CCHA playoff contests.

ONE-GOAL GAMES: Notre Dame’s 2-1 on Feb. 15 was the 11th one-goal decision that the Irish have been involved in this season. They started the year by going 6-0 in one-goal games and are now 8-3 on the season.

THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Through the first 36 games of the season, when the Irish are good, they are very good. In the 21 wins, Notre Dame has scored 85 goals (4.05 per game). In the 11 losses and four ties, Notre Dame has scored just 21 goals for a 1.40 goals-per game mark. In the 21 wins, the Irish have given up just 30 goals (1.43 goals-against average) while in the 11 losses and four ties, they have given up 44 goals (2.93 goals against). The 2-1 loss to Northern Michigan on Jan. 4 marked the first time all season that the Irish lost a game when giving up two goals or less.

BALANCED ATTACK: Notre Dame comes into the weekend series with Western Michigan ranked 20th in the nation in scoring with 2.94 goals per game. With 106 goals in 36 games, the Irish have just three players with 10 or more goals this season – Ryan Thang with 15, Erik Condra with 12 and Mark Van Guilder with 10. The Irish have accumulated their 106 goals this year with 10 players on the roster having five goals or more.

MR. CONSISTENT: Sophomore defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) has proven to be one of the CCHA’s most consistent defensemen this season. A two-time CCHA defenseman of the week this season, Lawson leads all Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with three goals and 15 assists for 18 points. In the series against Alaska, Lawson set up Ryan Thang’s game winner in the Feb. 15, 2-1 win, then set up Mark Van Guilder’s game-tying goal in the 1-1 tie on Feb. 16. Already this year, he has a power-play goal and a pair of game-winning goals. Lawson’s 18 points ranks him eighth among CCHA defensemen this season. He is fourth on the team with a +10 on the year. Lawson has missed the last two games with an upper body injury suffered in overtime versus Alaska on Sat., Feb. 16.