Senior defenseman Wes O'Neill anchors a veteran Notre Dame defense in 2006-07.

Irish Face Alaska Fairbanks In Final Regular-Season Series With Home Ice In The Upcoming CCHA Playoffs On The Line

Feb. 22, 2006

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Series: Notre Dame (12-16-4/10-12-4) vs. Alaska Fairbanks (14-13-5/10-12-4)

• Date/Site/Times: Fri.-Sat., Feb. 24-25, 2006 – 7:35 p.m./7:05 p.m. – Joyce Center (2,713)

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1580, South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert, “the voice of Irish hockey” and Chris Duve will bring you all the play-by-play action. Television: Friday night’s game will be televised live by Comcast Local with Ben Holden and Lyle Phair calling the shots and providing the color commentary.

• Internet Broadcast: At the Notre Dame website –

IRISH AND NANOOKS BATTLE FOR HOME ICE: Notre Dame and Alaska Fairbanks close out the regular-season schedule on Fri.-Sat., Feb. 24-25 at the Joyce Center with home ice in the first round of the CCHA playoffs on the line. Friday’s game will be televised live by Comcast Local and can be seen in South Bend on Comcast Channel 3. Check local listings for your local area. The two teams come into the weekend tied, along with Ferris State, for the eighth and final playoff spot with 24 points in the standings. The Irish and Nanooks are 10-12-4 in conference play while Ferris State is 9-11-6 on the year. The Bulldogs close the season with a home-and-home series versus Michigan. Notre Dame comes into the final weekend with a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) and a 12-16-4 overall record. Alaska Fairbanks is 14-13-5 on the season. The two teams are also one point behind seventh place Ohio State (25 pts.) and two behind fifth-place Northern Michigan (26 pts.) and Lake Superior (26 pts.) going into the final weekend of the season. The CCHA playoffs start on March 3-5 at campus sites. The first four teams get a bye with No. 5 hosting No. 12, No. 6 vs. No. 11, No. 7 against No. 10 and No. 8 getting the final home spot versus No. 9 in a best-of-three series. The four bye teams then host the four winners in a best-of-three series from March 10-12. The four winners advance to Joe Louis Arena.

REMAINING GAMES: Here's the remaining schedules for the 12 CCHA teams (current points in parentheses - all teams have four games left):**Miami (38): at BG, BG@ Michigan St. (32): at LSSU, vs. LSSU (at JLA)Michigan (30): at FSU, FSUNebraska-Omaha (29): at WMU (2)Lake Superior (26): MSU, vs. MSU (at JLA)No. Michigan (26): OSU (2)Ohio State (25): at NMU (2)Notre Dame (24): UAF (2)Alaska Fairbanks: (24): at ND (2)Ferris State (24): UM, at UMBowling Green (18): MIA, at MIAWestern Michigan (16): UNO (2)** Miami clinched regular-season title@ Michigan State clinches first-round bye

CCHA TIE BREAKERS:The CCHA has a five-step tie-breaking procedure: 1. Most league wins; 2. Head-to-head record; 3. Goal differential in head-to-head games; 4. Record versus other teams beginning with first place team. 5. Coin toss.

IRISH VERSUS NANOOKS: Notre Dame and Alaska Fairbanks have met 35 times in the all-time series with the Nanooks holding a 17-15-3 edge. At the Joyce Center, Notre Dame is 8-5-1 versus Alaska Fairbanks. The two teams met twice last season in Fairbanks with the Irish winning the first game, 3-2, and dropping the second contest by an identical 3-2 score. The Irish are 1-0-1 in the last two meetings with Alaska Fairbanks at the Joyce Center. During the 2003-04 season, Notre Dame took a 3-2 decision before finishing with a 2-2 tie the following night. The Nanooks last win at the Joyce Center came on Feb. 2, 2002, the second game of a series sweep for Alaska Fairbanks.

STREAKING IRISH: The win and the tie last weekend versus Bowling Green gives Notre Dame its’ second four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) of the season. The Irish were 2-0-2 from Dec. 18 through Jan. 13 earlier this season. The last time the Irish went four games without a loss was from Feb. 13-28, 2004 when they swept Ferris State and Michigan in back-to-back weekend series. The last time Notre Dame went five games without a loss was Nov. 8-29, 2003 when the Irish were 3-0-2 with a tie at Michigan State, a win and a tie at home with Lake Superior and two wins at home versus Northern Michigan

ON A ROLL: Since starting the season with a 1-5-0 record, the Irish are 11-11-4 over the last 26 games. Since Dec. 3, Notre Dame is 9-7-3. On the road, the Irish opened the year going 0-5-1. Since Dec. 6, Notre Dame is 6-3-2 away from the Joyce Center.

CCHA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior center Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.) was named the CCHA offensive player of the week for the week ending Feb. 19. In the two games versus Bowling Green, Sciba had three goals and an assist and was +1 with nine shots on goal. In Friday’s 7-4 win, Sciba scored two goals, one on the power play and added an assist for his three-point game. In Saturday’s 1-1 tie, Sciba scored the game-tying goal at 11:43 of the third period to give the Irish the tie. His power-play goal on Friday was his CCHA -leading 10th of the season.

SENIOR NIGHT: The University of Notre Dame will honor its graduating class of 2006 immediately following the game with Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday night. The seven seniors – Matt Amado (Surrey, B.C.), Tony Gill (Rochester, Minn.), Chris Trick (Troy, Mich.), Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska), Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.), Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) and senior manager Dave Preston (Ft. Collins, Colo.) and their parents will be honored at center ice as they play their final regular-season home games at the Joyce Center.

BOWLING GREEN RECAP: Notre Dame took a 7-4 decision on Friday night versus Bowling Green and followed with a 1-1 overtime tie in Saturday’s game. After missing Friday’s game due to the flu, goaltender David Brown returned to action, stopping 34 of 35 shots in the 1-1 tie. The lone goal that he surrendered came on a first-period, power play by Alex Foster. Notre Dame tied the game at 11:43 of the third period when Josh Sciba notched his third goal of the weekend, putting the rebound of a Matt Amado shot past Falcon goaltender Jimmy Spratt for his team-best 17th goal of the year. Bowling Green out shot Notre Dame by a 35-32 margin. The Irish were 0-for-5 on the power play while Bowling Green was 1-for-4. On Friday night, sophomore center Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) picked up the first hat trick of his career and added an assist for his first four-point game to lead Notre Dame to a 7-4 win. Josh Sciba scored two goals with an assist and Erik Condra (Fr., Livonia, Mich.) added four assists in the win. Matt Amado and Wes O’Neill (Jr., Essex, Ont.) each had a goal and an assist in the victory. Freshman goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska), making his first start since Dec. 2, made a career-high 34 saves in picking up his fourth win of the season. Bowling Green got goals from James Unger, Mike Nesdill, Jeremy Bronson and Alex Foster as the Falcons battled back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits before the Irish scored three goals in a 3:17 span midway through the second period to snap a 3-3 tie. On the night, Notre Dame capitalized on 3-of-7 power-play chances while Bowling Green was 1-for-7. Bowling Green out shot the Irish, 38-33 in the game.

CCHA GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK: Junior goaltender David Brown was named the RBK/CCHA goaltender of the week for the week ending Feb. 13. Brown stopped 55-of-58 shots (.948) in leading the Irish to a home-and-home sweep of Ferris State. In Friday’s 4-1 win, Brown made 26 saves. On Saturday, at Ferris State, Brown stopped 29-of-31 shots on the way to a 3-2 win. All three goals against on the weekend came on the power play.

THE PUCK STOPS HERE: Goaltender David Brown continued his strong second half on Feb. 18 in the 1-1 tie with Bowling Green. The junior stopped 34 of 35 shots he faced, giving up just one power-play goal. In his last seven games, Brown is now 3-3-1 with a 1.42 save percentage and a .953 save percentage. In those seven games, he has given up just 10 goals while the Irish have scored 12 in those same seven games. Brown saw his streak of 23 consecutive games snapped on Feb. 17 when he was held out of the first Bowling Green game due to the flu. In those 23 games, Brown was 8-10-3 with a 2.32 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. On the season, he is now 8-13-4 with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.

PEARCE TO THE RESCUE: Freshman goaltender Jordan Pearce made his first start since Dec. 2 in the 7-4 win over Bowling Green. It was just his second appearance since that Dec. 2 start as junior David Brown started 22 straight until coming down with the flu last week. Pearce stopped a career-high 34 shots in the victory over the Falcons. On Jan. 21, at Northern Michigan, he came off the bench with the Irish trailing, 3-1, making 14 saves over the final 33:13 to pick up the 4-3 win. In his two appearances since Dec. 2, Pearce is 2-0-0 with a 3.86 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.

A MARK FOR VAN GUILDER: Sophomore center Mark Van Guilder picked up the first hat trick of his career in the 7-4 win over Bowling Green on Feb. 17. Van Guilder scored twice on the power play and once at even strength . His four-point game, coupled with Erik Condra’s four-assist night were the first four-point games by a Notre Dame player since Aaron Gill `04 (3g, 1a) and Rob Globke `04 (1g, 3a) had four points on March 18, 2004 in the CCHA Super Six in a 6-5 overtime loss to Ohio State. He now has five multiple-point games on the season and is third on the Irish roster in scoring with career highs in goals (8), assists (17), points (25), power-play goals (6), short-handed goals (1) and game winners (1).

ROOKIE SUCCESS: Freshman right wing Erik Condra picked up a career-high four assists in the 7-4 win versus Bowling Green on Feb. 17. The four-assist game was the first by a Notre Dame player since Nov. 2, 2001 when Connor Dunlop `03 had four in a 5-4 win at Northern Michigan. The four-point night extended his scoring streak to a Notre Dame season-high six games (2-8-10) with the streak ending the following night in the 1-1 tie. With six goals and 27 assists for 33 points, freshman Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) leads the Irish in scoring. His 33 points are the most by a Notre Dame freshman since Jamie Ling `96 recorded 40 in his rookie year. Ling is also the last Notre Dame freshman to lead the team in scoring when he had those 40 points in the 1992-93 season.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Freshman right wing Erik Condra not only leads Notre Dame in scoring, but also leads all CCHA rookies in scoring with six goals and 27 assists for 33 points on the year. He goes into the final weekend of the regular season four points ahead of Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson (8-21-29) in rookie scoring. Nationally, Condra is sixth among rookies with 33 points (1.03 ppg). He now has eight games this season with two or more points and owns Notre Dame’s longest point streak of the season – six games (2-8-10). Condra is tied for 10th in the CCHA in scoring and is fourth in assists.

TOP CITIZEN: Notre Dame senior defenseman Chris Trick (Troy, Mich.) is one of seven finalists for college hockey’s Humanitarian Award that is awarded each year to college hockey’s top citizen. An assistant captain with the Irish, Trick oversees the team’s community service projects. He has been a two-year member of Notre Dame’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and has been the team’s organizer for various community service projects the last two seasons. Away from Notre Dame, Trick has worked with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association’s (MAHA) Great Lakes Sled Dogs, a sled hockey program in Fraser, Mich, playing for the team, coaching and helping in fund-raising efforts. The Hockey Humanitarian Award is awarded every year at the NCAA Frozen Four in April.

IRON MEN: Senior right wing Tim Wallace has played in all 149 games during his four-year Notre Dame career. He is Notre Dame’s all-time “Iron Man,” for not having missed a game in his career. He comes into the weekend series with Alaska Fairbanks tied for eighth on the all-time games played list with Greg Meredith `80. The school record for total games played is 158 and held by Dan Carlson `01. Other Irish consecutive game streaks of 35 games or more include:

Mark Van Guilder – 70 games

Mike Walsh – 65 games

Van Guilder joins Wallace as the only two players with two or more years experience on the Irish roster who have not missed a game during their careers.

POWER-PLAY LEADER: Junior center Josh Sciba collected three goals and added an assist for four points in two games at Bowling Green. Sciba is second on the Irish in scoring with 17 goals and 13 assists of 30 points, all career highs. He also leads the Irish and the CCHA with 10 power-play goals, the most by a Notre Dame player since Ben Simon `00 had 10 in the 1999-2000 season. That ties Sciba for 10th on the single-season power-play list with Simon and Dave Poulin `82, who did it twice in 1978-79 and 1981-82. Of Sciba’s 30 career goals, 15 have come on the power play.

Single-Season Power-Play Goals     Name (Year)                   PPG1.   Greg Meredith (1979-80)        232.   Brian Walsh (1976-77)          183.   Eddie Bumbacco (1972-73)       164.   Tim Harberts (1994-95)         135.   Aniket Dhadphale (1997-98)     12     Mike McNeill (1987-88)         12     Alex Pirus (1975-76)           12     Ian Williams (1971-72)         129.   Lou Zadra (1991-92)            1110.  Josh Sciba (2005-06)           10     Ben Simon (1999-00)            10     Dave Poulin (1981-82)          10     Dave Poulin (1978-79)          10

PACKING THE HOUSE: Notre Dame played in front of its third consecutive sellout crowd (2,763) at the Joyce Center in the Feb. 10, 4-1, win over Ferris State. The standing room only crowd was the fourth of the year for the Irish. Capacity crowds have watched the Irish on Jan. 14 (vs. Miami), Feb. 3 (vs. Michigan State) and last night. The first sellout came on Nov. 4 (vs. Michigan). The last time Notre Dame played in front of three consecutive sellouts was Feb. 14-28, 2004 when the Irish had a sellout crowd for Ferris State and two versus Michigan.

A WALSH FIRST: Senior Mike Walsh collected the first two-goal game of his career on Feb. 10 in the 4-1 win over Ferris State. His first goal of the game proved to be the game winner, his team-best fourth of the season. For his career, the game winner moved him into a tie for ninth on the all-time game winning goal list with Dan Carlson `01 and Kirt Bjork `83. Three of his game winners have been the lone goals in 1-0 Irish wins. Nine of Walsh’s 25 career goals have been game winners.

Career Game-Winning Goals
Name GWG1. Rob Globke (2000-04) 13 Brian Urick (1995-99) 13 Dave Poulin (1978-82) 134. David Bankoske (1988-93) 125. Paul Regan (1969-73) 116. Tim Kuehl (1986-90) 10 Tom Mooney (1984-88) 10 Greg Meredith (1976-80) 109. Mike Walsh (2002-Present) 9 Dan Carlson (1997-01) 9 Kirt Bjork (1979-83) 9

POWER-PLAY POWER: After struggling early in the season on the power play, Notre Dame has now scored at least one power-play goal in 12 of its last 15 games, including six with two or more. In those 15 games, the Irish are 20-for-87 on the power play for a 23.0% success rate. For the year, Notre Dame has 38 power-play goals in 204 chances (18.6%) in 32 games. Last season, the Irish had 23 power-play goals in 238 chances (9.8%) in 38 games. The Irish power play currently ranks third in the CCHA.

POWER-PLAY POINT GETTERS: Here are Notre Dame’s top five scorers on the power play this season:

Name Goals Assists PointsJosh Sciba 10 10 20Erik Condra 3 16 19Mark Van Guilder 6 12 18Wes O'Neill 4 13 17Noah Babin 3 6 9

POWER-PLAY PRODUCER: Wes O’Neill leads Notre Dame’s defense in scoring with six goals and 17 assists for 23 points, giving him career highs in assists and points after his 20-point (6g, 14a) season a year ago. Four of his six goals have come on the power play. His two-point games (1g, 1a) at Bowling Green on Feb. 17 gives him six games this season with two or more points and 11 for his career. The 2004 New York Islander draft choice has seen 17 of his points (4g, 13a) come on the power play. In his two-plus seasons with the Irish, O’Neill now has 14 goals and 41 assists for 55 points with 34 of those coming via the power play (10g, 24a).

WALLY’S WORLD: Senior right wing Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) is having a career-year for the Irish in 2005-06. His assist on Wes O’Neill’s goal in the 4-1 win over Ferris State gives him career highs in goals (10), assists (11), points (21) and power-play goals (4). Wallace recorded his fifth multiple-point game of the year on Jan. 20 with a goal and an assist at Northern Michigan. The senior right wing has four two-point games on the year and one game with three points (2g, 1a) – a career high. He has a pair of two-goal games to his credit – Oct. 28 vs. Princeton and Dec. 18 vs. Lake Superior – giving him three for his career. Wallace continues to add to his “Iron Man” streak as he has now played in 149 consecutive games for the Irish.

ROAD WARRIORS: With the win and tie at Bowling Green, Notre Dame is now 6-3-2 on the road in its last 11 road contests since a Dec. 6 win at Minnesota State. The Irish played six of their eight games in January on the road and finished the month with a 3-3-2 record. In the six road games, Notre Dame was 3-2-1. The Irish are 2-1-1 on the road in February.

OPENING NIGHT TURNAROUND: In each of their last two CCHA series, the Irish have won the opening game to improve to 4-7-2 in the opening game of a CCHA series this season. In game two of the weekend, the Irish are 6-5-2.

PLAYING WITH THE LEAD: Notre Dame scored the first goal of the game in the Feb. 17 game at Bowling Green, giving the Irish three straight games of scoring first. They have scored the first goal 16 times this season and are 11-2-3. When the Irish lead after one period, they are 6-0-0. When they lead after two, Notre Dame is 11-0-3.

FOUR IN THE NHL: At times during the 2005-06 season, Notre Dame has had four former players in the NHL at the same time. The four are: Ben Simon `00 (Columbus), Rob Globke `04 (Florida), Brett Lebda `04 (Detroit) and Mark Eaton (Nashville). Simon and Globke are currently back in the American Hockey League during the Olympic break. Only one other time, have the Irish had more players in the NHL in one season. That came during the 1982-83 campaign when the Irish had five players see time in the NHL. That group included: Jim Brown `82 (three games with Los Angeles), Jack Brownschidle `77 (72 games with St. Louis), Jeff Brownschidle `81 (four games with Hartford), Don Jackson `78 (71 games with Edmonton) and Dave Poulin `82 (two games with Philadelphia).

AHEAD OF PACE: With 83 goals in the first 32 games of the season, the Irish have already surpassed last season’s mark of 60 goals that was recorded in 38 games. The 60 goals (1.58 per game) were the fewest ever scored by the Irish in a single season. Notre Dame is averaging 2.50 goals per game this season.

NOTRE DAME'S RECORD WHEN....When Notre Dame scores first ................. 11-2-3When opponents score first ................... 1-14-1When Notre Dame leads after one period ....... 6-0-0When Notre Dame trails after one period ...... 0-8-1When score is tied after one period .......... 6-8-3When Notre Dame leads after two periods ...... 11-0-3When Notre Dame trails after two periods ..... 1-15-1When score is tied after two periods ......... 0-1-0When Notre Dame outshoots opponent ........... 3-4-0When opponent outshoots Notre Dame ........... 9-10-4When shots are even .......................... 0-2-0In Game 1 of CCHA weekend series ............. 4-7-2In Game 2 of CCHA weekend series ............. 6-5-2In one-goal games ............................ 5-6-0In two-goal games ............................ 2-4-0Notre Dame at home ........................... 6-8-1Notre Dame on the road ....................... 6-8-3Notre Dame on neutral ice .................... 0-0-0Notre Dame in overtime ....................... 0-0-4Notre Dame in October ........................ 1-3-0Notre Dame in November ....................... 2-5-1Notre Dame in December ....................... 3-3-0Notre Dame in January ........................ 3-3-2Notre Dame in February ....................... 3-2-1