Sophomore Ryan Thang is Notre Dame's top scorer - 16 goals, 11 assists - this season.  He scored two goals in last year's NCAA Tournament

Irish Face No. 4/5 New Hampshire In Opening Game Of NCAA West Regional At Colorado Springs

March 25, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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NCAA West Regional • World Arena • Colorado Springs, Colorado

• The Games: #12/#12 Notre Dame (24-15-4) vs. #4/#5 New Hampshire (25-9-3) #6/#6 Colorado College (28-11-1) vs. #9/#9 Michigan State (24-11-5)

• Date/Site/Time: Friday, March 28, 2008 • 4:30 p.m./8:00 p.m. (MDT)

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert will call the action for the Irish.

• Internet: Irish hockey can be heard on the internet at the Notre Dame website – All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.

• Television: Both games of the West Regional will be televised with Clay Matvik and Damian DiGuilian calling the action and Jim Paradise serving as the rink reporter. Friday’s game will be seen live on ESPN 360 and on tape delay on ESPNU at 11:00 p.m. (MDT) on March 28. The West Regional on March 29 will be televised live on ESPNU at 8:00 p.m. (MDT).

BACK IN THE NCAAs: Notre Dame makes its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 28 when the Irish face the New Hampshire Wildcats at 4:30 p.m. (MDT) in the opening game of the West Regional in Colorado Springs, Colo. This will also be the third appearance all-time for the Irish as they appeared in the tournament in 2004 (under head coach Dave Poulin) and then in 2007 and 2008 with Jeff Jackson behind the bench. Joining Notre Dame and New Hampshire in the West Regional are the host school, Colorado College and Michigan State. Those two teams will meet on Friday at 8:00 p.m. (MDT). The West Regional championship game between the two winners will be played on Saturday, March 29 at 8:00 p.m. (MDT). New Hampshire is the No. 1 seed in the West Regional and brings a 25-9-3 record into the tournament. The Wildcats were the Hockey East regular-season champions and lost in the conference tournament semifinals, 5-4, to Boston College in three overtimes. Colorado College is the No. 2 seed with the Tigers boasting a 28-11-1 record overall. The Tigers were the WCHAs MacNaughton Cup champions as the conference’s regular-season champs. Michigan State is the third-seeded team and was 24-11-5 on the year while finishing third in the CCHA regular season. The Spartans are the defending national champions and lost in the second round of the CCHA playoffs to Northern Michigan. Notre Dame finished fourth in the CCHA and brings a 24-15-4 record into the regional. The Irish lost in the semifinals of the CCHA Tournament, 2-1, to Miami in overtime on March 21 and then dropped the third-place game, 2-1, to Northern Michigan on March 22.

IRISH NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Notre Dame owns a 1-2 record in the NCAA Tournament in its previous two appearances. In 2004, the Irish advanced to the Grand Rapids Regional to face two-time defending NCAA champion, Minnesota, and dropped a 5-2 decision in the opening round game to the Gophers. In 2007, Notre Dame was the No. 1 seed in the tournament and again played in Grand Rapids. The Irish faced Alabama-Huntsville in the opening game and beat the Chargers, 3-2, in double overtime. In the Regional Championship game, they fell to Michigan State, 2-1, as the Spartans went on to win the 2007 NCAA title.

NOTRE DAME AT THE WORLD ARENA: Notre Dame has played just once at the World Arena, facing Colorado College on Oct. 21, 2005. The Tigers won that game, 3-1. Seven members of this year’s Irish team were dressed for that game – Luke Lucyk, Erik Condra, Brock Sheahan, Evan Rankin, Mark Van Guilder and Jordan Pearce. Pearce served as the back up in goal and did not play. Notre Dame has played 20 other times in Colorado Springs when they faced Colorado College as members of the WCHA from 1971-81.

BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: The first game of the Jeff Jackson era at Notre Dame was played at the World Arena on Oct. 21, 2005 with the Irish dropping a 3-1 decision to Colorado College. The Irish have come a long way since that first-game loss for Jackson and his squad. Since that loss, the Irish are 69-40-11 (.621) with one CCHA regular-season and tournament championship and two trips to the NCAA tournament.

NOTRE DAME VS. NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Irish and the Wildcats have met four times in the all-time series with UNH owning a 4-0 record. The series began on Jan. 2, 1991 in Durham with the Wildcats taking a 2-1 decision. The two teams met the following year, on Nov. 8-9, 1991 in South Bend, with UNH taking 7-1 and 8-2 verdicts. The last time the two schools met was on Nov. 27, 1999 in the Conference Classic at New Hampshire. The Wildcats won that opening round game, 2-1.

IRISH VERSUS COLORADO COLLEGE: Notre Dame and Colorado College have met 44 times in the all-time series with the Irish holding a 25-18-1 edge to date. At Colorado Springs, Notre Dame is 12-8-1 with the last meeting coming on Oct. 21, 2005 and the Tigers taking a 3-1 decision. The Irish and Tigers were members of the WCHA from 1971-1981 before Notre Dame left to join the CCHA for the 1981-82 season. The two teams played in this season’s Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Fla., in December but did not face each other.

NOTRE DAME VS. MICHIGAN STATE: The Irish and the Spartans have been banging heads as far back as 1921-22 and have played a total of 99 games in the all-time series. The Spartans own a 59-31-9 edge in the first 99 games. This season, Sparty had a 1-0-1 edge in the home-and-home series. Michigan State won at East Lansing on Jan. 11, 3-1. The teams played at Notre Dame on Jan. 13 and battled to a 1-1 tie. In the postseason, the Irish and Spartans have played three times with the Spartans holding a 3-0 edge. Michigan State beat Notre Dame, 4-1, in the 1982 CCHA Championship game; knocked off the Irish 4-0 in the 2000 CCHA semifinals and then ended the 2007 season with a 2-1 win in the NCAA Midwest Regional championship game.

CCHA REPRESENTATION: The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) placed four teams in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, marking the third consecutive year that has occurred. Leading the way was Michigan (31-5-4) as the overall No. 1 seed. The Wolverines, the CCHA regular season and tournament champion is the No. 1 seed in the East Regional at Albany, N.Y. Miami (32-7-1) is the No. 2 seed overall and the top-seed in the Northeast Regional at Worcester, Mass. Michigan State (24-11-5) is the third seed in the West Regional and Notre Dame (24-15-4) is the fourth seed in Colorado Springs, Colo. This marks the fifth time that there are four CCHA teams in the tournament. The same four teams advanced to the 2007 tournament. In 2004, the conference record was set when five CCHA teams advanced – Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

IRISH AT THE JOE: With the two losses in the 2008 CCHA Tournament, Notre Dame is now 6-11-0 all-time at Joe Louis Arena. The Irish are 3-7-0 at “the Joe” in CCHA Tournament play after winning twice in 2007 to take their first CCHA tournament title.

2007-08 CCHA vs. No. Michigan (L, 1-2)        CCHA vs. Miami (L, 1-2 ot)2006-07 CCHA vs. Michigan (W, 2-1)        CCHA vs. Lake Superior (W, 3-0)2003-04 CCHA vs. Ohio State (L, 5-6 ot)2002-03 CCHA vs. Ohio State (L, 2-3)        vs. Wayne State (W, 3-2)2001-02 CCHA vs. No. Michigan (L, 1-3)1999-00 CCHA vs. Mich. State (L, 0-4)1993-94 GLI vs. Michigan (L, 3-8)        GLI vs. Michigan Tech (L, 6-8)1982-83 GLI vs. Michigan Tech ((L, 6-9)        GLI vs. Michigan (L, 3-12)1982-82 CCHA vs. Bowling Green (W, 8-5)        CCHA vs. Michigan State (L, 1-4)1981-82 GLI vs. Michigan (W, 6-2)        GLI vs. Michigan Tech (W, 8-3)

FIRST TIME: For the first time all season, Notre Dame lost a game that the Irish led in after two periods in the loss to Northern Michigan. The Irish were 22-0-0 in games that they led after two periods. Christian Hanson’s (Jr., Venetia, Pa.) goal at 7:32 of the second period gave the Irish a 1-0 lead. The Wildcats would score twice in a 2:16 span early in the third period to take the 2-1 victory.

Erik Condra 9 2 9 11Ryan Thang 9 1 6 7Kyle Lawson 9 2 5 7Kevin Deeth 9 1 5 6Garrett Regan 11 2 3 5Justin White 7 0 5 5Ian Cole 5 3 1 4Ben Ryan 5 2 2 4Mark Van Guilder 13 1 2 3Brock Sheahan 13 2 0 2Evan Rankin 11 2 1 3Christian Hanson 11 2 1 3Dan VeNard 11 1 2 3Brett Blatchford 7 0 2 2Christiaan Minella 6 0 2 2Calle Ridderwall 5 1 0 1Dan Kissel 5 0 1 1Brian D'Arcy 4 0 0 0Luke Lucyk 2 0 0 0Teddy Ruth 5 0 0 0Ryan Guentzel 3 0 0 0
Goaltenders MIN W-L-T GA SVS SV% GAVGJordan Pearce 351:09 2-4-0 11 134 .924 1.88
NCAA CAREER SCORING:Name GP G A PTSRyan Thang 2 2 0 2Brett Blatchford 2 0 2 2Evan Rankin 2 1 0 1Erik Condra 2 0 1 1Kyle Lawson 2 0 1 1Kevin Deeth 2 0 0 0Christian Hanson 2 0 0 0Garrett Regan 2 0 0 0Brock Sheahan 2 0 0 0Mark Van Guilder 2 0 0 0Justin White 2 0 0 0
Goaltenders MIN W-L-T GA SVS SV% GAVGJordan Pearce 0:00 0-0-0 0 0 .000 0.00

THE COACH AND THE PLAYOFFS: Irish head coach Jeff Jackson has had his share of success in the CCHA playoffs. His teams have made nine CCHA playoff appearances (six at Lake Superior State and three with Notre Dame) and Jackson is now 30-7 (.811) in conference postseason play. At Lake Superior, his teams were 24-2 while at Notre Dame, he is 6-5. His teams have advanced to the CCHA finals in eight of nine seasons (six at LSSU and two at Notre Dame). Jackson has seen his teams win five CCHA Tournament Championships (four with Lake Superior and one at Notre Dame).

JACKSON AND THE NCAAS: Notre Dame’s appearance in the 2008 NCAA West Regional marks the eighth time in nine seasons as a Division I head coach that Jeff Jackson has led his team to the NCAA Tournament (Lake Superior six times, Notre Dame twice). In his six trips with the Lakers, his teams advanced to the NCAA championship game three times (1992, 1993 and 1994), winning the title in 1992 and 1994. His all-time record in the NCAA Tournament is 13-6 (.684), 12-5 with the Lakers and 1-1 at Notre Dame.

VERSUS THE FIELD: Notre Dame owns a 4-7-1 record against teams in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The Irish were 0-1 against Wisconsin, 1-1 versus Denver, 1-2 against Miami, 2-0 against Princeton, 0-1-1 against Michigan State and 0-2 versus Michigan.

OVERTIME: Notre Dame’s 2-1 overtime loss to Miami on March 21 was the fifth overtime game for the Irish this season and the first one they lost. On the year, Notre Dame is 0-1-4 in overtime.

OUT FOR THE SEASON: Head coach Jeff Jackson announced on Monday, March 17, that Notre Dame would be without the services of leading scorer, Erik Condra (Jr., Livonia, Mich.) who suffered an injury to his left knee in the first period of game three versus Ferris State. Condra leads the Irish in scoring with a career-high 15 goals to go with 23 assists for 38 points. He also has career highs in power-play goals (6) and short-handed goals (3) while equaling his career best with four game-winning goals.

PUTTING IN THE TIME: Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce (Jr. Anchorage, Alaska) became the single-season minutes played leader for the Irish during the CCHA Tournament. Pearce has now seen action in 39 games this season and has played a record 2,313:31 minutes in those games. That ranks him second in the CCHA and fifth in the nation. Coming into this year, Pearce had played in just 12 games, making nine starts for a total of 621:56 minutes.

Goaltender                    GP     Minutes1. John Muse - BC             40      2472:562. Mark Dekanich - Colgate    41      2388:533. Jeff Lerg - MSU            39      2345:014. J.P. Lamoureaux - UND      39      2325:535. Jordan Pearce - ND         39      2313:31

PERSONAL STREAK: Jordan Pearce has made 15 consecutive starts, dating back to Jan. 25 at Bowling Green. He is 6-6-3 in those starts with a 1.84 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. In those 15 games, Pearce has given up 28 goals (with two ENG) while Notre Dame has scored just 35 goals in those same 15 games. 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 20-14-4 with a 1.95 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage with two shutouts.

SELECT COMPANY: With his win on Sunday, March 16 in game three versus Ferris State, Jordan Pearce, became the fourth goaltender in Notre Dame history to record 20 wins in a season. He joins David Brown `07 (29 in 2006-07), Lance Madson `90 (24 in 1987-88) and Mark Kronholm `74 (20 in 1972-73).

MILESTONE: In Notre Dame’s 6-3 win over Ferris State on Saturday, March 15 (Game Two), Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson recorded the 250th win of his collegiate coaching career in this his ninth season. Jackson is now 251-93-36 in six seasons at Lake Superior State and three years at Notre Dame. His .709 winning percentage is tops among active Division I coaches. In three seasons behind the Notre Dame bench, Jackson’s teams own a 69-41-11 (.616) record.

GAMES PLAYED MARKS: Seniors Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) and Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) continue to move on the Notre Dame games played list. Van Guilder set the Notre Dame record for career games played in the CCHA Tournament versus Northern Michigan. Van Guilder has played every game of his career and passed Dan Carlson `01 who held the record with 158 games played. Van Guilder has played in 159 career games while Sheahan has moved into third with 157 career games. Here’s the Top Five Notre Dame all-time games played list:

Games PlayedName (Seasons)                   Games1.  Mark Van Guilder (2004- )     1592.  Dan Carlson (1997-01)         1583.  Brock Sheahan (2004- )        1574.  Evan Nielsen (1999-03)        1565.  Wes O'Neill (2003-07)         154    Jason Paige (2003-07)         154

A LEAGUE TITLE: Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce closed out the CCHA regular season with the best goals-against average in conference games, giving up 1.80 goals-per game. Miami’s Jeff Zatkoff was second with a 1.83 mark. This marks the second season in a row that a Notre Dame goaltender has won the goals-against title as David Brown was first in 2006-07 with a 1.77 league mark. This marks the fourth time since the 1982-83 season that the same school won back-to-back goaltending titles with different goaltenders.

1988-89  Bruce Hoffort - LSSU (2.67)1989-90  Darin Madeley - LSSU (2.37)
1997-98 Chad Alban - MSU (1.63)1998-99 Joe Blackburn - MSU (1.34)1999-00 Ryan Miller - MSU (1.34)
2006-07 David Brown - ND (1.77)2007-08 Jordan Pearce - ND (1.80)

SECOND HALF NUMBERS: After starting the 2007-08 season with a 16-4-0 record through Dec. 8, the Irish are 8-11-4 during the second half. The wins in game two and three versus Ferris State, gave the Irish back-to-back wins for the first time since Jan. 25-26 at Bowling Green.During the second half of the season that started on Dec. 29, the Irish have scored 49 goals (2.13) while giving up 50 (2.17). 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 25th, averaging 2.79 goals-per-game.

THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Through the first 43 games of the season, when the Irish are good, they are very good. In the 24 wins, Notre Dame has scored 96 goals (4.00 per game). In the 15 losses and four ties, Notre Dame has scored just 24 goals for a 1.26 goals-per game mark. In the 24 wins, the Irish have given up just 35 goals (1.46 goals-against average) while in the 15 losses and four ties, they have given up 53 goals (2.79 goals against).

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.

20 WINS: Notre Dame comes into its NCAA Tournament game with New Hampshire with 24 wins on the season. The 24 wins are the third highest total in the program’s 40-year history surpassed only by the 32 in 2006-07 and the 27 in 1987-88. 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.

POSTSEASON HONORS: Sophomore defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) was an honorable mention all-CCHA selection in voting done by the league’s coaches. Lawson ranked fifth among defensemen in points as he had one first-place vote and a total of 17 points. Freshman defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was an honorable mention CCHA all-rookie selection for his play this season. Junior goaltender Jordan Pearce was Notre Dame’s Scholar-Athlete winner and is one of 11 candidates for the CCHA’s Scholar-Athlete Award. Pearce is also Notre Dame’s Perani Cup winner as he had 24 points. Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) was second with 22.

FLANAGAN AWARD WINNER: Senior defenseman Dan VeNard (Vernon Hills, Ill.) was selected as the winner of the Terry Flanagan Memorial Award at the CCHA Awards Show on March 20 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Mich. The award is named after former New Hampshire player and Bowling Green assistant coach who died from cancer in 1991. The award honors a player for perseverance, dedication and courage while overcoming severe adversity. Prior to this season, VeNard had played in just 61 games during his career due to injuries that included shoulder separations to both shoulders, knee injuries, a quad injury, a stress fracture to one leg and a 15-stich cut to his side after getting cut by a skate during a game in 2006-07. Through all the injuries, VeNard continued to work hard to get in the lineup while also becoming the team’s community service leader and this year as a senior, the president of Notre Dame’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Earlier this season, the senior was a nominee for the prestigious College Hockey Humanitarian Award. In his final season at Notre Dame, VeNard has played in all 43 games while having career highs in goals (5), assists (7) and points (12). He also was selected as one of the team’s alternate captains.

PLAYING SHORT-HANDED: Through the first 43 games of the season, Notre Dame is second in the CCHA and third in the nation in killing penalties. The Irish have killed 174-of-195 opponent power plays for an 89.2% success rate. The Irish also are tied for seventh on the national level with eight short-handed goals. In the two games at the CCHA Tournament, Notre Dame was 10-for-10 on the penalty kill against Miami and Northern Michigan. Since Jan. 19, Notre Dame has given up just seven power-play goals in 68 chances for an 89.7% success rate.