Senior left wing Ryan Thang will serve as Notre Dame's team captain for the 2009-10 season.

Irish Face Northern Michigan In CCHA Friday Semifinal Showdown

March 18, 2009

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Games: #2/#1 Notre Dame (29-5-3) vs. Northern Michigan (18-16-5) #3/#3 Michigan (28-10-0) vs. Alaska (17-14-6)

• Date/Site/Time: Friday, March 20, 2009 • Joe Louis Arena (20,066) • 4:35 p.m./7:35 p.m.

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM in South Bend. WSBT Radio Sports Director Darin Pritchett will call all the action for the Irish.

• Television: Friday’s first semifinal game will be televised live by FSN-Detroit with Matt Shepard and Fred Pletch calling the action and Shireen Saski serving as rinkside reporter. Friday’s second game will have the same broadcast crew and will be seen live on the Big 10 Network and on-tape delay by FSN-Detroit at 10:30 p.m.

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

BACK TO THE JOE: Notre Dame returns to Joe Louis Arena and the CCHA Championships for the third consecutive year and the eighth time in the program’s history (1982, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and again this season). In `02, `03 and `04, the championship was known as the Super Six as six teams advanced to Detroit. The Irish advanced to “The Joe” after defeating Nebraska-Omaha last weekend, 5-0 and 1-0, to take the second round series, two games to none. Notre Dame, the tournament’s top seed, brings a 29-5-3 overall record into the game and is in the midst of an eight-game winning streak that started on Feb. 13 versus their semifinal opponent, Northern Michigan. The Wildcats, who finished sixth in the CCHA this season, advanced by upsetting third-seed, Miami last weekend, taking the series in Oxford, Ohio, two games to one. Northern Michigan meets the Irish on Friday at 4:35 p.m. with an 18-16-5 overall record. The CCHA third-place and championship game will be played on Saturday, March 21 at Joe Louis Arena. The third-place contest is at 3:35 p.m. while the title tilt starts at 7:35 p.m.

IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: Notre Dame and Northern Michigan have met four times this season with the Irish taking all four games. The teams met in Marquette on Oct. 31-Nov. 1 with the Irish taking 3-2 and 4-2 wins. They then met at Notre Dame on Feb. 13-14, with the Irish prevailing, 9-5 and 5-2. All-time, the teams have met 43 times in the all-time series with Northern holding a 20-18-5 overall record. On neutral ice, NMU owns a 2-1 advantage. The two squads have met three times in CCHA Tournament action. In 1998-99, the Wildcats eliminated the Irish, two games to one, in a first round series. In 2001-02, they defeated Notre Dame, 3-1, in a Super Six game and last year, the Wildcats beat the Irish, 2-1, in the third-place game.

IRISH VERSUS MICHIGAN: These two teams have played 117 times in the series with the Wolverines holding a 66-46-5 edge in those games. The teams met twice this season – on January 30-31 – with the Wolverines winning, 2-1, at the Joyce Center and the Irish taking a 3-2 verdict at Yost Arena. Notre Dame has won five of the last eight meetings in the series, dating back to the start of the 2006-07 season. The teams have met in CCHA playoff action five times (1981-82, 1992-93, 1997-98, 2004-05 and 2006-07) with Michigan holding a 6-4 edge. The last time they met in the CCHA Tournament, the Irish won the CCHA playoff title with a 2-1 win in March of 2007.

IRISH VERSUS NANOOKS: Notre Dame and Alaska have met 49 times in the all-time series with the Irish leading the series, 25-20-4. This season, the two squads met twice at the Joyce Center (Jan. 9-10) with the Irish blanking the Nanooks, 2-0 and 3-0 behind the stellar goaltending of senior Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska). Notre Dame is 9-0-1 versus Alaska in the last 10 meetings since the start of the 2006-07 season. In CCHA playoff action, the teams have met twice – 2006 and 2007. In 2006, the Nanooks swept the Irish with 3-1 and 1-0 wins a first round playoff series at the Joyce Center. In 2007, Notre Dame won by 7-1 and 3-1 scores in a second round series to even the record at 2-2.

IRISH CCHA PLAYOFF HISTORY: The Irish have played 49 games in CCHA playoff history and are 21-28 in those games. Notre Dame has won two regular-season titles (2007, 2009) and one playoff title (2007) since becoming a member of the conference.

1981-82 Michigan                        W, 6-5Michigan                        W, 5-3vs. Bowling Green (@JLA)        W, 8-5vs. Michigan State (@JLA)       L, 1-4
1982-83at Bowling Green L, 3-8at Bowling Green L, 2-7
1992-93at Michigan L, 2-13at Michigan L, 1-8
1993-94at Western Michigan L, 3-6at Western Michigan L, 1-7
1994-95at Bowling Green L, 2-7at Bowling Green L, 4-5
1997-98at Michigan W, 4-2at Michigan L, 1-2 (ot)at Michigan L, 3-4
1998-99Northern Michigan W, 3-2Northern Michigan L, 1-7Northern Michigan L, 2-3
1999-2000Ferris State W, 4-3Ferris State L, 1-6Ferris State W, 4-2vs. Michigan State (@JLA) L, 0-4
2001-2002at Nebraska-Omaha L, 2-3 (2ot)at Nebraska-Omaha W, 2-1 (ot)at Nebraska-Omaha W, 2-1vs. No. Michigan (@JLA) L, 1-3
2002-03at Miami (OH) L, 2-4at Miami (OH) W, 1-0at Miami (OH) W, 5-0vs. Ohio State (@JLA) L, 2-3
2003-04Western Michigan W, 4-2Western Michigan L, 0-4Western Michigan W, 5-4 (ot)vs. Ohio State (@JLA) L, 5-6 ot
2004-05at Michigan L, 1-10at Michigan L, 0-1 (ot)
2005-06Alaska L, 1-3Alaska L, 0-1
2006-07Alaska W, 7-1Alaska W, 3-1vs. Lake Superior (@JLA) W, 3-0vs. Michigan (@JLA) W, 2-1
2007-08Ferris State L, 1-2Ferris State W, 6-3Ferris State W, 2-1vs. Miami (at JLA) L, 1-2 (ot)vs. Northern Michigan (at JLA) L, 1-2
2008-09Nebraska-Omaha W, 5-0Nebraska-Omaha W, 1-0vs. Northern Michigan (at JLA)

THE COACH AND THE PLAYOFFS: Irish head coach Jeff Jackson has had his share of success in the CCHA playoffs. In this, his 10th CCHA playoff appearance (six at Lake Superior State and four at Notre Dame), Jackson is 32-7 (.821) in conference postseason play. At Lake Superior, his teams were 24-2 while at Notre Dame, he is 8-5. His teams have advanced to Joe Louis Arena in nine of those 10 seasons (six at LSSU and three at Notre Dame).

THE CENTURY MARK: With Friday night’s 5-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha (3/13), head coach Jeff Jackson recorded his 100th career win at Notre Dame.The 100 wins have come in less than four seasons as Jackson is now 101-47-14 (.667) since starting behind the Irish bench in 2005-06. Notre Dame’s six-man senior class also has that record of 101-47-14 in their four years at Notre Dame and they are the most successful class in the program’s 41-year history.

WINS MARK: Notre Dame is now 29-5-3 for the year with the 29 wins the second-highest wins total for the Irish. The mark trails the `06-’07 season when Notre Dame won 32 games. Last season, the Irish were 27-16-4, giving the Irish three consecutive seasons of 27-or-more wins. Only one other time in the program’s history did the Irish win 27-or-more games – 1987-88 when they were 27-4-2.

MR. ZERO: Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce has been a man on a mission over the last five games. On Feb. 21, at Omaha, Neb., Pearce shutout the Mavericks, 1-0, to help the Irish clinch their second CCHA regular-season title. Since then and including that game, Pearce has surrendered just one goal over a five-game span, recording four shutouts. The senior is 5-0-0 in that span, playing 299:59 minutes with a 0.20 goals-against average and has stopped 111-of-112 shots for a .971 save percentage. He will enter Friday’s game versus Northern Michigan with a 145:51 minute shutout streak. The last goal he gave up was on Feb. 28 at 14:09 of the second period to Michigan State’s Jay Sprague.

MR. RELIABLE: Notre Dame’s All-American and Hobey Baker candidate and honorable mention all-CCHA selection – senior goaltender Jordan Pearce – has been Notre Dame’s No. 1 man in goal over the last two seasons. Since Jan. 5, 2008, Pearce has appeared in 59 of the last 60 Irish games. Of those 59 games, 58 have been starts. Pearce has now appeared in 34 straight games for the Irish, making 33 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 36 of Notre Dame’s first 37 games this season and is 28-5-3 with a 1.62 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage with eight shutouts. Pearce played in all 20 games of Notre Dame’s 20-game unbeaten streak from Oct. 31 to Jan. 30, going 17-0-3 with a 1.36 goals-against average with a .944 save percentage and three shutouts.

HOW GOOD IS PEARCE: Going into the CCHA Championship weekend at Joe Louis Arena, Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce leads the nation in wins (28), goals-against average (1.62) and shutouts (8). He is ninth in minutes played (2,146:46), fifth in save percentage (.934) and third in winning percentage (.819).

TURNING ON THE POWER: In four meetings this season between Notre Dame and Northern Michigan, the Irish have scored 15 power-play goals, going 15-for-31 for a 48.4% success rate. The Irish were 6-for-8 in the 9-5 win on Feb. 13 and then went 4-for-8 in the 5-2 win the following night. The Irish have 21 goals in four games versus the Wildcats, but just six have come at even strength. Northern Michigan scored just once on the power-play versus Notre Dame in those four games.

WELCOME BACK RYAN: Junior left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) returned to the Notre Dame lineup in game one of the series versus Nebraska-Omaha after missing seven games (since Feb. 8) with a high ankle sprain. He scored his 10th goal of the season in the 5-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha in the first period. The seven games he missed were the only games he’s missed in his Irish hockey career.

GAMES PLAYED MARKS: Two members of Notre Dame’s senior class – Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Garrett Regan (Hastings, Minn.) are making their marks on Notre Dame’s all-time games list. Condra has already moved into tie for fourth on the list while Regan’s next game will move him into the top 10.

Games PlayedName (Seasons)                         Games1.   Mark Van Guilder (2004-08)         1632.   Brock Sheahan (2004-08)            1613.   Dan Carlson (1997-01)              1584.   Erik Condra (2005- )               156     Evan Nielsen (1999-03)             1566.   Wes O'Neill (2003-07)              1547.   Jason Paige (2003-07)              1548.   Tim Wallace (2002-06)              153     Aaron Gill (2000-04)               15310.  Brett Ledba (2000-04)              152     John Schmidt (1978-82)             152--   Garrett Regan (2005- )             151

AWARDS TIME: The CCHA has started handing out its postseason awards heading into the second round of the CCHA playoffs. Irish freshman right wing Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) was named to the league’s all-rookie team. Senior goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska) was named to the CCHA’s Scholar-Athlete team for the second consecutive year. Four Irish players were named to the all-conference team. Sophomore defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was named first team all-CCHA, becoming the third Notre Dame player along with David Brown `07 and Benoit Cotnoir `99 to be named first team. Three players – Erik Condra (Sr., Livonia, Mich.), Christian Hanson (Sr., Venetia, Pa.) and Kyle Lawson (Jr., New Hudson, Mich.) – were selected second team. Pearce and sophomore Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm, Sweden) were honorable mention choices.

CCHA MARKS: Notre Dame’s 2-1 win at Michigan State on Feb. 28 gave the Irish 21 league wins this season to tie their record of 21 set during the 2006-07 season when that team was 21-4-3. Notre Dame finished this season with a 21-4-3-3 mark in the CCHA, good for 48 points, a new team record for points in the CCHA. The Irish have three extra points in the league standings due to winning three shootouts this year.

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.

A MOMENT OF SILENCE: The Notre Dame hockey program lost one its biggest ambassadors on Friday, Feb. 27. The “Voice of Notre Dame Hockey” Mike Lockert passed away in his sleep early that morning. The 43-year old Lockert had been Notre Dame’s hockey broadcaster for seven years (2002-09). He was buried in his hometown of Los Angeles, Calif., on Saturday, March 7th. Notre Dame held a memorial service for their voice on Thursday, March 12 in the Joyce Center.

CLOSE ONES: Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha was the 12th game this season that the Irish won by one goal. In those 12 games, the Irish are 10-2 (.833). The Irish also own a 6-1 mark in games 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 .833 winning percentage this season is third best behind a pair of undefeated years – `87-’88 (6-0) and `68-’69 (4-0).

CAPTAIN CONDRA: For the fourth consecutive season, right wing Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) leads Notre Dame in scoring. This season, the senior has 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points. For his career, Condra now has 48 goals and 109 assists for 157 points in 156 career games. He is now 13th on Notre Dame’s all-time points list and is tied for seventh all-time in assists with Dave Bankoske `93. He picked up his second game-winning goal in the 5-0 win versus Michigan State to move him into a tie for sixth all-time with 11 game winners in his career.

ON THE SIDELINES: Sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.), 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. He has begun skating again and is expected to return to the lineup in 2009-10.

WINNING TEAMS: Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame (88-28-10) has had the winningest hockey program in the country. The Irish have recorded 88 wins and a .738 winning percentage in that time frame. Michigan is second with an 87-30-5 record (.734) while Miami is third with a 77-34-10 record (.685). Here are the top six teams by wins and winning percentage (as of March 17).

Wins                    Winning Pct.Notre Dame  88          Notre Dame (.738)Michigan  87            Michigan (.734)Miami  77               Miami (.685)North Dakota  76        New Hampshire (.664)Boston College  72      North Dakota (.655)New Hampshire  70       Boston College (.648)

POWER OUTAGE: After scoring 10 power-play goals in the series against Northern Michigan (Feb. 13-14), the Irish have scored just twice on 21 chances with the man advantage in the last six games. Prior to Feb. 20, the Irish were 14-for-27 (51.9%) on the power play against Ohio State and Northern. For the season, the Irish are 50-for-211 for a 23.7% success rate on the power play. They lead the nation in power-play percentage and are second in power-play goals to Boston University’s 52.

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. Through March 10 in the fan voting, Pearce is the leader with 17% of the votes and Condra is second with 16%.

NOTRE DAME WIN MARK: With his two wins versus Nebraska-Omaha, Jordan Pearce has now won 28 games this season and 57 for his career. The 57 career wins are the most for a Notre Dame goaltender in the 41-year history of the program. He passed Lance Madson `90 who held the record for 19 years with 56 wins. Pearce’s 28 wins in the regular season are the second-highest single season total, trailing David Brown’s `07 mark of 29 set in 2006-07. Pearce is the only goaltender in Notre Dame history to have 20-or-more wins twice in his career. He now owns a career record of 57-25-7. Brown also set the Notre Dame shutout mark versus UNO, getting his eighth this season. That gives him 12 for his career, tying Brown’s career mark