Notre Dame begins its CCHA tournament title defense on Friday, March 21 at 4:30 p.m. against the Miami RedHawks.

Irish Head To Detroit And Joe Louis Arena To Face Third-Ranked Miami In The CCHA Championships

March 18, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Series: #11/#11 Notre Dame (24-13-4) vs. #3/#3 Miami (31-6-1)

• Date/Site/Time: Friday, March 22, 2008 • 4:30 p.m. • Joe Louis Arena (20,066)

• 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: Both semifinal games on Friday will be televised by FSN Detroit with Ken Daniels and Fred Pletsch calling the action and Shireen Saski rinkside. On Saturday, Matt Shepard joins Pletsch and Saski for the championship game at 7:30 p.m. That game will be the first college game televised by FSN Detroit in High Definition.

• Internet: Irish hockey can be heard on the Internet at the Notre Dame website – Both Notre Dame games of the CCHA Championship will be streamed live on All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.

BACK TO DEFEND THE BANNER: It took three games, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rallied from an opening game loss in game one against Ferris State and recovered to win games two and three of the best-of-three second round series by 6-3 and 2-1 scores. The series win sends Notre Dame to Joe Louis Arena for the second year in a row. The Irish will look to defend their 2007 title when they face the third-ranked Miami RedHawks on Friday, March 21 at 4:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena. The second game of the night will feature Michigan and Northern Michigan at 8:00 p.m. Both games will be televised by FSN Detroit with Ken Daniels and Fred Pletsch calling the action and Shireen Saski rinkside. The winners advance to the CCHA title game on Saturday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. The two losing teams will faceoff at 3:30 p.m. in the game for third place. FSN Detroit will televise the championship game on Saturday with Matt Shepard joining Pletsch and Saski. Miami advanced to the CCHA semifinals by defeating Bowling Green by 4-1 and 4-2 scores. Michigan, the CCHA regular-season champion, advanced by beating Nebraska-Omaha in that two-game series by 10-1 and 2-1 scores. Northern Michigan returns to Joe Louis Arena after upsetting Michigan State two games to one in their second round series. The Wildcats lost game 1, 5-1, then bounced back to win 2-1 and 3-2 in overtime to eliminate the Spartans.

IRISH AT THE JOE: Notre Dame is 6-9-0 all-time at Joe Louis Arena. The Irish are 3-6-0 at “the Joe” in CCHA Tournament play after winning twice in 2007 to take their first CCHA tournament title.

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)

IRISH VERSUS THE REDHAWKS: Notre Dame and Miami have met 52 times in the all-time series with the RedHawks leading 29-15-8. At Notre Dame, Miami is 11-7-6 and at Oxford, Ohio, the RedHawks are 16-8-2. Miami is also 2-0-0 in games on neutral ice. The two teams met earlier this season in Oxford (Nov. 9-10), splitting the series. The Irish won 2-1 in the Friday game with Miami taking a 3-1 decision the following night. The RedHawks were No. 1 in the nation at the time. In CCHA playoff action, the teams have met once, playing in the opening round of the 2002-03 playoffs with Notre Dame winning the series, two games to one. Miami took the opener, 4-2, before Morgan Cey `05 pitched 1-0 and 5-0 shutouts to send the Irish on to the CCHA Super Six that season.

IRISH VERSUS MICHIGAN: These two teams have played 114 times in the series with the Wolverines holding a 65-44-5 edge in those games. The two teams met twice in January with Michigan winning, 3-2, at Yost Arena on Jan. 18 and then 5-1 on Jan. 19 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The two wins this season snapped a three-game Notre Dame winning streak in the series. In CCHA playoff action, the teams have met five times (1981-82, 1992-93, 1997-98, 2004-05 and 2006-07) with Michigan holding a 6-4 edge. The teams met in the title game last year with Notre Dame winning 2-1.

IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: Notre Dame and Northern Michigan have met 38 times in the all-time series with the Wildcats owning a 19-14-5 advantage. This season, the two squads met on Jan. 4-5 in Marquette, Michigan with the Wildcats winning the series opener, 2-1, and the Irish winning the finale by an identical, 2-1 score. In the CCHA playoffs the teams have met twice – 1998-99 and 2001-02 with Northern Michigan owning a 3-1 edge. The 2001-02 game was at Joe Louis Arena in the CCHA Super Six and was a 3-1 Wildcat win.

IRISH CCHA PLAYOFF HISTORY: The Irish have now played 45 games in CCHA playoff history and are now 19-26 in those games. Notre Dame is 11-7 at home in the CCHA playoffs, 5-14 on the road and 3-5 on neutral ice at Joe Louis Arena.

1981-82Michigan                        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 (@JLA)

CCHA POSTSEASON SCORING: Twenty-two members of the 2007-08 Notre Dame hockey team have seen CCHA playoff action. Those players have played a total of 122 games, scoring 20 goals with 43 assists for 63 points.

CCHA POSTSEASON SCORING:Name                GP     G     A     PTSErik Condra          9     2     9     11Ryan Thang           7     1     6      7Kyle Lawson          7     2     5      7Kevin Deeth          7     1     5      6Garrett Regan        9     2     3      5Justin White         5     0     5      5Ian Cole             3     3     1      4Mark Van Guilder    11     1     2      3Ben Ryan             3     2     1      3Brock Sheahan       11     2     0      2Evan Rankin          9     1     1      2Christian Hanson     9     1     1      2Dan VeNard           9     1     1      2Brett Blatchford     5     0     2      2Calle Ridderwall     3     1     0      1Christiaan Minella   4     0     1      1Brian D'Arcy         3     0     0      0Luke Lucyk           2     0     0      0Teddy Ruth           3     0     0      0Dan Kissel           3     0     0      0Ryan Guentzel        2     0     0      0
Goaltenders MIN W-L-T GA SVS SV% GAVGJordan Pearce 227:28 2-2-0 7 87 .926 1.85

THE COACH AND THE PLAYOFFS: Irish head coach Jeff Jackson has had his share of success in the CCHA playoffs. In this, his ninth CCHA playoff appearance, (six at Lake Superior State and three with Notre Dame), Jackson is 30-5 (.857) in conference postseason play. At Lake Superior, his teams were 24-2 while at Notre Dame, he is 6-3. His teams have advanced to the CCHA finals in eight of nine seasons (six at LSSU and two at Notre Dame).

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.

GAME THREE HISTORY: Notre Dame has now played in seven playoff series that have gone three games and owns a 5-2 record in those series. The Irish have won five straight series that have gone to three games. The two-games to one series win over Ferris State marked the second time that the Irish have downed the Bulldogs in three games with the first time coming in 1999-2000. In the five wins, the Irish have dropped the first game, three times (2001-02 at Nebraska-Omaha, 2002-03 at Miami and 2007-08 vs. Ferris State) and then came back to win.

PERSONAL STREAK: Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska) is now 6-4-3 in his last 13 consecutive starts dating back to Jan. 25 at Bowling Green. starts. In those games, he has a 1.82 goals-against average and a .925 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 20-12-4 with a 1.95 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage with two shutouts.

SELECT COMPANY: With the win on Sunday night (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 2511-91-36 in six seasons at Lake Superior State and three years at Notre Dame. His .712 winning percentage is tops among active Division I coaches. In three seasons behind the Notre Dame bench, Jackson’s teams own a 69-39-11 (.626) record.

THE RIFLEMAN: Freshman defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) has seen his offensive game take off in the playoffs. Cole had a career-high three-point game (2g, 1a) in the 6-3 win in game two against Ferris State and then added the game winning goal in game three on March 16. Since Feb. 23 (six games), Cole has three goals and five assists for eight points. On the year, he is second among Irish defensemen with seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points.

MR. CONSISTENT: Sophomore defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) sparked Notre Dame’s comeback versus Ferris State with the first four-point game (1g, 3a) of his career in the 6-3 win over the Bulldogs. He then had a hand in setting up his defensive partner, Ian Cole, for the game-winning goal in game three. Lawson now has points in five of the last seven games he’s played (1g, 7a). A two-time CCHA defenseman of the week this season, Lawson leads all Notre Dame blueliners in scoring with four goals and career highs in assists (19) and points (23). He is fourth on the team with a +11 on the year.

BIG BEN: Freshman center Ben Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) brings a four-game point streak (2g, 2a) into the CCHA Tournament this weekend. He had two goals and an assists in the second round series with Ferris State. On Fri., March 14, he snapped an eight-game streak without a goal in the 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs. He followed with his 10th goal of the season in game two. Ryan has 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points to lead Notre Dame’s freshman class in scoring.

POSTSEASON HONORS: Sophomore defenseman Kyle Lawson 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 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 was second with 22.

IRON MAN: Senior center Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) became Notre Dame’s all-time “Iron Man,” on March 1 when he played in his 154th consecutive game. He passes the mark of 153 that was set by Tim Wallace `06 who did not miss a game in his four seasons (2002-06). Van Guilder has now played in every game of his career and is second all-time in games played with 157.

GAMES PLAYED MARKS: Seniors Mark Van Guilder and Brock Sheahan continue to move on the Notre Dame games played list. Van Guilder has now played in 157 career games while Sheahan has played in 155 to rank second and fourth respectively. Here’s the Top Five Notre Dame all-time games played list:

Games PlayedName (Seasons)                      Games1.  Dan Carlson (1997-01)            1582.  Mark Van Guilder (2004- )        1573.  Evan Nielsen (1999-03)           1564.  Brock Sheahan (2004- )           1555.  Wes O'Neill (2003-07)            154    Jason Paige (2003-07)            154

PACKING THE PLACE: Notre Dame finished the 2007-08 regular season with sellout crowds in nine of its last 11 games (including the U.S. Under-18 exhibition game). For the season, the Irish played in front of sellouts in 12 of their 19 home dates (including the exhibition game) and averaged 2,693 fans per game.

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 8-9-4 during the second half. With wins in game two and three versus Ferris State, the Irish have won back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 25-26 at Bowling Green.Over the last 13 games, Notre Dame is 6-4-3. During the second half of the season that started on Dec. 29, the Irish have scored 47 goals (2.24) while giving up 46 (2.19). 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 2.88 goals-per-game.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Notre Dame moved up to 11th in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and polls after the second round CCHA playoff series with Ferris State. The Irish have been in the national rankings for all 23 weeks this season.

PLAYING SHORT-HANDED: Through the first 41 games of the season, Notre Dame is second in the CCHA and third in the nation in killing penalties. The Irish have killed 164-of-185 opponent power plays for an 88.6% success rate. The Irish also are tied for seventh on the national level with eight short-handed goals. Versus Ferris State, Notre Dame gave up four power-play goals in 11 chances. Prior to that, the Irish had given up just three power-play goals in 47 chances in the previous 10 games. Since Jan. 19, Notre Dame has given up just seven power-play goals in 58 chances for a 87.9% success rate.

MARCH IS HERE: February was a month the Irish would love to forget. Notre Dame was 1-3-3 in the month, scoring just 11 goals while giving up 17. During the month, the Irish averaged 34.3 shots per game, but scored 11 times in 240 shots for a 4.6% scoring percentage. During the month, Notre Dame was 5-for-40 on the power play (12.5%) while the penalty killers gave up three goals on 29 chances (89.7%). Jordan Pearce was 1-3-3 in the month with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Notre Dame’s top scorer was Erik Condra with two goals and two assists for four points. No other player had more than one goal.

20 WINS: Notre Dame comes into the game with Miami 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.

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.

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 seventh in scoring with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 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 11 assists for 18 points, also his best numbers in each category.