April 11, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame hockey team grabbed its share of attention during the 2006-07 season as the Irish turned in the best season of the program’s 39-year history. With a 32-7-3 overall record, the Irish finished first in the CCHA regular-season standings with a 21-4-3 record and then followed by winning the CCHA tournament championship. A second trip to the NCAA tournament highlighted by the school’s first-ever tourney win capped a memorable season.
The accolades continued into the postseason as the three major college hockey internet sites that follow college hockey – College Hockey News.com, Inside College Hockey.com and U.S College Hockey Online.com – announced their annual awards.
Leading the Irish honorees are goaltender David Brown (Sr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) and head coach Jeff Jackson. Others to gain recognition are freshman defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.), senior defenseman Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and freshmen forwards Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) and Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.).
Head coach Jeff Jackson was selected as coach of the year by Inside College Hockey.com, USCHO.com and College Hockey News.com
College Hockey News.com selected Jackson as its coach of the year while naming Brown to first team all-CHN along with T.J. Hensick (Michigan), Ryan Duncan (North Dakota), Nathan Davis (Miami), Jack Johnson (Michigan) and Alex Goligoski (Minnesota). Lawson was selected to the CHN all-rookie team with Deeth and Thang taking honorable mention honors.
Ryan Thang was an honorable mention selection to College Hockey News.com’s all-rookie team
Inside College Hockey.com also selected Jackson as its coach of the year with Brown taking goaltender of the year honors and runner-up player of the year honors to North Dakota’s Duncan. Brown was also an INCH.com first team All-American along with Drew Bagnall of St. Lawrence, Jack Johnson, Duncan, Eric Ehn of Air Force and Hensick. Lawson was named to the INCH freshman All-American team along with St. Lawrence goaltender Alex Petzian, defenseman Erik Johnson (Minnesota), Andreas Nodl (St. Cloud State), Teddy Purcell (Maine) and Brandon Wong (Quinnipiac).
USCHO.com made it unanimous as the college hockey website also selected Jackson as its’ the national coach of the year. Brown was named USCHO.com’s national player of the year and its’ defensive player of the year while being named first team all-USCHO with Duncan, Hensick, Ehn, Johnson and Goligoski. Babin was selected third team all-USCHO.com and Lawson was named to the all-rookie team.
Defenseman Noah Babin was a third team all-USCHO.com selection for the 2006-07 season.
Jackson, in his second season at Notre Dame, led the Irish to their first-ever CCHA regular-season and tournament title and a second trip to the NCAA tournament in 2006-07. The 32 wins earned by the Irish this season were 19 more than a year ago and eight more than any Irish team has ever achieved. Selected as the CCHA coach of the year, the veteran coach was named the winner of the Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I coach of the year on April 10. He will be honored at the annual coaches meetings in Naples, Fla., on April 28.
Brown was one of the driving forces behind Notre Dame’s dream season. The senior goaltender led the nation in wins (30) and goals-against average (1.58) while being second in save percentage (.931) and shutouts (6). All four categories set Notre Dame single-season records. To date, Brown has been named first team all-CCHA, the CCHA’s top goaltender and CCHA player of the year. In the postseason, he was named to the CCHA all-tournament team and was the CCHA tournament most valuable player. He was recently named the team’s most valuable player and at the Frozen Four was selected as the winner of Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award as the top senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I hockey. He also was one of three finalists for the 2006-07 Hobey Baker Award.
Lawson stepped right into the Notre Dame lineup as a freshman and had an outstanding season on the Notre Dame blue line. In 38 games, he led Irish defensemen with four goals and was third among Notre Dame defensemen with 19 points. His +21 total was the best among Notre Dame’s defensemen. Lawson was one of three Irish freshmen to be named to the CCHA’s all-rookie team. He was also a member of the U.S. Junior National Team that won a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in January, serving that team as an assistant captain.
Joining Lawson on the CCHA all-rookie team were forwards Kevin Deeth and Ryan Thang. Deeth, a center, finished third on the team in scoring with 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points and was second with a +28. He finished third among CCHA freshmen in scoring. Just ahead of him was Thang who played right wing on Notre Dame’s top line with Deeth and sophomore Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.). Thang led the Irish in goals (20), power-play goals (10) and game winners (6) in his rookie year and was second to Condra with 41 points on the year and a +22. He finished second among CCHA rookies in scoring and was one of three finalists for CCHA rookie of the year while taking Notre Dame team honors as rookie of the year.
Babin closed out the list of Irish honorees as he finished the season as Notre Dame’s scoring leader among defensemen with two goals and 20 assists for 22 points and a +10. He was an honorable mention all-CCHA selection and was honored as the team’s William Donald Nyrop Award winner as the top Irish defensive player. He capped his season by signing a free-agent contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and is currently playing for their AHL affiliate in Albany, New York.
2006-07 Media Award Recap
College Hockey News.com Coach of the Year: Jeff JacksonFirst team all-CHN: David BrownCHN all-rookie team: Kyle Lawson; Kevin Deeth (honorable mention); Ryan Thang (honorable mention)
Inside College Hockey.com Coach of the Year: Jeff JacksonGoaltender of the Year: David BrownINCH.com first team All-American: David BrownINCH.com freshman All-American: Kyle Lawson
USCHO.com Coach of the Year: Jeff JacksonPlayer of the Year: David BrownDefensive Player of the Year: David BrownFirst team all-USCHO.com: David BrownThird team all-USCHO.com: Noah BabinUSCHO.com all-rookie team: Kyle Lawson