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Irish Icers Close Out First Half Of 2009-10 Season With Home-And-Home Series Versus Michigan

Dec. 9, 2009

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Games: Notre Dame (7-7-4/4-4-4-2) at Michigan (8-8-0/4-6-0)

• Date/Site/Time:Friday, December 11, 2009 • Yost Arena • 7:35 p.m. Sunday, December 13, 2009 • Joyce Center • 4:05 p.m.

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM, starting with the pre-game show 20 minutes before the opening faceoff. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish.Television: Both games of the series are being televised live by Comcast and will be available in South Bend on Comcast Cable Channel 3.

• Internet: Audio: Both games of the Michigan series will have live audio streaming available free of charge at the Notre Dame website – Live stats are available at and on the CCHA website at

HOME-AND-HOME WITH MICHIGAN: Notre Dame and Michigan close out the first half of the 2009-10 season this weekend with a home-and-home series. On Friday night, Dec. 11, the teams will battle it out at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., in a 7:35 p.m. game. After a day off, the teams wrap up the series on Sunday, Dec. 13 in a 4:05 p.m. game. Both games will be televised by Comcast with the games carried in the Michiana area on South Bend Comcast Cable Channel 3. Fred Pletsch and Sean Ritchlin will call the action on Friday night with Pletsch and Lyle Phair handing the duties at the Joyce Center on Sunday afternoon. The Irish will look to get on the winning track again after suffering a pair of shutout losses at Miami (0-1, 0-4) last weekend. The losses dropped Notre Dame to 7-7-4 overall and 4-4-4-2 in the CCHA, good for 18 points and fifth-place tie with Northern Michigan. The Wolverines, who split a series at Ohio State, also are at .500 with an 8-8-0 mark. In conference action, the Wolverines are 4-6-0 for 12 points and are currently 10th in the CCHA race. Following this weekend’s action, the two teams will break for finals and the Christmas holidays. The Irish return to action on Jan. 2-3 in the Shillelagh Tournament while Michigan will play on Dec. 29-30 in the Great Lakes Invitational Tournament.

NOTRE DAME AND MICHIGAN: This series is Notre Dame’s longest running hockey rivalry as the teams have met 118 times with Michigan owning a 66-47-5 advantage. In Ann Arbor, the Wolverines are 36-22-3 versus the Irish. In South Bend, Michigan leads by a slim margin, 22-21-2. The teams met three times last season with the visiting team winning each regular-season games. The Wolverines took a 2-1 decision at the Joyce Center on Jan. 30 and the Irish won the following night, 3-2, at Yost Arena. In the third meeting, at Joe Louis Arena in the CCHA championship game, Notre Dame prevailed, 5-2. The Irish have won two straight in the series and three of the last four meetings. The two teams are cluster partners in the 2009-10 season and will meet again on Feb. 25-26 in a home-and-home series to close out the regular season schedule.

RUDE HOSTS: Since returning to the CCHA in 1992-93, the Irish have had their struggles at Yost Arena. In 27 games at Ann Arbor since returning to the league, Notre Dame is just 4-22-1 on Michigan home ice. The Irish are 2-2 at Yost over the last four meetings there.


Defenseman Joe Hartman scored the lone goal of the night, getting a short-handed tally at 18:42 of the first period and Miami held on for the 1-0 victory. Irish goaltender Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) stopped 25-of-26 shots in the game while Miami’s Cody Reichart stopped all 24 he faced to pick up the win. Notre Dame was 0-for-8 on the power play while Miami was 0-for-7.

Saturday, Dec. 5 –

The Miami RedHawks broke open a close game in the third period, scoring three times on the way to a 4-0 win over Notre Dame. For the second night in a row, goaltender Mike Johnson kept the Irish in the game, finishing with 32 saves as the RedHawks out shot Notre Dame by a 36-18 margin. Tommy Wingels gave Miami a 1-0 lead at 10:27 of the first period with a power-play goal. That broke a streak of 31-consecutive power plays killed by the Irish over the previous six games. Pat Cannone added a second power-play goal at 3:38 of the third and was followed by insurance goals from Carter Camper and Justin Vaive just 1:21 apart in the final five minutes for the 4-0 win. Connor Knapp made 18 saves for his second shutout of the season in the Miami goal. Notre Dame was 0-for-7 on the power play while Miami was 2-for-5.

DOUBLE BLANKINGS: The two shutouts by Miami marked the first time the Irish had been shutout in back-to-back games since Jan. 21-22, 2005 when Wisconsin blanked Notre Dame, 2-0 and 2-0. The last team to shut the Irish out was the RedHawks, who took a 2-0 decision on Oct. 24, 2008 to be the only team to shut Notre Dame out last season. The current Irish goal-less drought stands at 133:54 since their last goal on Nov. 28 by Ryan Thang (Sr., Edina, Minn.) at 11:06 of the third period in the 4-4 tie with Bowling Green.

PENALTY SHOTS: Miami’s Carter Camper was awarded a penalty shot at 2:09 of the second period in the Dec. 4 game with Miami against Notre Dame’s Mike Johnson. The penalty shot was the first faced by Johnson in his college career and he made the stop. The penalty shot was the first against the Irish since Feb. 28, 2003 when Western Michigan’s Vince Bellisimo was awarded one. Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey `05 made the stop in a game the Irish would lose, 4-2.

SWEEPLESS IN SOUTH BEND: Miami’s sweep against Notre Dame on Dec. 4-5 marked just the ninth time in the Jeff Jackson era (2005-) that the Irish have been swept in a two-game series. The RedHawks were the last team to do it, winning a pair from the Irish on Oct. 24-25, 2008 at the Joyce Center. Since Jackson took over, the Irish have been swept five times in 2005-06, twice in 2007-08, once last year and once this season.

SCORING DROUGHT: Through the first 18 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored a total of 38 goals. The Irish have scored goals via the power play in 13 of their first 18 games and going into this weekend’s series with Michigan have 18 power-play goals and one short-handed goal to go with 19 even-strength goals. Notre Dame has scored four or more goals in just two games this season. For the year, the Irish are averaging 2.11 goals-per game and the offensive attack is 52nd in the nation.

THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson has gotten his collegiate career off to a fast start through the first 18 games of the season. In 10 games, including nine starts, Johnson is 4-4-2 with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage with one shutout. Johnson recorded a shutout versus Providence College on Oct. 16 in his first career start. His 1.60 goals-against average is fourth in the nation and his .940 save percentage is third overall. In his nine starts, Johnson has given up 16 goals while the Irish have scored 14. BEST OF THE BEST: Over the past three-plus seasons, the Notre Dame hockey program is tops in the nation in wins and winning percentage followed by Michigan and Miami. Since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Irish have won 97 games and own a .707 winning percentage over that period. Notre Dame leads Michigan (96) in wins and winning percentage (.699). Miami has 91 wins and a .689 winning percentage. Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage since 2006-07.

WINS                    WINNING .PCTNotre Dame  97          Notre Dame (.707)Michigan  96            Michigan (.699)Miami  91               Miami (.689)North Dakota 85         Boston College (.647)Boston College 80       New Hampshire (.645)

STREAK SNAPPED: When Miami’s Tommy Wingels scored on the power play in the first period of the Dec. 5 game it snapped a streak of 31 consecutive penalties killed by Notre Dame penalty killers over six consecutive games. The RedHawks would add a second power-play tally in the 4-0 win, going 2-for-5 with the man advantage. Notre Dame is now 78-of-86 for a 90.7% success rate that ranks third in the CCHA and third in the nation.

DEFENSIVE DANDIES: Through the first 18 games this season, the Notre Dame defense has held opponents to two goals or less in 11 of them and has given up three or less in 16 of the 18 games. The four goals surrenderd to Miami on Dec. 5 marked just the second time this season that the Irish have given up four goals in a game. For the year, the Irish have given up just 35 goals for a 1.94 goals per game to rank fourth in the nation in team defense. The trio of Irish goaltenders – junior Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.), freshman Mike Johnson and senior Tommy O’Brien (Mokena, Ill.) own a 1.90 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage to go with the 7-7-4 record.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Notre Dame’s two road losses at Miami dropped the Irish to 2-3-1 this season away from the Joyce Center. Last season, the Irish were 14-2-2 on the road, the best road record in the program’s 42-year history.

CLOSE ONES: The Dec. 4, 1-0 loss to Miami, dropped Notre Dame to 2-5 in one-goal games this year. Last season, the Irish were 11-2 in games decided by one goal.

USA…USA…USA: Freshman right wing Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) is one of 29 players selected to the preliminary roster for the 2010 U.S. Junior National Team. The 29 players will participate in a three-day pre-tournament training camp Dec. 17-19 in Grand Forks, N.D. The tournament will run from Dec. 26, 2009 through Jan. 5, 2010 in Saskatoon and Regina, Sask. A 2009 first round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks, Palmieri has five goals and two assists for seven points in 17 games for the Irish. Since 2006-07, Notre Dame has had at least one player on the U.S. Junior National Team – Kyle Lawson (Sr., New Hudson, Mich.) in 2006-07, Ian Cole in `07-’08 and `08-’09 and Teddy Ruth (Jr., Naperville, Ill.) in `08-’09.

HIGHLY RANKED: Notre Dame freshman center Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine’s, Ont.) is the lone CCHA player with an A ranking in NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings of players in the NCAA. The highly ranked freshman has three goals and seven assists for 10 points in his first 18 games this season.

AT THE POLLS: Notre Dame’s 7-7-4 record has seen the Irish fall out of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings for the first time since the 2006-07 season, a span of 64 weeks. The Irish are currently ranked 18th in the poll. Notre Dame has been ranked in that poll for 65 consecutive weeks. Week-by-week with the Irish this season:

2009-10 Irish National RankingsDate        USA TODAY    USCHO.com10/5            5th          5th10/12           7th          7th10/19          10th          9th10/26          11th          8th11/2            9th          9th11/9            8th          8th11/16          14th         14th11/23          14th         13th11/30          15th         14th12/7            rv          18th

OVERTIME MARKS: Four of Notre Dame’s last five games have gone into overtime with one game decided in the extra session and three going to a shoot-out. For the season, the Irish are 1-0-4 in overtime games. In the four shoot-outs to date, Notre Dame is 2-2. The overtime win on Nov. 27 versus Bowling Green was the first for the Irish since Feb. 20, 2009 at Nebraska-Omaha, a 4-3 win. Notre Dame is now 3-0-7 in overtime since its last overtime loss, a 2-1 decision to Miami on March 21, 2008, in the CCHA semifinal game.

GOAL-SCORING MACHINE: Junior left wing Calle Ridderwall recorded his first career hat trick in Notre Dame’s 4-4 tie with Bowling Green and now leads the Irish with 10 goals on the season. He is currently tied second among CCHA goal scorers. His six power-play goals tie him for the lead in the CCHA and tie him for fifth nationally. Over the last two seasons, he has scored 27 goals for Notre Dame with 17 of them coming via the power play. Ridderwall’s hat trick on Nov. 28 was the first for an Irish player since Jan. 5, 2007 when Kevin Deeth (Sr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) scored three in a win over Robert Morris at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.

LENDING A HELPING HAND: Sophomore right wing Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) turned in a career high four-point and four-assist game in the 4-4 tie with Bowling Green. His previous best in both categories was two points and two assists. Maday’s four-assist game was the first by a Notre Dame player since Erik Condra `09 had four assists on March 9, 2007. The four-point game was the first by an Irish player since Ian Cole (Jr., Ann Arbor, Mich.) had four points (2g, 2a) on Feb. 13, 2009 versus Northern Michigan.

TOUGH TICKET: On Nov. 27 versus Bowling Green, Notre Dame recorded it seventh sellout crowd (2,857) in 11 home games this season. The Irish have now sold out 16 of their last 20 home games dating back to Dec. 13, 2008 versus Bowling Green. This season’s opening night crowd of 2,994 against Alabama-Huntsville is the largest crowd to see a home opener since 1995 as the building’s seating capacity was reconfigured following that year with 2,713 being a sellout since then. Through 11 games, the Irish are averaging 2,685 per game.

HOME ICE STRUGGLES: After going 1-0-1 versus Bowling Green (Nov. 27-28), the Irish are now 4-4-3 in their first 11 home games this season. During the 2008-09 campaign, the Irish were 13-3-2 at the Joyce Center and over the previous three seasons owned a 37-9-7 mark on home ice.

IRISH WINS VERSUS NO. 1: Notre Dame has faced the No. 1 team in the country twice this season, losing two games at Miami on Dec. 4-5. Here’s a list of previous Irish wins versus top-ranked teams. <>

 4/10/08 - vs. Michigan, 5-4 ot (at Frozen Four)10/9/07 - at Miami, 2-110/21/06 - vs. Boston College, 7-110/22/04 - vs. Boston College, 3-210/23/03 - at Boston College, 1-01/3/99 - at North Dakota, 4-311/20/78 - at Minnesota, 3-21/13/78 - vs. Denver, 5-31/18/74 - vs. Michigan Tech, 7-12/24/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 4-32/23/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 8-5

DEETH TOPS 100: Senior center Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) became the 44th player in the 42-year history of the Notre Dame hockey program to reach 100 points for his career on Oct. 23. His assist on Calle Ridderwall’s first-period goal gave Deeth 32 goals and 68 assists for his 100th career point. He reached that mark in 133 games. Deeth now has 106 career points and is 39th on the all-time points list. Right behind him is senior teammate Ryan Thang who has now played in 137 career games, scoring 51 goals with 46 assists for 97 points. He needs just four assists to join the 50/50 club for players with 50 goals and 50 assists in a career.

STEALING THE SHOW: Junior goaltender Brad Phillips made a career-high 34 saves as he handed the Boston University Terriers a 3-0 loss at Agganis Arena. Phillips got all the offensive support he needed in the second period when Billy Maday (So., Burr Ridge, Ill.) and Ben Ryan scored 12 seconds apart to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. Calle Ridderwall added a power-play goal in the third period for the 3-0 final score. Maday, Ryan and Ridderwall each had a goal and an assist in the game. Phillips made 27 of his 34 saves in the first and third periods, including 17 in the final stanza. BU out shot the Irish, 34-16, in the game. The win was the first-ever for the Friars against Boston University (1-2-0 all-time).

HERE COMES THE FUTURE: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson has announced that nine players have signed national letters-of-intent to begin playing hockey at Notre Dame over the next two seasons. The list included three defensemen and six forwards. The defensemen are Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.), Kevin Lind (Homer Glen, Ill.) and Jarred Tinordi (Millersville, Md.) and the forwards include Jeff Costello (Milwaukee, Wis.), David Gerths (Ankeny, Iowa), Anders Lee (Edina, Minn.), Garrett Peterson (Manhattan, Ill.), Bryan Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.). In making the announcement, Jackson said, “We’re very excited about this class of players and over the next two years they will have an impact on the next phase of our program. This class gives us a nice balance of skill, grit and size for the future.” Three members of the incoming class – Johns, Rust and Tinordi – play for USA Hockey’s National Team Developmental Program. The other six are all currently playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL). Two members of this group – Costello and Lee – have already been drafted by National Hockey League teams in the 2009 Entry Draft and four are currently listed by the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting in their preliminary rankings – Johns, Rust, Tinordi and Kevin Lind. For more information on the nine players check the Notre Dame website at

USHL                            GP     G     A   PTS    PIMJeff Costello - Cedar Rapids    18    10     8   18     52David Gerths - Lincoln          17     2     9   11     17Anders Lee - Green Bay          22    13    11   24     24Kevin Lind - Chicago            17     2     4    6     23Garrett Peterson - Lincoln      19     2     0    2     45T. J. Tynan - Des Moines        22     9    26   35     18
USA UNDER-18 GP G A PTS PIMStephen Johns 26 1 6 7 22Bryan Rust 26 10 8 18 10Jarred Tinordi 26 1 5 6 42

RING(EL) THE BELL: Sophomore defenseman Eric Ringel (Hinckley, Ohio) recorded his first career point with the Irish when he assisted on a Calle Ridderwall goal in the 4-4 tie with Bowling Green. After playing in just six games as a freshman, Ringel has become a regular on the Irish defense, playing in 17 of the team’s 18 games.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Notre Dame’s game versus Michigan State at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 22 marked the third time the Irish had played there. They are now 2-1 all-time at the Ft. Wayne building. Notre Dame first played there on Feb. 18, 2005, dropping a 9-2 decision to Michigan in front of 7,948 fans. The Irish returned on Dec. 30, 2006 and defeated Northern Michigan, 4-3, with a crowd of 3,134 on hand for the contest. This time, Notre Dame prevailed, 4-1, on Nov. 22 with a 3,572 in attendance. Notre Dame, the Allen Co. War Memorial Coliseum and the city of Ft. Wayne will serve as cohosts of the 2010 NCAA Hockey Midwest Regional on March 27-28, 2010.

IN A RUT: Notre Dame’s 4-1 win over Michigan State (Nov. 19) snapped a four-game winless skid (0-2-2) for the Irish. That was the longest winless streak since Feb. 16-Feb. 29, 2008 when they were 0-2-2 over that four-game span.

FRESHMEN SCORERS: Freshmen forwards Kyle Palmieri and Riley Sheahan each scored a goal in the 4-1 win over Michigan State. That marked the first time since the season opener that the dynamic duo each scored in the same game.