Nov. 23, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. –
– The Games: #3/#2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-2-3/6-1-3-0) vs. #14/#13 Lake Superior St. Lakers (9-3-2/5-2-1-1)
– Date/Site/Time: Friday-Saturday, November 25-26, 2011 – Taffy Abel Arena (4,000) – 7:05/7:05 p.m.
– Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Real Country 99.9 FM, starting with the pre-game show 20 minutes before the opening face off. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish.
– Internet: Audio: Notre Dame will stream the audio for the Lake Superior State series free of charge at und.com. Video: Live streaming video is available at americaone.com. This is a pay-per-view link. Twitter: Follow the Irish icers on Twitter at ND_hockey.
CLOSING OUT NOVEMBER: Notre Dame will close out the month of November where the Irish started it, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. On Nov. 4-5, Notre Dame traveled to Marquette, Mich., for two games with Northern Michigan. This weekend, Nov. 25-26, the Irish are further east, playing in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., with a pair of games versus the Lake Superior State Lakers. Game time both nights at Taffy Abel Arena is set for 7:05 p.m. Notre Dame’s two games at Lake Superior close out a streak of seven games in the last 15 days. In the first five games of that run of games, the Irish are 4-0-1. They close out the month in the midst of a 10-game unbeaten streak (7-0-3) that began on Oct. 21. During the streak, Notre Dame is 5-0- 0 at home and 2-0-3 on the road. Overall, the Irish are 9-2-3 and are 6-1-3-0 in the CCHA, good for 21 points. That puts Notre Dame in second place in the conference, two points behind first-place Ohio State. Lake Superior enters the weekend with a 9-3-2 overall record and a 5-2-1-1 league mark, good for 17 points and fourth place in CCHA play. Following this weekend’s action, the Irish return home to face Northeastern in a non-league series at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Dec. 2-3. Notre Dame will play four of its five games in December at home.
IRISH VERSUS LAKERS: The two teams have met 60 times in the all-time series with Notre Dame holding a 29-24-7 overall record. At Lake Superior, the Lakers are 13-10-3 all-time against the Irish. The two teams met five times in 2010-11, twice in the regular season and three times in the second round of the CCHA playoffs. Notre Dame won both regular-season games, taking a pair of 4-2 wins on Oct. 14-15 at the Joyce Center. The teams met in the CCHA playoffs at the Joyce Center where the Irish won game one in overtime, lost in game two and then won in game three, 4-2, to take the best-of-three series, two games to one. The last time the Irish won at Taffy Abel Arena was Jan 21, 2010, a 6-1 win. Since Dec. of 2005, the Irish and Lakers have met 17 times with Notre Dame holding a 13-1-3 advantage.
TUESDAY NIGHT HOCKEY: The Irish opened the week with a game at Western Michigan on Tuesday night that saw the Irish and Broncos battle to a 2-2 overtime tie. Western won the shootout, 2-0, to pick up the extra point in the standings. Austin Wuthrich (Fr., Anchorage, Alaska) and Bryan Rust (So., Novi, Mich.) scored for the Irish while Dennis Brown and J.J. Crew had the Bronco goals in regulation. Brown and Chase Balisy had the shootout goals for Western Michigan. Notre Dame out shot Western, 28-26, for the night. Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.) made 24 saves while Frank Slubowski had 26.
HOT IRISH: Notre Dame has a 10-game unbeaten streak (7-0-3) that started on Oct. 21 with a 5-2 win over Rensselaer. In that span, the Irish are unbeaten in eight CCHA games (5-0-3). Notre Dame is 5-0-0 during the streak at home (all games at the Compton Family Ice Arena) and 2-0-3 on the road. The 10-game unbeaten streak is the longest for the Irish since winning 10 straight from Feb. 13 to March 21, 2009. The 10-game streak ties for the fifth longest in school history. The next longest streak for Notre Dame is a 13-game unbeaten streak (10-0-3) from Dec. 11, 1968 to Jan. 20, 1969.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame and Lake Superior are each ranked this week in the two college hockey polls. The Irish opened the week of Nov. 21 ranked third in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and second in the USCHO.com polls. Lake Superior was ranked 14th in the USA Today poll and 13th by USCHO.com. The Lakers are the third consecutive opponent that Notre Dame has faced to be ranked, joining Western Michigan and Boston College.
OVERTIME MAGIC: Five of Notre Dame’s last seven games have gone to overtime during the month of November. In those games, the Irish are 2-0-3. Prior to the 2-2 tie with Western Michigan on Nov. 22, the Irish defeated Boston College, 3-2, in overtime. They also have an overtime win against Alaska (Nov. 12) and ties at Northern Michigan (Nov. 4-5). The tie with Western Michigan extended Notre Dame’s unbeaten streak in overtime to 26 games (7-0-19) with the streak going back to March 21, 2008 when the Irish lost in overtime (2-1) to Miami in the CCHA semifinals. The Irish have not lost a CCHA regular-season game in overtime since a Jan. 8, 2005, 2-1 loss at Lake Superior. Last season, Notre Dame was 2-0-5 in overtime and this year the Irish are 2-0-3.
SHOOTOUT BLUES: While the Irish have had success in overtime this season, taking a pair of wins, things aren’t quite as good in the shootout. Notre Dame is 0-3 in the shootout this season and, in fact, the Irish haven’t scored a goal in any of the three they have been in. Notre Dame is 0-for-8 in shots to date, while losing a pair of 1-0 decisions and a 2-0 verdict to Western Michigan on Nov. 22.
LOOKING FOR A HERO: Sophomore right wing Bryan Rust has been Notre Dame’s goal-scoring hero in each of the last two games. Trailing, 2-1, in the third period at Western Michigan on Nov. 22, Rust scored on the rebound of an Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) deflection with 6:11 left to tie the game at 2-2 and send it to overtime. That followed his big overtime game winner at Boston College on Nov. 18 when he scored with 1.1 seconds left to give Notre Dame a 3-2 overtime win against Boston College. For the season, Rust now has three goals with a pair of assists for five points.
THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich continues to impress in the early part of the season as he scored his fourth goal of the year in the 2-2 tie at Western Michigan. The 6-1, 196-pound forward now has three points (1g, 2a) in his last two games. Earlier, he set up a pair of Irish goals in the 3-2 overtime win versus Boston College. Wuthrich now has a pair of multi-point games this season and has four goals and five assists for nine points in 13 games. He recorded the first multiple-point game of his career in the win over Rensselaer on Oct. 21, assisting on a pair of goals. He was recently named to NHL Central Scouting’s NCAA Watch List as a B Skater in the CCHA. Wuthrich is also the answer to a Notre Dame trivial pursuit question – Who scored the last goal in the Joyce Center? Austin Wuthrich at 18:35 of the third period on Oct. 15.
A GAME TO REMEMBER: Notre Dame’s grand opening of the Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday, Nov. 18 in the “Dedication Game,” will long be remembered for the outstanding atmosphere and the dramatic overtime win for the Irish. Sophomore right wing Bryan Rust scored with 1.1 seconds left in overtime when his wrist shot from the slot deflected off goaltender Parker Milner and trickled across the crease to send a sellout crowd of 5,022 into a frenzy. Notre Dame also got goals from T.J. Tynan (So., Orland Park, Ill.) and Shayne Taker (So., Surrey, B.C.). Chris Kreider scored on a penalty shot for Boston College and Johnny Gaudreau tied the game with 2:10 left in the third period. Kreider gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead at 19:47 of the first when he was awarded a penalty shot after defenseman Stephen Johns (So., Wampum, Pa.) covered a loose puck in the crease. In the second period, Notre Dame took the lead, scoring twice. Tynan whipped a wrist shot past Milner from the bottom of the left circle at 6:54. Taker made it 2-1 when he converted a 2-on-1 with Riley Sheahan (Jr., St. Catharine’s, Ont.) tossing a backhander behind Milner for his second goal of the week. The score would remain 2-1 until 2:10 remained in regulation and Gaudreau tucked a rebound inside the right post to tie the game at 2-2. The Irish out shot Boston College, 35-34, in the game. Mike Johnson made 32 saves on the night as did Milner for the Eagles. Both teams were 0-3 on the power play.
NEW HOME SWEET HOME: With the win over Boston College on Nov. 18, Notre Dame improved to 5-0-0 at the Compton Family Ice Arena and 6-1-0 at home overall. That includes a 1-1 mark at the Joyce Center where the Irish split with Ohio State on Oct. 14-15. The Boston College game closed out a four-game homestand for Notre Dame that saw the Irish go 4-0-0.
SCORING MACHINE: Sophomore defenseman Shayne Taker (pronounced Tacker) scored his first career goal on Oct. 10, 2010 against Boston University in the Warrior Ice Breaker Classic. He then went 40 games without scoring a goal before scoring on Nov. 15 in the win over Western Michigan. He then scored his second goal in as many games when he converted a 2-on-1 with Riley Sheahan in the win over Boston College on Nov. 18. For his career, Taker now has three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 44 career games.
CCHA GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK: Junior goaltender Mike Johnson was selected as the CCHA goaltender of the week for the week ending Nov. 20. During the previous week, Johnson knocked off Western Michigan, 3-2, and then defeated Boston College, 3-2, in overtime. For the week, Johnson was 2-0-0 with a 1.93 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage.
STILL UNBEATEN: Junior goaltender Mike Johnson continued his hot hand in goal with 24 saves in the 2-2 tie at Western Michigan on Nov. 22. Johnson extended his personal best unbeaten streak to nine games (6-0-3), a streak that started on Oct. 21. In Johnson’s last 11 appearances, with 10 starts, he has played 605:40, giving up 20 goals with 205 saves for a 1.98 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. For the year, he is 6-1-3 with a 2.16 goals-against and a .906 save percentage.
SLOW STARTS: For some reason, Notre Dame has shown a penchant for getting off to a slow start in games this season. In the first 14 games of the season, the Irish have given up the first goal of the game eight times. In those games, Notre Dame is 6-1-1.
EVEN SLOWER STARTS: Notre Dame has trailed 2-0 in games four times this season and has rallied in three of them to be 3-1-0 in those contests. On Oct. 8 at Minnesota-Duluth, the Irish trailed 2-0 in the second period and rallied for a 5-3 win. On Oct. 14, Notre Dame trailed Ohio State, 2-0 in the first at home and came-from-behind to win 5-2. The following night, the Irish gave up two first-period goals and trailed 4-0 after two before scoring three in the third for a 4-3 loss. On Nov. 11, Alaska took a 2-0 lead 6:53 into the first period only to see Notre Dame rally for the 5-4 victory.
PENALTY SHOT UPDATE: Prior to Nov. 11, Notre Dame was involved in two penalty shots over the last two seasons – one in the 2010-11 season and one in the 2009-10 campaign. This season, the Irish have been involved in two penalty shots in the last 10 days. On Nov. 11, Riley Sheahan scored on a penalty shot, the first taken by a Notre Dame player since last Feb. 26 when T.J. Tynan was awarded a shot against Western Michigan. He was stopped in a 2-0 Bronco win. Then, on Nov. 18, Boston College’s Chris Kreider was awarded a penalty shot and scored on it, giving the Eagles a 1-0 first-period lead. The last time an Irish opponent took a penalty shot against Notre Dame was Dec. 4, 2009 when Miami’s Carter Camper was stopped by Mike Johnson in a 1-0 loss.
NATIONAL LEADERS: Center T.J. Tynan and left wing Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) are among the nation’s leaders in goals, assists, points and points per game leading into the Lake Superior series. Tynan currently leads the CCHA and is tied for the national lead with 21 points. His 1.62 points per game and 17 assists are tops in both the CCHA and the nation. Lee continues to lead the CCHA in goals with 12 and is tied for third nationally. He is tied for second in the CCHA in points with 18 and his five power-play goals are tops in the CCHA and tie him for third on the national level.
HERE COMES RILEY: While much of the attention in the scoring column has gone to T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee early in the season, a third member of the Irish attack has moved up the ranks to be third on the team and tied for sixth in the CCHA in scoring. Junior center Riley Sheahan, who started the season by missing the first two games with an injury has moved into a tie for sixth in scoring in the conference with four goals and nine assists for 13 points in his 12 games played. Sheahan picked up the first multiple-goal game of his career on Nov. 15 against Western Michigan. Already this season, the 6-2, 212-pound center has five multiple-point games and now has 10 for his career.
TURNING ON THE POWER: For the first time this season, Notre Dame was held without a power-play goal in back-to-back games as Boston College and Western Michigan each held the Irish scoreless in three chances. Prior to the Boston College game, Notre Dame had at least one power-play goal in 11 of 12 games with a season-high of three power-play goals in the Nov. 11 game with Alaska. The last time the Irish had three power-play goals in a game came on Jan. 7, 2011 when they were 3-for-7 in an 8-1 win at Northern Michigan. Notre Dame is now 14-for-65, a 21.5% success rate. That ranks the Irish second in the CCHA and tied for 15th on the national level.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Notre Dame has not surrendered a power-play goal since Alaska scored at 6:31 of the first period on Nov. 11. Since then, the Irish have killed eight straight power plays and over the last 12 games are 34-of-37 (91.9%). For the year, the Irish are 42-of-48, for an 87.5% success rate. That ranks them sixth in the CCHA and 14th in the nation in penalty killing.
GOING TO THE BULLPEN: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson made the call to the bullpen in the Nov. 11, 5-4 win, over Alaska, calling on sophomore Steven Summerhays (Anchorage, Alaska) to start the second period. The Nanooks dented Irish starter Mike Johnson for four goals in the first period. Summerhays played the final 40 minutes, stopping all 16 shots he faced to pick up his second win of the season as the Irish came-from-behind to take the 5-4 victory. The former Green Bay Gambler got the start on Saturday night and again was equal to the task, stopping 25-of-27 shots in the 3-2 overtime win. For the weekend, Summerhays played 104:18 and had a 1.15 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.
MADAY…MADAY…MADAY: Senior forward Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) had a strong weekend in the series with Alaska, scoring two key goals with an assist for three points. In Friday’s come-from-behind win, Notre Dame’s captain scored the all-important game-tying goal at 7:30 of the second period to make it 4-4 and then help set up defenseman Stephen Johns’ game winner at 19:12 of the third period. On Saturday night, Maday scored the game winner with 41 seconds left in overtime. He is currently fourth in scoring for the Irish with four goals and eight assists for 12 points.
CCHA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Center T.J. Tynan was named the CCHA offensive player of the week for the week ending Nov. 13 as he had a goal and four assists for five points in a weekend sweep of Alaska. In the Nov. 11, 5-4, win over the Nanooks, Tynan assisted on a pair of first-period power-play goals for a two-point game. The following night, the high-scoring center had a hand in all three Irish goals, scoring one and setting up two, as Notre Dame prevailed, 3-2. Tynan is the first Irish player to win a CCHA weekly award this season.