Feb. 2, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. –
– The Games: #6/#8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15-10-3/10-7-3-0) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (8-15-5/3-13-4-3)
– Date/Site/Time: Friday, February 3, 2012 – Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, February 4, 2012 – Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) – 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/Video: Notre Dame will provide live video streaming for both games of the Bowling Green series free of charge on the Notre Dame website at UND.com. Twitter: Follow the Irish hockey team on Twitter at ND_hockey.
THREE-GAME HOMESTAND: Notre Dame returns from the frozen tundra of Alaska to start a three-game homestand this weekend as the Irish play host to the Bowling Green Falcons on Feb. 3-4 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Game time on Friday and Saturday is set for 7:05 p.m. Notre Dame enters the month of February with eight games remaining on the regular-season schedule – five at home and three on the road. The Irish are coming off a weekend split in Fairbanks, Alaska where temperatures dipped as low as -52 last weekend. They dropped the series opener, 6-3, and then won the second game, 4-2. Notre Dame faces Bowling Green with an overall record of 15-10-3 and is currently 10-7-3-0 in the CCHA, good for 33 points and sixth place in the league standings. The Irish are two points behind fifth-place Lake Superior (35), and just four behind first-place Ferris State (37). Bowling Green enters the weekend coming off a split with Western Michigan. The Falcons dropped the series opener, 4-1, then bounced back with a 2-1 win over the Broncos on Saturday. Bowling Green is now 8-15-5 on the year and in 11th place in the CCHA with a 3-13-4-3 mark, good for 16 points. Following this weekend, Notre Dame closes out the homestand on Feb. 10 with Ferris State and then travels to Big Rapids, Mich., for game two versus the Bulldogs on Feb. 11.
IRISH VERSUS FALCONS: Notre Dame and Bowling Green have met twice this season in Ohio on Oct. 28-29 with the Irish winning both games, 3-1 and 3-2. The two teams have met 97 times in the all-time series with Notre Dame holding a 53-36-8 lead in those games to date. At Notre Dame, the Irish have a 29-12-5 advantage and are 11-0-1 versus the Falcons in games played on Irish home ice since the 2005-06 season. The last time the Irish lost on home ice to Bowling Green was Jan. 29, 2005, a 6-2 Falcon win. Since that loss, the Irish are 21-2-3 against the Falcons overall, including wins in the last five consecutive meetings. Notre Dame’s last loss to Bowling Green came on Nov. 5, 2010, a 3-2 loss at the BGSU Ice Arena.
ONE OF TEN FINALISTS: Notre Dame senior defenseman Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) has selected as one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award that honors student athletes who excel both on and off the ice and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Lorenz is a three-time monogram winner for the Irish and serves as one of Notre Dame’s alternate captains in 2011-12. He is coming off a career year as a junior (2010-11) for the Irish where he played in 44 games with career highs in goal (4), assists (11) and points (15) while being +33 on the year. He also was the CCHA defensive, defenseman of the year and the winner of Notre Dame’s William Donald Nyrop Award as the team’s top defenseman. Lorenz This season, Lorenz is second among Irish defensemen in scoring with three goals and 10 assists for 13 points and two game-winning goals. The Irish have had six players in the six-year history of the award make the list of 10 finalists. Former Notre Dame goaltender David Brown `07 won the award in 2007.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the series with Bowling Green ranked sixth in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and eighth in the USCHO.com poll. The Irish have been ranked in both polls all 17 weeks of the 2011-12 season.
TIGHT RACE: The race for first place in the CCHA is an interesting one as it heads into the final month of the regular season. Just nine points separate the top nine teams in the conference. As of Feb. 3, here are the standings with the teams points and games played to date.
PTS GP1. Ferris State 37 202. Miami 36 22 Western Michigan 36 20 Ohio State 36 225. Lake Superior 35 226. Notre Dame 33 207. Michigan 32 208. Michigan State 29 209. Northern Michigan 28 20
LEFTY FEST: Notre Dame will celebrate the life of former head coach Charles “Lefty” Smith and all the people that he had an impact on the weekend of Feb. 3-4 with “Lefty Fest.” Members of his family, friends and former players will be returning to the Notre Dame campus for the weekend.
Schedule of EventsFriday, Feb. 37:05 p.m. - Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green,Post-game Alumni Reception at Legends
Saturday, Feb. 41:00 p.m. - Alumni Hockey Game
2:00 to 3:00 p.m. - Tours of Compton Family Ice Arena and Lefty Smith Rink for Hockey Alumni, Family and Friends
2:30 to 3:30 p.m. - Open Skating at Compton Family Ice Arena for Hockey Alumni, Family and Friends
3:45 p.m. - Mass at Joyce Center Fieldhouse
4:15 p.m. - Dinner in the Monogram Room at Joyce Center
7:05 p.m. - Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green
Over 60 of Lefty Smith's former players are planning on attending. Leading a round table discussion at the dinner will be former players - Mike Collins `70, Don Lucia `81, Greg Meredith `80 and Brian Walsh `77. Prior to Friday night's game, Lefty Smith's children will drop the ceremonial first puck. On Saturday, members of the Boler and McCormack families, whose generosity made the Lefty Smith Rink possible, will drop the ceremonial first puck. Between the first and second period of Saturday's game, former players, trainers, managers and support staff from the Lefty Smith coaching era will be recognized on the ice.
ALASKA RECAP: Friday, Jan. 27 – Alaska’s Cody Kuynk scored two power-play goals and added an assist and goaltender Scott Greenham stopped 26 shots as the Nanooks handed Notre Dame a 6-3 loss on Friday night at the Carlson Center. Kunyk’s two goals came in a three-goal Alaska outburst in the second period that snapped a 2-2 tie. The Nanooks also got goals from Jarret Granberg, Justin Filzen, Andy Taranto and Chad Gehon in the win. Austin Wuthrich (Fr., Anchorage, Alaska), T.J. Tynan (So., Orland Park, Ill.) and Billy Maday (Sr., Burr Ridge, Ill.) scored for Notre Dame. Alaska opened the scoring at 13:53 of the first period when Granberg beat Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays (So., Anchorage, Alaska) for his seventh of the year. Wuthrich tied the game at 16:13 when he whipped a shot past Greenham from the right face-off dot for his seventh of the year. The Nanooks grabbed the lead right before the first intermission when Filzen beat Summerhays off a centering pass from Ron Meyers at 18:44 for a 2-1 lead. Tynan tied the game just 1:10 into the second period when he banged the rebound of a Sam Calabrese (Jr., Park Ridge, Ill.) shot past Greenham for his 10th of the year. From there, Kunyk took over, scoring on the power play at 6:12 to give Alaska a 3-2 advantage. He helped set up Taranto’s goal at 8:23 of the second to make it 4-2, chasing Summerhays from the goal in favor of Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.). Kunyk then closed out his three-point period when he scored his second power-play goal at 14:52, deflecting a Taranto shot past Johnson for his 11th of the year and a 5-2 Nanook lead. The Irish cut that lead to 5-3 just 1:05 into the third period when Maday scored on a 5-on-3 power play with Tynan and Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) getting their second points of the night. Gehon closed the scoring with his first goal of the season at 9:21 for the 6-3 win. Notre Dame out shot Alaska, 28-23 in the game. Summerhays finished with seven saves in 28:23 while Johnson had 10 saves in 31:37. Alaska was 2-for-4 on the power play while Notre Dame was 1-for-4.
Saturday, Jan. 28 – Notre Dame bounced back from Friday’s loss to Alaska with a 4-2 win at the Carlson Center to close out the weekend series. The Irish limited the Nanooks to 17 shots in the game and got goals from Nick Larson (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.), T.J. Tynan, Stephen Johns (So., Wampum, Pa.) and Riley Sheahan (Jr., St. Catharine’s, Ont.) in the win. Mike Johnson stopped 15-of-17 shots in the win. Jarret Granberg and Cody Kunyk had goals for Alaska. Notre Dame left wing Anders Lee turned in his second two-assist game of the series. The Irish got off to a fast start, with Larson scoring on the power play at 4:43 for his fourth of the season for a 1-0 lead. Alaska answered back just 27 seconds later when Granberg converted a 2-on-1 at 5:10 for his eighth goal of the season and second on the weekend. While the Irish dominated the shots in the first period (12-4), Alaska took a 2-1 lead at 14:27 when Kunyk scored his 13th goal of the season and third of the weekend beating Johnson inside the right post after an Irish turnover. The Irish would get just four shots in the second period but scored twice. Tynan got the equalizer, his 11th of the season, at 15:20 as he cashed in a give-and-go with Austin Wuthrich. Just 33 seconds later, Johns whipped a backhander under the crossbar at 15:53 for his third of the year to give Notre Dame the 3-2 lead. The score would stay that way until Sheahan scored into an open net at 19:27 of the third for his career-best eighth goal of the year. The Irish outshot Alaska, 23-17, in the game. Scott Greenham had 19 saves for the Nanooks.
ROLLER COASTER RIDE: The 2011-12 season has been a series of ups and downs for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. After starting the season with a 2-2-0 mark after the first four games, the Irish went on an 11-game unbeaten streak (8-0-3) from Oct. 21 through Nov. 25. Notre Dame then lost its next four games from Nov. 26 through Dec. 9. The season took an upturn on Dec. 10 as the Irish won the first of three in a row against ranked teams (Ferris State, Boston University and Minnesota) through Jan. 7. That was followed by back-to-back losses on Jan. 13-14 to Western Michigan. After a win at home against Michigan on Jan. 20, the Irish dropped decisions to the Wolverines and at Alaska before taking the second game of that series. Where does the ride go next?
SLOW STARTS: The Irish will be looking for a way to kickstart their offense the remainder of the season. In 16 of the team’s 28 games to date, Notre Dame has surrendered the first goal of the game. In those games, the Irish are now 7-8-1. When they score first, Notre Dame is 8-2-2 on the season.
SPECIAL TEAMS STRUGGLES: What a difference a few weeks makes. Going into the series with Western Michigan two weeks ago (Jan. 13-14), Notre Dame had the CCHA’s top power play and was on a roll killing penalties. Since then, the Irish special teams have fallen on hard times. Over the last six games, Notre Dame is just 3-for-23 (13.0%) on the power play and is 16-for-24 (75.0%) on the penalty kill. For the season, Notre Dame is 27-for-135 (20.0%) on the power play and has killed 85-of-106 power plays for a 80.2% success rate.
BACK ON TRACK: Junior goaltender Mike Johnson snapped a personal five-game losing streak with the 4-2 win on Jan. 28 against Alaska. The win was the first for Johnson since Nov. 25, when he took a 4-1 win at Lake Superior State. Prior to the five-game losing streak, Johnson had a personal-best 10-game unbeaten streak (7-0-3) from Oct. 14 to Nov. 25. For the season, Johnson is now 8-6-3 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage.
THE PLAYMAKER: Sophomore left wing Anders Lee, Notre Dame’s top goal scorer has become the team’s playmaker in the last three games. Lee, who leads the Irish with 14 goals, has a three-game point and assist streak, picking up five assists and five points since Jan. 21. For the year, Lee is second on the team in scoring with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points. In the CCHA, Lee is tied for third in goals (14) while his 27 points tie him for third in the league scoring race.
CENTURY CLUB: Senior forward Billy Maday inched a little closer to the 100-point mark with his eighth goal of the season in the 6-3 loss at Alaska on Jan. 27. He is on the verge of becoming the 46th player in the history of the Notre Dame hockey program to score 100 or more points in his career. He needs just two more points to reach the “Century Mark,” as he now has 41 goals and 57 assists for 98 career points in 141 games. Maday now has eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points on the year, his fourth season with 20 or more points for the Irish.
"Century Club" Name (Seasons) G A Pts1. Brian Walsh (1973-77) 89 145 2342. John Noble (1969-73) 81 145 2263. Eddie Bumbacco (1970-74) 103 117 220
40. Tim Reilly (1981-86) 43 65 10841. Aniket Dhadphale (1995-99) 61 44 10542. Bob Thebeau (1982-86) 40 63 10343. Kevin Hoene (1968-71) 50 51 101 Matt Hanzel (1985-89) 50 51 10145. Paul Clarke (1973-77) 38 62 100-- Billy Maday (2008- ) 41 57 98
HOBEY BAKER CANDIDATES: Notre Dame sophomores Anders Lee and T.J. Tynan are on the list of 77 players that have been nominated for the 2012 Hobey Baker Award. Fan voting for the award has begun at hobeybakeraward.com and will continue through March 1st. Lee leads the Irish in goals this season and is second on the team in scoring with 14 lamplighters and 13 assists for 27 points 28 games. Tynan is the top scorer on the Notre Dame roster with 11 goals and 25 assists for 36 points and leads the CCHA in scoring and is tied for seventh in the national scoring race.
ON A ROLL: Center T.J. Tynan has not missed a beat since returning from the World Junior Championships. Since Dec. 10, he has scored 11 points (5g, 6a), picking up points in seven of his last eight games. Michigan stopped his five-game point streak on Jan. 21. Tynan leads Notre Dame and the CCHA in scoring with nine goals and 24 assists for 33 points.
HOT HAND: Goaltender Steven Summerhays has started seven of Notre Dame’s last nine games going back to Dec. 10. In that span he is 4-3-0 with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. Versus Michigan, Summerhays started both games of the weekend series for the first time in his Irish career. On the season, he has appeared in 13 games, making nine starts and is 7-4-0 with a 2.76 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage.
SAM CAN: Junior defenseman Sam Calabrese is quietly having another strong season on the Notre Dame blue line. Through the first 28 games of the season, Calabrese leads all Irish defensemen in scoring with three goals and 12 assists for 15 points. The 12 assists equals a career high set as a sophomore in his first season playing full time. He led Notre Dame defensemen in scoring in 2010-11 when he had six goals and 12 assists for 18 point.
HOCKEY HUMANITARIAN AWARD: Senior defenseman Sean Lorenz was one of 23 nominees on the national level for the College Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented by BNY Wealth Management, but did not make it to the list of finalists announced at the end of January. The award is presented every year to college hockey’s finest citizen for their contributions to society in all areas. This is the 17th year for the Hockey Humanitarian Award that will be presented in a special ceremony on Friday, April 6th at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla. Lorenz is in his fourth season as a regular on the Notre Dame blue line and is in his first season as one of the team captains. He is currently second on the team in scoring among defensemen with three goals and 10 assists for 13 points with a power-play goal and two game winners in 26 games. For his career, he enters this weekend’s games with Alaska having played in 143 career games with nine goals and 25 assists for 34 points. As a junior, Lorenz was selected as the CCHA Defensive Defenseman of the Year and was Notre Dame’s winner of the William Donald Nyrop Award as the team’s top defenseman. Throughout his career, Lorenz has been heavily involved in Notre Dame’s community service projects and as a senior he is the team’s liaison to Notre Dame’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) that plans service work within the Notre Dame and local community for student athletes. That committee also works to initiate change within the athletic department to improve the student-athlete experience and relations in the community. For four years, the Littleton, Colo., native has has participated in the annual Buddy Walk for kids with Down’s syndrome and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walk. For the past three years, Lorenz and his teammates have worked with the South Bend Robinson Center, working with inner-city kids, teaching them how to play hockey. This year, the team has set up a program with Life Work’s Dream Teams to visit area schools to talk to kids about setting goals and striving for their dreams and adopted a local family for Christmas. The team also spends time with the Irish Youth Hockey League (IYHL), assisting with clinics and working with the younger kids in teaching them the finer points of the game of hockey. Off the ice, Lorenz has a 3.412 grade-point average in finance in the Mendoza College of Business and had a Dean’s List semester in the spring of 2011 when he turned in a 3.80 grade point for the semester.
ROAD DOGS: Following Notre Dame’s visit to frigid Alaska, the Irish are 6-5-3 on the road this season. In CCHA contests, the Irish are 4-4-3 away from the Compton Family Ice Arena. Notre Dame’s three non-league road games came at Minnesota- Duluth (a split) and at Minnesota (a win).
IRISH VERSUS TOP-RANKED TEAMS: With a split against Michigan (Jan. 20-21) Notre Dame improved to 8-6-3 versus ranked teams. The Irish are coming off a streak of eight straight games versus ranked teams (Dec. 9 to Jan. 21), going 4-4-0 in that streak. Versus ranked teams this season, the Irish are 6-3-1 at home and 2-3-2 on the road. In 2010-11, the Irish played 24 games versus nationally ranked teams and finished 11-9-4 for the year.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame is now 8-4-0 in its first 12 games at the new Compton Family Ice Arena and 9-5-0 on home ice this season. In the 12 games played at the Compton Family Ice Arena this season, Notre Dame has played in front of six sellout crowds of 5,022. In the 12 games at the CFIA to date, the Irish have drawn 52,808 for an average of 4,819 per game.
OVERTIME MAGIC: Five of Notre Dame’s nine games during the month of November ended in overtime. In those games, the Irish were 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.
POWER-PLAY POINT PRODUCERS: The Notre Dame roster includes five of the CCHA’s top seven power-play point producers this season. Leading the way is center T.J. Tynan who leads the conference with 17 points (5g, 12a) on the power play. He is followed in third by fellow center Riley Sheahan who has 13 power-play points (4g, 9a). Tied for fourth in the CCHA is left wing Anders Lee who has six goals and five assists for 11 points. Tied for seventh are senior left wing Billy Maday who has four goals and six assists for 10 points and freshman defenseman Robbie Russo (Fr., Westmont, Ill.) who has 10 points on three goals and seven assists.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich leads Notre Dame rookies in scoring with seven goals and eight assists for 15 points. That ties him for sixth in the CCHA among freshman scorers. Rookie defenseman Robbie Russo is right behind him with three goals and 10 assists for 13 points. That ties him for 12th among CCHA rookies in scoring and makes him the top scoring rookie defenseman in the CCHA this season. Wuthrich was recently ranked 73rd among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings. 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.
LEFTY SMITH: Former Irish head coach and college hockey coaching legend, Charles “Lefty” Smith passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 3 from natural causes. The 81-year old Smith was a native of South St. Paul, Minn., and was planning on traveling with the Irish to the Hall of Fame game last weekend to attend a dinner in his honorheld by the Notre Dame Club of Minnesota. Smith started the Notre Dame hockey program in 1968 and served as head coach for 19 years, retiring in 1987 with 307 career wins. Under his tutelage, Notre Dame produced six All-Americans — Eddie Bumbacco (1973), Bill Nyrop (1973), Jack Brownschidle (1976, 1977), Brian Walsh(1977), Greg Meredith (1980) and Kirt Bjork(1983)–and finished second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) twice (1972-73, 1976-77). He was named WCHA coach of the year following the1972-73 season. In 1981-82, the Irish moved to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) where Smith guided the Irish to the Great Lakes Invitational Championship and the CCHA championship game that season. Among players on that team was former Irish head coach Dave Poulin (current vice president of hockey operations for the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs). Smith remained the head coach through the 1986-87 season and retiredwith a career record of 307-320-30. In his 19 seasons, all 126 players who played for him completed their collegiate eligibility and earned college degrees. Smith served two years as president of the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) and also coached the Central team at the 1978 National Sports Festival. Eight members of that team would go on to be members of the gold-medal winning 1980 United States Olympic team. In 1992 he was inducted into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame and in 2003 was named a “Legend of Hockey” by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation. Smith and longtime Irish assistant Tim McNeill combined to start the Irish Youth Hockey League that first brought youth hockey to the South Bend area. Born Jan. 5, 1930, Smith got his start in coaching in South St. Paul, Minn., where he was instrumental in developing the fabled South St. Paul high school program before moving to South Bend. A 1951 graduate of St. Thomas University, where he was a standout hockey and baseball player, Smith became an assistant coach at South St. Paul in 1953 and took over as head coach in 1958. He remained there until 1968, turning in a record of201-69-11 before leaving to start the hockey program at Notre Dame. Smith and his late wife Mickey (Mary McNally of New Richmond, Wis.) are the parents of seven living children (the Smiths were preceded in death by a son Greg), 16 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
THE QUARTERBACK: Freshman defenseman Robbie Russo has quickly become the quarterback of the Notre Dame power play in his rookie season. The talented blueliner is tied for fourth on the team in power-play points with three goals and seven assists for 10 points. He is tied for second on the team among defensemen with three goals and 10 assists for 13 points. Russo is tied for 12th among rookie scorers in the CCHA and is the leading scorer among freshmen defensemen in the league. He picked up his second multiple-point game of the season with two assists in the 5-2 win over Boston University on Dec. 31.