Junior center Kevin Deeth opened the 2008-09 season with a pair of assists in Hall of Fame game versus Denver.

Irish Icers Set To Open Home Schedule With Weekend Series Versus Sacred Heart

Oct. 15, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. –

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

• The Series: #8/#8 Notre Dame (0-1-0) vs. Sacred Heart University (0-2-0)

• Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., October 17-18, 2008 • Joyce Center (2,713) • 7:35 p.m./7:05 p.m.

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM in South Bend. Mike Lockert, now in his seventh season will call all the action for the Irish.

• Internet: All Notre Dame hockey games can be heard live on the internet via the Notre Dame website at www.und.com. All Irish home games not being televised also will be available through live video streaming at und.com.

HOME OPENER: Notre Dame will open its 41st season at the Joyce Center this weekend when the Irish play host to the Sacred Heart University Pioneers on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17-18. Game times at the Joyce Center are 7:35 p.m. on Friday night and 7:05 p.m. on Saturday night. The weekend will serve as Parent’s Weekend for the members of the Notre Dame team as their parents will be in attendance for the series. The Irish come into the Sacred Heart series with a record of 0-1-0 after dropping the season opener, a 5-2 loss at sixth-ranked Denver on Oct. 11. Sacred Heart enters the weekend with an 0-2-0 mark after dropping 4-1 and 4-3 (in overtime) decisions to Air Force in the Pioneers’ home opener last weekend. Those games started the Atlantic Hockey regular-season schedule for Sacred Heart. Notre Dame’s loss to Denver dropped the Irish to eighth in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CBS College Sports.com polls. Notre Dame enters the home opener with Sacred Heart with a 22-17-1 mark in the first 40 home openers in the program’s history.

MORE PIONEERS: The two games against Sacred Heart gives Notre Dame three consecutive games teams with the Pioneer nickname. This group of Pioneers hails from Fairfield, Conn., and are members of Atlantic Hockey. Sacred Heart’s program began in 1993-94 and played as a Division I Independent and members of the ECAC until 1998-99 when the Pioneers became members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). In 2003-04, Sacred Heart joined Atlantic Hockey and is now in its fifth season in the conference. Shaun Hannah became the head coach in 1996-97 and is in his 13th season behind the Pioneers’ bench. Last season, Sacred Heart played three teams that Notre Dame also faced – Mercyhurst, Rensselaer and Denver – and was 2-4-1 versus those teams. This season, the two teams have no common opponents. This is the first meeting between the two schools.

OPENING ACTS: Notre Dame’s season-opening loss at Denver drops the Irish to 20-19-2 all-time in season openers. In the first road game of the season, they are now 16-22-3 in 41 road openers. At home, Notre Dame owns a 22-17-1 mark in home lidlifters, going into Friday’s game with Sacred Heart.

HALL OF FAME RECAP: Notre Dame traveled to Denver, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 11 to face the Denver Pioneers in the annual USA Hockey Hall of Fame game. Denver would score four times in the third period to snap a 1-1 tie on the way to a 5-2 victory over the Irish. Freshmen Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) and Justin White (Sr., Traverse City, Mich.) scored for the Irish. Maday’s goal came at 3:30 of the first period and gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead. White’s goal came with 53 seconds left and closed the scoring in the game at 5-2. Junior center Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) assisted on both goals in the game. Luke Salazar (two goals), Tyler Ruegsegger, Patrick Wiercioch and Anthony Maiani scored for the Pioneers. Denver out shot Notre Dame by a 31-25 margin. Jordan Pearce (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) made 26 saves for the Irish while Marc Cheverie had 23 in the Pioneer goal. Denver was 2-for-8 on the power play while the Irish were 0-for-8 in the contest.

HALL OF FAME GAME: Notre Dame’s appearance in the USA Hockey Hall of Fame game marked the second appearance for the Irish in the game. On Oct. 7, 2000, the Irish lost to Minnesota, 7-3, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., in that year’s game. The Irish are now 0-2 in Hall of Fame game action.

THEY HAVE OUR NUMBER: Notre Dame’s loss to the University of Denver drops the Irish to just 10-35-3 all-time against the Pioneers. Playing at DU has been a problem for the Irish as they are now 2-22-2 in the all-time series at the Mile High City. The two teams were members of the WCHA from 1971-1981. Since leaving the WCHA following the 1980-81 season, the Irish are just 1-4-1 against Denver and 1-3-0 since Jeff Jackson took over as head coach in 2005-06.

NEW KIDS: Four freshmen made their collegiate debuts for Notre Dame at Denver. Forwards Billy Maday and Patrick Gaul (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and defensemen Nick Condon (Wausau, Wis.) and Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) all saw action in the game. Maday scored a goal, had two shots on net and was +1. Gaul had one minor penalty and was -1 for the night. Condon also had a minor penalty and was even while Lorenz was -1 in the game.

ON THE SIDELINES: The Irish will be without the services of sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) for the entire season. Phillips injured his right knee in the preseason and will be out of action for the year. He was 4-1-0 as a freshman with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.

CHECK IT OUT: The CCHA will be using the NHL-style shootout during 2008-09 conference games only. Following Saturday night’s game versus Sacred Heart, no matter what the final score is, the two teams will run a trial shootout to test all aspects of the new tiebreaking procedure and give fans the opportunity to see how it will work.

ON A ROLL: By making the start in the season opener at Denver, Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce has now started 20 consecutive games, dating back to Jan. 25 of last season. He also has apperared in 24 consecutive games, going back to Jan. 11 of last season. The last time that Pearce did not appear in a game for the Irish was Jan. 5 of last season, a 2-1 win at Northern Michigan with Brad Phillips in goal. In his 19 consecutive starts last season, Pearce was 9-7-3 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Over the 23 consecutive appearances, Pearce was 9-9-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

FOUR OR MORE: When the University of Denver scored four times in the third period of the 5-2 win on Oct. 11, it marked just the second time since the start of the 2005-06 season that the Irish had given up four goals in one period. The first time came on Nov. 4, 2005 when Notre Dame surrendered four goals in the third period to Michigan in an 8-5 loss. The four-goal period snaps a streak of 120 games where the Irish held opponents to three goals or less in a period. In fact, in those 120 games, the Irish had just five games (over three seasons) where opponents had three goals in one period. Last season the Irish surrendered five or more goals in a game just twice. They gave up five goals just once in 2006-07 and five times in 2005-06.

WINNING TEAMS: Notre Dame entered the 2008-09 season tied for the national lead in wins over the past two seasons with Michigan. The Irish and Wolverines each posted 59 wins from 2006-2008. Notre Dame’s .702 winning percentage since the 2006-07 season ranks the Irish third among all Division I teams in that two-year span. Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage.

Wins                         Winning Pct.Notre Dame  59               Michigan (.732)Michigan  59                 Miami (.708)Miami  57                    Notre Dame (.702)Boston College  54           New Hampshire (.695)North Dakota  52             Boston College (.680)

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: Nineteen of 22 athletics programs at the University of Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none were below 90 percent, according to the fourth year of Graduation Success Rate measurements developed by the NCAA and released on Oct. 11. None of the 119 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A) programs in the country had a higher percentage of 100 GSR scores than did Notre Dame with its .863 figure (19 of 22). This marked the third time in the four years of the survey that Notre Dame has ranked number one in percentage of teams with 100 scores. Here are the top 10 in that category (these are the only 10 institutions with 50 or more percent of their sports registering 100 marks):

Institution                  Pct         100 Scores/Sports Rated1.  Notre Dame              .863                 19/222.  Northwestern            .789                 15/193.  Boston College          .740                 20/274.  Duke                    .681                 15/225.  Vanderbilt              .667                  8/126.  Wake Forest             .642                  9/147.  Stanford                .629                 17/278.  U.S. Naval Academy      .578                 11/199.  Rice                    .539                  7/1310. Tulane                  .500                  6/12

NCAA figures showed that all 11 Irish women’s programs posted a GSR of 100 percent — basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Among Notre Dame’s men’s sports, baseball, basketball, cross country/track, fencing, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and tennis achieved 100 percent GSR scores. Ice hockey scored 96 percent, football scored 94 percent, and golf was at 90. Overall, that’s one more perfect score than a year ago for the Irish programs, after Notre Dame recorded 18 100 percent GSR scores (of 22 sports) in 2007. In 2005, among the 119 NCAA Division I-A football-playing institutions, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of its sports with 100 percent scores, with a .800 figure (16 of 20). The 2006 data put Notre Dame’s percentage at .773 (17 of 22), to rank second behind the U.S. Naval Academy. The 2007 data put Notre Dame’s percentage at .818 (18 of 22), which again ranked number one.

ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN HONORS: Goaltender Jordan Pearce was selected as an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American during the 2007-08 season. Pearce, with a double major in anthropology/pre-med, was a second team selection on the At-Large team. He owns a 3.816 grade-point average and has made the Dean’s List in four of his first six semesters. Pearce became the first Notre Dame hockey player to take Academic All-American honors since Dan Carlson `01 and the fifth player overall. He joins Carlson (third team), Andy Jurkowski `00 (third team), Forrest Karr `99 (second team) and Steve Noble `97 and `98 (first team and second team). Two other Irish players were selected to the all-Region V team in `07-’08 – Mark Van Guilder `08 and Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.)

BACK-TO-BACK: Following the 2007-08 CCHA regular season, goaltender Jordan Pearce won the league’s top goaltender award based on his 1.80 goals-against average in CCHA games. Pearce followed David Brown `07, who had a 1.77 goals-against average to win the 2006-07 award. This marks the fourth time since the 1982-83 season that the same school has won back-to-back goaltending titles with different goaltenders between the pipes. Pearce and Brown are joined on that list by:

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)

CAPTAINS: Senior right wing Erik Condra will serve as Notre Dame’s captain for the 2008-09 season. Joining Condra as alternate captains in `08-’09, are senior center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) along with junior left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) and junior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.). Condra served as an alternate captain in 2007-08 while this is the first season as captains for Hanson, Thang and Lawson.

CLUTCH SCORERS: Over the past two seasons, junior left wing Ryan Thang has led Notre Dame in game-winning goals with six in 2006-07 and five in 2007-08. Thang is already fifth all-time with 11 game-winning tallies. The career record for the Irish is 13 and is held by Rob Globke `04, Brian Urick `99 and Dave Poulin `82. Senior Erik Condra is tied for 10th on the all-time list with nine career game winners.

CRAFTY CONDRA: Erik Condra enters the 2008-09 season ranked 33rd on the school’s all-time scoring list with 35 goals and 85 assists for 120 career points. The crafty playmaker’s 85 assists ties him for 17th on the all-time assist list with his uncle, former All-American, Kirt Bjork `83

DOCTOR, DOCTOR: Seniors Erik Condra and Jordan Pearce don’t have much in common on the ice as one is known for shooting pucks and the other for stopping them. Off the ice, the senior duo have a great deal in common as they are both pre-med majors at Notre Dame, balancing the books and hockey and doing both rather well. Condra has a double major in psychology and pre-med whil Pearce has his double major in anthropology and pre-med. On the ice, Condra is the team’s top returning scorer as he led the Irish with 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points as a junior. Pearce started 43 games in goal for the Irish, going 23-15-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. He had the best goals against in the CCHA with a 1.80 mark in conference games. The native of Anchorage, Alaska was the team’s Most Valuable Player and won the Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award while being selected to the CCHA’s Scholar-Athlete team and a second team Academic All-American.

DROP THE PUCK: For the fourth year in a row, Notre Dame hockey opened its season with the annual “Drop The Puck Reception” at the Joyce Center for season ticket holders and fans. This year’s event was held on Oct. 6 and featured Brian Burke, the executive vice-president and general manager of the Anaheim Ducks and the G.M. of the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Burke joins former Detroit Red Wings’ player and current team vice-president Steve Yzerman (2007), Chicago Black Hawk and Versus/NBC TV analayst Ed Olczyk (2006) and Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, who handled the honors at the first Drop The Puck reception on Sept. 6, 2005 with over 400 fans in attendance. Bowman, who won nine Stanley Cups in his illustrious coaching career, also was invited by Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis to address his team at practice that day, just four days prior to the upset win at Michigan.

FAMILY GUYS: Three members of the Notre Dame hockey team – senior forwards Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Garrett Regan (Hastings, Minn.) and sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) – have family ties to the Irish athletics program. Condra’s uncle is All-American forward Kirt Bjork `83 who played at Notre Dame from 1979-83. He scored 76 goals with 85 assists for 161 career points in 141 career games. Bjork took All-America honors in 1983 when he had 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points. Regan’s uncle – Sean Regan – was a defenseman for the Irish from 1981-83 before finishing his career at the University of Minnesota. Phillips’ uncle, is former Irish quarterback Terry Andrysiak `89, who played at Notre Dame from 1985 to 1988.

FAMOUS FATHERS: Two members of the 2007-08 Notre Dame hockey team – senior center Christian Hanson and sophomore goaltender Brian Brooke (Eden Prairie, Minn.) – have hockey in their blood as their fathers played at the highest level in the National Hockey League. Hanson’s father, Dave Hanson, played 10 years of prossional hockey between 1974-75 and 1983-84, including stints with the Detroit Red Wings and the Minnesota North Stars and the World Hockey Association’s (WHA) Minnesota Fighting Saints and the New England Whalers. Fans might also be familiar with Dave Hanson, as one of the famed Hanson Brothers, made famous in the hockey movie – Slapshot. Hanson is still involved in hockey as he currently serves as the director of the Island Sports Center, home of Robert Morris University’s hockey team, in suburban Pittsburgh. Brooke’s father, Bob Brooke, played seven seasons in the NHL between 1984 and 1990 with the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and New Jersey. A 1983 hockey All-American at Yale, Brooke also was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team.

LEFTY’S RINK: When Notre Dame’s new ice hockey arena, located within the Joyce Center is built, the new ice hockey rink will be named the Charles W. “Lefty” Smith, Jr., Rink, in honor of the first coach in the program’s history, Charles “Lefty” Smith. The announcement was made in April of 2008 at the team’s annual awards banquet. The plans for naming the new ice surface in honor of Smith were made possible by the generosity of the John and Mary Jo Boler family of Inverness, Ill., and Sanibel Island, Fla., their daughter Jill Boler McCormack `84 and her husband, Dan; and their son Matthew Boler `88 and his wife, Christine. They were joined by the family of Frank `57 and Mary Beth O’Brien of Albany, N.Y., who have six children who all graduated from Notre Dame. Their late son, Frankie, played both lacrosse and hockey for the Irish from 1984-88. Smith came to Notre Dame in 1968 to start the varsity hockey program and coached the Irish for 19 years, retiring in 1987 with 307 career victories. Under his tutelage, Notre Dame produced six All-Americans but most importantly, all 126 student-athletes who played for him completed their collegiate eligibility and earned college degrees. Smith, who continues to work as the director of the Loftus Sports Center on campus, served two years as the president of the American Hockey Coaches Association. He was inducted into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992. He played an integral in bringing the International Special Olympics to Notre Dame in 1987. Married for 56 years, Lefty and his wife, Mickey, are parents of seven living children, with 16 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

FULL HOUSE: Notre Dame hockey games became a tough ticket during the 2007-08 season as the Irish closed out the regular season with seven consecutive sellouts (2,763) and for the year had sellouts in 11 of 18 home games. For the year, the Irish had 11 sellouts (2,763) in 17 home dates and averaged 2,683 fans per game, the most since the building was reconfigured to 2,713.

HOW SWEDE IT IS: Freshman left wing Calle Ridderwall obviously enjoys performing on the big stage. The native of Stockholm, Sweden saved his best for last during the 2007-08 season when he scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, five minutes into overtime to defeat Michigan, 5-4, in the semifinal game of the Frozen Four on April 10. Ridderwall came into the NCAA Tournament with just three goals on the year before scoring twice in one of the biggest wins in Irish hockey history. He finished the season with five goals and two assists for seven points.

HOMETOWNS: The 2008-09 Notre Dame hockey team features players from 10 states, one Canadian province and Sweden. Over the past 14 seasons, the Irish have had monogram winners from 21 different states and provinces – those listed below, plus: Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Sophomore Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm) become the first Notre Dame hockey players from Sweden during the 2007-08 season. <>2008-09 NOTRE DAME HOCKEY – BY STATE, COUNTRY OR PROVINCE:

Michigan (7): Erik Condra, Justin White, Brett Blatchford, Kyle Lawson, Ian Cole, Brad Phillips, Ben Ryan Illinois (4): Dan Kissel, Tom O’Brien, Teddy Ruth, Billy Maday Minnesota (3): Garrett Regan, Ryan Thang, Ryan Guentzel Colorado (2): Christiaan Minella, Sean Lorenz Pennsylvania (2): Christian Hanson, Patrick Gaul Wisconsin (2): Luke Lucyk, Nick Condon Alaska (1): Jordan Pearce New Jersey (1): Kyle Murphy Ohio (1): Eric Ringel Ontario (1): Richard Ryan Sweden (1): Calle Ridderwall Washington (1): Kevin Deeth

MINUTES MAN: Goaltender Jordan Pearce entered the 2007-08 season having played in just 12 games and 622 minutes in the first two years of his Irish hockey career. During the `07-’08 campaign, Pearce showed everyone that he could play as he set Notre Dame goaltending marks for games played (43), games started (42) and minutes played (2,557:46). He finished the season ranked second in the nation in minutes played behind Boston College’s John Muse who saw action in 2,725:06 minutes for the Eagles.

LEADER OF THE PACK: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson begins his fourth season behind the Irish bench in 2008-09. In his first three years he has compiled a 72-42-11 (.620) record, highlighted by a 32-7-3 mark in 2006-07 and last season’s 27-16-4 record on the way to the first-ever appearance for the Irish in the Frozen Four. The `06-’07 CCHA coach-of-the-year and Spencer Penrose Award winner as the national coach-of-the-year, Jackson enters the `08-’09 season with the best winning percentage among Division I coaches with five or more years. His current overall record stands at 254-94-36 for a .708 success rate. His 254 wins tie him for 17th on the list of active coaches. In six seasons at his previous collegiate stop – Lake Superior State (1990-96) – Jackson’s teams were 182-52-25 with two national championships, two CCHA regular-season titles and four CCHA tournament championships. Included in his 254 career wins are 46 postseason victories (46-14 in postseason) and a .767 winning percentage . In nine trips to the CCHA postseason, Jackson’s teams are 30-7 (.811). Those totals include a 24-2 mark at Lake Superior and a 6-5 record at Notre Dame. In those nine seasons, Jackson has seen his teams advance to the CCHA finals eight times, winning five tournament championships (four at Lake Superior and one at Notre Dame).

LORD STANLEY, LORD STANLEY: Former Irish defenseman Brett Lebda `04 became just the third player in Notre Dame hockey history to play on a Stanley Cup championship team when he helped the Detroit Red Wings to the 2008 Cup. The talented blueliner joins Bill Nyrop `74 and Don Jackson `78 on the list. Nyrop played on three Stanley Cup winners with the Montreal Canadiens (1975-78) and Jackson was a member of three Cup-winning teams with the Edmonton Oilers (1982-85).