Oct. 14, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Games: #7/#7 Notre Dame (1-1-0) vs. Providence College (1-0-0)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Thursday, October 9, 2009 â€¢ Joyce Center â€¢ 7:35 p.m. Friday, October 10, 2009 â€¢ Joyce Center Arena â€¢ 7:35 p.m.
â€¢ Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish.
â€¢ Internet: Both games of the series with Providence College will have live audio streamed on the Notre Dame website at und.com. Thursday's game will have live video streaming at und.com free of charge.
HERE COME THE FRIARS: The Providence College Friars will make their first-ever visit to the Joyce Center this Thursday-Friday, Oct. 15-16 for a pair of 7:35 p.m. games. The Friars are members of Hockey East and bring a 1-0-0 record into the weekend after defeating Holy Cross, 2-1, in their home opener on Sat., Oct. 10. The Irish will look to build on last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Alabama-Huntsville that gave Notre Dame a weekend split with the Chargers. The Irish will face Providence with a 1-1-0 record and are ranked seventh in the nation in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and seventh in the USCHO.com poll. Both games of the series will have live audio streamed on the Notre Dame website while Thursday’s game will provide live video streaming at und.com. Following this week’s series with Providence, the Irish will face a pair of Hockey East squads next week when they travel to Boston University on Tues., Oct. 20 for a 7:00 p.m. game versus the Terriers before returning home to face the Boston College Eagles at the Joyce Center on Fri., Oct. 23 at 7:35 p.m.
IRISH VERSUS FRIARS: The two teams have met three times in the all-time series with Notre Dame owning a 2-1 edge in those three games. This weekend’s series marks the first-ever visit by the Friars to the Joyce Center. The last meeting came on Nov. 8, 2008 at PC’s Schneider Arena with the Irish taking a 4-1 decision. Garrett Regan `09 scored twice in the game to give the Irish a 2-0 lead after two periods. The Friars’ Matt Berglund cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal at 8:47 of the third period before Calle Ridderwall (Jr., Stockholm, Sweden) and Ryan Thang (Sr., Edina, Minn.) closed the scoring. Jordan Pearce `09 made 26 saves in the win for the Irish. Notre Dame defeated Providence, 6-1, in Rhode Island in Oct. of 2006 and lost to the Friars, 2-1, in 1999 in the Denver Cup Tournament.
SWEEPLESS IN SOUTH BEND: After dropping the first game of the series with Alabama-Huntsville, Notre Dame found itself in a position that hasn’t happened very often over the last three seasons – looking at a possible opponent sweep. Since Jeff Jackson took over behind the Irish bench for the 2005-06 season, the Irish have lost back-to-back games on a weekend just eight times. Five of those series losses came during the 2005-06 season with two coming in 2007-08 and one last year (2008-09). The last time the Irish dropped a weekend series came on Oct. 24-25, 2008 when they lost twice to Miami at the Joyce Center.
ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE RECAP: Notre Dame and Alabama-Huntsville split a pair of games last weekend at the Joyce Center.
October 9, 2009 – Alabama-Huntsville’s Cody Campbell scored a power-play goal with five seconds left in the game to give the Chargers a 3-2 win over Notre Dame in the season opener for both teams. The Irish went into the third period with a 2-1 lead only to see UAH rally with two goals for the 3-2 victory. Notre Dame got on the scoreboard first as freshman Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine’s, Ont.) scored at 3:02 of the first period on the power play. The Chargers tied the game at 13:13 of the second period as Tom Train beat Brad Phillips (Jr., Farmington Hills, Mich.) to make it 1-1. A second Irish freshman would put Notre Dame ahead at 2-1 as Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) scored via the power play at 15:50 to give the Irish a one-goal lead at the second intermission. In the third, Justin Cseter tied the game, 2-2, at 8:01 to set up Campbell’s late-game heroics. Notre Dame out shot the Chargers, 41-31, in the game. Cameron Talbot made 39 saves in the game for UAH while Phillips finished with 28 on the night. The Irish were 2-for-4 on the power play while the Chargers were 1-for-5.
October 10, 2008 – Game two of the weekend series with Alabama-Birmingham provided better results for the Irish as the Irish defense got involved in the scoring. Defensemen Brett Blatchford (Sr., Temperance, Mich.) and Kyle Lawson (Sr., New Hudson, Mich.) each scored a goal and Kyle Palmieri had his second of the weekend in a 3-1 Notre Dame win. Senior goaltender Tom O’Brien (Mokena, Ill.) stopped 13-of-14 Alabama-Huntsville shots in the win. Blatchford scored his goal at 1:57 of the opening period on the power play, his first goal in 99 games, dating back to Jan. 20, 2007. That would be the lone goal of the first period. In the second, UAH’s Neil Ruffini converted a Notre Dame turnover into an unassisted goal at 2:01 of the period, beating O’Brien with a backhander. The Irish retook the lead at 19:33 of the second period. With the Irish killing the end of a five-minute major penalty Ian Cole (Jr., Ann Arbor, Mich.) whistled a shot past Talbot in the Charger goal. The puck came out to the left circle where Lawson fired it off Talbot’s skate for a short-handed game winner. Palmieri closed the scoring with his second goal of the weekend at 12:28 of the final period for the 3-1 win. Notre Dame fired 51 shots on goal to 14 for UAH. Talbot finished with 48 saves on the night. Notre Dame was 1-for-10 on the power play and 8-for-8 killing penalties in the game.
BACK BETWEEN THE PIPES: Junior goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) returned to the Irish lineup, making his first start in the season opener, since Jan. 19, 2008. The 6-2, 187-pound goaltender missed all of last season due to a knee injury suffered in the preseason that required surgery. Phillips, who made five starts in his freshman year (2007-08), stopped a career-high 28 shots in the 3-2 loss to Alabama-Huntsville. As a freshman, Phillips was 4-1-0 with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage to go with one shutout. FRESHMEN FIRSTS: Notre Dame freshmen forwards Riley Sheahan and Kyle Palmieri wasted little time getting on the scoresheet in the 3-2 loss to Alabama-Huntsville on Oct. 9. Sheahan scored on his first career shot, scoring on the power play at 3:02 of the first period to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead. He joins Billy Maday (So., Burr Ridge, Ill.) and Tim Wallace `06 as recent Notre Dame players to score on the first shots of their college careers. Palmieri joined in with a second-period power-play goal to get his first career score in his first game. He added a second goal on Saturday in the 3-1 victory. Palmieri led the team with 12 shots on goal for the weekend while Sheahan had 10 in the series.
BEST OFÃ¢â‚¬Ë†THEÃ¢â‚¬Ë†BEST: Over the past three seasons, the Notre Dame hockey program is tops in the nation. Since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Irish have won 91 games and own a .725 winning percentage over those three years. Notre Dame leads Michigan (89) in wins and winning percentage (.713). Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage since 2006-07.
WINS WINNINGÃ¢â‚¬Ë†.PCTNotre Dame 91 Notre Dame (.725)Michigan 89 Michigan (.713)Miami 82 Miami (.685)North Dakota 78 Boston Univ. (.665)Boston University 74 New Hampshire (.655)
OUT OF ACTION: Junior defenseman Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.) missed both games of the Alabama-Huntsville series with a lower body injury.
ELEVEN AND COUNTING: Notre Dame ran its streak of consecutive sellouts to 11 on Saturday night with a sellout crowd of 2,715. On Friday night, 2,994 fans attended the season opener versus Alabama-Huntsville. The Irish have sold out every home game since Dec. 13, 2008 against Bowling Green. Last season, Notre Dame played in front of a sold-out Joyce Center in 13 of its 18 home games. The opening night crowd of 2,994 is the largest crowd to see a home opener since 1995 as the buildings seating capacity was reconfigured following that year with 2,713 being a sellout since then.
LIGHTING THE LAMP: When senior defenseman Brett Blatchford scored his power-play goal in the first period of the Oct. 10 game with Alabama-Huntsville, it was his first time lighting the lamp since his freshman year. Blatchford’s last goal came on Jan. 20, 2007 when he scored versus Western Michigan. Since that goal, Blatchford went 99 games without a goal. The Temperance, Mich., native would rather set them up than score them as he now has three career goals to go with 54 assists for 57 points. He was second on the team in assists in 2008-09 when he had 25 helpers on the year.
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Notre Dame senior captain Ryan Thang has been named one of 20 nominees for the 2009-10 Lowes Senior CLASS Award. The award is given annually to an NCAA Division I student-athlete in nine sports based on achievement’s in the “Four C’s” of classroom, character, community and competition. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. Last season, two members of the Irish hockey team – Erik Condra `09 and Jordan Pearce `09 – were selected as one of 10 finalists for the honor. For the 2007-08 campaign, captain Mark Van Guilder `08 made it to the list of 10 finalists. For the 2006-07 season, goaltender David Brown `07 was selected as the first winner of the hockey award. The list of 20 candidates will be narrowed down midway through the season with the final 10 going on a ballot to select the national winner.
TWO WEEKS IN HOCKEY EAST: With this weekend’s games versus Providence College, the Irish are in the midst of a two-week stay in Hockey East. Next week, the Irish will travel to Boston University on Tues., Oct. 20 for a single game with the Terriers. On Friday, Oct. 23, Notre Dame will play host to Boston College at the Joyce Center. Following these four games, the Irish will have just two non-league games left on the docket with both of those coming in the Shillelagh Tournament versus Colgate and either Niagara or North Dakota.
CENTURY CLUB ADDITIONS: Two members of the 2009-10 Notre Dame hockey team are on the verge of moving into the “Century Club” for career points. Senior Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) comes into the weekend series with Providence having played in 129 career games, scoring 32 goals with 65 assists for 97 career points. Senior teammate Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) has played in 124 career games, scoring 48 goals with 46 assists for 94 points. To date, there are 43 players with 100 or more points in the Notre Dame record books.
CLOSE ONES: During the 2008-09 season, Notre Dame was 25-0-0 when leading after two periods of play. Already this season, the Irish are 1-1-0 after losing the season opener, 3-2, a game that Notre Dame led, 2-1, after two periods of play. Also during the `08-’09 season, the Irish were 11-2 in one-goal games. They are 0-1 after dropping the opener, 3-2.
NUMERO UNO: Notre Dame reached the top of the college hockey rankings twice during the 2008-09 season, marking the third and fourth time in the program’s 41-year history that the Irish sat atop the national polls. From Dec. 1 to Jan. 26 (seven weeks), Notre Dame was ranked first in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV polls. The Irish then reached the top spot one time in each poll the rest of the season – the week of Feb. 23 in the USA Today poll and the week of March 16 in the USCHO.com rankings. Previously, Notre Dame reached number one in the nation status during the 2006-07 season. The Irish moved into the top spot in both polls on Feb. 5, 2007 and remained there for seven consecutive weeks through March 25. The Irish finished the year ranked fourth in the USA Today poll that covers the entire season and finished number one in the USCHO.com poll that ended with the finish of the regular season. During the `07-’08 season, the Irish were ranked every week of the season for the first time in the program’s 41-year history. Going back to the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame has been ranked in both polls for 59 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch for the Irish icers.
CAPTAINS: Senior left wing Ryan Thang will serve as Notre Dame’s captain for the 2009-10 season. Joining Thang as alternate captains in `09-’10, are senior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.), senior center Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) and junior defenseman Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.). Thang and Lawson served as alternate captains in 2008-09, while this is the first season as captain for Deeth and Ruth.
SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS: During the 2008-09 season, Notre Dame excelled on special teams. The Irish led the nation in power-play percentage, going 51-for-226 for a 22.6% success rate. On the penalty kill, Notre Dame was third overall, giving up just 20 power-play goals in 190 chances for an 89.5% success rate, just .3% behind national leader Yale as the Bulldogs were at 89.8%. This season, the Irish are 3-for-14 with the power play for a 21.4% success rate. The penalty killers have killed 12-of-13 chances for a 92.3% success rate.
LEADERÃ¢â‚¬Ë†OFÃ¢â‚¬Ë†THEÃ¢â‚¬Ë†PACK: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson begins his fifth season behind the Irish bench in 2009-10. In his first four years he compiled a 103-48-14 (.667) record, highlighted by a 32-7-3 mark in `06-’07, a 27-16-4 record on the way to the first-ever Frozen Four appearance for the Irish in `07-’08 and last year’s 31-6-3 campaign. The `06-’07 CCHA coach-of-the-year and Spencer Penrose Award winner as the national coach-of-the-year, Jackson enters the `09-’10 season with the best winning percentage among Division I coaches with 10 or more years. His current overall record stands at 285-100-39 for a .718 success rate. His 285 wins rank him 12th 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 CCHAÃ¢â‚¬Ë†regular-season titles and four CCHA tournament championships. Included in his 285 career wins are 50 postseason victories (50-15 in postseason) and a .769 winning percentage. In 10 trips to the CCHA postseason, Jackson’s teams are 34-7 (.829). Ã¢â‚¬Ë†Those totals include a 24-2 mark at Lake Superior and a 10-5 record at Notre Dame. In those 10 seasons, Jackson has seen his teams advance to the CCHA finals nine times, winning six tournament championships (four at Lake Superior and two at Notre Dame).
STINGY IRISH: Over the last three seasons, the Irish have been ranked first in the nation twice in lowest goals-against average. For the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame was best in the nation with a 1.67 goals against. The Irish followed that in 2007-08 with a 2.13 goals-against average to rank fifth in the country and last year the goals-against average was best with a 1.73 average.
CLUTCHÃ¢â‚¬Ë†SCORER: During his first three seasons at Notre Dame, senior left wing Ryan Thang has proven to be a clutch player. In those three seasons, Thang has amassed 13 game-winning goals, getting six in 2006-07, five in 2007-08 and two last season. He is currently tied for the top spot with 13 game-winning goals. That ties him with Rob Globke `04, Brian Urick `99 and Dave Poulin `82, with all three having 13 game winners.
FAMILY GUYS: Three members of the Notre Dame hockey team – junior goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) and freshmen forwards Kevin Nugent (New Canaan, Conn.) and Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine’s, Ont.) – have family ties to the Irish athletics program. Phillips’ uncle is former Irish quarterback Terry Andrysiak `89, who played at Notre Dame from 1985 to 1988. Nugent’s father, Kevin Nugent, Sr. `78, played hockey for the Irish between 1974-78, scoring 54 goals with 75 assists for 129 career points. Kevin, Jr., becomes the second Notre Dame hockey player to follow his father to South Bend. He follows goaltender Rory Walsh `06 who followed his father, Brian Walsh `77 who was a teammate of the elder Nugent, playing for coach Lefty Smith. Sheahan is a second cousin of former Irish defenseman Brock Sheahan `08 who played for the Irish from 2004-08.
ALL-AMERICANS: Two Notre Dame players were selected AHCA/Reebok All-Americans following the 2008-09 season. Current junior defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was selected as a first team All-American while right wing Erik Condra `09 was selected second team. That marked the third time in the program’s history that the Irish had two players selected All-American in the same year. The previous times came in 1972-73 when Eddie Bumbacco `74 and Bill Nyrop `74 were chosen and again in 1976-77 when Jack Brownschidle `77 and Brian Walsh `77 were honored.
SHILLELAGH TOURNAMENT: Notre Dame will host the second ever Shillelagh Tournament on Jan. 2-3, 2010 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The tournament will feature North Dakota, Niagara and Colgate. On Saturday, Jan. 2, North Dakota and Niagara will meet in the 3:05 p.m. (CT) game with the Irish facing Colgate at 6:05 p.m. (CT). On Sunday, Jan. 3, Colgate will face either North Dakota or Niagara at 2:05 p.m. (CT) with Notre Dame playing either the Fighting Sioux or the Purple Eagles at 5:05 p.m. (CT). The Irish won the first tournament last season with 3-1 wins over Union College and Minnesota-Duluth in the championship game.