Junior right wing Bryan Rust's first-period goal gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead at Bowling Green.

Irish Icers Travel To Miami For Crucial Weekend Series Versus The RedHawks

Feb. 15, 2012

Notre Dame, Ind. –

Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

– The Games: #13/#13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (16-13-3/11-10-3-0) vs. rv/#19 Miami RedHawks (17-13-2/11-11-2-1)

– Date/Site/Time: Friday, February 17, 2012 – Steve Cady Arena (3,642) – 7:38 p.m.

Saturday, February 18, 2012 – Steve Cady Arena (3,642) – 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.

Television: Friday’s game at Miami will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Ben Holden, Jim Paradise and Shireen Saski describing the action and providing the analysis.

– Internet: Audio: Notre Dame will provide live audio for both games of the Miami series on the Notre Dame website at UND.com. Twitter: Follow the Irish hockey team on Twitter at ND_hockey.

THE STRETCH RUN: Notre Dame and Miami meet for the first time in 2011-12 this weekend – Feb. 17-18 – at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio. Friday night’s game has a 7:35 p.m. start time and will be televised by CBS Sports Network. Ben Holden, Jim Paradise and Shireen Saski will handle the play-by-play and color commentary. Game two of the series on Saturday night will start at 7:05 p.m. The Irish will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak that started on Feb. 4 with a loss to Bowling Green and continued last weekend as they were swept by Ferris State in a home-and-home series. Notre Dame is now 16-13-3 overall and 11-10-3-0 in the CCHA, good for 36 points and a seventh-place tie with Miami and Northern Michigan. The Irish start this weekend two points out of fifth place, three points out of fourth and five behind third-place Michigan with four regular-season games left to play. Miami enters the weekend with a 17-13-2 overall record and an 11-11-2-1 CCHA mark for 36 points. Notre Dame closes out the regular season next weekend at home with a pair of games versus Michigan State. Miami ends its season with a home-and-home series versus fourth-place Ohio State.

FIGHT TO THE FINISH: Here’s how the CCHA race stacks up going into this weekend’s action:

                             PTS     GP1.  Ferris State              47     242.  Western Michigan          42     243.  Michigan                  41     244.  Ohio State                39     265.  Michigan State            38     24    Lake Superior             38     247.  Notre Dame                36     24    Miami                     36     24    Northern Michigan         36     24
Ferris State: vs. BGSU (2), at WMU (2)Western Michigan: at LSSU (2), vs. FSU (2)Michigan: vs. NMU (2), at BGSU (2)Ohio State: Bye, at Miami, vs. MiamiMichigan State: vs. Alaska (2), at ND (2)Lake Superior: vs. WMU (2), at NMU (2)Notre Dame: at Miami (2), vs. MSU (2)Miami: vs. ND (2), vs. OSU, at OSUNo. Michigan: at UM (2), vs. LSSU (2)

IRISH VERSUS REDHAWKS: Notre Dame and Miami have met 62 times in the all-time series between the two schools. The RedHawks lead the series, 36-16-10. The two teams met five times last season with Miami taking the series, 2-1-2. In 2010-11, the teams split a pair of games at Steve Cady Arena in December, then had back-to-back ties at the Joyce Center in January. The RedHawks then took th series with a 6-2 win in the CCHA semifinals at Joe Louis Arena last March. At Oxford, Ohio, Miami is 19-9-2 in games versus the Irish. Notre Dame’s last win in Oxford came on Dec. 3, 2010, when the Irish won 5-4. They have gone 0-1 at Miami since that win, losing the following night, Dec. 4, 2010. Since the start of the 2007-08 season, the Irish are just 2-8-2 against the RedHawks overall.

RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the series with Miami ranked 13th in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and the USCHO.com poll. The Irish have been ranked in both polls all 19 weeks of the 2011-12 season. Miami enters the week receiving votes in the USA Today poll and is ranked 19th by the USCHO.com poll this week.

FERRIS STATE RECAP: Friday, February 10th – Junior left wing Kyle Bonis scored a pair of goals and senior goaltender Taylor Nelson stopped all 31 shots he faced as Ferris State handed Notre Dame a 3-0 shutout loss in front of a sellout crowd at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Derek Graham scored the fifth-ranked Bulldogs’ third goal of the night to hand the Irish their first shutout since Feb. 26, 2011, when Western Michigan blanked Notre Dame, 2-0, at the Joyce Center. Irish goaltender Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.) stopped 20-of-23 Ferris State shots in the game. The first period saw the two teams play it close to the vest, as there were just 10 shots in the opening stanza with each team getting five. Ferris State got the only goal it would need at 9:07 of the second period on the power play when Bonis grabbed a loose puck behind the Notre Dame goal, came out the right side and tucked a shot inside the right post to beat Johnson for his 14th goal of the season. The score would stay that way until late in the second when Bonis scored his second of the night at the end of a Ferris State power play at 19:07 when he fired the rebound of a Scott Czarnowczan shot past Johnson for his 15th of the year and a 2-0 Bulldog lead. Ferris State put the game out of reach at 5:38 of the final stanza when Graham scored off a rebound for his third goal of the season. Notre Dame out shot Ferris State, 31-23 in the game, including 16 shots in the third period but could not beat Nelson. The Bulldogs were 1-for-3 on the power play while the Irish were 0-for-4.

Saturday, February 11th – Five different Ferris State players lit the lamp and senior goaltender Taylor Nelson stopped 27-of-28 shots as the Bulldogs rolled to a 5-1 win over Notre Dame at Ewigleben Arena. Nate Milam, Chad Billins, Cory Kane, Derek Graham and Jordie Johnston scored for Ferris State while Riley Sheahan (Jr., St. Catharine’s, Ont.) had the lone Notre Dame goal. The Bulldogs out shot the Irish, 33-28, on the night. Steven Summerhays (So., Anchorage, Alaska) played the first 5:24 and gave up two goals with three saves to take the loss. Mike Johnson played the final 54:36, finishing with 25 saves in the game. Ferris State got off to a quick start, scoring twice in a 51-second span early in the first period. Milam put the Bulldogs ahead, 1-0, at 4:33 when he beat Summerhays off a face off. Center Cory Kane won a draw to the freshman right wing at the top of the right circle. Milam fired a low hard shot that beat Summerhays inside the left post for his second goal of the season. Just 51 seconds later Billins beat Summerhays from the high slot as he fired a wrister that the sophomore goaltender couldn’t stop. The goal was Billins’ seventh of the season and came at 5:24 to make it 2-0. Kyle Bonis and Derek Graham picked up assists on the goal. Notre Dame finally broke through on Nelson for the only time on the weekend in the Ferris goal. The senior blanked the Irish for almost four periods, before they converted on the power play at 19:54. Center Billy Maday (Sr., Burr Ridge, Ill.) won a face off in the left circle that Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) tapped back to defenseman Stephen Johns (So., Wampum, Pa.). Johns moved the puck to Sheahan at the center point and he drove a slap shot past Nelson for his ninth goal of the season to cut the lead to 2-1 going into the first intermission. The Irish would out shoot the Bulldogs, 12-11, in the middle period but the Bulldogs scored the lone goal when Kane scored off a deflection in front of Johnson. The sophomore center fired a shot at the Notre Dame goal that appeared to go off an Irish defenseman, deflecting past Johnson for Kane’s fifth goal of the season and a 3-1 lead. In the third period, Ferris State would add two more goals. At 9:47, with the teams skating four-on-four, freshman defenseman Jason Binkley fired a shot from the left boards. Graham was stationed in front and to the left of Johnson and deflected the shot over the Irish goaltender for his fourth goal of the season to make it 4-1. Johnston closed the scoring with a power-play goal at 11:10 for his 16th goal of the season and the Bulldogs had the 5-1 win.

COLD, HARD FACTS: Scoring goals has been a struggle for the Irish especially in the second half of the season. When the Irish score two goals or less in a game, they are 1-10-3 this season. When Notre Dame scores three goals or more in a game, the Irish are 15-3-0. The last time that Notre Dame had three or more goals in a game was on Jan. 28, a 4-2 win at Alaska.

ROLLER COASTER RIDE:  The 2011-12 season has been a series of ups and downs for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Here's how the Irish season has gone to date:
10/7-10/14: 2-2-010/21-11/25: 8-0-311/26-12/9: 0-4-012/10-1/7: 3-0-01/13-1/14: 0-2-01/20-2/4: 3-3-02/10-2/11: 0-2-0Totals 16-13-3

IRISH VERSUS TOP-RANKED TEAMS: After being swept last weekend by #5/#6 Ferris State, Notre Dame is now ranked 8-8-3 versus ranked teams this season. Versus the top seven teams in this week’s USCHO.com poll, the Irish are a combined 6-5-0.

1.  Ferris State (1-3)2.  Boston University (1-0)3.  Minnesota-Duluth (1-1)4.  Boston College (1-0)5.  Michigan (1-1)6.  UMass.-Lowell:  DNP7.  Minnesota (1-0)

Versus ranked teams overall this season, the Irish are 6-4-1 at home and 2-4-2 on the road. In 2010-11, the Irish played 24 games versus nationally ranked teams and finished 11-9-4 for the year.

BLANKED: Ferris State goaltender Taylor Nelson stopped all 31 shots he faced on Friday night on the way to a 3-0 win over Notre Dame. The last time that the Irish were shutout came on Feb. 26, 2011, a 2-0 shutout by Western Michigan at the Joyce Center. Bronco goaltender Jerry Kuhn made 35 saves in that win.

SWEPT AWAY: Ferris State’s sweep of the Irish marked the second time this season that Notre Dame was swept in a CCHA series. Western Michigan took two in a row against the Irish on Jan. 13-14. The last time that Notre Dame dropped two CCHA regular-season series came in the 2009-10 season when Notre Dame lost to Western Michigan (Feb. 5-6) and Ferris State (Jan. 9-10).

SLOW STARTS: The Irish will continue to look to get off to a fast start in games as they have now given up the first goal of the game in 18 of the team’s 32 games to date. When Notre Dame gives up the first goal of the game the Irish are now 7-10-1. When they score first, Notre Dame is 9-3-2 on the season.

EVER SINCE: Notre Dame opened the 2012 portion of the schedule with a big, 4-3 win at #5/#3 Minnesota on Jan. 7, a place they hadn’t won since Nov. 8, 1980. That win looked like it might springboard the Irish into a great second half. Since that win, though, Notre Dame has gone just 3-7-0, scoring just 19 goals (1.9 per game) while giving up 29 (2.9 per game).

SPECIAL TEAMS STRUGGLES: What a difference a few weeks makes. Going into the series with Western Michigan one month 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 10 games, Notre Dame is just 6-for-43 (13.9%) on the power play and is 29-for-39 (74.4%) on the penalty kill. For the season, Notre Dame is 30-for-155 (19.4%) on the power play and has killed 98-of-121 power plays for a 81.0% success rate.

GAMES PLAYED LIST: Two members of the Notre Dame hockey team have a chance to move into the top 10 on Notre Dame’s alltime games played list this season. Senior defenseman Sean Lorenz (Littleton Colo.) enters the weekend with Miami having played in 149 career games. Center Billy Maday has seen action in 145 games in his career.

Games PlayedName (Seasons)                     Games1.   Kevin Deeth (2006-10)          1642.   Mark Van Guilder (2004-08)     1633.   Kyle Lawson (2006-10)          161     Brock Sheahan (2004-08)        1615.   Ben Ryan (2007-11)             159     Ryan Thang (2006-10)           159     Erik Condra (2005-09)          1598.   Dan Carlson (1997-01)          1589.   Calle Ridderwall (2007-11)     156     Evan Nielsen (1999-03)         156--   Sean Lorenz (2008- )           149--   Billy Maday (2008- )           145

CLASS OF THE CLASS: Notre Dame senior defenseman Sean Lorenz 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.

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 16 assists for 30 points 32 games. Tynan is the top scorer on the Notre Dame roster with 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points and leads the CCHA in scoring and is tied for ninth in the national scoring race.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska) leads Notre Dame rookies in scoring with seven goals and nine assists for 16 points. That ties him for eighth in the CCHA among freshman scorers. Rookie defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) is right behind him with four goals and 10 assists for 14 points. That ties him for 13th among CCHA rookies in scoring and makes him the top scoring rookie defenseman in the CCHA this season. He also is tied for seventh in the CCHA among power-play scorers with four goals and seven assists for 11 points. 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.

GOOD FOR GERTHS: With assists in each game of the series against Bowling Green, center David Gerths (So., Ankeny, Iowa) snapped a 33-game point-scoring drought, notching his first two points of the season. Prior to his assist on Feb. 3, Gerths last scored on Feb. 19, 2011 when he had a goal and an assist versus Ferris State. The sophomore forward was held scoreless in the series against Ferris State (Feb. 10-11).

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 13 points (5g, 8a), picking up points in nine of his last 12 games. Michigan stopped a five-game point streak on Jan. 21, so he started another and had points in four straight (3g, 2a) before Ferris State kept him off the scoresheet last weekend. Tynan leads Notre Dame and the CCHA in scoring with 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points.

THE PLAYMAKER: Sophomore left wing Anders Lee, Notre Dame’s top goal scorer has become the team’s playmaker in the last seven games. Lee, who leads the Irish with 14 goals, has picked up eight assists, picking up a point in six of the team’s last seven games and is second in team scoring with 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points and ranks third in the CCHA in points. Lee has gone 11 games without a goal, last scoring on Dec. 31 when he scored twice against Boston University.

SAM CAN: Junior defenseman Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge, Ill.) is quietly having another strong season on the Notre Dame blue line. Through the first 32 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 points.

HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame is now 9-6-0 in its first 15 games at the new Compton Family Ice Arena and 10-6-0 on home ice this season. In the 15 games played at the Compton Family Ice Arena this season, Notre Dame has played in front of nine sellout crowds of 5,022, including the last five straight games. In the 15 games at the CFIA to date, the Irish have drawn 67,874 for an average of 4,860 per game.

ROAD DOGS: Following the Feb. 11, 5-1 loss at Ferris State, Notre Dame’ is now 6-6-3 on the road this season. In CCHA contests, the Irish are 4-5-3 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).