Ryan Thang recorded his third goal in as many games, but it wasn't enough as the Irish fell to fifth-ranked Denver, 3-1, on Friday night.

Irish Move Up To No. 2 In The National Rankings; Take To The Road For A Pair At Bowling Green

Jan. 31, 2007

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Series: #3/#3 Notre Dame (21-5-2/15-3-2) vs. Bowling Green (5-22-2/3-17-1)

• Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., February 2-3, 2007 • 7:05 p.m. • BGSU Ice Arena (5,000)

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert calls the action for the Irish.

• Internet: Irish hockey can be heard on the internet at the Notre Dame website – www.und.com. All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.

HEADING INTO THE HOMESTRETCH: Notre Dame moves into the month of February with eight games remaining on the schedule – four at home and four on the road. The Irish open the month on the road as they travel to Bowling Green for a pair of games with the Falcons on Feb. 2-3. Game time both nights at the BGSU Ice Arena is 7:05 p.m. Notre Dame will bring a 21-5-2 overall record to Bowling Green and is 15-3-2 in the CCHA, good for 32 points. That gives the Irish a three-point lead on second-place Miami (29) with two games in hand. Michigan (28) is four behind the Irish in third and Michigan State (25) is seven behind. Miami has played 22 league games while Michigan and Notre Dame have played 20. Michigan State has played 19 league games. The Irish come into the series ranked second in the nation in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV polls. This is the second time this year that the Irish have been as high as second, matching their rank on Jan. 2, 2007. Bowling Green comes into the weekend series with a 5-22-3 overall record and a 3-17-1 mark in the CCHA and are 12th in the league. The Falcons are coming off a loss (5-2) and a tie (2-2) at home versus Alaska last weekend. They are 0-7-1 in their last eight games.

NOTRE DAME VS. BOWLING GREEN: The two teams will meet for the third and fourth times this season and have already met 77 times in the all-time series with Notre Dame holding a 37-34-6 edge in the games played. At Bowling Green, the Falcons lead the series with a 22-14-2 edge. The teams met in November at the Joyce Center with the Irish taking 5-2 and 4-0 decisions. The Irish are 5-0-1 in the last six meetings with the Falcons and last won at the BGSU Ice Arena on Feb. 17, 2006, a 7-4 win.

BEATING THE BEST: With a win (4-1) and a tie (2-2) last weekend against #9/#8 Miami, Notre Dame improved its record to 9-1-1 this year versus teams ranked in the Top 15 when they played the Irish. Notre Dame is 5-0-1 versus the best teams at home and 4-1-0 on the road. The lone loss (2-0) came at Michigan State on Jan. 18. Since that game, the Irish are 7-0-1 against ranked teams.


Hobey Baker candidate David Brown leads the nation with 20 win this season. His 1.72 goals-against average is the best in the CCHA and second in the nation.



HOBEY HOPEFULS: Two Notre Dame players – goaltender David Brown (Sr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) and right wing Mark Van Guilder (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) – are among 40 players listed by the Hobey Baker Award website as candidate’s for the prestigious honor. Phase one of – Vote For Hobey – is now underway. Fans now have the opportunity to select their favorite candidate for the list of top ten finalists on the new Hobey Baker Award website (www.hobeybaker.com). Fans may vote for one candidate at a time, but can vote multiple times per day. The standings will run concurrently on the Hobey Baker website. Voting in phase one will end on March 4. Phase two will begin on March 15 after the top ten finalists have been announced. To vote, visit the Vote For Hobey link on the Hobey Baker website, or just click on the Vote For Hobey button on the site’s homepage.

David Brown: Brown comes into the Bowling Green series with a 20-4-2 record to go with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. His 20 wins lead the nation while his goals against leads the CCHA and is second in the country. Brown’s save percentage is second in the conference and eighth nationally. He has led the Irish to the best defense in the nation, giving up just 1.74 goals-per game. He is tied for the CCHA lead with three shutouts and is tied for fifth in the nation in that category. In his last three games, Brown is 2-0-1 with a 0.97 goals-against average and a .962 save percentage and one shutout. Brown is currently ranked first by Inside College Hockey.com’s Hobey Tracker and second by CSTV.com’s Hobey Watch.


Mark Van Guilder scored key goals in each of the games of the Miami series. He is tied for the team lead with 15 goals, a career high for the junior forward.



Mark Van Guilder: Van Guilder got the Notre Dame offense going in both games of the Miami series with a goal in each contest. On Friday night, his goal just 1:56 into the game started the Irish off on the way to a 3-0 lead after one period.On Saturday, his third-period, power-play goal with under seven minutes left snapped Jeff Zatkoff’s shutout bid and led the Irish rally in the 2-2 tie. For the year, he is tied for the team lead with 15 goals and his 28 points are tied for second on the Irish ledger. Both are career highs for the junior right wing.

MIAMI RECAP: Notre Dame took three of four points from the RedHawks on the weekend, taking a 4-1 decision on Friday night and a 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday. Both games were played in front of sellout crowds (2,763) at the Joyce Center. On Friday night, Notre Dame Hobey Baker candidate David Brown (Sr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) made 26 saves and freshman Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) scored a pair of power-play goals as the Irish downed Miami, 4-1. Mark Van Guilder (Jr., Hastings, Minn.) and Dan Kissel (Fr., Crestwood, Ill.) also scored for the Irish. Notre Dame jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Van Guilder (1:56), Kissel (4:54) and Thang (10:23). Thang’s second goal of the night at 5:29 of the second period made it 4-0 and chased Miami goaltender Charlie Effinger in favor of Jeff Zatkoff. The RedHawks got their only goal of the night at 11:27 of the second period on a Ryan Jones power-play goal for the 4-1 final score. Miami outshot Notre Dame, 27-25 in the game. Effinger finished with eight saves while Zatkoff made 13. The Irish were 2-for-7 on the power play while Miami was 1-for-6. Saturday night, the RedHawks stifled Notre Dame’s offensive attack, holding the Irish off the scoreboard for over 53 minutes while building a 2-0 lead. Jones got his second goal of the weekend at 17:48 of the first period to make it 1-0. He then set up a Brian Kaufman goal at 16:36 to give Miami the 2-0 lead. Through two periods, Notre Dame mustered just 15 shots on goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. That would change in the third period when the Irish fired 19 shots on goal, scoring twice. Van Guilder broke the shutout bid at 13:16 of the third with a power-play goal when he redirected a Wes O’Neill (Sr., Essex, Ont.) pass inside the left post for his 15th of the year. At 17:43, Kevin Deeth (Fr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) got the game-tying goal after Erik Condra (So., Livonia, Mich.) poked a loose puck in front of the goal. The goal was Deeth’s 12th of the season. The Irish out shot the RedHawks, 36-26 in the game. Zatkoff finished with 34 saves while Brown had 24.

GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK: For the third time this season, Notre Dame goaltender and Hobey Baker candidate David Brown has been selected as the CCHA goaltender of the week. Brown stopped 50-of-53 shots (.943) in the weekend series with Miami, giving up just three goals in the win and tie. He was selected goaltender of the week previously on Oct. 23 and Nov. 6.

CCHA WINS: Notre Dame now has 15 wins in the CCHA (15-3-1) to tie its record for league wins. The mark was set twice in the program’s history in 1981-82 (15-13-2) and in 1998-99 (15-11-4). The Irish have eight more CCHA games remaining this season.

KID STUFF: Notre Dame’s freshman class continues to excel on the ice and played a key role in the three-point weekend with Miami. The group had four goals and four assists on the weekend, including three goals and four assists in the 4-1 win on Friday, Jan. 26. In the first 28 games, the freshmen have combined for 38 goals and 56 assists for 94 points, 13 power-play goals, three short-handed tallies, nine game-winning goals and are a combined +69. Leading the way are Kevin Deeth (12g, 16a) and Ryan Thang (15g, 12a) with 28 and 27 points respectively. Thang leads the team with seven power-play goals and is followed by Deeth with five. Thang’s four game-winning goals ties him for the team lead and is third in the CCHA and fourth in the nation. Defenseman Kyle Lawson has become a force on the Irish blue line with three goals and 12 assists on the year and is second on the team with a +17. Fellow blueliner Brett Blatchford has 12 points on two goals and 10 assists and is +10. Left wing Dan Kissel has five goals and three assists for eight points in 14 games. Christian Minella (1g, 3a) scored his first goal in his first game against Bowling Green and added a two-assists game versus Alaska for four points on the year. The freshman class has accounted for nine of Notre Dame’s 21 game-winning goals (Thang – 4, Kissel – 3 and Blatchford and Deeth with one each).

JOYCE CENTER SELLOUTS: With two soldout crowds versus Miami (2,763), the Irish have now had sellouts in four of their last five games dating back to Dec. 10. For the year, the Irish have had five sellouts at the Joyce Center and are averaging 2,322 fans per game for the year.

CONDRA BESTS: Sophomore right wing Erik Condra reached a career high with his assist that set up Kevin Deeth’s game-tying goal in the 2-2 tie with Miami. The assist gave Condra a career-high 35 points on 11 goals and 24 assists. His goal (11) and point totals are career highs. Last season as a freshman, he led Notre Dame in scoring with six goals and 28 assists for 34 points.

THE REAL THANG: Freshman right wing Ryan Thang scored two goals in Friday’s 4-1 win to take a share of the team’s goal-scoring lead with Mark Van Guilder as each now have 15. He also leads the Irish with seven power-play goals and is tied for the team lead with four game winners. His 15 goals rank him second among CCHA freshman, one behind Western Michigan’s Mark Letestu.

CLUTCH SCORER: Freshman Dan Kissel picked up his fifth goal of the season in the 4-1 win against Miami on Friday night. The goal also proved to be the game winner. On the season in 14 games, Kissel has three game winners among his five goals scored.

THE PUCK STOPS HERE: Irish goaltender David Brown recorded his 20th win with Friday’s 4-1 victory over Miami to become just the third goaltender in the program’s history to win 20 games in one season. He joins Mark Kronholm (20 in 1972-73) and Lance Madson (24 in 1987-88) as 20-win goaltenders for the Irish.

PENALTY-KILLING PROWESS: Over the last five games, Notre Dame has given up just one power-play goal (Miami 1/26) in 29 opponent chances (96.6%). Against Miami, the Irish killed 10-of-11 RedHawk power plays. On the year, Notre Dame has given up just two power-play goals in a game twice (to Minnesota State and Robert Morris, both losses). Overall, the Irish have killed 130-of-144 power plays for a 90.3% success rate that leads the CCHA and is second in the country.

21 WINS: With their record standing at 21-5-3 overall, the Irish now have their eighth 20-win season in the 39-year history of the program. Only five of those teams have won more than 21 games – `87-’88 (27); `81-’82 (23); `72-’73 (23); `83-’84 (22) and `76-’77 (22).

FRIDAY NIGHT FUN: Notre Dame’s 3-2 loss at Western Michigan on Jan. 19 marked the first time the Irish lost the opening game of a CCHA series this season. Notre Dame is now 9-1-0 in the first game of the series and 6-2-2 in the second game.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Through the first 28 games of the season, Notre Dame has surrendered the first goal of the game just seven times this season and are 4-2-1 when they opposition takes the first lead. The Irish are 17-3-1 when they score the first goal of a game.

SICK BAY: The Irish will be without the services of sophomore center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) for the series with Western Michigan. Hanson is sidelined with mononucleosis and is expected to miss three to four weeks of action.

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU: Senior goaltender David Brown continues to be one of the leading contenders for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award for college hockey’s top player. Brown bounced back from his first loss in 10 games (3-2 on Jan. 19 at Western Michigan) to record his third shutout of the season, winning at Western, 3-0 on Jan. 20. Over his last three games since the loss, Brown is 2-0-1 with a 0.97 goals-against average and a .962 save percentage. Prior to the Jan. 19 loss, Brown had not lost a game since Nov. 25 at Nebraska-Omaha. In his nine-game winning streak, Brown has a 2.21 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. Overall, he has now appeared in 26 of Notre Dame’s 28 games and has a 1.72 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage to go with an 20-4-2 record. The Hobey Baker candidate is first among CCHA goaltenders in wins (20) and goals-against average (1.72), second in save percentage (.928) and third in minutes played (1,574:04). He ranks first nationally in wins, second in goals-against average, third in minutes played and eighth in save percentage. His .808 winning percentage is first in the CCHA and third nationally. Brown and the Irish defense are second in the nation, giving up just 1.74 goals-per-game (52 in 28 contests). The senior goaltender now has 45 career wins at Notre Dame to rank third on the all-time wins list. A three-time CCHA goaltender of the week (Oct. 23, Nov. 6 and Jan. 29), Brown was also the all-tournament goaltender at the Lightning College Hockey Classic. This season, Brown has taken over Notre Dame’s all-time top spot for career goals-against average (2.48), save percentage (.914) and shutouts (9).

COMING FROM BEHIND: Four times this season, Notre Dame has rallied from a third-period deficit to win or tie a game. On Dec. 2 versus Alaska, the Irish trailed 1-0 going into the third period and scored three times for a 3-1 win. On Dec. 10, ND trailed Michigan, 3-2, entering the third period and scored twice for a 4-3 win. On Dec. 30, the Irish trailed Northern Michigan, 2-1 entering the third and scored three times in a 4-3 win. Last weekend, Notre Dame trailed Miami, 2-0 entering the third and scored twice for a 2-2 tie. On the year, when trailing going into the third period, the Irish are 3-3-1.

THE KID LINE: Notre Dame’s line of Ryan Thang, Kevin Deeth and Erik Condra (two freshmen and a sophomore) has been the team’s top scoring trio this season. The threesome was split up for the Jan. 20 game at Western Michigan for the first time all season, but was reunited in the third period and on power plays and accounted for Condra’s 11th goal of the season in the third period. Against Miami, they were together again and had three goals and two assists. For the season the trio now has 38 goals and 52 assists for 90 points. Included in the 38 goals are 16 power-play goals, three short-handed goals and nine game winners. The three players are a combined +50. Condra and Deeth are tied for the CCHA lead with a +19 while Thang is tied for eighth with a +14.

LATEST FOR FIRST: With a 15-3-2 record in the CCHA, Notre Dame finds itself in first place in the CCHA standings, three points ahead of second-place Miami with two games in hand. This is the latest in the season that any Notre Dame team has been in first place in the CCHA. The previous late date for the Irish to be in first place was Dec. 8, 2003 when the Irish were tied for first with Ohio State.

CCHA WINNING STREAK: Notre Dame saw its eight-game CCHA winning streak come to an end with the 3-2 loss at Western Michigan on Jan. 19. The streak started on Dec. 2 versus Alaska and included two wins versus the Nanooks, two versus Michigan, two against Northern Michigan and a pair versus Lake Superior State. The streak was the longest conference win streak for the Irish in their 17 years (1981-83, 1992-07) in the league. The previous best win streaks were five games (Oct. 9-Oct. 23, 1998 and Feb. 9-Mar. 2, 2002).

BETTER THAN LAST YEAR: With 105 goals in the first 28 games this season (3.75 goals-per-game), Notre Dame has already surpassed its goal total from a year ago when the Irish had 89 goals in 36 games for a 2.47 goals-per-game average. The last time the Irish averaged more than 3.75 goals-per-game was 1990-91 (4.06). This year’s Irish offense ranks sixth in the nation and the +2.00 goals margin of victory is second best in the country.

ON A TEAR: Sophomore left wing Garrett Regan has points in 12 of his last 15 games (7g, 7a) as his most recent three-game point streak (2-1-3) was stopped on Jan. 20 at Western Michigan. Earlier this season, Regan had a team and personal best seven-game point streak (5g, 5a) from 11/25 to 12/31. Regan is now fifth on the team in scoring with career highs in goals (10), assists (8) and points (18). As a freshman, Regan had three goals and four assists for seven points in 30 games.

MR. STEADY: Junior Mark Van Guilder continues to be Notre Dame’s steadiest player as he is tied for second on the team in goals (15) and points (28) and is sixth with a +12. The Hobey Baker Award candidate has been held off the scoresheet just 10 times this season and he leads the Irish with eight multiple-point games on the year. Prior to the series with Alaska (Dec. 2-3), Van Guilder moved from center to right wing and responded with three goals against the Nanooks. His 15 goals are a career high, surpassing his eight goals of a year ago. The Roseville, Minn., native now has his eyes set on Notre Dame’s “Iron Man” record of 153 consecutive games, set by Tim Wallace (2002-06) as he has now played in 102 consecutive games in his career.

SCORING IN BUNCHES: Through the first 28 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored two or more goals in a period a total of 30 times, including three first-period goals against Miami on 1/26 and two third period goals in the 1/27 game. That includes 19 periods with two goals, nine periods with three goals, one period with four and one with five lamplighters.

FIRST-PERIOD GOALS: Miami became the seventh team this season to score first versus the Irish (ND is 4-2-1 in those games). On the year, the Irish have given up just 10 first-period goals while scoring 29 of their own. Notre Dame has scored the first goal of the game 21 times this year and is 17-3-1 in those games. Versus Michigan on Dec. 10, Notre Dame surrendered two goals in the first period for the only time this season and trailed the Wolverines 2-1 after one period. Notre Dame is 13-2-0 when they lead after one period and 5-2-1 when tied after one period. Friday’s loss for the Irish was the first for them when trailing after one period (3-1-0).

CLUTCH SCORER: Sophomore Erik Condra made the most of his two goals at Lake Superior (1/12 and 1/13). Both of Condra’s goals proved to be the game winner. His goal on Jan. 12 came in overtime and was his third game winner. On Saturday, Jan. 13, a second-period power-play goal proved to be the game winner. Condra now has a career-high 11 goals with four of them winning games. His four game winners tie him with teammate Ryan Thang for the team lead. Condra now has 17 career goals with five of them the game-deciding goal.

RANKINGS UPDATE: For the 14th consecutive week, the Irish are in the national rankings in both polls. They enter the weekend against Bowling Green ranked second in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV polls. Prior to this season, the last time the Irish were ranked was the 2003-04 campaign when they finished the year ranked 12th. Notre Dame was ranked for six weeks that season, including the final four weeks of the year. The last time the Irish were ranked as high as second before the week of Jan. 2, 2007, came during the 1976-77 season when they reached No. 2 on Jan. 31, 1977 and finished the season ranked third overall.

IRISH RANKING HISTORY: Notre Dame hasn’t been ranked often in its 39-year hockey history. During the 1972-73 season, the Irish finished ranked fourth overall in the WMPL radio poll and were ranked for eight weeks during the year. That season, Notre Dame lost to Wisconsin in the WCHA finals. The following year (1973-74), the Irish opened the season ranked second (WMPL) and stayed as high as No. 2 through the first four weeks of the year before dropping out. In 1976-77, the Irish were ranked in the final seven weeks of the season, reaching as high as No. 2 on Jan. 31, finishing the year ranked third in the WMPL radio poll. They lost to Minnesota in the WCHA playoffs in a total-goal series. Notre Dame would not be ranked again until October 26 of the 1981-82 season when they reached 10th but weren’t ranked again. In 1998-99, the Irish spent 16 consecutive weeks (Oct. 19-Feb. 16) in both the USA Today and USHCHO.com polls, before falling out at the end of the year. In 2002-03, the Irish were ranked for one week and in 2003-04, they were ranked six weeks in total, including the final four weeks in a row to finish 12th in the USA Today Poll and 13th in the USCHO.com final polls.

ALL TIED UP: Notre Dame’s 2-2 tie with Miami on Jan. 27 was the fourth game this season that saw the Irish go to extra playing time. They are now 1-1-2 in the extra session. On Jan. 12, at Lake Superior, the Irish took a 4-3 overtime win that was the first for the Irish since Dec. 10, 2004 when the Irish defeated Michigan State, 3-2, at the Joyce Center. The last time that the Irish won an overtime game on the road was March 9, 2002, a 2-1 win at Nebraska-Omaha in the CCHA playoffs. In 57 overtime games since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish are 8-7-42 in overtime.

ROAD SWEEPS: Notre Dame’s weekend sweep at Lake Superior on Jan. 12-13 was the first CCHA road sweep for the Irish since Feb. 14-15, 2003 when they won a pair of games at Bowling Green.

SCORING BY CLASS: Here’s how Notre Dame scoring breaks down by classes this season.

Class (Skaters)  Goals  Assists  PointsFreshmen (6)     38      56        94Seniors (7)      21      59        80Sophomores (4)   27      40        67Juniors (5)      19      24        43Totals          105     179       284

PLAYING WITH THE LEAD: Through the first 28 games of the season, Notre Dame has played a total of 1698:09 minutes. In those 28 games, the Irish have trailed for just 234:07 minutes (or 13.8% of the time). On the year, the Irish have been in the lead or tied for 86.2% of the time or 1464:02 minutes. That breaks down to being tied for 550:53 minutes (32.4%) and leading 913:09 (53.8%).

HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame’s loss to Robert Morris on Jan. 7 snapped an 8-0-0 start for the Irish at the Joyce Center. A year ago, Notre Dame was 7-11-3 on home ice. Through the first 28 games, the Irish have played just 11 games at home (9-1-1) and 17 on the road (four neutral site games). The Irish are 8-4-1 in away games and 4-0-0 in neutral site games. The last time the Irish won more than eight games on the road was in 2002-03 when they were 10-9-2 away from the Joyce Center.

SHARE THE WEALTH: Through the first 28 games of the season, all but two Notre Dame players – defensemen Wes O’Neill (Sr., Essex, Ont.) and Dan VeNard (Jr., Vernon Hills, Ill.) – have scored goals. Notre Dame now has five players with double-figure totals in goals and nine players have five or more goals. Mark Van Guilder and Ryan Thang lead the team with 15 goals. Last season, in 36 games, the Irish had just eight players with four or more goals.