Nov. 10, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. –
– The Games: #7/#7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-2-2/3-1-2-0) vs. Alaska Nanooks (3-5-2/0-4-2-0)
– Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., November 11-12, 2011 – Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) – 7:05 p.m. /5:05 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 faceoff. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish.
– Internet: Audio:/Video: Notre Dame will stream the audio and video for both games of the Alaska series live and free of charge at und.com. Gametracker: Follow the live scoring at und.com. Twitter: Follow the Irish icers on Twitter at ND_hockey.
FOUR-GAME HOMESTAND: This weekend’s series with Alaska starts a four-game homestand for the Irish that includes four games in eight nights between Nov. 11 and Nov. 18. They also will face Western Michigan (Nov. 15) and Boston College (Nov. 18) during the homestand. Notre Dame enters the series with Alaska sporting a 5-2-2 overall record and a 3-1-2-0 mark in the CCHA, good for 11 points and a tie for fourth in the league standings. The Irish are in the midst of a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2) that started on Oct. 21, the first and last time that Notre Dame played in the Compton Family Ice Arena. The Irish have been on the road the last four games, going 2-0-2 in those contests. Alaska brings a 3-5-2 overall record into the weekend series and is 0-4-2-0 in conference play, good for two points in the CCHA. The Nanooks were home last weekend where they dropped a pair of 2-1 decisions to the Miami RedHawks. Alaska opened the season with a loss to St. Cloud State, won three in a row and are now on a six-game winless skid (0-4-2) since taking a 4-1 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Oct. 15. Notre Dame’s next two home games versus Western Michigan (11/15 at 7:05 p.m.) will be televised by Comcast and the Boston College game (11/18 at 7:35 p.m.) will be carried by the CBS Sports Network.
IRISH VERSUS NANOOKS: Notre Dame and Alaska have met 53 times in the all-time series with the Irish owning a 27-22-4 advantage. At Notre Dame, the Irish are 16-9-1 all-time against the Nanooks. Last season, the teams played twice at the Joyce Center with Notre Dame taking a 2-1 win on Jan. 14 and then Alaska winning 4-1 on Jan. 15. Since the start of the 2006-07 season, the Irish are 11-2-1 versus the Nanooks. The two teams will meet again later in the season on Jan. 27-28, 2012 for a pair of games at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.
HOME SWEET HOME: Through the first nine games of the season, Notre Dame has been on the road for six of them and is 3-1-2 away from campus. The Irish have played just three home games to date and are 2-1-0 in those games. The first two games of the season were played at the Joyce Center where the Irish were 1-1 versus Ohio State on Oct. 14-15. Notre Dame has played just once this season in it’s new home – The Compton Family Ice Arena – and is 1-0 there, winning the opener on Oct. 21, 5-2, versus Rensselaer in front of a capacity crowd of 5,022. The Irish have 17 more regular-season home games at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
TWO IN A ROW: For the second time in two years, Notre Dame had back-to-back games of a series end in a tie with 2-2 and 1-1 ties last weekend at Northern Michigan. On Jan. 28-29, 2011, the Irish battled Miami to 5-5 and 2-2 ties at the Joyce Center. Prior to that, the last time Notre Dame tied back-to-back games in a series was Nov. 6-7, 1987 when the Irish played Kent State to 5-5 and 6-6 ties.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the weekend ranked seventh in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com polls. Alaska is not ranked in either poll.
NORTHERN MICHIGAN RECAP: Saturday, November 5 – For the second night in a row, Notre Dame and Northern Michigan played 65 minutes of hockey and couldn’t decide on a winner with the game going to a shootout. In regulation and overtime, the teams battled to a 1-1 tie as Bryan Rust (So., Novi, Mich.) and the Wildcats Andrew Cherniwchan scored in the first and third periods respectively for all the offense. Notre Dame out shot Northern Michigan, 45-22, in the game as Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.) made 21 saves for the Irish and Reid Ellingson had 44 saves in goal for the Wildcats. The 45 shots were a season high for the Irish. In the shootout, Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.), T.J. Tynan (So., Orland Park, Ill.) and Rust all had their shots stopped by Ellingson. Tyler Gron got the game winner for Northern Michigan, beating Johnson on the second Wildcat shootout attempt.
Friday, November 4 – The Irish and Wildcats battled to a 2-2 tie on Friday with the game going to overtime and then a shootout. In the shootout, Northern Michigan’s Reed Seckel scored the only goal in three rounds to give the Wildcats the 1-0 shootout win and the extra point in the standings. Northern scored first in the game as Ryan Kesti scored his first career goal from in front at 6:02 of the first period. The Irish answered back at 13:20 when Mike Voran (So., Livonia, Mich.) scored his second of the year off a face-off win by Billy Maday (Sr., Burr Ridge, Ill.) in the right circle. Maday would put Notre Dame ahead, 2-1, in the second with a power-play goal at 3:36 for his second goal of the year. The Wildcats scored the equalizer at 6:41 of the second with Justin Florek scoring his sixth off a rebound in the slot. From there, the goaltenders took over, keeping both team’s at bay. Notre Dame out shot the Wildcats, 27-21, for the night with Reid Ellingson finishing with 25 saves to 19 for Mike Johnson. In the shootout, T.J. Tynan, Riley Sheahan (Jr., St. Catharine’s, Ont.) and Maday all failed to score while Andrew Cherniwchan and Florek missed for Northern before Seckel beat Johnson with a nice move, tucking the puck inside the left post for his goal. The Irish were 1-5 on the power play while Northern was 0-2.
FIT TO BE TIED: Notre Dame’s back-to-back ties at Northern Michigan last weekend (2-2, 1-1), extended the Irish unbeaten streak in overtime games to 23 since they last lost a game that went more than 60 minutes. Notre Dame is now 5-0-18 in overtime since March 21, 2008 when the Irish dropped an overtime game to Miami, 2-1, in the CCHA semifinals. Last season, Notre Dame was 2-0-5 in overtime games with both wins coming in the post season as Jeff Costello (So., Milwaukee, Wis.) scored in the second round of the CCHA playoffs against Lake Superior and Anders Lee got the winner in the NCAA Regionals against Merrimack.
STREAK STOPPERS: Three different scoring streaks were snapped for the Irish in the series against Northern Michigan. On Friday night, T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee saw a pair of personal streaks snapped in the 2-2 tie. Tynan saw his career-high eight-game point streak (3-12-15) stopped as he was held scoreless for the first time this season. Tynan’s streak carried over from last season when he scored on April 7 in the Frozen Four versus Minnesota-Duluth. He then had a point in each of Notre Dame’s first seven games this season. Lee saw his career-high seven-game goal-scoring streak stopped by the Wildcats in Friday’s game. The sophomore from Edina, Minn., had scored at least one goal in each of Notre Dame’s first seven games this season and led the CCHA and the nation with 10 goals in that span. On Saturday nigth, Lee saw his personal best eight-game point streak (10g, 4a) snapped in the 1-1 tie. He and Tynan are tied for the team lead with 14 points this season.
AND ANOTHER ONE BIT THE DUST: On the subject of streaks, Notre Dame saw its eight-game streak of scoring at least one power-play goal in every game snapped in the 1-1 tie versus Northern Michigan. The Irish had nine power-play goals through the first eight games and were held 0-for-5 in Saturday’s game with the man advantage. For the year, Notre Dame is now 9-for-46 on the power play for a 19.6% success rate.
RBC FINANCIAL CCHA PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Sophomore left wing Anders Lee was named the RBC Financial CCHA player of the month for October as he had 10 goals and three assists for 13 points in seven games. His 10 goals were tops in the CCHA and led all Division I players at the national level. Lee scored at least one goal in all seven games during the month and added one two-goal game and a hat trick on Oct. 21 versus Rensselaer. His seven-game goal and point streaks are career bests for the 6-3, 227-pound left wing.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE: After giving up four goals in a season-opening loss at Minnesota-Duluth, junior goaltender Mike Johnson has been stellar between the pipes in his last seven appearances. In that span he has made six starts, playing a total of 395:48, posting a 4-0-2 record while giving up 10 goals with 118 saves for a 1.52 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. For the year, he is 4-1-2 with a 1.84 goals-against and a .912 save percentage.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Through the first eight games this season, Notre Dame scored at least one power-play goal in every game. That streak came to an end on Nov. 5 when Northern Michigan held the Irish to an 0-5 night on the power play. For the year, the Irish are 9-for-46 with the man advantage for a 19.6% success rate. That ranks Notre Dame fourth in the CCHA and 25th in the nation. Over the last seven games, the Irish have killed 26-of-28 (92.9%) opponent power-play chances, including 15 straight over the last five games. For the season, Notre Dame has now killed 34-of-39 power-play chances for an 87.2% success rate. That ranks the Irish sixth in the CCHA and 17th nationally.
FOURTH FOR MADAY: Senior captain Billy Maday recorded his fourth multiple-point game of the season on Nov. 4 with a goal and an assist in the 2-2 tie versus Northern Michigan. He is currently third on the team in scoring with two goals and seven assists for nine points. Maday is Notre Dame’s leading active point getter as he has now played in 121 career games and has 35 goals with 52 assists for 87 points. He now has 22 career games with two or more points.
ON A TEAR: Junior center Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine’s, Ont.) recorded his third multiple-point game with a pair of assists in the 3-2 win at Bowling Green on Oct. 29. After missing the first two regular-season games with a lower body injury, Sheahan has picked up a goal and seven assists for eight points in his first seven games of his season. He set up Billy Maday’s power-play goal in the 2-2 tie with Northern Michigan on Nov. 4.
BACK IN ACTION: Two members of the Notre Dame roster returned to action in the series at Northern Michigan (Nov. 4-5). Sophomore left wing Jeff Costello (Milwaukee, Wis.) returned after missing the previous five games. He was injured in the second game of the season on Oct. 8 at Minnesota-Duluth. Senior defenseman Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) returned to the lineup after being out one game after he was injured on Oct. 28 at Bowling Green.
COMPTON FAMILY ICE ARENA FIRSTS:Starting Lineups:Notre Dame RensselaerMike Johnson G Bryce MerriamShayne Taker D Mike BerginStephen Johns D Curtis LeonardAustin Wuthrich LW Alex Angers-GouletRiley Sheahan C Joel MalchukBilly Maday RW Justin Smith
First Face Off: Sheahan (ND) vs. Malchuk (RPI Won by MalchukFirst Shot On Goal: Zach Schroeder (RPI)First Save: Mike Johnson (ND)First Notre Dame Shot: Riley SheahanFirst Penalty: Nick Larson (ND) - checking from behind (1:46 of 2nd period)First Goal : Anders Lee (ND) 9:21 off 1st periodFirst Assists: T.J. Tynan and Sam CalabreseFirst PPG: Riley Sheahan (ND) 1:39 of 3rd period.
LARGEST HOME CROWD: Opening night at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Oct. 21 saw the Irish play in front of the largest home crowd for Division I hockey in the program’s history as a standing-room only gathering of 5,022 filled the new building for the 5-2 win over Rensselaer. The previous record crowd was 4,816 versus Wisconsin in the WCHA playoffs on March 10, 1973 at the Joyce Center. The Joyce Center had various seating configurations in its 44-year history with the final sell-out mark being 2,713 seats and 2,857 being a standing-room sell out.
DEDICATION GAME: The University of Notre Dame will officially dedicate the Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday, Nov. 18 when the Irish play host to the Boston College Eagles at 7:35 p.m. The building will be blessed at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 18 with a dedication mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 3:30 p.m. and a reception and dinner at 4:45 and 5:15 p.m. at the South Dining Hall.
THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska) continues to impress in the early part of the season as he recorded the first multiple-point game of his career in the win over Rensselaer on Oct. 21, assisting on a pair of goals. Wuthrich now has three goals and two assists for five points this season. He 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.
PAT ON THE BACK: Senior center Patrick Gaul (Pittsburgh, Pa.) had the best weekend of his career at Bowling Green (Oct. 28-29), scoring a goal and an assist for two points. He now has career highs in goals (2), assists (2) and points (4) this season. In Friday’s 3-1 win, Gaul picked up his second assist of the season on Garrett Peterson’s game-winning goal. In Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Falcons, Gaul scored his second goal of the season, getting the third-period game winner. In just nine games this year, Gaul has four points after having just three points (a goal, two assists) in the first 48 games of his career.
MAD HATTER: Anders Lee recorded the second hat trick of his Notre Dame career in the 5-2 win over Rensselaer on Oct. 21. Lee scored the opening goal of the game, then broke a 1-1 tie with his second-period goal. He appeared to score his third goal in the third period but that was waved off on a questionable high stick on the puck call before he finished the trick with an empty net goal with 1:20 left in the game. His first hat trick came in his first career game on Oct. 8, 2010 versus Holy Cross in the Warrior Ice Breaker Classic in St. Louis, Mo.
CONFERENCE CALL: The Hockey East Association and the University of Notre Dame announced on Wednesday, Oct. 5 that the Fighting Irish have been accepted into the league as the 11th member school and will begin play in the 2013-14 campaign. The announcement came at a press conference on the ice at Notre Dame’s new Compton Family Ice Arena.
In making the announcement, Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said, “It is not an overstatement to say that this is one of the most significant days in the history of our conference. The addition of new institutions is always exciting but Notre Dame brings a unique set of qualities and circumstances to the continued growth of our league. We are proud to welcome Notre Dame into the fold and we look forward to getting to the many details that come with this announcement.”
Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said, “We are excited to be joining Hockey East beginning in the 2013-14 season. Many factors played a role in our decision, but three were of special importance to us. The first two were the critical issues of the student-athlete experience and Notre Dame’s fit with the other schools in the conference. But of special importance in this instance, was our goal of giving our hockey program an unprecedented level of national exposure through our expanded partnership with the NBC Sports Group. Athletics at Notre Dame has always served as a platform for promoting the University.”
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson added, “We are honored and pleased to join Hockey East for the 2013-14 season. The conference is an established league with a great tradition and outstanding programs that share Notre Dame’s values. The exposure for our players and team in a major media and NHL market will be second to none. Hockey East’s commitment to playing a smaller league schedule will allow us to enhance our home and non-conference schedule with traditional western and Big Ten rivals. This will allow us to bring great games to the Compton Family Ice Arena and create a more diverse, nationally-televised schedule. We are grateful to Joe Bertagna and the Hockey East Association members for this tremendous opportunity.”
Notre Dame is currently a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and has had two stints with the CCHA during its 44 years of Division I hockey. The Irish first joined the conference from 1981-83 and then again in 1992 through the 2012-13 season. During that time, Notre Dame has won two CCHA regular-season and postseason tournament titles (2007 and 2009).
The current shift in conferences began with the Big Ten’s decision to form their own hockey league beginning in 2013-14. That started the realignment process in both the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and the CCHA that has occurred this past summer and fall.
FINAL TOTALS: With the Oct. 14-15 split versus Ohio State, the Joyce Center era for the Irish hockey program ended with Notre Dame being 361-286-57 (.553) at the Joyce Center. Under Jeff Jackson, the Irish had a 66-32-13 (.653) record under the north dome.
FULLÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ HOUSE: With one sellout in the weekend series against Ohio State (Oct. 14-15), the Irish closed out the Joyce Center with sellouts in 17 of the last 21 games played there. During the 2010-11 season, Notre Dame sold out 16 of its 19 home games at the Joyce Center. A year ago, Notre Dame averaged 2,801 fans per game. Since Dec. 13, 2008, the Irish have recorded sellouts in 40 of their last 47 home games. A sellout at the Joyce Center is 2,713 with 2,857 capacity with standing room. Twice during the `09-’10 season – Jan. 15 vs. Michigan State and Jan. 29 against Nebraska-Omaha – 3,007 fans jammed into the Joyce Center. Prior to that number, the largest crowd to see an Irish hockey game was 3,310 on March of 1995 when Notre Dame play Illinois-Chicago. The following season, new seating was installed and capacity was reconfigured.