Dec. 31, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. –
The Shillelagh Tournament
Sat., Jan. 2, 2009 – 3:05/6:05 p.m. (CT) – Sears Centre (9,700) – Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Sun., Jan. 3, 2009 – 3:05/6:05 p.m. (CT) – Sears Centre (9,700) – Hoffman Estates, Ill.
– The Teams: Notre Dame (8-8-4); Colgate (7-6-4); Niagara (3-10-2); North Dakota (9-6-3).
– The Games:
Saturday – 3:05 p.m. (CT) – Niagara vs. North Dakota
Saturday – 6:05 p.m. (CT) – Colgate vs. Notre Dame
Sunday – 3:05 p.m. (CT) – Colgate vs. Niagara or North Dakota
Sunday – 6:05 p.m. (CT) – Notre Dame vs. Niagara or North Dakota
– Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM in South Bend. Darin Pritchett, the voice of the Irish will call the action.
– Internet Broadcast: Audio: At the Notre Dame website – www.und.com. Statistics: Follow on Notre Dame website at und.com. All games of the Shillelagh Tournament will be available via Gametracker.
TOURNEY TIME: Notre Dame returns to action for the second half of the season this weekend when the Irish play host to the second Shillelagh Tournament on Jan. 2-3, 2010 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The Irish welcome Colgate University (ECAC) Niagara University (CHA) and North Dakota (WCHA) to this year’s holiday action. The Niagara Purple Eagles will face off against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the tourney opener on Jan. 2 in a 3:05 p.m. (CT) contest. Niagara brings a 3-10-2 overall record into the tournament and is tied for third in the CHA with a 1-3-1 league mark. The Buffalo, N.Y. based school will face a North Dakota squad that is 9-6-3 on the year and 6-6-2 in the WCHA standings, good for sixth place. The Sioux are currently ranked sixth in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and the USCHO.com polls. Game two of Saturday’s doubleheader will have Notre Dame (CCHA) battling Colgate (ECAC) at 6:05 p.m. (CT). The Fighting Irish are now 8-8-4 overall and 5-5-4-2 in the CCHA, good for 22 points and sixth place in the league standings. The Irish are ranked 20th in the USCHO.com poll. The Raiders enter the tournament with a 7-6-4 overall record and are tied for third in the ECAC with a 5-3-1 mark in conference play. Saturday’s games will begin at 3:05 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. (CT).
IRISH TOURNEY INFORMATION: The Shillelagh Tournament is in its second season as the Irish will look to defend its title won a year ago. Notre Dame knocked off Union College (3-1) and Minnesota-Duluth (3-1) last January 2-3. The Shillelagh Tournament marks the 32nd in-season tournament for the Irish in the program’s 42-year history. In the previous 31 tournaments, Notre Dame owns a 25-34-3 all-time record. The Irish have finished first (seven times), second (six times), third (seven times) and fourth (11 times) in those tournaments. Notre Dame has faced both Colgate and Niagara in tournament play. Both times the Irish have faced Colgate was in an in-season tournament as they faced the Raiders in the 1985 Phoenix Mutual Tournament in Hartford, Conn. and then the following season in the Syracuse Invitational in Syracuse, N.Y. In the only meeting between the two schools, Notre Dame and Niagara played in the third-place game of the Maverick Shootout in Omaha, Neb. The game ended in a 3-3 tie with the Irish winning a shoot out to decide third place.
FRIEND AND FOE: Notre Dame’s Kyle Palmieri (Fr., Montvale, N.J.) and North Dakota’s Danny Kristo will be missing the Shillelagh Tournament this year as both are members of the U.S. Junior National Team playing in the World Junior Championships being held in Saskatoon, Sask., this week. The two were teammates with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program the last two years and have skated in the World Juniors on the same line at times in the tournament. Through the first three games of the tournament, Palmieri has recorded six assists, including four versus Latvia in the 12-1 U.S. win on Dec. 29. Kristo has three goals and one assist for four points in the tournament. The U.S. is 3-0 as of Dec. 30 and has clinched a spot in the quarterfinals. They face Canada in the final game of the round-robin portion of the tournament on Dec. 31.
LOCAL IRISH CONNECTIONS: Notre Dame has seven players on the current roster with connections to the Chicago area. The group includes seniors Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) and Tom O’Brien (Mokena, Ill.), juniors Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.) and Joe Lavin (Shrewsbury, Mass.), sophomores Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) and Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm, Sweden) plus freshman Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge, Ill.). Kissel, a left wing, played midget hockey with Team Illinois and Mission AAA before playing junior hockey in the USHL with the Chicago Steel. O’Brien, a goaltender, played his midget hockey for the Chicago Young Americans. Ruth, a defenseman, played his midget hockey for Chicago Mission and Team Illinois while Joe Lavin, another defenseman, who transferred to Notre Dame from Providence College, was a 2007 fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Black Hawks. Maday, a right wing, is a product of the Chicago Chill midget program where he teamed with Ridderwall, a left wing, in 2005-06 to lead the Chill to the USA Midget AAA championship game. Calabrese, a defenseman, played for Team Illinois during his midget career.
WELCOME TO NOTRE DAME: Junior defenseman Joe Lavin (6-3, 200) joins the Irish lineup for the second half of the season after leaving Providence College following the first semester of the 2008-09 season. He finished that year with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers and played the first half of this season in Omaha. In 48 games over a season-and-a half with Providence, Lavin had no goals and eight assists for eight points. After leaving Providence, he played in 33 games for Omaha last season, scoring seven goals with 16 assists for 23 points with 28 penalty minutes. This year, Lavin played in 24 games with five goals and 12 assists for 17 points and was third on the team with a +16. The Lancers were in first place in the USHL’s Western Division when Lavin left with a 19-4-1 record. He was a fifth-round pick, 126th overall, of the Chicago Black Hawks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Lavin is a product of the USA National Team Development Program where he was a teammate on the Under-18 team with fellow Irish juniors Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Brad Phillips (Jr., Farmington Hills, Mich.) and Teddy Ruth.
M*A*S*H* UNIT: Notre Dame will be without the services of two players due to injuries for the Shillelagh Tournament. They are:
Both players were injured in the series at Miami, Dec. 4-5 and missed both games of the Michigan series (Dec. 11 and 13). LAST TIME OUT: Notre Dame closed out the first half of the season in fine form on Dec. 13 before a sellout crowd at the Joyce Center, knocking off Michigan, 2-0, behind a career-high 38-save performance from freshman Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.). Johnson got all the offense he needed in the second period on goals by freshman Nick Larson (Apple Valley, Minn.) and junior Calle Ridderwall for the 2-0 win. The Irish had dropped the first game of the series at Ann Arbor, 4-1, on Friday, Dec. 11.
2009 SHILLELAGH TOURNEY RECAP:
The first Shillelagh Tournament was held Jan. 2-3, 2009 at the Sears Centre Arena with Notre Dame hosting Union College, UMass-Lowell and Minnesota-Duluth.
Game 1 – Minnesota-Duluth 2, UMass-Lowell 1
Game 2 – Notre Dame 3, Union College 1
3rd-Place – Union College 2, UMass-Lowell 1
Championship – Notre Dame 3, Minn.-Duluth 1
G – Jordan Pearce, Notre Dame
D – Kyle Lawson, Notre Dame
D – Evan Oberg, Minnesota-Duluth
F – Justin Fontaine, Minnesota-Duluth
F – Garrett Regan, Notre Dame
F – Ben Ryan, Notre Dame
Most Outstanding Player – Jordan Pearce, Notre Dame
NOTRE DAME VS. COLGATE: The Irish and the Raiders have met just twice in the all-time series, playing twice in tournaments. The first meeting came in the Phoenix Mutual Tournament in Hartford, Conn., on Jan. 5, 1985 in the third-place game with Colgate taking a 13-4 decision. The following year, the team’s met in the Syracuse Invitational on Dec. 27, 1985, in an opening round game. The Raiders won that contest, 8-7. Irish volunteer assistant Mike McNeill ’84 played in both of those games.
NOTRE DAME VS. NIAGARA: The Irish and the Purple Eagles met in the third-place game of the 2000 Maverick Stampede in Omaha, Neb. and battled to a 3-3 overtime tie in the only meeting between the two schools. Notre Dame won the shootout, 2-1, to decide third place for the tournament.
NOTRE DAME VS. NORTH DAKOTA: These two teams have met 32 times in the all-time series, but not since the 1998-99 season when they faced off in a weekend series in Grand Forks, N.D. Of the 32 games played, 30 of them came while the two teams were members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) from 1970-81. The Irish lead the all-time series, 16-15-1 with the Fighting Sioux holding a 10-1-1 mark in the last 12 meetings. The last time the two school’s met was Jan. 2-3, 1999. North Dakota was ranked No. 1 in the country and the Sioux handed Notre Dame an 8-1 loss in the opening game of the series before the Irish bounced back for a 4-3 win in the second game.
TORPEDOES AWAY: The last time the Irish were in action, Dec. 11-13, they were forced to play Michigan with four defensemen out of the lineup due to injuries. Coach Jeff Jackson and his staff decided to go with the “Torpedo” system employed often by Sweden. Three forwards – sophomore Billy Maday, freshman Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine’s, Ont.) and junior Ryan Guentzel (Woodbury, Minn.) – moved back to play defense as the Irish deployed three units with four forwards and one defenseman. Notre Dame gained a split in the series, losing 4-1, before taking a 2-0 shutout on Dec. 13.
LONG, LONG TIME: The last time that Notre Dame registered a shutout versus Michigan came on Dec. 8, 1973 at Yost Arena by a 2-0 score. Mark Kronholm ’74 made 26 saves in that blanking of the Wolverines. It would take 36 years and five days before the Irish would register another shutout against Michigan.
SCORING DROUGHT: Through the first 20 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored a total of 41 goals. The Irish have scored goals via the power play in 15 of their first 20 games, including one in each game versus Michigan. Notre Dame now has 20 power-play goals and one short-handed goal to go with 20 even-strength goals. The Irish have scored four or more goals in just two games this season. For the year, the Irish are averaging 2.05 goals-per game and the offensive attack is 53rd in the nation.
DEFENSIVE DANDIES: Through the first 20 games this season, the Notre Dame defense has held opponents to two goals or less in 12 of them and has given up three or less in 17 of the 20 contests. For the year, the Irish have given up just 39 goals for a 1.95 goals per game to rank third in the nation in team defense. The trio of Irish goaltenders – junior Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.), freshman Mike Johnson and senior Tommy O’Brien (Mokena, Ill.) own a 1.91 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage to go with the 8-8-4 overall record.
THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson has gotten his collegiate career off to a fast start through the first 20 games of the season. He has appeared in six straight games for the Irish, making four consecutive starts heading into the Shillelagh Tournament. In 12 games, including 11 starts, Johnson is 5-5-2 with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage with two shutouts. Johnson recorded a shutout versus Providence College on Oct. 16 in his first career start and picked up his second with a career-high 38 saves versus Michigan on Dec. 13. His 1.70 goals-against average is third in the nation and his .940 save percentage leads all Division I goaltenders. In his 11 starts, Johnson has given up 20 goals while the Irish have scored 17.
SWEEPLESS IN SOUTH BEND: Miami’s sweep against Notre Dame on Dec. 4-5 marked just the ninth time in the Jeff Jackson era (2005-) that the Irish have been swept in a two-game series. The RedHawks were the last team to do it, winning a pair from the Irish on Oct. 24-25, 2008 at the Joyce Center. Since Jackson took over, the Irish have been swept five times in 2005-06, twice in 2007-08, once last year and once this season.
HOME ICE STRUGGLES: Notre Dame’s win over Michigan on Dec. 13 improved the Irish to 5-4-3 in their first 12 home games this season. During the 2008-09 campaign, the Irish were 13-3-2 at the Joyce Center and over the previous three seasons owned a 37-9-7 mark on home ice.
GOAL-SCORING MACHINE: Junior left wing Calle Ridderwall scored his team-best 11th goal in the 2-0 win over Michigan (Dec. 13). The goal was his seventh power-play goal of the year. Ridderwall is currently tied for third in the CCHA with 11 goals while his seven power-play tallies lead the league and tie him for third nationally. Over the last two seasons, he has scored 28 goals for Notre Dame with 18 of them coming via the power play. Ridderwall’s hat trick on Nov. 28 versus Bowling Green was the first for an Irish player since Jan. 5, 2007 when Kevin Deeth (Sr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) scored three in a win over Robert Morris at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.
DOUBLE BLANKINGS: The two shutouts by Miami (Dec. 4-5) marked the first time the Irish had been shutout in back-to-back games since Jan. 21-22, 2005 when Wisconsin blanked Notre Dame, 2-0 and 2-0. The last team to shut the Irish out was the RedHawks, who took a 2-0 decision on Oct. 24, 2008 to be the only team to shut Notre Dame out last season.
PENALTY SHOTS: Miami’s Carter Camper was awarded a penalty shot at 2:09 of the second period in the Dec. 4 game with Miami against Notre Dame’s Mike Johnson. The penalty shot was the first faced by Johnson in his college career and he made the stop. The penalty shot was the first against the Irish since Feb. 28, 2003 when Western Michigan’s Vince Bellisimo was awarded one. Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey ’05 made the stop in a game the Irish would lose, 4-2.
HIGHLY RANKED: Notre Dame freshman center Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine’s, Ont.) is the lone CCHA player with an A ranking in NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings of players in the NCAA. The highly ranked freshman has four goals and eight assists for 12 points in his first 19 games this season.
MR. CLUTCH: Irish freshman Nick Larson has proven to be a clutch scorer for Notre Dame over his first 20 games in an Irish uniform. The Apple Valley, Minn., native has scored a pair of goals this season – one versus Providence and one against Michigan – with both being game winners. The rugged left winger has scored both of his goals in a pair of 2-0 shutouts by fellow freshman goaltender Mike Johnson.
TOUGH TICKET: Notre Dame’s last home game on Dec. 13 saw the Irish record the eighth sellout crowd (2,802) in the first 12 home games this season. The Irish have now sold out 17 of their last 21 home games dating back to Dec. 13, 2008 versus Bowling Green. This season’s opening night crowd of 2,994 against Alabama-Huntsville is the largest crowd to see a home opener since 1995 as the building’s seating capacity was reconfigured following that year with 2,713 being a sellout since then. Through 11 games, the Irish are averaging 2,695 per game.
BEST OF THE BEST: Since the start of the 2006-07 season, the Notre Dame hockey program has been among the tops in the nation in wins and winning percentage followed by Michigan and Miami. The Irish head into the Shillelagh Tournament tied with Michigan with 98 wins over that period. Miami is third with 93. Notre Dame’s .705 winning percentage leads Michigan (.693) and Miami (.693). Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage since 2006-07.
|Notre Dame 98||Notre Dame (.705)|
|Michigan 98||Michigan (.693)|
|Miami 93||Miami (.693)|
|North Dakota 85||Boston College (.652)|
|Boston College 82||New Hampshire (.648)|
Four of Notre Dame’s last six games have gone into overtime with one game decided in the extra session and three going to a shoot out. For the season, the Irish are 1-0-4 in overtime games. In the four shoot-outs to date, Notre Dame is 2-2. The overtime win on Nov. 27 versus Bowling Green was the first for the Irish since Feb. 20, 2009 at Nebraska-Omaha, a 4-3 win. Notre Dame is now 3-0-7 in overtime since its last overtime loss, a 2-1 decision to Miami on March 21, 2008, in the CCHA semifinal game.
CLOSE ONES: The Dec. 4, 1-0 loss to Miami, dropped Notre Dame to 2-5 in one-goal games this year. Last season, the Irish were 11-2 in games decided by one goal.
USA…USA…USA: Freshman right wing Kyle Palmieri was selected to the 2010 U.S. Junior National Team after attending a three-day pre-tournament camp in Grand Forks, N.D. A 2009 first round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks, Palmieri has five goals and two assists for seven points in 19 games for the Irish. Since 2006-07, Notre Dame has had at least one player on the U.S. Junior National Team – Kyle Lawson (Sr., New Hudson, Mich.) in 2006-07, Ian Cole in ’07-’08 and ’08-’09 and Teddy Ruth (Jr., Naperville, Ill.) in ’08-’09.
PENALTY KILLERS: Notre Dame’s penalty-killing unit ranks among the best in the CCHA and the nation. To date, the Irish have killed 87-of-96 opponent power-play chances for a 90.6% success rate. That ranks them second in the CCHA behind Ferris State and third in the nation behind Ferris State and Air Force.