Feb. 11, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Games: #2/#3 Notre Dame (21-5-3/15-4-3-3) vs. Northern Michigan (11-13-4/8-10- 4-3)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., February 13-14, 2009 â€¢ Joyce Center (2,713) â€¢ 8:05 p.m./7:05 p.m.
â€¢ Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM in South Bend. Mike Lockert, now in his seventh season, will call all the action for the Irish. Television: Friday night’s game will be televised live by CBS College Sports with Matt McConnell and Dave Starman calling all the action.
â€¢ Internet: All Notre Dame hockey games can be heard live on the internet via the Notre Dame website at www.und.com. All home games that are not televised will be streamed live on und.com. All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.
HITTING THE HOME STRETCH: Notre Dame enters the final six games of the regular season with three home games and three road tilts left on the docket. The Irish will play two of those home games this weekend when they play host to the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Feb. 13-14. Friday’s game has an 8:05 p.m. start time with the game being televised live by CBS College Sports with Matt McConnell and Dave Starman providing the play-by-play and commentary. On Saturday night, the two teams will play a 7:05 p.m. game that will be streamed live on Notre Dame’s website, und.com. That live broadcast is free of charge. The Irish enter the weekend knowing that they have clinched a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs and will play a best-of-three, second-round series at the Joyce Center the weekend of March 13-15. Notre Dame is 21-5-3 overall and 15-4-3-3 in the CCHA, good for 36 points. The Irish lead second-place Miami (32) by four points, third-place Michigan (30) by six points and fourth-place Ohio State (28) by eight. Northern Michigan comes into the weekend as one of the hottest teams in the nation. Since Jan. 2, the Wildcats are 8-1-1, including four straight wins and a current unbeaten streak of seven (6-0-1). Overall, Northern Michigan is 11-13-4 on the season and 8-10-4-3 in the conference for a seventh-place tie with Ferris State as each team has 23 points. The Irish are ranked second in the nation in this week’s USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and third in the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports poll.
IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: Notre Dame and Northern Michigan have met 41 times in the all-time series with the Wildcats holding a 20-16-5 edge in the games played to date. The two teams have met twice this year, in Marquette, on Oct. 31-Nov. 1 with the Irish taking both games by 3-2 and 4-2 scores. Those two games were the start of Notre Dame’s 20-game unbeaten streak that ran from Oct. 31 through Jan. 30. In that series, five of Notre Dame’s seven goals came on the power play. At the Joyce Center, the Wildcats lead the series, 9-8-3. The last time the two teams played at the Joyce Center was Dec. 31, 2006 and Notre Dame took a 6-2 decision in that game. Since the 2003-04 season, the Irish are 3-1-1 against Northern Michigan at home and also own a win in 2006 at Fort Wayne, Ind.
MAGIC NUMBERS: With six games left for Notre Dame in the 2008-09 season, the Irish have reached one of their goals, getting the first round bye in the CCHA playoffs. Next up is winning the CCHA regular-season title. Going into this weekend, any combination of nine points (Irish wins/ties or Miami losses/ties) will give Notre Dame the regular-season title. Seven points will elimate Michigan and five points will knock out Ohio State.
Team (Pts) Games Magic No. RemainingND (36) 6 -----MIA (32) 6 9 pts.MICH (30) 6 7 pts.OSU (28) 6 5 pts.
ROAD STREAK ENDS: Notre Dame’s 4-1 loss at Ohio State on February 8, snapped a 12-game Irish road unbeaten streak (11-0-1), the longest in the program’s 41-year history. The Irish had not lost a game since Oct. 11, the season opener at Denver where they fell 5-2. With the loss, Notre Dame is now 11-2-1 on the road this season. The .821 road winning percentage is the best in the program’s history with three road games left to play. Only three Irish teams have won 12 road games in a season at Notre Dame – `06-’07 (12-4-1), `97-’98 (12-11-0) and `79-’80 (12-11-1).
OHIO STATE RECAP:
Sunday, February 8
Notre Dame saw its 12-game road unbeaten streak snapped at Value City Arena on Sunday afternoon in a 4-1 loss to the Buckeyes. Ohio State scored three times in a 10-minute span of the second period to take a 3-1 lead. Christiaan Minella (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 7:44 of the second period. The Buckeyes then got goals from John Albert (8:23), Shane Sims (ppg at 17:00) and Tayler Stefishen (18:35) to build a 3-1 advantage. Mathieu Picard closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 17:57 of the third period for the 4-1 win. Notre Dame out shot the Buckeyes by a 33-30 margin. Jordan Pearce (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) made 26 saves for the Irish. Dustin Carlson had 32 for the Buckeyes. Notre Dame was 1-for-6 on the power play while Ohio State was 1-for-4.
Friday, February 6
The Irish pulled out a 4-3 overtime win on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, getting the game-tying goal with one second left and the overtime game winner just 49 seconds into the extra stanza. Erik Condra (Sr., Livonia, Mich.) led the Irish with a pair of power-play goals, including the game-tying goal at 19:59 of the third period. Ian Cole (So., Ann Arbor, Mich.) had a goal and two assists for three points on the night and Calle Ridderwall (So., Stockholm, Sweden) scored the game winner on a power play, just 49 seconds into overtime. Corey Elkins, Sergio Somma and Zac Dalpe scored for Ohio State. Cole put Notre Dame ahead 1-0 at 4:59 of the first period with Elkins tying the game at 8:47 for a 1-1 score after one period. Somma made it 2-1 for Ohio State just 1:15 into the second period and the score stayed that way into the third. Condra got his first goal of the night on the power play at 8:50 of the third period to make it 2-2. Dalpe put the Buckeyes ahead at 17:05 with his 13th of the season. Just 44 seconds later, the Buckeyes’ Ian Boots recieved a major penalty for spearing, giving Notre Dame the five-minute power play. With Jordan Pearce pulled for a sixth attacker, Condra scored the tying goal with 1.3 seconds left on the clock. The power play continued into overtime where Ridderwall ended the game with his 12th of the year at 00:49. Notre Dame was 3-for-5 on the power play while OSU was 0-for-2. The Irish out shot the Buckeyes, 23-20, with Pearce making 17 saves and Dustin Carlson 19 on the night.
ON THE SIDELINES: Two Notre Dame players went down with injuries in the Feb. 6 game with Ohio State and missed Sunday afternoon’s contest. Junior left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) suffered a high ankle sprain and is out indefinitely. Senior center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) suffered a slight concussion and is listed as day-to-day. They join sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.), who has been out for the season, on the injured list. Phillips injured his right knee in the preseason and has not played this year. He was 4-1-0 as a freshman with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
LATEST AND FASTEST: Erik Condra’s goal with 1.3 seconds left on Feb. 6 against Ohio State was the latest goal in regulation scored by the Irish to send a game into overtime. That was followed by Calle Ridderwall’s overtime game winner that was the fastest that a Notre Dame team has ever scored in overtime – 49 seconds. That beat the previous quickest overtime game winner by Dan Carlson `01 who scored just 52 seconds into overtime on Jan. 21, 2000 to beat Western Michigan, 4-3.
TURNING ON THE POWER: Notre Dame scored three times (3-for-5) on the power play in the 4-3 overtime win against Ohio State on Feb. 6. That marked the 10th time this season that the Irish had two or more power-play goals in a game and the fifth time on the season that they had three or more power-play goals in one contest. On the weekend, Notre Dame was 4-for-11 (36.4%) with the man advantage. For the year, the Irish are 38-for-174 for a 21.8% success rate.
LOOKING FOR A HERO: The 4-3 overtime win against Ohio State was the first overtime win for Notre Dame since April 10, 2008 when the Irish defeated Michigan, 5-4, in the NCAA semifinals. In that game, Calle Ridderwall scored the game winner in overtime. On Feb. 6, at Ohio State, Ridderwall was at it again, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against Ohio State.
HOBEY BAKER CANDIDATE: Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce is listed among the candidates for the 2009 Hobey Baker Award on the award’s website – hobeybaker.com. Fans can now vote for their choice for the award at the website. The first phase of the voting will continue until March 8. On March 19, the 10 finalists will be announced. The Hobey Baker Hat Trick of the three finalists will be announced on April 2 with the winner selected on April 10.
MR. RELIABLE: Notre Dame’s All-American and Hobey Baker candidate – senior goaltender Jordan Pearce – has been a regular in the Notre Dame goal over the last two seasons. Since Jan. 5, 2008, Pearce has appeared in 51 of the last 52 Irish games. Of those 51 games, 50 have been starts. Pearce has now appeared in 26 straight games for the Irish, making 25 starts in that span. The last game he did not start was on Nov. 29 when Tommy O’Brien (Jr., Mokena, Ill.) made his second career start. Pearce came on in relief after 23:15 of action as O’Brien surrendered two goals on eight shots. Pearce has appeared in 28 of Notre Dame’s first 29 games this season and is 20-5-2 with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage with four shutouts. Pearce played in all 20 games of Notre Dame’s 20-game unbeaten streak, going 17-0-3 with a 1.36 goals-against average with a .944 save percentage and three shutouts.
HOW GOOD IS PEARCE?: Going into this weekend’s series with Northern Michigan, Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce leads the nation in wins (20), is fifth in minutes played (1,663:15), is sixth in goals-against average (1.70), sixth in save percentage (.933), fifth in winning percentage (.768) and tied for second in shutouts (4).
COLE ON A ROLL: Sophomore defenseman Ian Cole had his second, three-point game (1g, 2a) of the season in the 4-3 overtime win against Ohio State and the third of his career. He also had a goal and two assists earlier this season in a 7-0 win against Sacred Heart on Oct. 18. His first one was a two-goal, one assist game versus Ferris State in the 2007-08 season.
TAKING OVER: Sophomore Calle Ridderwall moved into the scoring lead for Notre Dame with a goal and an assist in the 4-3 overtime win at Ohio State. Ridderwall now has career highs in goals (12), assists (15), points (27) and power-play goals (9) during the 2008-09 campaign. As a freshman in 2007-08, Ridderwall had five goals and two assists for seven points in 39 games. His breakout game came in last April’s 5-4 overtime win against Michigan in the NCAA semifinals, when he scored twice in the game, including the overtime game winner.
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Two members of the Notre Dame hockey team are among a list of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Selected to the final group are senior forward Erik Condra and goaltender Jordan Pearce. 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, senior Mark Van Guilder `08 was one of 10 finalists for the award and in 2007, goaltender David Brown `07 was selected as the first winner of the hockey award.
A CHILL (ING) REUNION: When sophomore Calle Ridderwall and freshman Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) were put on the same line with center Kevin Deeth (Jr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) in the second game of the Miami series (Oct. 25), it marked the first time that Ridderwall and Maday played together at Notre Dame. The two aren’t strangers though as they spent the 2005-06 season as linemates with the Chicago Chill Midget AA program, helping the Chill to a second-place finish at the USA Midget AA championships. Maday had 38 goals and 87 assists for 125 points in 74 games with the Chill while Ridderwall had 52 goals and 66 assists for 118 points that season. In 25 games together this season, the duo has combined for 21 goals and and 27 assists with Maday having eight goals and 13 assists for 22 points while Ridderwall has 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in those games.
BALANCING ACT: Balance has been a key for Notre Dame in the 2008-09 season. The Irish have 13 players with 10 or more points so far this year with Christian Hanson leading the team with 26 points on 14 goals and 12 assists. The Irish have just three players with 10 or more goals (Hanson, Calle Ridderwall – 11 and Billy Maday – 10) but have nine players with five or more goals. Ten players on the Notre Dame roster have scored game-winning goals this year.
WINNING TEAMS: Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame and Michigan have had the winningest hockey programs in the country. Both teams have won 80 games over that period. Notre Dame is 80-28-10 for a .739 winning perentage while Michigan is 80-29-5 for a .724 mark. Miami is third with 73 wins and a .692 winning percentage. Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage (as of Feb. )
STREAK RANKINGS: When Notre Dame lost on Jan. 30 to Michigan, it not only snapped an overall 20-game unbeaten streak, but it snapped a 16-game CCHA unbeaten streak (13-0-3). That ties for the seventh-longest conference unbeaten streak in NCAA history and was the third-longest CCHA unbeaten streak in history. The streak trails just Lake Superior State’s 28-game conference unbeaten streak (26-0-2) set in 1992-93 and a 17-game conference unbeaten streak (16-0-1) set by Michigan in 1993-94.
STREAK NUMBERS: In Notre Dame’s 20-game unbeaten streak, the Irish gave up one goal or less in 12 of the 20 games. The Irish only gave up three goals, four times – a 3-3 tie with Lake Superior (11/14), a 3-3 tie with Western Michigan (11/29), a 4-3 win over Bowling Green (12/13) and the 3-3 tie with Lake Superior (1/17). During the streak, the Irish out scored the opposition by a 72-29 margin (3.60 to 1.45).
POWER-PLAY PRODUCERS: Five Notre Dame players currently rank in the top 10 in the CCHA for power-play point production. Left wing Calle Ridderwall is tied for second (9-9-18) while center Christian Hanson (6-7-13), right wing Billy Maday (5-8-13) and center Kevin Deeth (3-10-13) are tied for sixth with 13 points. tied for fifth (6-7-13). Defenseman Brett Blatchford (0-12-12) is tied for 13th with 12 power-play points.
RED HOT HANSON: Senior center Christian Hanson is off to the best start of his collegiate career. Through the first 28 games of the season, Hanson leads the Irish with 14 goals and is second in points with 26. He also has six power-play goals, one short-handed marker and four game winners. He now has career-bests in goals (14), assists (12), points (26), power-play goals (6) and game winners (4). The 6-4, 228-pound center is sixth in the CCHA in conference scoring and third in goals scored in the league with 12.
PENALTY SHOTS: Ryan Thang’s successful penalty shot goal in the Jan. 31 game at Michigan was the first penalty shot by a Notre Dame player since Oct. 27, 2006 when Kevin Deeth was stopped in a game against Army in the Lightning College Hockey Classic. His successful score was the first successful penalty shot by a Notre Dame player since Oct. 12, 2001 when Rob Globke `04 scored on a penalty shot against Union College at the Joyce Center.
BIG CROWD: The crowd of 3,007 at the Joyce Center on Jan. 30 was the largest crowd to watch a Notre Dame hockey game since March 3, 1995 when 3,310 saw the Irish defeat Illinois-Chicago, 5-2. The following year, new seating was installed in the Joyce Center and the building was reconfigured to 2,667. A current sellout crowd at the Joyce Center is 2,713. Eight of Notre Dame’s 13 home games this season have had crowds of 2,713 or more.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE MAN ADVANTAGE: Prior to Notre Dame’s series with Bowling Green (11/21-22), Notre Dame’s power-play was hitting at a 15.6% success rate and ranked fifth in the CCHA and 31st in the nation. Since then, the power-play is 26-for-97 for a 26.8% success rate. On the season, Notre Dame’s power play is now 38-for-174 for a 21.8% success rate. That leads the CCHA and is third nationally.
THE PLAYMAKER: Junior defenseman Brett Blatchford (Temperance, Mich.) snapped a six-game pointless drought when he helped set up Calle Ridderwall’s overtime game winner on Feb. 6 at Ohio State. Blatchford is tied for eighth in the CCHA with 19 assists and his 19 points tie him for fifth among all CCHA defensemen. The smooth-skating defenseman has already exceeded his output of last year when he had 12 assists in 45 games. He currently leads Notre Dame defensemen in scoring.
DYNAMITE DEETH: Junior center Kevin Deeth had three assists in the weekend series against Ohio State. That gives him four goals and 20 assists for 24 points on the season. His 20 assists are just two off his career best of 22 that was set in his freshman year (2006-07).