Feb. 20, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Series: #9/#9 Notre Dame (21-10-3/14-7-3) vs. Ohio State (10-21-3/6-16-2)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., February 22-23, 2008 â€¢ Joyce Center (2,713) â€¢ 7:35 p.m./7:05 p.m.
â€¢ Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on WDND ESPN Sportscenter 1490 with Mike Lockert calling all the action for the Irish. Television: Friday’s game will be televised by Comcast Local with Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin calling the action. The game can be seen in South Bend on Comcast local access channel 3.
â€¢ Internet: Irish hockey can be heard on the Internet at the Notre Dame website – www.und.com. Saturday’s game will have live video streaming via und.com. All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.
IRISH LOOK TO CLINCH FIRST ROUND BYE: Notre Dame returns home from their weekend in Alaska, looking to clinch fourth place in the CCHA and a first-round bye in the playoffs when they play host to the Ohio State Buckeyes. The two teams will meet on Fri.-Sat., Feb. 22-23 at the Joyce Center. Friday’s game has a 7:35 p.m. starting time and Saturday’s contest will begin at 7:05 p.m. The opening game of the series will be televised live by Comcast Local with Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin calling the action. That game can be seen in South Bend on Comcast Cable channel 3. Saturday’s game will have live video streaming that is free on the Notre Dame website at und.com. The Irish enter the week with a 21-10-3 overall record and are 14-7-3 in the CCHA, good for 31 points with four games left to play. They are four points behind Miami and Michigan State as both teams are tied for second with 35 points. First-place Michigan has 40 points. Notre Dame leads fifth-place Nebraska-Omaha (26) by five points and have two games in hand. The Irish can not be caught by the Mavericks. They lead sixth-place Bowling Green and Ferris State (24) by seven points. Any combination of Irish wins or ties or Falcon losses or ties equaling one point will eliminate Bowling Green while the Irish need any combination of two points versus Ferris State to clinch the spot. Ohio State is currently 10-21-3 overall and 6-16-2 in the conference. The Buckeyes have 14 points and are in 10th place.
IRISH VERSUS BUCKEYES: Notre Dame and Ohio State have met 55 times in the all-time series with the Buckeyes holding a 25-23-7 edge. In games played at the Joyce Center, the series is even at 11-11-2. The teams met twice last season on Nov. 3-4, in Columbus with the Irish winning, 4-2, and then getting a 1-1 tie in the second game. Over the last three meetings, Notre Dame is 2-0-1 vs. OSU. The three-game unbeaten streak that started in 2005-06, ended a seven-game Ohio State winning streak and a span of 17 games from 2000-01 to `05-’06 that saw the Irish win just one game (1-13-3). Notre Dame has not won at the Joyce Center against the Buckeyes since Oct. 23, 1998 (3-0), going 0-6-2 in the last eight games played in South Bend, Ind. The last time Ohio State won at the Joyce Center was the last time the Buckeyes played there, Nov. 26, 2005, a 5-2 victory.
REMAINING SCHEDULE: Notre Dame plays three of its final four games at home. The Irish play host to Ohio State this weekend (Feb. 22-23) before closing out the season with a home-and-home series with Western Michigan. On Feb. 29, the two teams will meet at Kalamazoo with the regular-season finale set for March 1 at the Joyce Center.
MAGIC NUMBERS: With four games left to play on the 2007-08 schedule the Irish have their sights set on capturing one of the top four spots in the CCHA to get a first-round playoff bye and home ice in the second round. Here’s the magic numbers (total points needed via Irish wins or opponent losses) for the Irish to clinch the fourth spot.
Team (Pts) Games Magic No. RemainingND (31) 4 -----BGSU (24) 4 1 pts.FSU (24) 4 2 pts.
MILESTONE: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson needs just two more wins to give him 250 for his nine-year collegiate coaching career. Jackson brings a 248-88-35 overall record into Saturday’s game with Alaska. His .716 winning percentage is tops among active Division I coaches. In three seasons behind the Notre Dame bench, Jackson’s teams own a 66-36-10 record.
NINTH IN THE NATION: Notre Dame remains ninth in the nation in both USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV polls, following a 2-1 win and a 1-1 tie at Alaska last weekend.
ALASKA RECAP: Friday, Feb. 15 – Sophomore Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) scored with 5:11 left on the clock on Friday night to give Notre Dame a 2-1 win over Alaska. Defenseman Kyle Lawson (So., New Hudson, Mich.) found Thang in the slot with a back-hand pass and the Irish left wing scored his team-high 15th goal of the year. Garrett Regan (Jr., Hastings, Minn.) gave Notre Dame the early lead when he scored a first-period power-play goal at 17:15 for his seventh lamplighter of the year. The Nanooks got the equalizer at 10:19 of the third period on Nathan Lawrence’s sixth goal. Jordan Pearce (Jr., Anchorage, Alaska) equaled a season high with 32 saves. Wylie Rogers stopped 28-of-30 Notre Dame shots in the game as Alaska out shot the Irish, 33-30, in the game.
Saturday, Feb. 16 – Senior Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) scored the game-tying goal at 9:55 of the third period to give Notre Dame a 1-1 tie in Saturday’s game with the Nanooks. Alaska got its only goal of the game at 8:24 of the first period on a Landon Novotney power-play goal. Goaltender Wylie Rogers made the 1-0 lead standup until Van Guilder scored his power-play goal. On the night, Notre Dame out shot Alaska by a 41-14 margin. Rogers made 40 saves in the tie while Jordan Pearce made 13 for Notre Dame. The Irish were 1-for-8 on the power play while the Nanooks were 1-for-5.
NANOOKS NUMBER: The win and the tie at Alaska improved Notre Dame to 7-0-1 in its last eight meetings with the Nanooks. The Irish were 6-0-0 in 2006-07, playing Alaska in four regular-season games and two CCHA playoff contests.
GOING HOME: Irish goaltender Jordan Pearce had a successful return to his home state last weekend, picking up a win and a tie versus Alaska. The Anchorage, Alaska native is now 2-0-1 in his three games at the Carlson Center. He won his first game there last season, a 3-2 overtime game.
THE LEADER: In CCHA conference games this season, Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce leads the conference with a 1.81 goals-against average. In 22 CCHA games (1,290:54 minutes), Pearce has given up 39 goals. He leads Michigan’s Billy Sauer and Michigan State’s Jeff Lerg as both have 1.93 goals-against averages in conference play.
CLUTCH SCORER: Ryan Thang’s goal with 5:11 left in Friday’s win over Alaska proved to be the game-winning goal. On the season, Thang now has 15 goals with five coming as game winners and one as a game-tying goal. On Jan. 13, he scored with 38 seconds left versus Michigan State for a 1-1 tie. In 76 career games, the sophomore left wing has 35 goals with 16 coming on the power play and 11 of them game winners. His 11 game winners rank him sixth all-time at Notre Dame in the game-winning goals department for the Irish.
VAN GUILDER IN FINAL 10: Notre Dame team captain Mark Van Guilder (Sr., Roseville, Minn.) has been selected as one of the 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award. Selected along with Van Guilder are: Mark Dekanich (Colgate), Bryce Hollweg (Army), Peter Mannino (Denver), Marty Mjelleli (St. Cloud State), Justin Pesony (St. Lawrence), Kevin Porter (Michigan), Frank Schiavone (Air Force), Topher Scott (Cornell) and Landis Stankievech (Princeton). The 10 players will go on a ballot for nationwide voting that will begin on Feb. 14 and conclude on March 28. Fan balloting is available on the award’s website at www.seniorclassaward.com. The CLASS award was designed to honor the attributes of seniors who remain committed to their university and elects to pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bring. This award provides a fitting honor for a senior leader that has stood up to the challenge. In the end, the award hopes to recognize the prestige and dignity of being a senior hockey player at the college level. Former Irish goaltender David Brown `07 won the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award following the 2006-07 season.
IRON MAN: Senior center Mark Van Guilder has his sights set on Notre Dame’s all-time record for most consecutive games played. The record of 153 straight games was set by Tim Wallace `06 who played in every game of his career – 153 straight. Van Guilder has now played in every game of his career – 150 consecutive games played through the first 34 games this year.
SECOND HALF NUMBERS: After starting the 2007-08 season with a 16-4-0 record through Dec. 8, the Irish are 5-6-3 during the second half. Over the last six games, Notre Dame is 3-1-2. During the second half of the season that started on Dec. 29, the Irish have now scored 32 goals (2.29) while giving up 31 (2.21). In the first half of the year (20 games) the Irish averaged 3.55 goals per game and were ranked third in the country in scoring. They are now 17th, averaging 3.03 goals-per-game.
TAKE THE HIGHWAY: With the win and tie at Alaska, Notre Dame is now 10-5-1 (.656) on the road this season. A year ago, the Irish were 12-4-1 (.735) away from the Joyce Center. The 12 road wins equaled a school record (1979-80 and 1997-98) for road wins. Only the 1983-84 team’s 10-3-1 road mark (.750) is better. The 10 road wins mark the ninth time in the program’s history that the Irish have had 10 or more road wins in a season.
ALL TIED UP: Notre Dame’s 1-1 overtime tie with Alaska was the third overtime game for the Irish this season. They have a 2-2 tie at home with Ferris State (Feb. 9) and a 1-1 tie at Michigan State (Jan. 13) . A year ago, Notre Dame was 3-1-3 in overtime. The three overtime wins were the most for the Irish in a single season. In two-plus seasons under head coach Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame is 3-1-10 in extra play.
BACK ON TRACK: Junior left wing Garrett Regan snapped a 12-game goal less drought in Friday’s 2-1 win over Alaska. Regan had not scored in a regular-season game since Dec. 8 at Princeton. He did have a goal and an assist in Notre Dame’s 2-1 overtime exhibition win against the U.S. Under-18 team on Feb. 1.
PERSONAL STREAK: Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce is now 3-1-2 in his last six starts. In those games, he has a 1.79 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. Earlier this season, Pearce had a personal seven-game winning streak between Nov. 16 and Dec. 8. During the streak, Pearce was 7-0-0 with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. For the season, Pearce is 17-9-3 with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage with two shutouts.
ON THE PLUS SIDE: Senior defenseman Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) is one of the CCHA’s top defensive defensemen. As a junior, he was a finalist for the conference’s top defensive defenseman award. This season, Sheahan continues to be a force on the Irish blue line. He is currently +20 for the year to lead the team in that category. His +20 mark ranks him sixth overall in the CCHA.
ONE-GOAL GAMES: Notre Dame’s 2-1 on Feb. 15 was the 11th one-goal decision that the Irish have been involved in this season. They started the year by going 6-0 in one-goal games and are now 8-3 on the season.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Through the first 32 games of the season, when the Irish are good, they are very good. In the 21 wins, Notre Dame has scored 85 goals (4.05 per game). In the 10 losses and three ties, Notre Dame has scored just 18 goals for a 1.38 goals-per game mark. In the 21 wins, the Irish have given up just 30 goals (1.43 goals-against average) while in the 10 losses and three ties, they have given up 39 goals (3.00 goals against). The 2-1 loss to Northern Michigan on Jan. 4 marked the first time all season that the Irish lost a game when giving up two goals or less.
MR. CONSISTENT: Sophomore defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) has proven to be one of the CCHA’s most consistent defensemen this season. A two-time CCHA defenseman of the week this season, Lawson leads all Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with three goals and 15 assists for 18 points. In the series against Alaska, Lawson set up Ryan Thang’s game winner in the Feb. 15, 2-1 win, then set up Mark Van Guilder’s game-tying goal in the 1-1 tie on Feb. 16. Already this year, he has a power-play goal and a pair of game-winning goals. Lawson’s 18 points ranks him eighth among CCHA defensemen this season. He is fourth on the team with a +10 on the year.
BALANCED ATTACK: Notre Dame comes into the weekend series with Ohio State ranked 17th in the nation in scoring with 3.03 goals per game. With 103 goals in 34 games, the Irish have just three players with 10 or more goals this season – Ryan Thang with 15, Erik Condra with 12 and Mark Van Guilder with 10. The Irish have accumulated their 103 goals this year with 10 players on the roster having five goals or more.
THE PENALTY KILL: Through the first 34 games of the season, Notre Dame ranks first in the CCHA and is tied for fourth in the nation in killing penalties. The Irish have killed 139-of-156 opponent power plays for an 89.1% success rate. The Irish also are tied for second on the national level with eight short-handed goals.
20 WINS: Notre Dame comes into the series with Ohio State with 21 wins on the season. Combined with last year’s 32-win year, Notre Dame now has back-to-back 20-win campaigns for the first time in the program’s 40-year history.
BIG MAC GOAL: Brock Sheahan’s first goal in 34 games on Friday, Feb. 8 not only brought a smile to the senior defenseman’s face, but made 2,857 fans happy also. Sheahan’s goal in the final minute of the second period earned each fan a free Big Mac courtesy of “McDonald’s Magic Minute,” promotion that is a regular in-game promotion at all Irish home games.
HOT HANDS: Notre Dame’s trio of left wing Dan Kissel (So., Crestwood, Ill.), center Christian Hanson (Jr., Venetia, Pa.) and right wing Evan Rankin (Sr., Portage, Mich.) all have career highs offensively for the Irish this season. Kissel ranks sixth on the team in scoring with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points. He is followed by Hanson who has career highs in goals (9), assists (7) and points (16). Rankin has six goals and nine assists for 15 points, all career highs.
GETTING THE BOUNCES: Sophomore center Kevin Deeth is fourth on the Irish in scoring with eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. Over his last 17 games, the speedy Deeth has scored eight times and added five assists for 13 points. Four of his eight goals have come on the power play while one was short-handed.
HOME SWEET HOME: After 12 home games this season, Notre Dame is 8-2-2 (.750) at the Joyce Center. A year ago, Notre Dame was 13-2-2 at home for an .824 winning percentage. That was the best mark since the 2003-04 season when the Irish were 14-2-2 at the Joyce Center for an .833 winning percentage. Only two other Irish teams have had better home records – 1987-88 team was 18-2-0 (.900) and the 1969-70 team was 12-1-1 (.893).
FRIENDLY CONFINES: Notre Dame has had eight sellouts (2,713) in its first 13 home games (including the exhibition game against the U.S. Under-18 Team) and just missed a ninth against Bowling Green on Nov. 20 with a crowd of 2,711 in attendatnce. The Irish have had four consecutive crowds of 2,857 with six of the eight sellouts being standing room only (2,857). The 2,857 are the largest crowds to watch a Notre Dame hockey game since March 3, 1995 when 3,310 saw the Irish defeat Illinois-Chicago. Following that season, new seating was installed, reducing capacity at the Joyce Center. At the beginning of November, a new section of seating was added to the student section to increase the capacity. Through 13 games this year, the Irish are averaging 2,705 fans per game.
DEFENSIVE SCORING: Irish defensemen Brock Sheahan and Ian Cole each scored goals in the weekend series with Ferris State, giving Notre Dame defensemen 15 goals this season. Through the first 34 games, Notre Dame’s defense has accounted for 15 of the team’s 103 goals (14.6%), 47-of-163 assists (28.8%) and 62-of-266 points (23.3%). Kyle Lawson (So., New Hudson, Mich.) leads the group with 3-15-18 and is followed by Sheahan with one goal and 10 assists for 11 points. Dan VeNard (5-5-10), Cole (4-5-9) and Brett Blatchford (So., Temperance, Mich.) with nine assists all have nine points on the year. each have nine assists for nine point on the year. Teddy Ruth (Fr., Naperville, Ill.) checks in with a goal and two assists while Luke Lucyk (Jr., Fox Point, Wis.) has a goal and an assist.