Senior defenseman Robbie Russo leads all Hockey East defensemen in goals (5) and points (12).

Irish Return Home To Face UMass Lowell In Key Hockey East Series

Nov. 19, 2014

Notre Dame, Indiana –

Notre Dame Hockey Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

UMass Lowell Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

– The Games:University of Notre Dame (6-5-1/2-1-1) vs. #5/#5 UMass Lowell (7-2-2/4-0-1)

– Date/Site/Times:Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 – Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) – 7:35 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 – Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) – 7:35 p.m.

– Broadcast Information: Radio: Both games of the UMass Lowell series can be heard live on New Country 99.9 FM in South Bend and at (WatchND). Darin Pritchett, the voice of the Irish, will call the action. Television:Friday’s game will be televised live by the NBC Sports Network with Gord Miller calling the action and Pierre McGuire “Inside the Glass.”

– Internet: Audio: Live audio streaming for both games of the UMass Lowell series is available at the Notre Dame website at (WatchND) free of charge. Video: Live streaming for Thursday’s game is available at Statistics: Livestats can be found on GameTracker on the Notre Dame website at Twitter: Follow Irish hockey on Twitter at @NDHockey.

FIRST TIMERS: For the second home series in a row, the University of Notre Dame will play host to a team making its first-ever visit to South Bend for hockey. On Oct. 31-Nov. 1, the University of Vermont visited Michiana for the first time and this week, the University of Massachusetts Lowell visits Notre Dame for the first time in the series. The Irish and River Hawks have met just three times in the all-time series with those three meetings coming last season, in Notre Dame’s first Hockey East campaign. UMass Lowell won all three games – two in the regular season and then in the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden in Boston. This week’s series will be played on Thursday and Friday with both games set for 7:35 p.m. on Nov. 20 and 21. For Notre Dame, this will be the first home game for the Irish since Nov. 1, as they have played their last four contests on the road, going 1-3-0 in those games. Notre Dame is 6-5-1 overall and 2-1-1 in Hockey East play, good for sixth in the conference with five points. The River Hawks saw a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) snapped at home last Saturday, as UMass Lowell dropped a 4-2 decision to Penn State. The River Hawks are ranked fifth in both national polls and are 7-2-2 on the season, including a 4-0-1 mark in Hockey East, good for a second-place tie with Boston University. Thursday’s game will have live video streaming at while Friday’s contest will be televised live by the NBC Sports Network with NHL veterans Gord Miller calling the action and Pierre McGuire “Inside the Glass.”

IRISH VERSUS THE RIVER HAWKS: This series between Notre Dame and UMass Lowell is one of the newest for the Irish, as the two teams met for the first time in November 2013 at Lowell, Massachusetts, in a two-game series. The River Hawks took both game at the Tsongas Center by 1-0 and 3-1 scores. On March 21, 2014, the teams met again at TD Garden in Boston in the Hockey East semifinals. Goaltender Connor Hellebucyk made 35 saves, including 15 in the third period as the River Hawks blanked the Irish 4-0 on the way to the Hockey East playoff championship. UMass Lowell out scored the Irish by an 8-1 margin in the three games despite Notre Dame having a 110-84 advantage in shots. The River Hawks are 3-0-0 record against the Irish in the all-time series.

RANKINGS:Notre Dame is receiving votes in this week’s poll but is not ranked in the USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine rankings UMass Lowell is ranked fifth in both national polls.

A LOOK AHEAD: Following this weekend’s home series with UMass Lowell, the University of Notre Dame will play host to the Shillelagh Tournament at the Compton Family Ice Arena. This will be the fifth edition of the tournament and the second played at the Compton. The first three tourneys (2009-11) were played at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Joining the Irish in the tournament are Union College, Ohio State and Western Michigan. The Buckeyes and Broncos open the tournament at 4:05 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28 with the Irish facing the defending national champion Dutchmen at 7:35 p.m. Union College will then face either Ohio State or Western Michigan at 4:05 p.m. on Nov. 29. Notre Dame faces the remaining team at 7:35 p.m. In the first four tournaments, Notre Dame has finished first twice (2009 and 2010), third in 2011 and second in November 2013 to Northeastern.


Friday, Nov. 14 – No. Andover, Massachusetts – Freshman center Connor Hurley (Edina, Minn.) beat Merrimack goaltender Rasmus Tirronen on a rebound of his own shot at 1:44 of overtime to give the University of Notre Dame a 3-2 overtime win in front of sell-out crowd of 2,549 at J. Thom Lawler Rink. The Irish and Warriors traded goals through the first 60 minutes with Vince Hinostroza (So., Bartlett, Ill.) and Andy Ryan (Jr., Brighton, Mich.) scoring for Notre Dame while Brian Christie and Brett Seney scored for Merrimack. Seney’s goal tied the game at 5:12 of the third period, leading to the overtime stanza. On the winning goal, freshman right wing Jake Evans (Toronto, Ont.) carried the puck over the Merrimack blue line while Hurley drove to the goal. Evans put a pass right on Hurley’s stick, as he battled a defenseman and got a shot off on Tirronen. The big Finnish netminder made the save with the rebound falling in the crease to his right where Hurley lifted it over him for his second goal of the season and the game winner. The Irish out shot Merrimack by a 25-24 margin with sophomore Chad Katunar (Victoria, B.C.) making 22 saves in goal for Notre Dame. Tirronen, Hockey East’s goaltender of the month for October, also finished with 22 saves in the contest.

Saturday, Nov. 15 – No. Andover, Massachusetts – Merrimack freshman right wing Mathieu Tibbet scored a pair of goals while John and Hamphus Gustafsson (ppg) each scored once, as Merrimack College handed the University of Notre Dame a 4-1 loss on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 2,549 at J. Thom Lawler Rink. Senior defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) had the lone Irish goal in the loss.Merrimack senior goaltender Rasmus Tirronen stopped 20-of-21 shots in the game while Irish netminder Cal Petersen (Fr., Waterloo, Iowa) finished with 20 saves on the night. Merrimack was one-for-five on the power play while the Irish continued to struggle, going 0-for-4. Freshman center Connor Hurley was awarded a penalty shot in the third period but failed to score. The loss snapped Notre Dame’s three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) in Hockey East play to start the season.

OVERTIME WINNERS: Friday night’s overtime win for Notre Dame was its first since March 1, 2014 when the Irish took a 2-1 overtime win at Boston College’s Conte Forum. The last time the Irish lost an overtime game came on March 29, 2014, when Notre Dame lost a 4-3 overtime decision to St. Cloud State in the NCAA West Regionals in St. Paul, Minnesota. The overtime game was the second for the Irish this season as they tied Vermont 2-2 on Nov. 1 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. They are 1-0-1 on the year and unbeaten in their last two overtime games.

THE BIG KAT: Sophomore goaltender Chad Katunar made his first start since Oct. 24 in the Nov. 14th overtime win versus Merrimack. He stopped 22 shots in the 3-2 overtime win. The win was his third straight since dropping the season opener to Rensselaer 3-2 in the Ice Breaker Tournament. Katunar is now 3-1-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. Friday’s game was his second consecutive appearance, as he took over in the second period at Minnesota on Nov. 9. In his last two appearances he has given up three goals in 99:46 for a 1.80 goals-against average and has stopped 43-of-46 shots (.935 save percentage).

STANDING TALL: Prior to the start of the Merrimack series (Nov. 14), freshman goaltender Cal Petersen made five consecutive starts for Notre Dame, dating back to Oct. 25 when he shutout Niagara 7-0. In the five consecutive starts, Petersen was 2-2-1 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. For the season, Petersen is 3-4-1 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage with one shutout. Chad Katunar broke Petersen’s streak of five straight starts when he started on Nov. 14 versus Merrimack.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: Senior defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) took over the Notre Dame team lead in scoring with a goal and an assist in the weekend series at Merrimack. Russo now has five goals and seven assists for 12 points on the season. He leads all Hockey East defensemen in goals with five and in scoring with the 12 points. He is second nationally among defensemen in points, just one behind Union College’s Jeff Taylor (3g, 10a) and his five goals are tied for the national lead among blue liners with Denver’s Joey LaLeggia. Russo also is +10 on the year and has 10 blocked shots for the Irish. He leads the squad with 39 shots on goal.

2014 WORLD JUNIOR A CHALLENGE: Two future Notre Dame players that have signed national letters of intent have been selected to play on the U.S. Junior Select Team that will play in the World Junior A Challenge, Dec. 14-20, in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Forward Andrew Oglevie (Fullerton, Calif.), a member of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, will be joined by defenseman Bobby Nardella (Rosemont, Ill.) of the Tri-City Storm. Oglevie was a member of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge team that won the gold medal. Oglevie, who signed his letter of intent during the 2012-13 season, is currently third on his Cedar Rapids team in scoring with four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 15 games. That puts him in a tie for 11th in the USHL scoring race. Nardella is fifth in scoring for Tri-City with two goals and seven assists for nine points in 15 games. He is tied for the team lead among Storm defensemen in scoring and is tied for seventh among USHL defensemen in scoring.

PENALTY SHOTS: Freshman center Connor Hurley was awarded a penalty shot with 6:37 left in the third period on Nov. 15 versus Merrimack. After making a great move to deke goaltender Rasmus Tirronen, Hurley had the whole net to shoot at, but the puck rolled off his stick and wide of the goal. The penalty shot was the first for a Notre Dame player since Dec. 6, 2013, when Jeff Costello was awarded one versus Massachusetts and scored in a 5-3 win. The last time a Notre Dame player missed a penalty shot came on Jan. 26, 2013 when Anders Lee was stopped in a game versus Ferris State.

RYAN FOR THE OFFENSE: Junior defenseman Andy Ryan scored the first goal of the game in the 3-2 overtime win against Merrimack on Nov. 14. His goal snapped a personal 33-game goal-less drought for the 6-0, 204-pound blue liner. His last goal came on Dec. 6, 2013 in a 5-3 win over Massachusetts.

THE ITALIAN STALLION: Junior left wing Thomas DiPauli (Caldaro, Italy) is on a roll for the Irish offensively, as he is now second on the team with three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 12 games for Notre Dame. The 11 points is one off his career-best total of 12 points (5g, 7a) set in his freshman season (2012-13) when he played in 41 games.

THE KID LINE: Notre Dame’s freshman line of left wing Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.), center Connor Hurley and right wing Jake Evans has played well since being combined in the series at Minnesota. The trio was on the ice for Hurley’s game winner in the 3-2 overtime win against Merrimack with Evans setting him up. Earlier in the game, Bjork helped set up Andy Ryan’s goal that gave the Irish a 2-1 lead. Through 12 games, the trio has six goals and 13 assists for 19 points.

IRISH VERSUS HOCKEY EAST: Notre Dame begins its second season in Hockey East in 2014-15 after turning in a 9-9-2 mark in league play last year. The Irish followed that with a 3-2 mark in the postseason. In year one, Notre Dame met UMass Lowell for the first time on the ice. This season, the Irish will face another Hockey East opponent for the first time – the University of Connecticut – as the Huskies begin their first season in the conference. Here are Notre Dame’s all-time records versus each Hockey East team with the 2013-14 records.

Team                   Record                 (2013-14)Boston College:        Irish are 16-19-2    (3-2-0)Boston University:     Irish are 5-3-1      (3-0-0)Maine:                 Irish are 5-2-0          (1-1-0)Massachusetts:         Irish are 3-4-0          (1-1-0)UMass Lowell:          Irish are 0-3-0          (0-3-0)Merrimack:             Irish are 5-4-1          (1-1-0 in `14-'15))New Hampshire:         Irish are 2-6-0          (0-2-0)Northeastern:          Irish are 4-6-1          (1-2-0)Providence:            Irish are 4-2-1          (1-0-1)Vermont:               Irish are 3-1-2          (1-0-1 in `14-15)

CUTTING THE SHOTS: Prior to last weekend’s series at Merrimack, Notre Dame had given up 119 shots on goal (39.67 per game) over the previous three games versus Vermont and Minnesota. Versus Merrimack, the Irish gave up just 48 goals in the two games (24.0 per game).The season high for shots against in a game is 44 and was set by Minnesota (Nov. 7) and Vermont (Nov.1). The 24 shots taken by Merrimack in each game, Nov. 14-15, were the second fewest given up by the Irish this season. The season low is 23 by Niagara on Oct. 25.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Junior left wing Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) was named the Hockey East/Warrior player of the month for October. In seven games, Lucia had seven goals and two assists for nine points. He had 19 shots on goal with a 36.8% shooting percentage and was +5. Lucia scored his first career hat trick in October and added one game-winning goal. His season-best six-game point streak (7g, 2a, 9 points) and three-game goal streak (3g, 1a, 4 pts.) were snapped in the 5-0 shutout by Minnesota on Nov. 7. Lucia leads Notre Dame with eight goals and is third on the roster in scoring with 10 points (8g, 2a).

SECOND SHUTOUT: University of Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox’ 20-save, 5-0 shutout for Minnesota on Nov. 7 was the second this season versus Notre Dame. On Oct. 12, in the third-place game of the Ice Breaker Tournament at Notre Dame, Minnesota Duluth’s Matt McNeeley stopped all 23 shots he faced in a 3-0 shutout win. The 5-0 shutout by the Gophers was the largest margin of victory in a shutout against the Irish since Dec. 8, 2004, when Notre Dame was shutout 8-0 at home by Michigan.

SPECIAL TEAM STRUGGLES: Through the first 12 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored just four power-play goals and the Irish scored three of them in one game. For the year, Notre Dame is four-for-49 on the power play for an 8.2% success rate. The Irish were 3-for-9 with the man advantage in the 7-0 win over Niagara on Oct. 25 and the fourth power-play goal came on Sunday, Nov. 9 (1-for-6 versus Minnesota). On the penalty killing side, Notre Dame is 39-for-48 for an 81.2% mark. The Irish have given up a power-play goal in three of the last four games (12-for-16, 75.0%).

FIVE GOALS: The five goals given up by the Irish in Friday’s (Nov. 7) 5-0 loss to Minnesota are the most goals given up by Notre Dame this season. The previous high was three goals. The last time the Irish gave up five goals or more in a game was on Feb. 1, 2014, in a 5-2 loss at New Hampshire. The five-goal loss was the largest margin of defeat since Dec. 2, 2011, when Notre Dame dropped a 9-2 decision to Northeastern at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

IT’S IN THE WATER: This year’s Notre Dame roster features seven Minnesota natives, including four from the town of Edina. The four, junior Steven Fogarty, sophomore Ben Ostlie and freshmen Connor Hurley and Bo Brauer, were all teammates with the Hornets in recent seasons, winning Minnesota State titles in 2010 (Fogarty and Ostlie) and in 2013 (Hurley and Brauer). Those four are following a long list of former Hornets to attend Notre Dame, a list that includes former captains Anders Lee, Ryan Thang and Dan Carlson. The remaining three Minnesota natives are junior Mario Lucia and freshmen Tony Bretzman (Mendota Heights, Minn.) and Jordan Gross (Maple Grove, Minn.).

THE SHOOTIST: Throughout his Notre Dame hockey career, senior defenseman Robbie Russo has been encouraged by his coaching staff to shoot the puck. As a senior, the message has sunk in, as the talented defenseman leads the Irish in shots on goal with 39 through the first 12 games. Sam Herr (Hinsdale, Ill.) is second with 32. Russo had a career-high nine shots on goal in the 5-3 win over Lake Superior State on Oct. 17.

SCORING FIRST: Notre Dame is now 6-1-1 on the season when scoring the first goal of the game. The Irish are 6-1-1 when they lead after one period and 6-0-1 when they have the advantage after two periods. On the other side of the coin, Notre Dame is 0-4-0 when giving up the first goal of the game and 0-4-0 when trailing after one period. The Irish are 0-5-0 when trailing after two periods of play.

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES: Senior right wing Peter Schneider (Vienna, Austria) had an interesting week prior to the series versus Vermont (Oct. 31-Nov.1). Early in the week, Schneider got the bad news that his grandmother had passed away in his native Austria. He returned home on Tuesday (Oct. 28) to be with his family and to attend her funeral. On Friday (Oct. 31), he left Vienna at 7 a.m. in Austria (1:00 a.m. at Notre Dame) and flew from Vienna to Frankfurt, Germany, and after a layover there, it was on to Chicago. From Chicago, he traveled by car to South Bend, arriving just after 5 p.m. to prepare for the game. He spent 14 hours flying and then a two-hour trip in the car, covering seven time zones. In both games, Schneider took a regular shift, saw action on the power play and penalty-killing units and set up one goal each night by Mario Lucia. On Sunday, Nov. 2, Schneider rested.

BY THE CLASSES: Notre Dame’s 27-man roster includes six seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and 10 freshmen. The Irish return 11 monogram winners from last season with that group including seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender.