Feb. 18, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Game: #2/#2 Notre Dame (23-5-3/17-4-3-3) at Nebraska-Omaha (13-13-7/8-11-7-3)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat, Feb. 20-21, 2009 â€¢ Omaha Civic Auditorium (8,314) â€¢ 7:05 p.m. (CT)
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’s game will be televised live by CBS College Sports beginning at 7:05 p.m. (8:05 p.m. in South Bend).
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.
TAKING THE SHOW ON THE ROAD: Notre Dame takes to the road again this weekend as the Irish travel to Omaha, Neb., for a series with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Feb. 20-21. Both games will be played at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, the former home of the Mavs, as the Qwest Center is hosting the state wrestling tournament. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. (CT) and 8:05 p.m. in the Michiana area. Friday’s game will be televised live by CBS College Sports. This marks the fourth consecutive Friday night that Notre Dame hockey will be seen on CBSC. The Irish enter the weekend with a 23-5-3 overall record and a 17-4-3-3 mark in the CCHA, good for 40 points. That gives them a four-point lead on second-place Miami and a six-point lead on third-place Michigan with four games to play. The Mavericks are 13-13-7 overall and are 8-11-7-3 in the conference and have 26 points. That puts them in sixth place, one point ahead of seventh-place Ferris State and three behind fifth-place Ohio State. This weekend’s games are the final CCHA games for the Mavs. The Irish are ranked second in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CBS College Sports hockey polls.
IRISH VERSUS MAVERICKS: Notre Dame and Nebraska-Omaha have met 25 times in the all-time series with the Irish holding a 12-9-4 edge in games played to date. In Omaha, Notre Dame is 6-5-2 and has a 5-2-3 edge in the last 10 games overall. Last season, the two teams met twice at Notre Dame with the Irish taking 5-4 and 5-0 wins at the Joyce Center. The last time Notre Dame won at UNO was on Nov. 24, 2006, a 4-2 win at the Qwest Center. The Irish dropped a 3-2 decision to the Mavericks in the second game of that series the last time they played in Omaha.
CCHA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame right wing Erik Condra (Sr., Livonia, Mich.) and junior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) were selected as the CCHA offensive and defensive players of the week for the week ending Feb. 15. Condra led Notre Dame to a pair of wins over Northern Michigan with a seven-point weekend (2g, 5a), including a five-point night (2g, 3a) on Feb. 13 in the 9-5 win. Lawson paced Irish defenders in scoring with a goal and four assists for five points. He had three assists in the 9-5 win and then scored the game-winning goal in Saturday’s 5-2 win. Both players were the Perani First Star of the game – Condra on Friday and Lawson on Saturday night.
MAGIC NUMBERS: With four regular-season CCHA games left on the schedule, the Irish are now driving for the conference’s regular-season title. The Irish have already clinched a first-round bye and have a four-point lead on Miami with four games left and a six point lead on Michigna with four games left on the docket. Going into this weekend’s series, any combination of five points (Irish wins/ties or Miami losses/ties) will give Notre Dame the regular-season title. Three points will eliminate Michigan from title contention.
Team (Pts) Games Magic No. RemainingNotre Dame (40) 4 -----Miami (36) 4 5 pts.Michigan (34) 4 3 pts.
NORTHERN MICHIGAN RECAP: Friday, February 13
Offense was the name of the game at the Joyce Center on Friday night as Notre Dame took a 9-5 decision versus Northern Michigan. The Irish jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 11:56 of the first period only to see the Wildcats battle back to tie the game by the 5:24 mark of the second stanza. From there, the Irish out scored Northern Michigan by a 5-1 margin with four of the five goals coming on the power play. Erik Condra (Sr., Livonia, Mich.) led the attack with a five-point game, scoring twice and adding three assists. Defenseman Ian Cole (So., Ann Arbor, Mich.) also scored twice and picked up two assists for the first four-point game of his career. Senior center Justin White (Traverse City, Mich.) added two goals, including the game winner at 00:54 of the third period. Eight players had two or more points in the game. Also scoring goals for the Irish were Garrett Regan (Sr., Hastings, Minn.), Ben Ryan (So., Brighton, Mich.) and Calle Ridderwall (So., Stockholm, Sweden). The Irish were 6-for-8 on the power play while Northern was 1-for-4. Notre Dame out shot Ohio State by a 33-22 margin. Jordan Pearce (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) made 17 saves on the night. Brian Stewart played 11:56 for the Wildcats and made five saves while Derek Janzen played the final 48:04, making 19 saves.
Saturday, February 14
Notre Dame’s power play again took care of the Irish offense on Saturday night, scoring four times in eight tries in a 5-2 win over Northern Michigan. Billy Maday (Fr., Burr Ridge, Ill.), Calle Ridderwall, Kyle Lawson (Jr., New Hudson, Mich.) and Ben Ryan each scored power plays by the 3:18 mark of the second period to help the Irish build a 4-0 lead. Ryan’s goal was followed by a pair of lamplighters by Northern Michigan’s Gregor Hanson to cut the lead to 4-2 at 9:18 of the middle stanza. Garrett Regan scored his second goal of the weekend and seventh of the season for a 5-2 lead at 12:55 of the second period for the game’s final goal. On the night, the Irish out shot Northern Michigan by a 33-19 margin. Jordan Pearce made 17 saves in goal for Notre Dame to pick up his 22nd win of the season. Northern Michigan’s power play was 0-for-6 in the game.
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 53 of the last 54 Irish games. Of those 53 games, 52 have been starts. Pearce has now appeared in 28 straight games for the Irish, making 27 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 30 of Notre Dame’s first 31 games this season and is 22-5-2 with a 1.82 goals-against average and a .927 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.
MORE PEARCE: Jordan Pearce’s two wins over Northern Michigan, gives him 22 wins on the season and a total of 51 in his career, making him just the third goaltender in the program’s 41-year history to win over 50 games or more games in his career. Only David Brown `07 with 54 and Lance Madson `90 with 55 have wom more games than Pearce. With his 22 wins this season, Pearce has now won 20 or more games in each of the last two seasons to become the first goaltender in the program’s history to win 20 or more games twice in his career.
HOW GOOD IS PEARCE: Going into this weekend’s series at Nebraska-Omaha, Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce leads the nation in wins (22), is third in minutes played (1,783:08), is seventh in goals-against average (1.81), 10th in save percentage (.927), 4th in winning percentage (.783) and tied for second in shutouts (4).
TURNING ON THE POWER: Over the last four games, Notre Dame’s power play has blasted off. In the four games, the Irish are 14-for-27 (51.9%) when playing with the extra man. On Feb. 6 at Ohio State, they were 3-for-5 and then followed that with a 1-for-6 afternoon on Feb. 8. Last weekend, the Irish were 6-for-12 in Friday’s 9-5 win with Northern Michigan and followed that with a 4-for-8 night. For the season, the Irish are 48-for-190 for a 25.3% success rate on the power play. They lead the nation in power-play goals and percentage.
NEW HOME FOR THE IRISH: The University of Notre Dame announced on Feb. 12, 2009 that construction on a new, freestanding, on-campus ice arena designed to meet both the needs of the nationally ranked Irish hockey team and the local community would begin next year. The announcement was made by Notre Dame executive vice-president John Affleck-Graves and athletics director Jack Swarbrick. The construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2010 on a projected 5,000-seat arena – with the venue ready for play to start the 2011-12 season. The University’s Board of Trustees approved the project at its meetings on campus during the first week of February. “We’re thrilled about the plans for a new ice arena on our campus, particularly based on the superb job Jeff Jackson and our hockey team have done to position our program as one of the best in the nation,” said Swarbrick. “In addition to providing a first-rate home for our hockey team, this new facility will be made available whenever possible to our community as a whole, and, in particular, to the many area youth hockey and figure skating programs that are in need of an additional venue,” Affleck-Graves said. “This is the most important and missing piece of the puzzle to this hockey program. The new building will create an environment that our fans, the students, the players, and our hockey alumni can be proud of,” said Irish coach Jeff Jackson. The new ice arena will be located south of the Joyce Center, just north of Edison Road, and just west of where the new Irish track and field facility is being constructed. In addition to the track and field project, the University currently is in the process of building new stadia for both soccer and lacrosse (both scheduled for completion this year) – in addition to the ongoing Joyce Center arena addition and renovation that began in September 2008. The majority of the general public arena seating will be of the chair-back variety. The facility will include two sheets of ice (one of them Olympic-sized), with limited seating availability for the second sheet. The plan also will include offices and locker room and weight and cardio training facilities for the Notre Dame hockey program. Locker rooms also will be available for campus and community use of the facility. The new ice arena will replace the Joyce Center fieldhouse as Notre Dame’s home for ice hockey. The Joyce Center was dedicated in December 1968 as the Athletic and Convocation Center. It was renamed in 1987 in honor of Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s executive vice president and chair of the Faculty Board on Athletics from 1952 to 1987.
SIX-PACK: Notre Dame’s six power-play goals versus Northern Michigan on Feb. 13 marked the second time this season that the Irish scored six power-play goals in a game. The first time came on Nov. 22 in a 9-1 win at Bowling Green. They were 6-for-12 that night.
A FIVE SPOT: Senior captain Erik Condra recorded the third, five-point game of his career in the 9-5 win over Northern Michigan on Feb. 13. He also had five point games in his sophomore year versus Lake Superior State (2g, 3a) and Robert Morris (1g, 4a). He followed that up with two assists in the 5-2 win on February 14. The seven-point weekend gives him the team lead in scoring with 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points. For his career, Condra now has 45 goals and 106 assists for 151 career points to move into 14th on the all-time points list as he moved past Tim Kuehl `90 (145), Jeff Logan `82 (146) and Bill Rothstein `82 (147). His 106 assists move him past Jamie Ling `96 into ninth on the all-time assist list, one behind Dave Poulin `82 who recruited him to Notre Dame.
COLE ON A ROLL: Sophomore defenseman Ian Cole picked up the first four-point game of his career, scoring a pair of power-play goals with two assists in the 9-5 win over Northern Michigan. He followed that up with an assist in the 5-2 win on Saturday, Feb. 14. A week ago (Feb. 6) at Ohio State, Cole had a goal and two assists in the 4-3 win over the Buckeyes. Cole has now scored in three of his last four games, getting eight points (3g, 5a). He is tied for the team lead in scoring among defensemen with 21 points on six goals and 15 assists. That ties him for the team lead in scoring among defensemen with Brett Blatchford (Jr., Temperance, Mich.) with 21 points. Cole also leads the team with a +10.
ON THE SIDELINES: Senior center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) and junior left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) both missed both games of the Northern Michigan series after being injured on Feb. 6 at Ohio State. Hanson suffered a concussion and is expected to return to the lineup for the Nebraska-Omaha series. Thang suffered a high ankle sprain and is out indefinitely. 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.
SWEDISH POWER: Sophomore left wing Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm, Sweden) has had a break out season in 2008-09 as he is second on the Irish scoresheet with 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points. He has proven to be a sniper supreme on the power play as he leads the Irish and the CCHA with 11 power-play goals this season. That ranks him third in the nation in that category. Ridderwall also is tied for the team and CCHA lead with four game-winning goals this year. Both of his goals in the Northern Michigan series came via the power play.
FIRST AND LAST: Senior left wing Garrett Regan had two goals and an asssist for three points in the series sweep of Northern Michigan. Regan’s first goal came on the power play at 1:21 of the first period to start the weekend’s deluge of power-play goals. Regan then scored the final goal of the weekend at 12:55 of the second period. This one came at even strength, one of just four even-strength goals for the Irish on the weekend.
ROAD WARRIORS: Notre Dame brings an 11-2-1 record on the road into the series at Nebraska-Omaha this weekend. The Irish saw their 12-game road unbeaten streak snapped on Feb. 8 in a 4-1 loss at Ohio State. Prior to that, they had not lost on the road since Oct. 11 in the season opener. Notre Dame needs just one more win to equal their all-time best road total of 12 wins. 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).
RYAN’S STORY: Sophomore center Ben Ryan has gotten the hot hand at the right time this season. In the series against Northern Michigan, Ryan had a pair of multi-point games, scoring a goal and two assists in the 9-5 win and then getting a goal and an assist the following night. After a slow start to the season, Ryan now has 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists. As a freshman last season, he had 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points.
LAW(SON) AND ORDER: Junior defenseman Kyle Lawson equaled a career high with three assists in Notre Dame’s 9-5 win over Northern Michigan. He followed that with the game-winning goal and an assist the following night to record a five-point weekend. He ranks third on the Notre Dame defense in scoring with three goals and 15 assists for 18 points. The game-winning goal was the third of his career. The leader and warrior on Notre Dame’s defense is second on the team with a +9.
THE PASSMASTER: Junior center Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) has become the team’s top playmaker, dishing out a team and personal best 23 assists this season to go with four goals for 27 points. The speedy center is in the midst of a five-game point and assist streak as he has seven assists for seven points in those games. His 23 assists tie him for third in the CCHA in that category. For his career, Deeth has played in 118 games and now has 32 goals and 59 assists for 91 points.
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.
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.
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Two members of the Notre Dame hockey team are among the list of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Named to the list last week 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 27 games together this season, the duo has combined for 24 goals and and 28 assists with Maday having nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points while Ridderwall has 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points in those games.
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: Six Notre Dame players currently rank in the top 12 in the CCHA for power-play point production. Left wing Calle Ridderwall is tied for second (11-9-20) while center Kevin Deeth (3-13-16) is tied for fourth. Freshman right wing Billy Maday (6-9-15) is tied for seventh and senior Erik Condra (5-9-14) is tied for ninth. Center Christian Hanson (6-7-13 ) and defenseman Brett Blatchford (0-13-13) round out the group as they are tied for 12th.
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. Ten of Notre Dame’s 15 home games this season have had crowds of 2,713 or more.
MONTH-BY-MONTH: The Irish were 3-3-0 in the month of October. They followed that with a 7-0-2 record in November and a 4-0-0 mark in December to close out the 2008 portion of the schedule. Notre Dame wrapped up the month of January with a 6-1-1 record and has started February with a 3-1-0 mark.