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

Irish Returns To Hockey East Play With Series At Merrimack

Nov. 12, 2014

Notre Dame, Indiana –

Notre Dame Hockey Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

– The Games: University of Notre Dame (5-4-1/1-0-1) at Merrimack College (6-2-1/2-1-0)

– Date/Site/Times:Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 – J. Thom Lawler Rink (2,549) – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 – J. Thom Lawler Rink (2,549) – 7 p.m.

– Broadcast Information: Radio: Both games of the Merrimack 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: Saturday’s game will be televised live by Fox College Sports Atlantic with Ryan Johnston and Don “Toot” Cahoon handling the play-by-play and analyst’s duties. The game also can be seen on ESPN3.

– Internet: Audio: Live audio streaming for both games of the Merrimack series is available at the Notre Dame website at (WatchND) free of charge. Video: Live streaming for both nights is available on the Merrimack website at This is a pay-per-view site. Statistics: Livestats can be found on the Merrimack website at Twitter: Follow Irish hockey on Twitter at @NDHockey.

HOCKEY EAST ROAD GAME: The University of Notre Dame returns to Hockey East action this weekend, as the Irish open the conference road schedule with a pair of 7 p.m. games on Fri.-Sat., Nov. 14-15 at Merrimack College. The weekend series includes games three and four of Notre Dame’s current four-game road swing. The Irish opened the four games away from the Compton Family Ice Arena with a pair of games last weekend at top-ranked Minnesota. There, Notre Dame dropped a 5-0 contest and a 4-2 decision to the Golden Gophers at Mariucci Arena. The losses snapped a six-game (5-0-1) unbeaten streak for the Irish and gives them a 5-4-1 overall mark and a 1-0-1 record in Hockey East, heading into this weekend’s series versus the Warriors. Merrimack is 6-1-1 overall and 2-1-0 in conference play. The Warriors are coming off a home-and-home series with Providence College where each team won at home. Merrimack dropped a 3-2 decision at Providence and then blanked the Friars 1-0 on Saturday in North Andover, Massachusetts. For the Notre Dame-Merrimack series, live video streaming is available for Friday’s game on the Merrimack website at There is a fee to view the game. Saturday’s contest will be televised live on Fox College Sports Atlantic with Ryan Johnston and Don “Toot” Cahoon calling the action. The game also can be seen on ESPN3.

IRISH VERSUS WARRIORS: Notre Dame and Merrimack have met eight times in the all-time series with the Irish holding a 4-3-1 advantage. At Merrimack, Notre Dame is 2-1-0, having played the Warriors in Billerica, Massachusetts on Dec. 18, 1969, a 5-1 Irish win. The next trip to the Merrimack Valley came on Jan. 7, 1989, with Notre Dame dropping a 6-0 decision. The last time the Irish played at Merrimack came on Nov. 26, 1991. Notre Dame won that game 2-1 in overtime. The teams met for the first time in Hockey East play on Nov. 15-16, 2013, at the Compton Family Ice Arena with the Irish winning the series opener 4-0 before the two teams played to a 2-2 overtime tie in game two of the series. Thirteen current members of the Notre Dame roster have faced Merrimack.

RANKINGS: After dropping a pair of games at top-ranked Minnesota last weekend, Notre Dame has fallen out of the national rankings in both the USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine rankings and the polls. Both the Irish and Merrimack are receiving votes in both polls.

A LOOK AHEAD: Following this weekend’s games at Merrimack, the University of Notre Dame returns home for the next two weeks.Next weekend, Notre Dame will play host to Hockey East foe, UMass Lowell, in a pair of 7:35 p.m. games on Thursday, Nov. 20 and Friday, Nov. 21. The Irish will be looking for their first win against the River Hawks, as the two teams met three times in 2013-14 with UMass Lowell winning all three games. The last meeting came in the Hockey East semifinals with the River Hawks taking a 4-0 win at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The following week (Nov. 28-29), Notre Dame hosts the 2014 Shillelagh Tournament with Union College, Western Michigan and Ohio State.

A LOOK BACK AT MINNESOTA: Friday, Nov. 7 – Minneapolis, Minnesota –

University of Minnesota junior goaltender Adam Wilcox stopped all 20 shots he faced and the Golden Gophers got goals from five different players on the way to a 5-0 shutout of Notre Dame in front of a sellout crowd of 10,052 at Mariucci Arena. Justin Kloos (ppg), Leon Bristedt, MIke Reilly, Sam Warning and Ben Marshall scored for Minnesota, as the Gophers peppered Irish goaltender Cal Petersen (Fr., Waterloo, Iowa) with 44 shots while Notre Dame had just 20 in the game. The loss snaps Notre Dame’s six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) that started on Oct. 1, as the Irish fall to 5-3-1 on the season. The win improves top-ranked Minnesota to 6-1-0 on the year and extends the Gophers’ home winning streak to 16 straight games. Minnesota’s first goal of the night came on the power play and snapped a string of 13 straight power plays killed by the Irish.

Sunday, Nov. 9 – Minneapolis, Minnesota –

The University of Minnesota scored three first-period goals, including two via the power play, and goaltender Adam Wilcox made them stand up, as the Gophers held on to hand Notre Dame a 4-2 loss in front of 9,774 at Mariucci Arena. Sam Warning, Hudson Fasching and Mike Reilly staked Minnesota to the 3-0 lead and Mike Brodzinski added the fourth goal of the game for the Gophers. After going four periods in the series without a goal, Robbie Russo (Sr., Westmont, Ill.) and Austin Wuthrich (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) each scored once in the second period to get Notre Dame on the scoreboard and cut the Gophers’ lead in half at 4-2. Russo’s goal came on the power play and snapped an 0-for-13 power-play drought for the Irish. Minnesota out shot Notre Dame 31-23 in the game, as Wilcox finished with 21 saves. Cal Petersen got the start in goal for the Irish and made six stops in the first period. Chad Katunar (So., Victoria, B.C.) played the final 40 minutes, giving up just one goal on 22 shots.

ENDING DROUGHTS: When Robbie Russo scored on the power play at 12:24 of the second period of the Nov. 9 game against Minnesota, it snapped several drought’s for Notre Dame. First, his power-play goal snapped an 0-for-13 strea with the man advantage and was the first power-play goal for the Irish since Oct. 25 versus Niagara. After scoring their third power-play goal versus the Purple Eagles, Notre Dame was 0-for-3 over the remainder of the Oct. 25 game. Notre Dame then failed to score in five chances versus Vermont (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), was 0-for-3 in the Nov. 7 game versus Minnesota and failed to convert on the first two chances on Nov. 9. Russo’s goal also was the first goal for the Irish since Mario Lucia (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.) scored at 7:09 of the second period on Nov. 1 versus Vermont. Notre Dame went without a goal for 130:15 minutes, or parts of three games. The goal also snapped a run of 10 unanswered goals scored by the opposition over parts of three games.

THE BIG CAT: Sophomore goaltender Chad Katunar did not see any action in goal since Oct. 24 when he faced Niagara until the start of the second period on Nov. 9 versus Minnesota when he took over for starter Cal Petersen. Katunar played the final two periods (38:02) and gave up one goal on 22 shots versus the Gophers. For the season, Katunar has played in four games, is 2-1-0 with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.

STANDING TALL: Freshman goaltender Cal Petersen has now made five consecutive starts for Notre Dame, dating back to Oct. 25 when he shutout Niagara 7-0. He then started both games of the series with Vermont (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), making 34 saves in a 3-2 win on Oct. 31 and then a career-high 42 saves in a 2-2 tie with the Catamounts on Nov. 1. On Nov. 7 versus Minnesota, Petersen faced a season-high 18 shots in the first period, giving up just one power-play goal. He finished the night with 39 saves in a 5-0 loss to the Gophers. His fifth consecutive start came on Nov. 9 when he played the first 20 minutes in the 4-2 loss to Minnesota. He gave up three goals in that start on nine shots. In the five consecutive starts, Petersen is 2-2-1 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. For the season, Petersen is 3-3-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage with one shutout.

SECOND SHUTOUT: 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.

SHOOTING GALLERY: The Irish have given up 119 shots on goal (39.67 per game) over the last three games versus Vermont and Minnesota. That includes 31 versus Minnesota (Nov. 9) and 44 in each game versus Minnesota (Nov. 7) and Vermont (Nov.1.). In those games, Irish goaltenders have stopped 108 of those shots for a .908 save percentage. The two games with 44 shots are the most given up by the Irish this season. In the 10 games played this year, Notre Dame is giving up 32.1 shots per game.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: Senior defenseman Robbie Russo leads all Hockey East defensemen in scoring with 10 points (four goals and six assists) after the first 10 games of the season. His 10 points ties him for third nationally as both Minnesota’s Mike Reilly and Minnesota State’s Zach Palmquist have 11 points on the year. His four goals are tops among Hockey East blue liners and tie him for the most among defensemen on the national level.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Junior left wing Mario Lucia 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. He is currently tied for first in team scoring with Russo with 10 points after 10 games. Lucia has eight goals and two assists. 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.

DIPAULI DOINGS: In 26 games as a sophomore, left wing Thomas DiPauli (Caldaro, Italy) battled injuries the entire season. In those games, he had three goals and two assists for five points. In his first 10 games this season, while totally healthy, DiPauli already has three goals and six assists for nine points. He recorded his first two-goal game when he scored twice in the 3-2 win over Vermont on Oct. 31. His career best came as a freshman when he had five goals and seven assists for 12 points.

SPECIAL TEAM STRUGGLES: Through the first 10 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-43 on the power play for a 9.3% 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 surrendered two power-play goals in three chances in the 6-3 win versus Niagara on Oct. 24. From there, the Irish killed 13 straight opponent power-play chances before giving up a power-play goal to Minnesota in the first period of Friday’s (Nov. 7) game. The Irish killed two-of-four versus the Gophers on Nov. 9. For the year, the Irish have killed 32-of-40 for an 80.0% success rate.

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.

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES: Senior right wing Peter Schneider (Vienna, Austria) had an interesting week prior to the series versus Vermont. 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.

SCORING FIRST: Notre Dame is now 5-1-1 on the season when scoring the first goal of the game. The Irish are 5-1-1 when they lead after one period and 5-0-1 when they have the advantage after two periods.

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.

MEET THE CAPTAINS: University of Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson named his team captains for the 2014-15 season on Sept. 3. Junior center Steven Fogarty (Edina, Minn.) will serve as the team captain while senior Peter Schneider and junior Sam Herr (Hinsdale, Ill.) were selected as alternate captains. In making the selections, Jackson said, “I’m really happy with this group of captains for the coming season. All three – Steven (Fogarty), Peter (Schneider) and Sam (Herr) have strong character and with two juniors as captains, it becomes a two-year process for them leading the team. All three have the heart and voice of the team. They will do a great job for us.” Fogarty is a two-time monogram winner and follows a long line of Irish captains from Edina, Minn., joining the likes of Anders Lee, Ryan Thang and Dan Carlson in recent years. Fogarty played in 33 games last year, scoring three goals with eight assists for 11 points. Schneider is the lone senior and is coming off a junior campaign that saw him record career highs in goals (eight), assists (eight) and points (16). He is strong in the classroom with a 3.95 grade point average with a double major in finance and economics plus a minor in actuary. Herr had a breakout season as a sophomore, playing in all 40 games with 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points, all career highs. He had four power-play goals and four game winners and was +14 on the season.

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.).

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 4-3-1          (1-0-1)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)