March 22, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. – The 2009 CCHA champion Notre Dame hockey team will continue postseason play on Sat.-Sun, March 28-29 as the Irish were selected as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich. They will face the Bemidji State Beavers, winners of College Hockey America (CHA) tournament. The game will be played at Van Andel Arena beginning at 7:30 p.m. and televised by ESPN Classic.
Joining Notre Dame and Bemidji State in the regional are No. 2 seed Northeastern from Hockey East and No. 3 Cornell from the ECAC Hockey League. The Huskies and the Big Red will meet on Saturday in a 4:00 p.m. game that will be televised on ESPNU.
The Midwest Regional championship game is set for 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 29 and will be televised on ESPNU with the winner advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four in Washington, D.C., April 9-11.
Notre Dame is making its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the fourth in the program’s 41-year history. Last season, the Irish were the last at-large team to make the tournament and advanced to the Frozen Four where they lost in the national championship game to Boston College, 4-1, after defeating Michigan, 5-4, in the semifinals. Notre Dame advanced out of the West Regional at Colorado Springs, Colo., as a No. 4 seed with a 7-3 win over top-seeded New Hampshire and then won the regional with a 3-1 win over Michigan State. In 2006-07, the Irish were the tournament’s top seed and defeated Alabama-Huntsville, 3-2, in double overtime in the opening game before falling to Michigan State in the Midwest Regional by a 2-1 score. In 2003-04, Notre Dame made its first-ever appearance, playing in Grand Rapids where they dropped an opening round game to Minnesota, 5-2.
The Irish enter the tournament ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and No. 1 in the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports with a 30-5-3 overall record. They won the CCHA regular-season and tournament championship for the second time in three seasons. The Irish defeated Northern Michigan, 2-1, on March 20 in the CCHA semifinals and then rallied from a 2-1 deficit by scoring four third-period goals to defeat Michigan, 5-2, in the conference title game.
Bemidji State enters the tournament with an 18-15-1 overall record and advanced to the Midwest Regional by winning the CHA tournament championship. The Beavers also won the conference’s regular-season title. Notre Dame has never faced Bemidji State who will be making their third appearance in the tournament and the first since 2006.
The early game will feature No. 2 seed Northeastern and No. 3 Cornell. The Huskies are 25-11-4 and finished second in Hockey East during the regular campaign with an 18-6-3 mark. They qualified as an at-large team and will be making their fourth NCAA tournament appearance with the most recent one coming in 1994. Notre Dame has faced Northeastern six times in the all-time series and holds a 3-2-1 overall record. The last time the two schools met was Oct. 28, 2002 in Boston, Mass., in a game that ended in a 3-3 tie.
Cornell also gained an at-large bid after going 21-9-4 overall and finished second in ECAC Hockey with a 13-6-3 regular-season record. The Big Red has been to the NCAA Tournament 16 times in the program history with the last trip coming in 2006. Cornell won NCAA championships in 1967 and 1970. The Irish and the Big Red have met four times all-time with Notre Dame holding a 3-1 edge. The two teams last met in the Everblades College hockey tournament in Estero, Fla., on Dec. 27, 2003 with Cornell winning by a 4-0 score.
Tickets may be purchased at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices, Ticketmaster ticket centers, including D&W stores and select Family Fare locations, charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000 or on line at ticketmaster.com.
Adult all-session tickets are $65.00 (for three games) and for students are $30.00 (with a valid ID). All session tickets includes tickets for games on Sat., March 28 (4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) and Sunday, March 29 at 8:00 p.m.
Individual session tickets may be purchased beginning Wednesday, March 25 at noon at a price of $35.00 for Saturday’s games and $35.00 for Sunday’s regional championship game.
Tickets for groups are available by calling 616-742-6185, by emailing group sales @smggr.com or go to www.vanandelarena.com/groupsales.