Captain Ryan Thang has been Notre Dame's top scorer in the second half of the season with six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 16 games since  Jan. 2.

Irish Set To Open CCHA Playoffs On The Road At Ohio State

March 3, 2010

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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– The Games: Notre Dame (13-15-8/9-12-7-2) at Ohio State (12-16-6/10-12-6-4)

– Date/Site/Time: Friday-Sunday, March 5-7, 2010 – OSU Ice Rink (800) – 7:05 p.m. each night

– Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM, starting with the pre-game show 20 minutes before the opening faceoff. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish.

– Internet: Audio: All three games of the Ohio State playoff series will have live audio streaming available free of charge at the Notre Dame website – Video: Live video streaming is available free through Buckeye Vision at the Ohio State website – Live statistics will be available at the Ohio State website and the CCHA website at

THE SECOND SEASON: Notre Dame finished the 2009-10 season with a series split against Michigan, dropping a 4-0 decision at Ann Arbor on Thursday, Feb. 25 before bouncing back with a 5-3 win on Senior Night at the Joyce Center on Saturday, Feb. 27. That win gave the Irish a 13-15-8 overall record and a 9-12-7-2 mark in the CCHA. Saturday’s win coupled with a series loss by Lake Superior State to Northern Michigan, moved Notre Dame into ninth place in the league standings and sends the Irish to Ohio State for a best-of-three first round series with the Buckeyes from Fri., March 5 to Sunday, March 7 (if necessary). Ohio State was 12-16-6 on the year and 10-12-6-4 for 40 points in the conference. All three games of the series will be played at the OSU Ice Rink instead of Value City Arena as that venue will be hosting the Ohio State high school wrestling tournament. The OSU Ice Rink is the former home of the Buckeyes until Jan. of 2000. The building seats 800 and is the home of the Ohio State women’s hockey program.

CCHA FIRST ROUND SERIES: Here are the four, first-round playoff series in the CCHA this weeekend.

#12 Western Michigan at #5 Alaska#11 Bowling Green at #6 Nebraska-Omaha#10 Lake Superior at #7 Michigan# 9  Notre Dame at # Ohio State

Miami, Michigan State, Ferris State and Northern Michigan all have first round byes.

IRISH VERSUS BUCKEYES: Notre Dame and Ohio State have met 61 times in the all-time series with the Buckeyes holding a 27-25-9 advantage. In Columbus, the series is tied 13-13-5. The two teams have met twice this season with games at Notre Dame on Oct. 30-31. The Irish won the opener, 3-1, before the teams tied the second night, 2-2. OSU took the shootout by a 2-1 margin. The two teams have met twice in the all-time postseason, with Ohio State holding a 2-0 margin. In 2003-04, the teams met in the CCHA Super Six with the Buckeyes winning 3-2. The following year, the teams met again in the Super Six with Ohio State taking a 6-5 overtime win. The last time the Irish played at the OSU Ice Rink was the Dec. 4-5, 1999.

IRISH CCHA PLAYOFF HISTORY: The Irish have played 51 games in CCHA playoff history and are 23-28 in those games. Notre Dame is the defending tournament champion after going 4-0 in the 2010 playoffs.

1981-82Michigan                        W, 6-5Michigan                        W, 5-3vs. Bowling Green (@JLA)        W, 8-5vs. Michigan State (@JLA)       L, 1-4
1982-83at Bowling Green L, 3-8at Bowling Green L, 2-7
1992-93at Michigan L, 2-13at Michigan L, 1-8
1993-94at Western Michigan L, 3-6at Western Michigan L, 1-7
1994-95at Bowling Green L, 2-7at Bowling Green L, 4-5
1997-98at Michigan W, 4-2at Michigan L, 1-2 (ot)at Michigan L, 3-4
1998-99Northern Michigan W, 3-2Northern Michigan L, 1-7Northern Michigan L, 2-3
1999-2000Ferris State W, 4-3Ferris State L, 1-6Ferris State W, 4-2vs. Michigan State (@JLA) L, 0-4
2001-2002at Nebraska-Omaha L, 2-3 (2ot)at Nebraska-Omaha W, 2-1 (ot)at Nebraska-Omaha W, 2-1vs. No. Michigan (@JLA) L, 1-3
2002-03at Miami (OH) L, 2-4at Miami (OH) W, 1-0at Miami (OH) W, 5-0vs. Ohio State (@JLA) L, 2-3
2003-04Western Michigan W, 4-2Western Michigan L, 0-4Western Michigan W, 5-4 (ot)vs. Ohio State (@JLA) L, 5-6 ot
2004-05at Michigan L, 1-10at Michigan L, 0-1 (ot)
2005-06Alaska L, 1-3Alaska L, 0-1
2006-07Alaska W, 7-1Alaska W, 3-1vs. Lake Superior (@JLA) W, 3-0vs. Michigan (@JLA) W, 2-1
2007-08Ferris State L, 1-2Ferris State W, 6-3Ferris State W, 2-1vs. Miami L, 1-2 (ot)vs. Northern Michigan L, 1-2
2008-09Nebraska-Omaha W, 5-0Nebraska-Omaha W, 1-0vs. Northern Michigan W, 2-1vs. Michigan W, 5-2

CCHA POSTSEASON SCORING: Thirteen members of the 2009-10 Notre Dame hockey team have seen CCHA playoff action. Those players have played a total of 120 games, scoring 23 goals with 41 assists for 64 points.

CCHA CAREER POSTSEASON SCORING:Name                GP     G     A    PTSKyle Lawson         13     3     7     10Ryan Thang          13     2     8     10Ben Ryan             9     5     3      8Ian Cole             9     3     5      8Kevin Deeth         13     1     7      8Calle Ridderwall     9     4     0      4Dan Kissel           9     1     3      4Brett Blatchford    11     0     4      4Billy Maday          4     2     1      3Christiaan Minella  10     1     2      3Ryan Guentzel        7     1     0      1Teddy Ruth           9     0     1      1Sean Lorenz          4     0     0      0

THE COACH AND THE PLAYOFFS: Irish head coach Jeff Jackson has had his share of success in the CCHA playoffs. In his 10 previous CCHA seasons (six at Lake Superior State and four at Notre Dame), Jackson is 34-7 (.829) in conference postseason play. At Lake Superior, his teams were 24-2 while at Notre Dame, he is 10-5. His teams have advanced to the finals in eight of 10 seasons (six at LSSU and two at Notre Dame). In those 10 seasons, his teams won six CCHA titles (four at LSSU and two at Notre Dame).

MICHIGAN RECAP: Thursday, February 25 – Notre Dame saw its record fall to 0-4-1 in February as the Irish were shutout, 4-0, Thursday night at Yost Arena. Michigan got goals from Chad Langlais, Matt Rust, Chris Summers and Brian Lebler in the win. Goaltenders Bryan Hogan (10:49) and Shawn Hunwick (49:50) combined to stop all 20 shots they faced for the combined shutout. Hogan went down with a groin injury at the 10:49 after he collided with a backchecking teammate. Hunwick, making his second appearance of the season and the third of his career, stopped all 14 shots he faced to pick up the win. Michigan outshot Notre Dame, 27-20 on the night. Freshman Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) made 23 saves in the loss. The Irish were 0-for-5 on the power play while the Wolverines were 1-for-4.

Saturday, February 27 – The Irish got off to a slow start on Senior Night, falling behind Michigan, 2-0, after one period as the Wolverines got goals from Louie Caporusso and David Wohlberg. The offense came to life in the second period as Notre Dame ran off four unanswered goals. Calle Ridderwall (Jr., Stockholm, Sweden) cut the lead in half when he deflected a Teddy Ruth (Jr., Naperville, Ill.) shot past goaltender Shawn Hunwick just 2:22 into the period for his 18th goal of the season. Defenseman Brett Blatchford (Sr., Temperance, Mich.) tied the game with an unassisted short-handed goal at 6:31, his fourth marker of the season. The Irish took the lead for keeps just one minute later at 7:31 when defenseman Joe Lavin (Jr., Shrewsbury, Mass.) scored off the rebound of his own shot to make it 3-2. Freshman Kyle Palmieri (Fr., Montvale, N.J.) made it 4-2 at 12:38 with his ninth of the season to end the four-goal run. Caporusso collected his second goal of the night at 3:51 to cut the lead to 4-3, but Dan Kissel (Sr., Crestwood, Ill.) closed the game with his fourth of the year for the 5-3 win. The two teams traded 25 shots each. Mike Johnson had 22 saves in the win while Hunwick had 20 in the losing effort.

SENIOR NIGHT: Notre Dame honored its senior class following the Feb. 27 home game at the Joyce Center. The seven member class – Brett Blatchford (Temperance, Mich.), Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.), Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.), Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.), Christiaan Minella (Aurora, Colo.), Tom O’Brien (Mokena, Ill.) and Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) – have played major roles in the recent success of the Irish hockey program. The class comes into the CCHA playoffs, owning a record of 103-44-18 (.675). They have been to one Frozen Four and a national championship game (2008); been to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments (a first for the Irish); won two CCHA regular season and tournament championships (2007, 2009) and have been ranked No. 1 for seven consecutive weeks twice (2006-07 and 2008-09) during their careers.

SWEET SWEDE: Junior left wing Calle Ridderwall scored his career-best 18th goal of the season in the win over Michigan (Feb. 27). He leads the Irish in scoring this season with 18 goals and eight assists for 26 points. He also has a career-high 10 power-play goals to lead the team. The talented junior has recorded a pair of hat tricks this year (Jan. 22 at Lake Superior and Nov. 28 versus Bowling Green). He is the first Irish player with two hat tricks in a season since Tim Kuehl `90 accomplished the feat during the 1987-88 season. Ridderwall is fourth in the CCHA with his 18 goals, while his 10 power-play goals leads the conference.

HOT-HANDED FRESHMAN: Freshman right wing Kyle Palmieri had an outstanding World Junior Championship for Team USA at the end of Dec. and early Jan., in helping the U.S. to the gold medal. With Team USA, the 5-11, 195-pound forward had a goal and eight assists for nine points. Since returning to the Irish, he has continued his hot play, picking up points in 10 of his 12 games since his return, including the game winner on the power play in the 5-3 win over Michigan. In that run, Palmieri has four goals and six assists for 10 points.

FEBRUARY BLUES: Saturday’s 5-3 win over Michigan snapped a five-game winless skid (0-4-1) for the Irish to give them a 1-4-1 mark for the month. The five-game winless skid was the longest for the Irish since a five-game skid from Nov. 18 – Dec. 2, 2005 when they went 0-4-1 in that period.

THE REAL THANG: Senior captain Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) continued his strong second half with a pair of assists in the 5-3 win over Michigan on Feb. 27. The two-point night was his fifth multiple-point game of the season. Since January 2nd, Thang has six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in his last 16 games. On the year, he has nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points. He is tied with Kevin Deeth for 34th on the all-time scoring list with 57 goals and 57 assists for 114 career points.

SCORING WOES: Through the 2009-10 regular season schedule, Notre Dame has scored a total of 87 goals. The Irish have scored goals via the power play in 26 of the 36 games and have 38 power-play goals on the year. They also have four short-handed goals to give them 42 special team goals to go with 45 even-strength markers. For the season, the Irish are averaging 2.42 goals per game to rank 50th in the nation.

BACK IN ACTION: Three Notre Dame players returned to the lineup at Bowling Green (Feb. 19) after missing significant time with injuries. Sophomore center Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) returned after missing eight games while Christiaan Minella had missed seven. Junior defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) returned after missing four games. To date, 11 different players have been sidelined this season, missing a total of 87 games.

Eric Ringel (19 games)Teddy Ruth (15 games)Sam Calabrese (15 games)Billy Maday (8 games)Ian Cole (8 games)Ben Ryan (7 games)Christiaan Minella (7 games)Sean Lorenz (5 games)Riley Sheahan (1 game)Ryan Thang (1 game)Kevin Deeth (1 game)

CLOSE ONES: Notre Dame’s 4-3 loss to Bowling Green on Feb. 19, dropped the Irish to 3-6-0 this season in one-goal games. Last season, the Irish were 11-2 in games decided by one goal.

HUMANITARIAN AWARD: Senior center Kevin Deeth was one of 18 college hockey players (men and women) to be nominated for the College Hockey Humanitarian Award that goes each year to college hockey’s top citizen. Deeth, an alternate captain, with the Irish, oversees the team’s community service efforts and spearheaded the “Giving The Shirts Off Their Back,” jersey auction that benefited the Wounded Warriors Project. He was not one of the seven to make it to the list of finalists. The award will be presented at the Frozen Four in Detroit in April.

SHIRTS OFF THEIR BACKS: The Notre Dame hockey team’s special commemorative jersey auction held Jan. 29-30 vs. Nebraska-Omaha proved to be a huge success as it raised a total of $41,604.60 to benefit Hockey Helpers and the Wounded Warrior Project. The actual jersey auction raised $16,604.60 for the 28 players’ jerseys. With the help of matching gifts from several benefactors, including a former Irish hockey alum, $25,000 dollars was added to the jerseys for the final total. Senior alternate captain Kevin Deeth’s jersey received the highest bid as his jersey went for $1,575. Following the Jan. 30 game with Nebraska-Omaha, jersey winners in attendance at the game were presented the jerseys on the ice along with a players autograph. The Wounded Warrior Project is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit organization that exists to provide tangible comfort and support to the new generation of severely injured service members upon their return home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas around the world. Beginning at the bedside of the severely injured, Wounded Warrior Project provides programs and services designed to ease the burdens of these heroes and their families, aid in the recovery process, and smooth the transition back to civilian life.

HOME ICE STRUGGLES: Notre Dame finished the 2009-10 season with an 8-7-3 record at the Joyce Center. That came a year after the Irish were 13-3-2 at the Joyce Center in 2008-09 and in the previous three seasons, 2006-09, owned a 37-9-7 mark on home ice.

BUMPY ROAD: Notre Dame closed the 2009-10 regular-season road schedule with a 3-8-4 mark away from the Joyce Center, including 0-4-2 in the last six road tilts. The last Irish road win came on Jan. 22, a 6-1 win at Lake Superior State. A year ago, Notre Dame was 14-2-1 on the road, including a nine-game road winning streak and a 12-game unbeaten run (11-0-1).

SWEEPLESS IN SOUTH BEND: For the third time this season, the Irish were swept in a weekend series as Western Michigan took a series in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Feb. 5-6. The Broncos join Ferris State, who took two on Jan. 9-10, and Miami (Dec. 4-5) versus Notre Dame. The Western Michigan sweep marks just the 11th time in the Jeff Jackson era (2005-) that the Irish have been swept in a two-game series. Since Jackson took over, the Irish have been swept five times in 2005-06, twice in 2007-08, once last year and three times this season.

OVERTIME MARKS: For the season, the Irish are 1-0-8 in overtime contests. In the eight shootouts to date, Notre Dame is 3-5. The overtime win on Nov. 27 versus Bowling Green was the first for the Irish since Feb. 20, 2009 at Nebraska-Omaha, a 4-3 win. Notre Dame is now 3-0-11 in overtime since its last overtime loss, a 2-1 decision to Miami on March 21, 2008, in the CCHA semifinal game.

SLAGGERT HONORED: Irish associate coach Andy Slaggert has been honored by the American Hockey Coaches’ Association (AHCA) as he was named the winner of the Terry Flanagan Award. The award is named in honor of former New Hampshire player and Bowling Green assistant, Terry Flanagan, and honors an assistant coach for his body of work during his coaching career. Slaggert is in his 17th season as an assistant coach at Notre Dame and is recognized as one of the top recruiters in the nation.

PRACTICE ON THE POND: Notre Dame held its annual “Practice on the Pond,” at Merrifield Park in Mishawaka, Ind., on Friday, Feb. 12. The practice on the outdoor rink was open to the public and drew 200 Irish hockey fans who had a chance to meet the players and get autographs. Hot chocolate was provided to fans and players alike throughout the practice. This is the third consecutive year that Notre Dame hockey has held an outdoor practice.

DEFENSIVE DANDIES: While the Irish have struggled to score goals during 2009-10, they have done a good job of keeping the puck out of the net this season. Notre Dame’s defense has held opponents to two goals or less in 18 of them and has given up three or less in 24 of the 36 contests. For the year, the Irish have given up just 91 goals for a 2.53 goals per game to rank 14th in the nation in team defense.

TOUGH TICKET: With a sellout crowd of 2,932 for the regular-season finale against Michigan on Feb. 27, Notre Dame finished the season with seven consecutive sellouts dating back to Dec. 13, 2009. The Irish recorded 14 sellouts in their 18 home games this season and since Dec. 13, 2008 have had sellout crowds in 23 of the last 27 home games. In 18 home games this season, Notre Dame has averaged 2,765 per game. A home sellout is 2,713.

50/50 CLUB: With a goal and two assists in the 6-1 win over Lake Superior State, senior captain Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) became the 30th player in Notre Dame history to score 50 goals with 50 assists in his career. Thang now has 57 goals and 57 assists for 114 career points. The last player to reach the 50/50 mark was Rob Globke `04 who did it in 2003-04 and finished his career with 68 goals and 56 assists.

THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson has had a strong rookie season for the Irish. He enters the playoffs having made 12 consecutive starts since January 15. He has played in 27 games, making 26 starts this season. Johnson brings a 10-11-5 record into the series with Ohio State and has a 2.45 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Against Lake Superior State (Jan. 22-23), he stopped 71-of-73 shots by the Lakers while giving up just two goals in a win and a tie to earn CCHA goaltender of the week honors. He owns a pair of shutouts with the first coming on Oct. 16, versus Providence College, and the second on Dec. 13 against Michigan. He is currently eighth in the CCHA and 20th in the nation in goals-against average and ninth in the league and 21st nationally in save percentage. In his 26 starts, Johnson has given up 64 goals while the Irish have scored 57.