Riley Sheahan and the Irish return from Christmas break to face Boston University on Dec. 31 at 7:05 p.m.

Irish To Face Boston University On New Year's Eve At 7:05 p.m.

Dec. 29, 2011

Notre Dame, Ind. –

Weekly ReleaseGet Acrobat Reader

– The Game: #6/#5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-6-3) vs. #9/#9 Boston University Terriers (10-5-1)

– Date/Site/Time: Saturday, December 31, 2011 – Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) – 7:05 p.m.

– Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Real Country 99.9 FM, starting with the pre-game show 20 minutes before the opening face off. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish. Television: The Boston University contest will be televised nationally on VERSUS (NBC Sports Network as of Jan. 2, 2012). Steve Schlanger and Ed Olczyk will handle the play- by-play and color commentary.

– Internet: Audio: Notre Dame will stream the audio for the Boston University game live and free of charge at Twitter: Follow the Irish icers on Twitter at ND_hockey.

HAPPY NEW YEAR: Notre Dame and Boston University will help ring in the New Year as the two top-10 teams will battle on New Year’s Eve at the Compton Family Ice Arena in a 7:05 p.m. game that will be televised live nationally on VERSUS in the first college hockey game to be televised as part of NBC Sports Network’s coverage of college hockey. Steve Schlanger and Ed Olczyk will handle the play-by-play and color commentary for the game. Both teams have been out of action since Dec. 10 as they broke for finals and the Christmas holidays. Notre Dame closed out the first half with a 4-1 win over Ferris State on Dec. 10 and is 11-6-3 overall and ranked sixth in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and fifth in the poll. The Irish are 8-3-3-0 in the CCHA and tied for second in the league standings with Western Michigan. Boston University closed out its first half with a 5-1 win at Maine on Dec. 10 and the Terriers will bring a 10-5-1 overall mark into Saturday’s game. They are currently 8-4-1 in Hockey East, good for second place, one point behind first-place Boston College. Boston University is ranked ninth in both the USA Today and polls as of Dec. 20th.

IRISH VERSUS TERRIERS: Notre Dame and Boston University have met just five times in the all-time series between the two schools with the Terriers owning a 3-1-1 advantage. The series began on Dec. 29, 1970 when the Irish dropped a 7-3 decision to the Terriers in the Boston Arena Christmas Tournament. The next meeting came on Dec. 29, 1995, in the Bank One Badger Showdown in Madison, Wis., with the Terriers again winning, 7-3, in the championship game. The teams have now met three times in the last two seasons. The lone Irish win in the series came at Agganis Arena in 2009-10, a 3-0 win. Last season, the teams met twice – in the championship game of the Warrior IceBreaker Tournament in St. Louis where BU took a 5-4 win and then in the third-place game of the Shillelagh Tournament at Hoffman Estates, Ill. There the teams battled to a 3-3 tie. The Irish won the shootout to decide third place, 1-0.

IRISH VERSUS HOCKEY EAST: Notre Dame’s game with Boston University on Dec. 31 will be the fourth game this season for the Irish against a team from Hockey East. They are 1-2-0 against Hockey East, defeating Boston College, 3-2, in overtime while dropping two to Northeastern, 9-2 and 2-1.

NEXT FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame opens the 2012 portion of the schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 7:05 p.m. when the Irish play the Russian Red Stars in an exhibition game at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The Red Stars are a team of all-stars, age 19-to-21 from the 51-team MHL junior hockey league that provides future players for the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Russia’s pro league.

WELCOME BACK EDZO: Notre Dame welcomes VERSUS color commentator Ed Olczyk back to campus and to the Compton Family Ice Arena this weekend. On Oct. 11, 2006, Olczyk served as the guest speaker at Notre Dame’s annual “Drop The Puck” Dinner to kick off the second season for the Irish under coach Jeff Jackson. “Edzo” brought good luck to the Irish that season as they rolled to a 32-7-3 record and their first of two CCHA regular-season and postseason championships.

WORLD JUNIORS: Two members of the Notre Dame roster – defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) and center T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) – are currently playing for the United States in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships from Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2012. The duo were named to the 22-man roster on Dec. 22 after being named to the 29-man preliminary roster in early December. They become the 14th and 15th Notre Dame players to see action for the U.S. in the World Junior Championships. In the opening game against Denmark on Dec. 26, an 11-3 U.S. victory, Johns scored a goal and Tynan had a pair of assists. They join the following Notre Dame players that have played in the past:

Jack Brownschidle (1976-77, 1977-78)Ben Simon (1996-97, 1997-98)Joe Dusbabek (1997-98)Dan Carlson (1998-99)Brett Henning (1999-00)David Inman (1999-00)Connor Dunlop (1999-00, 2000-01)Rob Globke (2000-01, 2001-02)Brett Lebda (2001-02)Kyle Lawson (2006-07)Ian Cole (2007-08, 2008-09)Teddy Ruth (2008-09)Kyle Palmieri (2009-10)

Kyle Palmieri, currently with the Anaheim Ducks, was a member of the 2010 gold-medal team. Kyle Lawson `09, a member of the Carolina Hurricanes organization, was a member of the bronze-medal winning 2007 team and Ben Simon `00 was on the 1997 silver-medal team.

RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the game with Boston University ranked sixth in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and fifth in the poll. Boston University enters the contest ranked ninth in both polls. The Irish have been ranked in both polls all 12 weeks of the 2011-12 season.

“ONWARD TO VICTORY – NOTRE DAME HOCKEY: Following Saturday night’s game on VERSUS, a one-hour show dedicated to Notre Dame hockey and the team’s move to the Compton Family Ice Arena will air from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. The one-hour feature gives viewers a look at the Notre Dame hockey program including retrospectives from its early days to its current status as one of the top college hockey programs in the nation. The show, produced by NASCAR Media Group for Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish Digital Media, gives a glimpse of the how Notre Dame’s hockey program began and where it has come from during its 44-year history as a Division I program. The feature also follows the current team and its move from the old Joyce Center Rink to the new, state-of-the-art Compton Family Ice Arena and the “Dedication Game,” on Nov. 18 – a thrilling 3-2 overtime win against third-ranked Boston College. Versus is available in over 70 million homes across the country, including South Bend Comcast channel 68 and 174 (HD), Directv channel 603 and Dish Network channel 151. Check you local cable listings for Versus in your area.

A LOOK BACK AT FERRIS STATE: Friday, Dec. 9 – Ferris State center Matthew Kirzinger had a goal (shg) and two assists and goaltender Taylor Nelson stopped 28-of-29 Notre Dame shots to lead the Bulldogs to a 4-1 win over the Irish at Ewigleben Ice Arena. Andy Huff, Kyle Bonis and Jordie Johnston also scored for Ferris State while Sam Calabrese (Jr., Park Ridge, Ill.) had the lone Irish goal. Huff scored the opening goal of the game at 11:41 of the first period as Kirzinger picked up an assist to make it 1-0. The Bulldogs added two more goals in the second as Kirzinger scored short-handed at 7:09 and then helped set up Bonis’ goal at 16:55 for a 3-0 lead after two periods. Calabrese cut the lead to 3-1 at 8:13 with assists to Mike Voran (So., Livonia, Mich.) and Jeff Costello (So., Milwaukee, Wis.) as he beat Nelson with a shot from the right circle for his first goal of the season. Johnston scored on a 4-on-3 power play at 9:07 for the final goal of the game in the 4-1 Ferris State win. Notre Dame out shot the Bulldogs, 29-23, in the game. Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.) made 19 saves in the game. Ferris State was 1-for-6 on the power play while Notre Dame was 0-for-5.

Saturday, Dec. 10 – Notre Dame snapped its four-game losing streak as Mike Voran scored twice and goaltender Steven Summerhays (So., Anchorage, Alaska) stopped 22-of-23 shots in a 4-1 win at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Jeff Costello and T.J. Tynan added single goals in the win. Costello picked up his first goal of the season on the power play at 6:59 of the first period to give the Irish the 1-0 lead. Garrett Thompson scored the lone goal for Ferris State to tie the game at 1-1 at the 11:35 mark of the second period for his third of the season. Tynan put Notre Dame ahead to stay at 19:45 of the second as he scored on the power play for his seventh goal of the season to make it 2-1. Voran took over the game in the third period, getting his first of the night at 2:38 of the third when he banged home the rebound of a Costello deflection off goaltender C.J. Motte for a 3-1 lead. He then closed the scoring with an open net goal at 19:37 for his fourth of the season and a 4-1 win. The Irish out shot the Bulldogs, 29-23, in the game as Motte finished with 25 saves on the night. Notre Dame was 2-for-8 on the power play while Ferris State was 0-for-4. SPREADING THE WEALTH: Notre Dame’s 4-1 win over Ferris State on Dec. 10 was the 11th victory of the year for the Irish. In those 11 wins, 11 different players have scored the game-winning goal. During the 2010-11 season when Notre Dame had 25 wins, a total of 12 players had game-winning goals for the Irish.

NATIONAL LEADERS: Center T.J. Tynan and left wing Anders Lee are among the nation’s leaders in goals, assists, points and points per game moving into the second half of the season. Tynan currently leads the CCHA and is tied for fourth nationally with 27 points (7g, 20a). His 1.35 points per game leads the CCHA and is tied for 11th nationally. His 20 assists are tops in both the CCHA and the nation. Lee is tied for the lead the CCHA in goals with 12 and is tied for eighth nationally. He is third in the CCHA in points with 20 and his five power-play goals tie him for second in the CCHA and eighth on the national level.

National Scoring Race (by points):                              GP     G     A    PTSJack Connolly (UMD)           18    12    17    29Austin Smith (Colgate)        17    18    10    28Justin Schultz (UW)           18     9    19    28Nick Bjugstad (UMinn)         20    16    11    27Mark Zengerle (UW)            18     8    19    27T.J.Tynan (ND)                20     7    20    27Erik Huala (UMinn)            20     9    16    25Matt White (UNO)              20     9    16    25J.T. Brown (UMD)              18     6    18    24Terry Broadhurst (UNO)        20    14     9    23Chris Kreider (BC)            18    12    11    23Spencer Abbott (ME)           15    10    13    23Jason Zucker (UD)             16    10    13    23Brock Nelson (UND)            18    14     8    22Travis Oleksuk (UMD)          18    13     9    22Kyle Rau (UMinn)              20    12    10    22Kyle DeLaurell (AF)           15    11    11    22Lee Reimer (MSU)              18     8    14    22Drew Shore (DU)               16     7    14    21Brian Flynn (ME)              15     6    15    21Corban Knight (UND)           17     6    15    21Nate Schmidt (UMinn)          20     1    20    21

NATIONAL LETTERS-OF-INTENT: Irish head coach Jeff Jackson announced on Nov. 30 that Notre Dame has signed five student-athletes to national letters-of-intent. The five are: Thomas DiPauli (Woodridge, Ill.), Sam Herr (Hinsdale, Ill.), Vince Hinostroza (Bartlett, Ill.), Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) and Justin Wade (Aurora, Ill.). DiPauli is a 5-10, 183-pound center who currently plays for the USA Under-18 team in Ann Arbor, Mich. Herr (pronounced Hair) is a 6-1, 192-pound left wing who is in his second season with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. Hinostroza is a 5-10, 170-pound center who is in his second season with the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks. Lucia is a 6-3, 195-pound left wing who currently plays for the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League. He is the son of University of Minnesota hockey coach and former Notre Dame defenseman, Don Lucia, a 1981 graduate. Wade rounds out the group and is a 6-2, 210-pound defenseman who is playing for the Fargo Force in the USHL. Those five join Steven Fogarty (Edina, Minn.) and Andy Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) who signed letters-of-intent last year but deferred attending Notre Dame until the fall of 2012. (For more information on the Irish recruiting class, check the Notre Dame website at

FOUR-GAME SKID: Prior to the recent four-game losing streak that was snapped on Dec. 10, the last time that the Irish lost four games in a row came during the 2005-06 season when Notre Dame lost four straight between Nov. 19-Dec. 2, 2005.

SLOW STARTS: For some reason, Notre Dame has shown a penchant for getting off to a slow start in games this season. In the first 20 games, the Irish have given up the first goal of the game 11 times. In those games, Notre Dame is 6-4-1.

TURNING ON THE POWER: With two power-play goals in the 4-1 win over Ferris State on Dec. 10, Notre Dame has scored at least one power-play goal in 16 of the 20 games played to date with a season-high of three power-play goals in the Nov. 11 game with Alaska. The last time the Irish had three power-play goals in a game came on Jan. 7, 2011 when they were 3-for-7 in an 8-1 win at Northern Michigan. Notre Dame is now 20-for-100, a 20.0% success rate. That ties the Irish for second in the CCHA and 20th on the national level.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Over the last four games, Notre Dame’s penalty-killing unit has given up just two power-play goals (one to Northeastern and one to Ferris State) in 18 chances (16-for-18, 88.9%). For the season, the Irish have killed 60-of-71 opponent power plays for an 84.5% success rate. That ranks Notre Dame seventh in the CCHA and 19th nationally. The Irish have scored just one short-handed goal in the first 20 games this season.

POWER-PLAY POINT PRODUCERS: The Notre Dame roster includes five of the CCHA’s top 10 power-play point producers this season. Leading the way is center T.J. Tynan who leads the conference with 13 points (3g, 10a) on the power play. He is followed in second by fellow center Riley Sheahan (Jr., St. Catharine’s, Ont.) who has 11 power-play points (3g, 8a). Tied for fourth in the CCHA is left wing Anders Lee who has five goals and four assists for nine points. Freshman defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) is tied for sixth with eight points on three goals and five assists and senior left wing Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) is tied for 10th with two goals and five assists for seven points.

STREAKY IRISH: The first 20 games of the 2011-12 season has been made up of streaks for the Irish this season. After going 2-2 in the first four games through Oct. 15, Notre Dame reeled off an 11-game unbeaten streak (8-0-3) from Oct. 21 through Nov. 25. That streak was snapped on Nov. 26 and from there the Irish dropped four straight from Nov. 26 through Dec. 9 before snapping the run of four losses on Dec. 10 with a 4-1 win at home against Ferris State.

CENTURY CLUB: Senior forward Billy Maday is on the verge of becoming the 46th player in the history of the Notre Dame hockey program to score 100 or more points in his career. Going into the Boston University game, Maday needs just seven more points to join the club as he has 38 goals and 55 assists for 93 points in 133 career games.

"Century Club"Name (Seasons)                     G     A      Pts1.    Brian Walsh (1973-77)       89    145     2342.    John Noble (1969-73)        81    145     2263.    Eddie Bumbacco (1970-74)   103    117     220
40. Tim Reilly (1981-86) 43 65 10841. Aniket Dhadphale (1995-99) 61 44 10542. Bob Thebeau (1982-86) 40 63 10343. Kevin Hoene (1968-71) 50 51 101 Matt Hanzel (1985-89) 50 51 10145. Paul Clarke (1973-77) 38 62 100 -- Billy Maday (2008- ) 38 55 93

HERE COMES RILEY: While much of the attention in the scoring column has gone to T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee early in the season, a third member of the Irish attack has moved up the ranks to be third on the team and tied for fourth in the CCHA in scoring. Junior center Riley Sheahan, who started the season by missing the first two games with an injury has moved into a tie for fourth in scoring in the conference with five goals and 13 assists for 18 points in his 18 games played. His 13 assists are tied for third best in the conference. Sheahan picked up the first multiple-goal game of his career on Nov. 15 against Western Michigan. Already this season, the 6-2, 212-pound center has five multiple-point games and now has 10 for his career. He has points in five of his last six games with a goal and four assists. His career best season was 2010-11 when he had five goals and 17 assists for 22 points.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END: Right in the middle of Notre Dame’s 11-game unbeaten streak was junior goaltender Mike Johnson who had a personal-best 10-game unbeaten streak from Oct. 14 to Nov. 25. In that streak, Johnson appeared in 12 games, making 11 starts. He was 7-0-3 in 665:40 minutes, giving up 21 goals with 234 saves for a 1.89 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Since having the streak snapped on Nov. 26 with a 5-2 loss at Lake Superior State, Johnson has lost four in a row. In the four-game losing streak, Johnson has played 152:49, given up 13 goals and made 42 saves for a 5.10 goals-against average and a .764 save percentage. For the year he is 7-5-3 with a 2.59 goals-against and a .889 save percentage.

THE QUARTERBACK: Freshman defenseman Robbie Russo has quickly become the quarterback of the Notre Dame power play in his rookie season. The talented blueliner is tied for fourth on the team in power-play points with three goals and five assists for eight points. The point total ties him for fifth among all CCHA scorers and he and Lake Superior’s Zack Trotman are the highest scoring power-play defensemen in the conference. For the year, Russo has played in all 20 games for Notre Dame and leads the defense in scoring with three goals and six assists for nine points.

OVERTIME MAGIC: Five of Notre Dame’s nine games during the month of November ended in overtime. In those games, the Irish were 2-0-3. Prior to the 2-2 tie with Western Michigan on Nov. 22, the Irish defeated Boston College, 3-2, in overtime. They also have an overtime win against Alaska (Nov. 12) and ties at Northern Michigan (Nov. 4-5). The tie with Western Michigan extended Notre Dame’s unbeaten streak in overtime to 26 games (7-0-19) with the streak going back to March 21, 2008 when the Irish lost in overtime (2-1) to Miami in the CCHA semifinals. The Irish have not lost a CCHA regular-season game in overtime since a Jan. 8, 2005, 2-1 loss at Lake Superior. Last season, Notre Dame was 2-0-5 in overtime and this year the Irish are 2-0-3.

SHOOTOUT BLUES: While the Irish have had success in overtime this season, taking a pair of wins, things aren’t quite as good in the shootout. Notre Dame is 0-3 in the shootout this season and, in fact, the Irish haven’t scored a goal in any of the three they have been in. Notre Dame is 0-for-8 to date, while losing a pair of 1-0 decisions and a 2-0 verdict to Western Michigan on Nov. 22.

SHOOTOUT FACTS AND FIGURES: Notre Dame has started the season with a three shootout losses – Northern Michigan (Nov. 4-5) and Western Michigan on Nov. 22. In those three, the Irish have not scored a goal. During the 2010-11 season, the Irish had three CCHA games go to the shootout and were 2-1. All-time, Notre Dame is 7-9 in the CCHA shootout in this, the fourth season (3-0 in `08-’09; 2-5 in `09-’10, 2-1 in `10-’11 and 0-3 in `11-’12).

THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska) continues to put points on the board for the Irish as he picked up his 11th point of the season with an assist on Nick Larson’s (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.) goal on Dec. 2 against Northeastern. Wuthrich is fifth on the team in scoring with four goals and seven assists for his 11 points. He currently ranks sixth among CCHA freshmen in scoring, just five points behind Miami’s Austin Czarnik. The 6-1, 196-pound forward now has five points (1g, 4a) in his last six games. He was recently named to NHL Central Scouting’s NCAA Watch List as a B Skater in the CCHA. Wuthrich is also the answer to a Notre Dame trivial pursuit question – Who scored the last goal in the Joyce Center? Austin Wuthrich at 18:35 of the third period on Oct. 15.

EVEN SLOWER STARTS: Notre Dame has trailed 2-0 in games six times this season and has rallied in three of them to be 3-3-0 in those contests. On Oct. 8 at Minnesota-Duluth, the Irish trailed 2-0 in the second period and rallied for a 5-3 win. On Oct. 14, Notre Dame trailed Ohio State, 2-0 in the first at home and came-from-behind to win 5-2. The following night, the Irish gave up two first-period goals and trailed 4-0 after two before scoring three in the third for a 4-3 loss. On Nov. 11, Alaska took a 2-0 lead 6:53 into the first period only to see Notre Dame rally for the 5-4 victory. On Dec. 2, the Irish trailed Northeastern, 2-0, early in the first period, 4-0, at the first intermission and 6-0 before scoring late in the second period. The Irish lost that game, 9-2. The sixth time came on Dec. 9 when the Irish fell behind at Ferris State, 3-0, after two periods on the way to a 4-1 loss.