Senior captain Erik Condra and teammate Jordan Pearce are finalists for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

Irish To Host Shillelagh Tournament At Sears Centre In Hoffman Estates, Ill., Jan. 2-3

Dec. 30, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Tournament: The Shillelagh Tournament

• Date/Site/Time: Fri., Jan. 2, 2009 • 5:05/8:05 p.m. (CT) • Sears Centre (9,700) • Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Sat., Jan. 3, 2009 • 4:05.7:05 p.m. (CT) • Sears Centre (9,700) • Hoffman Estates, Ill.

• The Teams: #1/#1 Notre Dame (14-3-2); UMass.-Lowell (8-8-0); Minnesota-Duluth ( 8- 4-6); Union College (8-7-1).

• The Games: Saturday – 5:05 p.m. (CT) – Minnesota-Duluth vs. UMass-Lowell 8:05 p.m. (CT) – Notre Dame vs. Union College Sunday – 4:05 p.m. (CT) – Union College vs. Minnesota-Duluth or UMass-Lowell 7:05 p.m. (CT)- Notre Dame vs. Minnesota-Duluth or UMass-Lowell

• 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.

• Internet Broadcast: At the Notre Dame website – or follow the game via Gametracker at All games of the Shillelagh Tournament will be available via Gametracker.

TOURNEY TIME: After playing in three in-season tournaments during the 2007-08 season, Notre Dame plays in its only tournament in 2008-09 as the Fighting Irish host the 2009 Shillelagh Tournament, Jan. 2-3, at the Sears Centre at Hoffman Estates, Ill. The Irish welcome Minnesota-Duluth (WCHA), the University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Hockey East) and Union College (ECAC) to this year’s tournament. Minnesota-Duluth will meet UMass-Lowell in the opening game of the tournament on Jan. 2 at 5:05 (CT). The Bulldogs come into the tourney with an 8-4-6 overall record and are currently 5-4-5 in the WCHA, good for fifth in the league, just four points behind first-place Denver. The River Hawks visit the Sears Centre for the first time with an 8-8-0 overall record and are seventh in Hockey East with a 5-6-0 mark. Game two of Friday’s doubleheader will feature Notre Dame versus Union College. The Irish bring a 14-3-2 record into the tourney and are 10-2-2-2 in the CCHA, good for first place with 24 points, just one point ahead of second-place Miami. Notre Dame is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation. The Dutchmen of Union are 8-7-1 on the year and are 2-4-0 in the ECAC, good for a tie for ninth in the league standings.

IRISH TOURNEY INFORMATION: The Shillelagh Tournament makes its college hockey debut this weekend, as the Irish will host the tournament at the Sears Centre for the first time. The Shillelagh Tournament marks the 31st in-season tournament for the Irish in the program’s 41-year history. In the previous 30 tournaments, Notre Dame owns a 23-34-3 all-time record. The Irish have finished first (six times), second (six times), third (seven times) and fourth (11 times) in those tournaments. During the 2007-08 season, the Irish played in three in-season tourneys, finishing third at the Lefty McFadden Tournament in Dayton, Ohio, first at the Rensselaer Holiday Tournament in Troy, N.Y., and third at the Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Fla. Notre Dame has faced Minnesota-Duluth and Union in previous tournaments – the Irish lost to UMD, 9-1, in the 1989-90 Badger Classic in Milwaukee and downed Union, 4-0, in the 1999-2000 Ice Breaker Tournament at Denver.

FROZEN TUNDRA ACTION: As part of the first-ever Shillelagh Tournament, all four teams will attend the NHL’s Winter Classic at Wrigley Field on Thursday, Jan. 1 beginning at 12:00 noon (CT). The teams will practice around the game with Minnesota-Duluth practicing from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., Notre Dame from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., UMass-Lowell from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Union College from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

IRISH VERSUS UNION: Notre Dame and Union College have met three times in the all-time series with Union holding a 2-1-0 edge. The last time the two teams met was Oct. 11-12, 2001 at the Joyce Center with the Dutchmen taking 2-1 and 7-1 wins. Notre Dame’s lone win came on Oct. 16, 1999 in the third-place game at the Ice Breaker Tournament in Denver, Colo., by a 4-0 score.

IRISH VERSUS UMASS-LOWELL: Notre Dame and the River Hawks have never met.

IRISH VERSUS MINNESOTA-DULUTH: Notre Dame and the Bulldogs have met 31 times in the all-time series with 26 of those games coming while the two teams were members of the WCHA (1970-81). The Irish lead the all-time series with a 17-10-4 record. The last time the two teams met was Oct. 7-8, 2004, at the Joyce Center with the teams tying the opening game, 2-2, and then Minnesota-Duluth winning the second contest, 4-1.

TOURNEY TIDBITS: Notre Dame Coordinator of Hockey Operations Nick Siergiej served as the director of hockey operations at Minnesota-Duluth from 2005-08 before joining the Irish this season. Union Associate Coach Rick Bennett served as an assistant coach to Notre Dame Associate Head Coach Paul Pooley for five seasons when Pooley was head coach at Providence College from 2000-2005 … UMass-Lowell sophomore left wing Patrick Cey is the younger brother of former Notre Dame goaltender, Morgan Cey `05. Notre Dame’s Cey ranks among the top five in several career goaltending categories for the Irish.

PLAYING FOR THEIR COUNTRY: Notre Dame will be without the services of sophomore defensemen Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.) who are members of the U.S. Junior National Team, competing in the World Junior Championship from Dec. 26- Jan. 5 in Ottawa, Ont. The tournament pits the top hockey players in the world under the age of 20 against each other. For Cole, this marks the second time that he has been named to the team as he played in last year’s tournament. Ruth becomes the 12th Irish player selected to play for the U.S. Junior National Team. They join fellow defenseman Kyle Lawson (Jr., New Hudson, Mass.) as current Irish players to have played in the tournament during their careers.

ON A ROLL: Notre Dame returns to hockey action this weekend after taking a 20-day break for finals and the Christmas Holidays. The Irish last played on Dec. 12-13, winning a 3-1 decision at Bowling Green and a 4-3 contest at home against the Falcons in a home-and-home series. The two wins extended Notre Dame’s current unbeaten streak to 14 games (12-0-2) which equals the second-longest unbeaten streak (14-0-0) in the program’s history. The longest streak is a 15-game winning streak from Nov. 4, 1983 to Jan. 21, 1984. The last time the Irish lost a game was on Oct. 25 to Miami, a 3-2 loss at home.

ROAD WIN STREAK: Notre Dame’s 3-1 win at Bowling Green on Dec. 12, gives the Irish an eight-game road winning streak, the longest road streak in the program’s history. Notre Dame’s last road loss came in the season-opener at Denver (5-2) on Oct. 11. The previous longest road win streak came between Jan. 7- Feb. 4, 1977. The Irish are 8-1-0 on the road this season.

MR. RELIABLE: Notre Dame’s All-American and Hobey Baker candidate – senior goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska) – has been a regular in the Notre Dame goal over the last two seasons. Since Jan. 5, 2008, Pearce has appeared in 41 of the last 42 Irish games. Of those 41 games, 40 have been starts. Pearce appeared in 11 straight games from Oct. 18 until 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 18 of Notre Dame’s first 19 games this season and is 13-3-2 with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. In his current 14-game unbeaten streak (12-0-2), Pearce has a 1.45 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage. His 40-save performance against the Lakers on Nov. 14, was the most saves in his career, surpassing the previous high of 34 set on Feb. 17, 2006 versus Bowling Green in a 7-4 win. He stopped 55-of-56 shots in the weekend series at Ferris State, including a 1-0 shutout on Dec. 6 Pearce saw his shutout streak snapped after 138:42 against Bowling Green, the longest of his Notre Dame career.

HERE COMES PEARCE: With wins in both games of the Bowling Green series, Jordan Pearce moved into fifth on Notre Dame’s all-time wins list with 42. Here are the top five goaltenders in wins at Notre Dame:

Name (Years)                    WinsLance Madson (`86-'90)           56David Brown (``03-'07)           55Dick Tomasoni (`68-'72)          49Dave Laurion (`78-'82)           45Jordan Pearce (`05- )            42

RED HOT HANSON: Senior center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) is off to the best start of his collegiate career. Through the first 19 games of the season, Hanson leads the Irish in scoring with 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points. He also has six power-play goals, one short-handed marker and three game winners. He has equaled his career bests in goals (13) and short-handed goals (1) and now has career highs in assists (10), points (23), power-play goals (6) and game winners (3). The 6-4, 228-pound center has points in eight of his last nine games (9-8-17) and has three goals in his last two games.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: With the shutout at Ferris State (Dec. 6), Jordan Pearce now has two shutouts this season and six for his career. The six career shutouts for Pearce tie him for second on the all-time Notre Dame shutout list with Morgan Cey `05 who had six from 2001 to 2005. David Brown `07 holds the Irish record with 12 during his Irish career.

A CHILL (ING) REUNION: When Calle Ridderwall (So., Stockholm, Sweden) 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, it marked the first time that Ridderwall and Maday played together at Notre Dame. The two aren’t strangers 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 14 games together this season, the duo has combined for 16 goals and and 18 assists with Maday having seven goals and seven assists and Ridderwall nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points in those games.

ON THE SIDELINES: The Irish will be without the services of sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) for the entire season. Phillips injured his right knee in the preseason and will be out of action for the year. He was 4-1-0 as a freshman with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.

WINNING TEAMS: Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame has the winningest hockey program in the nation. Heading into the Shillelagh Tournament this weekend, Notre Dame ranks first in wins (73) and first in winning percentage (.718). Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage (as of Jan. 1).

            Wins            Winning Pct.Notre Dame      73         Notre Dame (.718)Michigan        72         Michigan (.7163)Miami           69         Miami (.7156)Boston College  63         Boston College (.6715)North Dakota    61         New Hampshire (.670)New Hampshire   59

NICE NOVEMBER: Notre Dame closed out the month of November with a 7-0-2 mark in the nine games played. During the month, the Irish out scored the opposition by a 41-15 margin (4.56 to 1.67). In the two ties, Notre Dame won the CCHA contests with a pair of 2-1 shootout victories. Last season, the Irish were 9-1-0 in the month of November.

BETTER DECEMBER: The Irish finished up the month of December with a 4-0-0 record, out scoring the opposition by an 11-5 margin (2.75 to 1.25). Notre Dame takes an 11-0-2 mark over the last two months into January.

STREAK NUMBERS: In Notre Dame’s 14-game unbeaten streak, the Irish have given up one goal or less in eight of the 14 games. The Irish have only given up three goals twice – a 3-3 tie with Lake Superior and a 4-3 win over Bowling Green. During the streak, the Irish have out scored the opposition by a 55-22 margin (3.93 to 1.57).

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH: Notre Dame freshman right wing Billy Maday was selected as the CCHA rookie of the month for November. In nine games during the month, Maday had seven goals and four assists for 11 points. Included in his seven goals were five power-play markers. Maday scored points in eight of the nine games and was +4 in the month. He finished the month scoring goals in the last five consecutive games, going 5g, 2a in that span. The freshman is fourth in scoring on the team with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in his first 18 games.

RED HOT SWEDE: Sophomore Calle Ridderwall credits strong second season to an increase in confidence. The speedy left wing has seen his game take off in recent weeks as he has now scored 17 points (7g, 10a), notching points in seven of his last nine games. His current tear started in a game that he didn’t get credited with any points, but got the winning goal for the Irish. On Nov. 14, Notre Dame faced Lake Superior in their first-ever shootout and Ridderwall dazzled the crowd with a great move to score the winning goal for the Irish. He followed that with a career-best three-point game (1g, 2a) in the win over the Lakers the following night. Versus Bowling Green (Nov. 21-22), Ridderwall had a pair of assists in the 5-1 win and then added his first career four-point game (2g, 2a) in the 9-1 win over the Falcons. He didn’t wait long to get his second four-point game as he followed the first with another two-goal, two-assist night in the 4-1 win over Western Michigan and then added an assist in the second game versus the Broncos. For the year, Ridderwall is second in scoring on the Irish roster with nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points, surpassing his freshman totals of five goals and two assists for seven points.

THE PLAYMAKER: Junior defenseman Brett Blatchford (Temperance, Mich.) starts the second half of the season tied for fourth on the team in scoring with 16 assists for 16 points to lead Notre Dame defensemen in scoring. The smooth-skating defenseman has already exceeded his output of last season when he had 12 assists in 45 games. He is currently tied for second among defensemen in scoring in the CCHA and tied for 16th nationally. His 16 assists rank him second in the CCHA and 18th nationally.

LETTERS OF INTENT: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson has announced that five players have signed national letters-of-intent to play hockey at Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2009: The list includes two defensemen and three forwards. Joining the Irish for next season are:

Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge, Ill.), Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.), Nick Larson (Apple Valley, Minn.), Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) and Riley Sheahan (St. Catharines, Ont.). Calabrese, Fowler and Palmieri all play for the USA Under-18 team while Larson plays for Waterloo in the USHL and Sheahan is a member of the St. Catharines Falcons organization in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. Calabrese and Palmieri are eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft next June while Fowler and Sheahan can’t be drafted until the June of 2010 draft. Larson was selected in the fourth round of last year’s draft by the Calgary Flames.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE MAN ADVANTAGE: Prior to Notre Dame’s series with Bowling Green (11/21-22), Notre Dame’s power-play was hitting at a 15.6% success rate and ranked fifth in the CCHA and 31st in the nation. Since then, the power-play is 18-for-50 for a 36.0% success rate. On the season, Notre Dame’s power play is now 30-for-127 for a 23.6% success rate. That leads the CCHA and is second nationally. POWER-PLAY PRODUCERS: Five Notre Dame players currently rank in the top 10 in the CCHA for power-play point production. Left wing Calle Ridderwall is first (7-8-15) with center Christian Hanson third (6-7-13). Defenseman Brett Blatchford is fifth (0-11-11) and is followed by right wing Billy Maday (5-4-9) and center Kevin Deeth (2-7-9) who are tied for eighth.

PICK SIX: Notre Dame had one of the best power-play performances in program history on Nov. 22 at Bowling Green when the Irish went 6-for-12 on the night with the man advantage.Prior to that, the last time Notre Dame scored six power-play goals in a game was Oct. 21, 1994 when the Irish had six ppg’s in an 8-4 win over Waterloo at the Joyce Center. The last time the Irish had 12 power-play chances in a game was on Oct. 8, 2004 at home against Minnesota-Duluth. The Irish were 1-for-12 on the power play in that game.

FRESHMAN LEADER: Notre Dame rookie Billy Maday is tied for fourth on the Irish in scoring with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in his first 18 games this season. He is tops among freshmen scorers in the CCHA with his 16 points and is tied for eighth on the national level. His nine goals and five power-play goals are tops among CCHA freshmen while his nine goals tie him for second among freshmen nationally and his five power-play goals are second among the nation’s rookies.