Junior center Anders Lee leads the Irish in scoring versus Western Michigan.  In 10 career games, he has seven goals and two assists for nine points.

Irish Travel To Western Michigan For Crucial CCHA Series

Feb. 20, 2013

Notre Dame, Ind. –

Notre Dame Hockey Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Western Michigan Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

– The Teams: #11/#11 Notre Dame (19-12-1/15-8-1-1) at #7/#8 Western Michigan (18-8-6/14-6-4-2)

– The Games: Friday, February 22, 2013 – Lawson Arena (3,667) – 7:38 p.m.

Saturday, February 23, 2013 – Lawson Arena (3,667) – 7:05 p.m.

– Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame’s series versus Western Michigan can be heard live on Real Country 99.9 FM in South Bend and at UND.com. Darin Pritchett, the voice of the Irish, will call the action. Television: Friday night’s game will be televised live by the CBS Sports Network with Ben Holden, Dave Starman and Shireen Saski providing the play-by-play and color commentary.

– Internet: Audio/Video: Live audio streaming for the Western Michigan series is available on the Notre Dame website at UND.com free of charge. Video streaming of Saturday’s game can be found on the Western Michigan website at wmubroncos.com. There is a charge for this service. Statistics: Livestats can be found at GameTracker, ccha.com or collegehockeyinc.com. Twitter: Follow Irish hockey on Twitter at ND_hockey.

RACE TO THE FINISH: The battle for the top three spots in the CCHA will come down to the final two weekends for Notre Dame (47) and Western Michigan (48) as those two teams enter the final week of February separated by just one point in the standings. The two squads will meet this weekend – Feb. 22-23 – at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich. Friday night’s game will be televised by CBS Sports Network and has a 7:38 p.m. face off. On Saturday night, the two teams will close out the regular-season series in a 7:05 p.m. contest at Lawson. The Irish and Broncos also have their sights set on the top spot in the conference as Miami (50) has a three-point lead on Notre Dame and a two-point edge on Western Michigan. The RedHawks are on the road at Lake Superior State this weekend. All three teams have clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming CCHA playoffs with Miami and Western owning home ice in that round. Any combination of two points (Irish win or tie or a Ferris State loss and tie) will give Notre Dame home ice in the quarterfinal round. The Irish enter this weekend ranked 11th in both polls and are 19-11-1 overall and 15-8-1-1 in the CCHA. They split a pair of games with the RedHawks last weekend, losing a 3-1 decision on Friday before taking a 2-1 win outdoors at Soldier Field on Sunday in Chicago. Western Michigan is ranked seventh in the USAToday/U.S. Hockey Magazine poll and eighth in the USCHO.com poll with an 18-8-6 overall record and is second in the CCHA with a 14-6-4-2 mark.

IRISH VERSUS BRONCOS: Notre Dame and Western Michigan have met 78 times in the all-time series with the Broncos holding a 40-31-7 advantage to date. At Kalamazoo, the Broncos are 25-10-5 versus the Irish. Notre Dame is just 1-4-2 in its last seven visits to Lawson Arena. The last time that the Irish won there was on Feb. 25, 2011, a 3-2 win. The two teams met twice in November at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The Broncos won the first game, 3-2, with Notre Dame taking a 4-0 win in the second game of the series. Over the last 10 meetings, dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season, the two teams are 4-4-2.

NEXT FOR THE IRISH: The Irish return home to close out the 2012-13 regular season when they play host to the Bowling Green Falcons on March 1-2 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Friday’s game has a 7:35 p.m. start time while Saturday’s tilt will begin at 7:05 p.m. Saturday is Senior Day when the Irish will honor their four-man senior class along with senior manager John Madison prior to the start of the game.

THE STRETCH DRIVE: The race for the top five spots and the CCHA regular-season title gets interesting with four games left to play. Here are the points and games played totals for the top five teams heading into games that will be played this weekend.

                    PTS     GP1.  Miami                50 242.  Western Michigan     48 243.  Notre Dame           47 244.  Ferris State         42 265.  Ohio State           42 24

This Weekend: Notre Dame at Western Michigan; Michigan at Ohio State; Miami at Lake Superior.

For Notre Dame to clinch home ice in the second round, the Irish need any combination of two points (ND win/tie or Ferris State loss/tie) to clinch at least fourth place. For Notre Dame to clinch at least third place, they would need any combination of eight points (ND wins/ties or Ohio State (losses/ties).

MIAMI RECAP: Sunday, February 17 – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish played their first-ever outdoor hockey game in the 45-year history of the program at Chicago’s Soldier Field, handing the Miami RedHawks a 2-1 loss in front of 52,051 fans at the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic. The Irish got goals from Mario Lucia (Fr., Plymouth, Minn.) and Jeff Costello (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis.) to offset the lone Miami goal by Kevin Morris. Notre Dame got strong goalkeeping from junior Steven Summerhays (Anchorage, Alaska) who kicked out 22 of the 23 shots he faced. Miami’s Ryan McKay stopped 26-of-28 in the RedHawks’ goal. After a scoreless first period, the Irish got on the scoreboard first as Lucia collected his 10th goal of the season at 12:42. Freshman center Steven Fogarty (Edina, Minn.) won the draw to right wing Bryan Rust (Jr., Novi, Mich.) who moved towards the slot. He found Lucia waiting alone and the freshman whipped a one-timer past McKay to put the Irish in front 1-0. The score would stay that way until the third period when Costello scored a clutch goal off a Miami turnover at 8:33 as the banged the rebound of an Anders Lee (Jr., Edina, Minn.) shot over McKay’s glove hand to make it 2-0. The RedHawks broke through at 9:36 of the third when Morris directed a shot past Summerhays for his sixth of the year to cut the Notre Dame lead to 2-1 with over 10 minutes left in the game. But the Irish defense held on to protect the 2-1 victory. Each team was 0-for-3 on the power play in the game.

Friday, February 15 – The Miami RedHawks got two second-period goals from Steven Spinell and Blake Coleman 30 seconds apart and freshman goaltender Ryan McKay stopped 20-of-21 shots on the way to a 3-1 win over Notre Dame Friday night at Steve Cady Arena. Marc Hagel scored the final RedHawk goal into an open net. Freshman center Steven Fogarty notched the lone Notre Dame goal, getting his fifth of the season with less than three minutes left in the game. Goaltender Steven Summerhays finished with 19 saves on the night. Notre Dame had its chances, getting six power plays on the night but failed to convert. The RedHawks were 1-for-3 with the power play. Miami out shot the Irish, 8-2 in the opening period but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard. After the scoreless first period, Miami finally broke through at 13:24 of the second, getting a power-play goal by Spinell as he beat Summerhays with a long slap shot from the center point for his first goal of the season. Miami was back at it again just 30 seconds later at 13:54 when Coleman fired a shot that Summerhays stopped but got his own rebound and flipped it over the Irish netminder under the cross bar to make it 2-0 Miami. The Irish carried the play in the third period as they out shot the RedHawks by a 12-5 margin but could score just once as Fogarty cut the lead to 2-1 at 17:37 with his fifth goal of the year. Defenseman Shayne Taker (Jr., Surrey, B.C.) was able to find Fogarty inside the RedHawk blue line and the freshman beat one defender and then McKay with two great moves to cut the lead to 2-1. The hopes of evening the score came to an end with Summerhays pulled in the final minute-and-a-half as the Red Hawks cleared a Notre Dame scoring bid up the ice to Hagel who scored into an open net for the final of 3-1. Miami out shot the Irish, 22-21, in the game.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Until Sunday, Feb. 17, Notre Dame had never played an outdoor game in its 45-year varsity history. Prior to becoming a varsity program, the Irish had a club program from 1963-68 that saw all of its home games played outdoors at South Bend’s Howard Park Rink. Notre Dame originally had hockey as far back as 1912-13 and then again from 1919 through 1927. Back then, ice was always an issue as the team played a majority of its games outdoors. Irish home games were played on an outdoor rink that was built near the current site of Badin Hall or on St. Mary’s Lake on the Notre Dame campus. The last time that any Notre Dame team won a game on an outdoor rink was Feb. 25, 1968 when the Irish club team defeated Northern Illinois, 8-5, at the Howard Park rink in South Bend.

RECORD CROWD: The crowd of 52,051 at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon was the largest crowd ever to watch a Notre Dame hockey game.

FLIPPING THEIR LIDS: The University of Notre Dame unveiled new helmets at the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic on Sunday, Feb. 17. In that game at Soldier Field, the Irish began sporting bright, new gold helmets that have the same bright gold appearance as that of the Golden Dome on the Notre Dame campus. The helmet’s color also matches the same gold finish that the football team debuted during the 2011 season on their football helmets. The new “Gold Standard” finish to the helmets was done by Hydro Graphics Inc.(HGI), of Newburg, Ore. Through HGI’s close work with the Notre Dame football program and equipment manager Ryan Grooms, HGI was introduced to David Gilbert of Notre Dame hockey with the goal of bringing the same Fighting Irish HydroSkin® helmet finish from the field to the ice. Notre Dame Hockey’s new helmets received the same illustrious finish as their football counterparts through HGI’s HydroSkin® process, which begins with a custom gold material that has been developed solely for Notre Dame to promote a high level of reflectivity. Through HGI’s HydroSkin® process, a thin layer of translucent material is applied that allows the custom gold base material to take on a bright gold appearance. While incorporating HGI’s HydroSkin® technology, the new helmet carries on the traditions from Notre Dame as well. Each helmet still contains 23.9 karat gold flake in the final clear coat and paint. And this gold is unique, having been collected from the 2007 re-gilding of the golden dome atop Notre Dame’s Main Building. The new helmets will become the standard helmet worn by the Notre Dame hockey team the remainder of the 2012-13 season and in future seasons to come.

SWEET HOME CHICAGO: For seven members of the Notre Dame hockey team, the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic was a homecoming of sorts as all seven grew up in the Chicagoland area playing hockey. The group includes: senior Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge), juniors Kevin Lind (Homer Glen) and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park), sophomores Robbie Russo (Westmont) and Garrett Peterson (Manhattan) freshmen Thomas DiPauli (Woodridge) and Sam Herr (Hinsdale). The Irish have had 25 hockey monogram winners from the Chicago area in the program’s history. An eighth player, current Irish defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round, 60th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and the Hawks have drafted five Notre Dame players since 1971.

GONGSHOW ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame scored just three goals in the weekend split with Miami but freshman center Steven Fogarty had a hand in two of them. That earned the Edina, Minn., native the CCHA Gongshow rookie of the week honors for the week ending Feb. 17. Fogarty had a goal and an assist for two points, took two shots on goal and was +2 for the series. In Friday’s 3-1 loss, Fogarty scored Notre Dame’s only goal in the third period, his fifth of the year. On Saturday, he helped set up Mario Lucia’s goal that game the Irish a 1-0 lead in the second period. For the year, Fogarty has five goals and four assists for nine points in 32 games. He currently has a three-game point streak (1g, 2a).

FINALLY: Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over Miami on Feb. 17 snapped a a seven-game winless streak (0-5-2) for the Irish against the RedHawks over the last seven meetings. The win was the first for Notre Dame against Miami since Dec. 3, 2010.

SPECIAL TEAM WOES: In the game at Soldier Field, Notre Dame held Miami to an 0-for-4 afternoon on the power play. That snapped a streak of nine straight games that saw the Irish give up at least one power-play goal per game since Jan. 18. After spending the first half of the season with one of the top penalty killing units in the nation, the Irish have struggled during the season half. After the first 18 games of the season, Notre Dame had given up just seven power-play goals in 70 chances for a 90.0% success rate. Over the last 14 games, the Irish have surrendered 16 power-play goals in 65 chances for a 75.4% penalty-killing ratio in those games. In the first half of the season, Notre Dame was 15-for-82 on the power play for an 18.3% rating. In the second half, over the last 14 games, the Irish are 9-for-63 for a 14.3% total. They were 0-for-9 in the two-game series with the RedHawks.

SCORING FIRST: Notre Dame has scored the first goal of the game in 22 of its first 32 contests this season and is now 17-5-0 in those games. The Irish scored the first goal in six consecutive games between Jan. 15 and Feb. 1 but were just 1-5-0 in those games. When they don’t light the lamp first, the Irish are just 2-7-1. Against Miami, Notre Dame scored the first goal in the 2-1 win and didn’t get the first one in the 3-1 loss in Oxford, Ohio on Friday night.

WORK HORSE: Dating back to last Feb. 24, Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays has played in 34 of the last 38 games, making 33 starts. During those 33 games, Summerhays is 19-13-0 with a 1.89 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage and five shutouts. His win on Feb. 9 vs. Michigan was the 30th win of his Notre Dame career. He is now 31-23-1 for his career with a 2.32 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. This season, Summerhays is second in the CCHA in wins (16) and is fifth in goals-against average (2.01). He is eighth in save percentage (.919) and tied for second in the league with three shutouts.

THE OTHER GUY: Senior goaltender Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) saw action in his third consecutive game on Feb. 8 in the 7-4 win over Michigan as he stopped 18 of 22 shots for his third win of the season. The Verona, Wis., native is now 3-1-1 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage. For his career, he has appeared in 97 games, making 90 starts and is 42-34-13 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage with two shutouts. His 42 wins make him just one of seven Notre Dame goaltenders to win 40 or more games in his career.

LEAGUE LEADER: With 17 goals on the season, junior center Anders Lee is tied for the league lead in goals with Ferris State’s Kyle Bonis. The 17 goals tie Lee for sixth on the national level. He leads Notre Dame in goals and points with 30 this season. That puts him just one point behind the CCHA leaders – Miami’s Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik.

SHOOTING THE BISCUIT: Through the first 32 games this season, Notre Dame has out shot the opposition in 24 of them and recorded 30 or more shots 21 times. The Irish are averaging 31.2 shots per game to 24.9 by their opponents. They are 14-6-1 when getting 30 or more shots in a game and 16-7-1 when out shooting them in all games. Versus Miami, Notre Dame equaled a season-low in shots when the Irish had 21 in Friday’s 3-1 loss. The RedHawks had a 22-21 edge in the game. On Sunday, the Irish bounced back to outshoot the RedHawks, 28-23. Notre Dame’s season-high for shots came on Feb. 2 when the Irish fired 47 shots at Ohio State.

MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME: Freshman left wing Mario Lucia snapped a four-game goal-scoring drought when he collected his 10th goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Miami on Feb. 17. Lucia is fifth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points in 23 games. He missed the first nine games of the season with a broken leg suffered in preseason training. His 10 goals are tied for second on the team and his four power-play goals tie him for the team lead in that category. He was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week twice in December and was the Rookie of the Month for December.

HELPING HAND: Senior defenseman Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge, Ill.) set a career high in assists when he picked up his 15th of the year on Jeff Costello’s first-period goal in the 6-4 win over Michigan (Feb. 9). He scored his first goal of the season (a power-play goal) in the 2-2 tie with the Ohio State on Feb. 2 . For the year, Calabrese has one goal and 16 assists for 17 points and is second among Irish defensemen in scoring. For his career, the lone senior on the Notre Dame defense now has 10 goals and 41 assists for 51 points in 116 career games.

CAREER YEAR: Sophomore defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) now has career highs in goals (5), assists (13), points (18) and power-play goals (4) this season and he has done it in just 32 games. As a freshman, Russo had four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 40 games. He is tied for second among CCHA defensemen in scoring this season with his 18 points. His four power-play goals tie him for tops on the team.

WHAT A SHAYNE: Junior defenseman Shayne Taker has quietly put together his best offensive season this year while at Notre Dame. In 32 games, the Surrey, B.C. native has a goal and 11 assists for 12 points and is +6 for the season. His assists and point totals are career highs.

CAREER YEAR III: Junior defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) picked up his career-high 12th assist in the 6-3 loss at Ohio State on Feb. 1. With a goal and 12 assists, he has equaled his career high in points (13) that he set as a freshman in 2010-11 (2g, 11a). Last season, he had a career high with four goals in the goal-scoring department.

EN FUEGO: The trio of Jeff Costello, Anders Lee and Bryan Rust combined for 16 points in the two-game series with Michigan on Feb. 8-9. Costello led the way with a goal and five assists for six points while Lee and Rust each had three goals and two assists for five points. Rust turned in a four-point game (2g, 2a) in Friday’s win. That was a personal season best and the top game offensive game by an Irish player this season.

WOLVERINE KILLER: Junior right wing Bryan Rust has been a thorn in the side of the Michgan Wolverines this season. In the two games in November, Rust had the winning goal in the 3-1 win on Nov. 15 and then set up the game winner in the 4-1 win on Nov. 16. On Feb. 8, he had a career-best four-point game with two goals and two assists in the 7-4 win. On Saturday, Rust added a single goal in the win. In 10 career games against Michigan, Rust has four goals and four assists for eight points against the Wolverines. On the season, Rust is having a career year with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points, all career highs. He leads the Irish with a +17 and is tied for the team lead with four power-play goals and three game winners.

THE PLAYMAKER: Junior left wing Jeff Costello had a career-high three-assist game in the Feb. 8, 7-4, win over Michigan. Costello now has career highs in assists (15) and points (23) for the Irish this season.

FIRST TIMER: Sophomore defenseman Eric Johnson (Verona, Wis.) scored the first goal of his collegiate career and his first game winner in the 7-4 win on Feb. 8. Johnson, who did not play in any games as a freshman, has become a mainstay on the Irish blue line as the season has gone on. He has played in 19 games, including the last 16 straight with one goal and no assists for one point. He is +3 on the season.

GOAL-SCORING MACHINE: Junior center David Gerths (Ankeny, Iowa) had the best weekend of his career as he scored three goals in the series sweep of Michigan. Gerths had the second, two-goal game of his career in the 7-4 win over the Wolverines on Feb. 8. He then added his third goal of the weekend in the 6-4 win on Feb. 9. In 30 games this season, Gerths has seven goals and no assists for seven points. His career high in goals came as a freshman in 2010-11 when he had eight.

LUCKY 13: Notre Dame combined to score 13 goals in the two-game series versus Michigan (Feb. 8-9). The last time the Irish scored 13 or more goals in a weekend series came on Feb. 13-14, 2009 when they scored 14 in a series versus Northern Michigan. Notre Dame won games by 9-5 and 5-2 margins.

FOUR STRAIGHT: Notre Dame recorded sweeps in each of its series versus Michigan during the 2012-13 season, giving the Irish four consecutive wins in one season against the Wolverines. Notre Dame also posted back-to-back wins versus Michigan on Nov. 15-16 at Yost Arena, just the fourth time in the program’s history that the Irish have swept in Ann Arbor. The four wins in one season has happened versus Michigan just one other time when Notre Dame recorded four in a row during the 1972-73 campaign.

SHOOTOUTS: Notre Dame’s shootout win versus Ohio State on Saturday, Feb. 2, marked the first shootout of the season for the Irish and the first since Nov. 22, 2011, one that they lost 2-0 at Western Michigan. Notre Dame had not won a shootout since Jan. 29, 2011 when the Irish defeated Miami, 1-0, behind a goal from T.J. Tynan. The Irish were 0-3 in the shootout during the 2012-13 season. Since the shootout started in 2008-09, Notre Dame is 8-9 in 17 games that have gone to a shootout.

SIX STRAIGHT: Notre Dame hockey fans have sold out (5,022) the Compton Family Ice Arena in each of the last six games since Jan. 18. Through 16 home games this season, the Irish have had nine standing-room sellouts. In the two seasons that the Compton Family Ice Arena has been open, the Irish have had 35 home games with 20 of them being sellouts of 5,022. After averaging 4,793 in 19 home games last season, Notre Dame is averaging 4,877 this year in the first 16 home games.