Nov. 21, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. –
– The Games: #4/#4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-2-2/6-1-2-0) vs. #10/#10 Western Michigan Broncos (6-4-3/4-4-1-1)
– Date/Site/Time: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 – Lawson Arena (3,667) – 7:08 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: Tuesday night’s game at Western Michigan will be televised by Comcast in Michigan and will be shown on South Bend Comcast Channel 3. Ben Holden and Lyle Phair will call the action with Rob Otto handling the rinkside duties.
– Internet: Audio: Notre Dame will stream the audio for the Western Michigan game free of charge at und.com. Livestats: Available on the Western Michigan website at www.wmubroncos.com. Twitter: Follow the Irish icers on Twitter at ND_hockey.
TWO FOR TUESDAY: For the second time in a week, Notre Dame and Western Michigan will get together for a little Tuesday night hockey as the two teams meet on Tues., Nov. 22 at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich., for a 7:05 p.m. contest. The teams met on Nov. 15 at Notre Dame with the Irish taking a 3-2 win at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Just like that game, the second game of the set will be televised live by Comcast and can be seen in the Michiana area on Comcast Cable Channel 3. Ben Holden and Lyle Phair will call the action with Rob Otto handling the rinkside duties. Notre Dame brings a nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2) into Tuesday’s game, the longest for the Irish since a 10-game winning streak from Feb. 13 to Mar. 21, 2009. The Irish are coming off a big, 3-2 overtime win, on Friday, Nov. 18 in the “Dedication Game,” versus Boston College at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Notre Dame is 9-2-2 overall and 6-1-2-0 in the CCHA, good for 20 points and second place, three points behind Ohio State with one game in hand. Western Michigan has not played since last Tuesday’s game and is 6-4-3 overall and 4-4-1-1 in conference play, good for 14 points and sixth place in CCHA play. Following Tueday night’s tilt, the Irish will return to the road as they spend Thanksgiving in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., where they will face the Lake Superior State Lakers on Nov. 25-26.
IRISH VERSUS BRONCOS: The two teams have met 77 times in the all-time series with Western Michigan holding a 38-32-7 lead in those games. At Lawson Arena, the Broncos are 24-11-5 against the Irish. The last time Notre Dame won in Kalamazoo, Mich., was last season on Feb. 25, 2011, a 3-2 win. In the first meeting this season at Notre Dame, the Irish took a 3-2 win. The teams will meet two more times this season – on Jan. 13 at Notre Dame and on Jan. 14 at Lawson Arena.
HOT IRISH: Notre Dame has a nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2) that started on Oct. 21 with a 5-2 win over Rensselaer. In that span, the Irish are unbeaten in seven CCHA games (5-0-2). Notre Dame is 5-0-0 during the streak at home (all games at the Compton Family Ice Arena) and 2-0-2 on the road with the two ties coming on Nov. 4-5 at Northern Michigan (2-2 and 1-1). The Wildcats picked up the extra point in both those games, winning the shootout, 1-0, each night.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame and Western Michigan were ranked in the top 10 in the last rankings (Nov. 14). Notre Dame was ranked fourth in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com polls. Western Michigan was ranked 10th in both polls at the start of last week.
A GAME TO REMEMBER: Notre Dame’s grand opening of the Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday, Nov. 18 in the “Dedication Game,” will long be remembered for the outstanding atmosphere and the dramatic overtime win for the Irish. Sophomore right wing Bryan Rust (Novi, Mich.) scored with 1.1 seconds left in overtime when his wrist shot from the slot deflected off goaltender Parker Milner and trickled across the crease to send a sellout crowd of 5,022 into a frenzy. Notre Dame also got goals from T.J. Tynan (So., Orland Park, Ill.) and Shayne Taker (So., Surrey, B.C.). Chris Kreider scored on a penalty shot for Boston College and Johnny Gaudreau tied the game with 2:10 left in the third period. Kreider gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead at 19:47 of the first when he was awarded a penalty shot after defenseman Stephen Johns (So., Wampum, Pa.) covered a loose puck in the crease. In the second period, Notre Dame took the lead, scoring twice. Tynan whipped a wrist shot past Milner from the bottom of the left circle at 6:54. Taker made it 2-1 when he converted a 2-on-1 with Riley Sheahan (Jr., St. Catharine’s, Ont.) tossing a backhander behind Milner for his second goal of the week. The score would remain 2-1 until 2:10 remained in regulation and Gaudreau tucked a rebound inside the right post to tie the game at 2-2. The Irish out shot Boston College, 35-34, in the game. Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.) made 32 saves on the night as did Milner for the Eagles. Both teams were 0-3 on the power play.
TUESDAY NIGHT HOCKEY: Notre Dame started the week with a CCHA conference game on Tuesday, Nov. 15, when the Irish played host to the Western Michigan Broncos. Junior center Riley Sheahan scored a pair of goals and sophomore defenseman Shayne Taker added a single goal in a 3-2 win over the Broncos. Ian Slater and Shane Berschbach had Western Michigan’s goals. After a scoreless first period, Slater scored his third of the season at 9:30 of the second period for a 1-0 lead. The Irish would tie the score just nine seconds later when Taker beat goaltender Frank Slubowski with a great move for his first of the season at 9:39. On the play, Western was penalized and Notre Dame capitalized on the power play. Sheahan was set up for his first goal of the night by Robbie Russo (Fr., Westmont, Ill.) and T.J. Tynan at 10:39, just 40 seconds after Taker’s goal for a 2-1 lead. Sheahan wasn’t finished as he picked up his second goal of the night at 15:08, banging a rebound of a Jeff Costello (So., Milwaukee, Wis.) deflection past Slubowski for his fourth of the year and a 3-1 lead. From there, goaltender Mike Johnson held the Broncos off, giving up just a goal to Berschback on 14 shots in the third period for his fifth win of the year. The Irish were out shot by Western Michigan, 25-21, in the game. Johnson finished with 23 saves while Slubowski had 18.
NEW HOME SWEET HOME: With the win over Boston College on Nov. 18, Notre Dame improved to 5-0-0 at the Compton Family Ice Arena and 6-1-0 at home overall. That includes a 1-1 mark at the Joyce Center where the Irish split with Ohio State on Oct. 14-15. The Boston College game closed out a four-game homestand for Notre Dame that saw the Irish go 4-0-0.
LOOKING FOR A HERO: Sophomore right wing Bryan Rust made his second goal of the season a big one as he scored with 1.1 seconds left in overtime to give Notre Dame a 3-2 overtime win against Boston College. As time wound down, the Irish defense broke up a final Eagle rush at their blue line. Defenseman Sam Calabrese (Jr., Park Ridge, Ill.) took the loose puck on the right side and fed it to Sean Lorenz (Sr., Littleton, Colo.) at the left circle. Lorenz moved it into the neutral zone to a streaking Rust who did the rest. “I got the pass flying through the neutral zone and went up the left wing,” explained Rust following the game. “I knew there wasn’t much time left as I cut to the middle. I just ripped one and I got lucky and it found its way to trickle into the net. Two great teams, two great rivals. It can’t get much better than this to score with 1.1 seconds left. This game was a thrill ride.”
SCORING MACHINE: Sophomore defenseman Shayne Taker (pronounced Tacker) scored his first career goal on Oct. 10, 2010 against Boston University in the Warrior Ice Breaker Classic. He then went 40 games without scoring a goal before scoring on Nov. 15 in the win over Western Michigan. He then scored his second goal in as many games when he converted a 2-on-1 with Riley Sheahan in the win over Boston College on Nov. 18. For his career, Taker now has three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 43 career games.
OVERTIME MAGIC: Four of Notre Dame’s last six games have gone to overtime during the month of November. In those games, the Irish are 2-0-2. The overtime win against Boston College on Nov. 18 extends the Notre Dame unbeaten streak in overtime games to 25 (7-0-18) dating back to March 21, 2008 whe the Irish lost in overtime 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 2-0-2.
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 13 games of the season, the Irish have given up the first goal of the game eight times. In those games, Notre Dame is 6-1-1.
EVEN SLOWER STARTS: Notre Dame has trailed 2-0 in games four times this season and has rallied in three of them to be 3-1-0 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.
PENALTY SHOT UPDATE: Prior to Nov. 11, Notre Dame was involved in two penalty shots over the last two seasons – one in the 2010-11 season and one in the 2009-10 campaign. This season, the Irish have been involved in two penalty shots in the last week. On Nov. 11, Riley Sheahan scored on a penalty shot, the first taken by a Notre Dame player since last Feb. 26 when T.J. Tynan was awarded a shot against Western Michigan. He was stopped in a 2-0 Bronco win. Then, on Nov. 18, Boston College’s Chris Kreider was awarded a penalty shot and scored on it, giving the Eagles a 1-0 first-period lead. The last time an Irish opponent took a penalty shot against Notre Dame was Dec. 4, 2009 when Miami’s Carter Camper was stopped by Mike Johnson in a 1-0 loss.
NATIONAL LEADERS: Center T.J. Tynan and left wing Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) are among the nation’s leaders in goals, assists, points and points per game leading into the Western Michigan game. Tynan currently leads the CCHA and is tied for the national lead with 21 points. His 1.62 points per game and 17 assists are tops in both the CCHA and the nation. Lee continues to lead the CCHA in goals with 12 and is tied for third nationally. He is tied for second in the CCHA in points with 17 and his five power-play goals are tops in the CCHA and tie him for third on the national level.
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 sixth 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 sixth in scoring in the conference with four goals and nine assists for 13 points in his 11 games played. 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.
STILL UNBEATEN: Junior goaltender Mike Johnson got back on track with his 3-2 win over Western Michigan on Nov. 15 and may have played his best game of the year in the 3-2 overtime win with Boston College as he made a season-high 32 saves in the game. Johnson now has an eight-game personal unbeaten streak (6-0-2) that started on Oct. 21. In Johnson’s last 10 appearances, with nine starts, he has played 540:40, giving up 18 goals with 181 saves for a 1.99 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. For the year, he is 6-1-2 with a 2.20 goals-against and a .904 save percentage.
TURNING ON THE POWER: For just the second time this season, Notre Dame was held without a power-play goal in the 3-2 overtime win against Boston College. The Irish were 0-for-3 in the game and have at least one power-play goal in 11 of 13 games with a season-high 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 14-for-62, a 22.6% success rate. That ranks the Irish second in the CCHA and tied for 11th on the national level.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Notre Dame saw its streak of killing off 15 straight opponent power plays snapped on Nov. 11 by Alaska at 6:31 of the first period. A new streak started against Western Michigan (2-for-2) and the Irish held Boston College scoreless on three chances. Over the last 11 games, Notre Dame has now killed 33-of-36 (91.7%). For the year, the Irish are 41-of-47, for an 87.2% success rate. That ranks them sixth in the CCHA and 15th in the nation in penalty killing.
CURRENT ATTENDANCE: In the first five games at the Compton Family Ice Arena, the Irish have drawn 23,656 fans for an average of 4,731. Capacity is 5,022. In the seven home games to date, including the first two at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame is averaging 4,146 per game.
THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska) continues to impress in the early part of the season as he set up a pair of Irish goals in the 3-2 overtime win versus Boston College. Wuthrich now has a pair of multi-point games this season and has three goals and five assists for eight points in 12 games. He recorded the first multiple-point game of his career in the win over Rensselaer on Oct. 21, assisting on a pair of goals. 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.
GOING TO THE BULLPEN: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson made the call to the bullpen in the Nov. 11, 5-4 win, over Alaska, calling on sophomore Steven Summerhays (Anchorage, Alaska) to start the second period. The Nanooks dented Irish starter Mike Johnson for four goals in the first period. Summerhays played the final 40 minutes, stopping all 16 shots he faced to pick up his second win of the season as the Irish came-from-behind to take the 5-4 victory. The former Green Bay Gambler got the start on Saturday night and again was equal to the task, stopping 25-of-27 shots in the 3-2 overtime win. For the weekend, Summerhays played 104:18 and had a 1.15 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.
MADAY…MADAY…MADAY: Senior forward Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) had a strong weekend in the series with Alaska, scoring two key goals with an assist for three points. In Friday’s come-from-behind win, Notre Dame’s captain scored the all-important game-tying goal at 7:30 of the second period to make it 4-4 and then help set up defenseman Stephen Johns’ game winner at 19:12 of the third period. On Saturday night, Maday scored the game winner with 41 seconds left in overtime. He is currently fourth in scoring for the Irish with four goals and eight assists for 12 points.
CCHA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Center T.J. Tynan was named the CCHA offensive player of the week for the week ending Nov. 13 as he had a goal and four assists for five points in a weekend sweep of Alaska. In the Nov. 11, 5-4, win over the Nanooks, Tynan assisted on a pair of first-period power-play goals for a two-point game. The following night, the high-scoring center had a hand in all three Irish goals, scoring one and setting up two, as Notre Dame prevailed, 3-2. Tynan is the first Irish player to win a CCHA weekly award this season.
RBC FINANCIAL CCHA PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Sophomore left wing Anders Lee was named the RBC Financial CCHA player of the month for October as he had 10 goals and three assists for 13 points in seven games. His 10 goals were tops in the CCHA and led all Division I players at the national level. Lee scored at least one goal in all seven games during the month and added one two-goal game and a hat trick on Oct. 21 versus Rensselaer. His seven-game goal and point streaks are career bests for the 6-3, 227-pound left wing.
JOINING THE ATTACK: Sophomore defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.), who is known for his big hits, is starting to become known for his big plays. In the 5-4 win over Alaska, Johns scored the game-winning goal at 19:12 of the third period. The following night, he had a big assist on Anders Lee’s goal that tied the game at 2-2 with under five minutes left to play. Johns has two goals and four assists for six points in the team’s first 13 games this season.
FOUR IN THE FIRST: Alaska’s four-goal, first-period outburst on Nov. 11 are the most goals that Notre Dame has given up in one period since March 18, 2011, when Miami scored four against the Irish in the first period of the CCHA semifinals last season at Joe Louis Arena. The RedHawks went on to win that game, 6-2.
THE LAST TIME: Alaska’s Cody Kunyk scored three goals in the first period of the Nov. 11 game against the Irish. That was the first hat trick given up by Notre Dame since Dec. 4, 2010 when Miami’s Alden Hirschfeld scored three times in a 5-2 win at Miami.
CONFERENCE CALL: The Hockey East Association and the University of Notre Dame announced on Wednesday, Oct. 5 that the Fighting Irish have been accepted into the league as the 11th member school and will begin play in the 2013-14 campaign. The announcement came at a press conference on the ice at Notre Dame’s new Compton Family Ice Arena.
In making the announcement, Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said, “It is not an overstatement to say that this is one of the most significant days in the history of our conference. The addition of new institutions is always exciting but Notre Dame brings a unique set of qualities and circumstances to the continued growth of our league. We are proud to welcome Notre Dame into the fold and we look forward to getting to the many details that come with this announcement.”
Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said, “We are excited to be joining Hockey East beginning in the 2013-14 season. Many factors played a role in our decision, but three were of special importance to us. The first two were the critical issues of the student-athlete experience and Notre Dame’s fit with the other schools in the conference. But of special importance in this instance, was our goal of giving our hockey program an unprecedented level of national exposure through our expanded partnership with the NBC Sports Group. Athletics at Notre Dame has always served as a platform for promoting the University.”
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson added, “We are honored and pleased to join Hockey East for the 2013-14 season. The conference is an established league with a great tradition and outstanding programs that share Notre Dame’s values. The exposure for our players and team in a major media and NHL market will be second to none. Hockey East’s commitment to playing a smaller league schedule will allow us to enhance our home and non-conference schedule with traditional western and Big Ten rivals. This will allow us to bring great games to the Compton Family Ice Arena and create a more diverse, nationally-televised schedule. We are grateful to Joe Bertagna and the Hockey East Association members for this tremendous opportunity.”
Notre Dame is currently a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and has had two stints with the CCHA during its 44 years of Division I hockey. The Irish first joined the conference from 1981-83 and then again in 1992 through the 2012-13 season. During that time, Notre Dame has won two CCHA regular-season and postseason tournament titles (2007 and 2009).
The current shift in conferences began with the Big Ten’s decision to form their own hockey league beginning in 2013-14. That started the realignment process in both the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and the CCHA that has occurred this past summer and fall.