April 12, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska) signed a two-year NHL entry-level contract with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, April 10 with announcement made by Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. The deal will begin with the 2009-10 season. In keeping with team policy, additional terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Pearce is currently with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL) on an amateur tryout. He made his first pro start on Saturday, April 11th in the Griffins’ regular-season finale in Peoria, Ill., making 33 saves in a 5-2 loss to the Peoria Rivermen. Two of the goals he surrendered were to former Notre Dame player Yan Stastny who is a member of the St. Louis Blues organization.
Signing with the Red Wings caps a remarkable senior season for the 6-1, 206-pound goaltender. Just a week ago, he captured both the Notre Dame Monogram Club’s team Most Valuable Player award and the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley’s Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award for the second consecutive season. During the 2008-09 season, Pearce was 30-6-3 overall with a 1.68 goals-against average, a .931 save percentage and eight shutouts while helping Notre Dame to the lowest scoring defense in the nation (1.73 goals per game).
He led the nation in wins and shutouts and was second in goals-against average and fourth in save percentage. His 30 wins and eight shutouts set Notre Dame single-season marks and he finished his career with a school record 59 victories. During the season, he reeled off a 20-game unbeaten streak (17-0-3) from Oct. 31 to Jan. 30 and for the CCHA playoffs, he was 4-0 with a 0.75 goals-against average and a .973 save percentage.
Pearce helped lead Notre Dame to its second CCHA regular-season and playoff championship in the last three years and its third trip to the NCAA Tournament. He was named to the CCHA all-tournament team and captured tournament MVP honors as the Irish swept Northern Michigan (2-1) and Michigan (5-2) to win the title.
Away from the rink, the talented goaltender is also a talented student, as he owns a 3.816 grade-point average in his double major of anthropology and pre-med and had begun the interview process for medical school prior to signing with the Red Wings. He was honored by the CCHA as the conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was selected to the scholar-athlete team for the second consecutive season. Along with teammate Erik Condra, Pearce also finished as a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
Grand Rapids finishes the regular season with a 43-25-6-6 record in the AHL Western Conference’s North Division, good for 98 points. The Griffins open the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs on Friday, April 17 versus the Hamilton Bulldogs in Hamilton, Ont., in a best-of-seven opening round series.