Jan. 12, 2009
Farmington Hills, Mich. – The Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced today that Notre Dame defenseman Kyle Lawson (Jr., New Hudson, Mich.) and goaltender Jordan Pearce (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) have been selected as the CCHA’s defensive player and goaltender of the week respectively for the week ending Jan. 11.
The Notre Dame duo was instrumental in back-to-back shutout wins for the Irish over Alaska by 2-0 and 3-0 scores. Lawson was +3 on the weekend and assisted on three of the team’s five goals in the series. Pearce stopped all 38 shots he faced in the two contests to record his third and fourth shutouts of the season while running his current shutout streak to 161:30 over the last three games.
This is the first time this season that Lawson has been honored as the CCHA’s top defenseman while Pearce, who also is a Hobey Baker Award candidate, has captured the honor three times to date.
The weekend sweep improved Notre Dame to 18-3-2 overall and 12-2-2-2 in the CCHA, good for 28 points and first place in the league. The Irish are now five points ahead of second-place Miami and seven points ahead of third-place Alaska and Nebraska-Omaha. Notre Dame has now won eight games in a row since Nov. 29 and has a school-record 18-game unbeaten streak (16-0-2). The Irish remain ranked number one in the nation in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports poll.
In Friday’s 2-0 win over the Nanooks, Lawson was +1 in the game and had four shots on goal as Notre Dame limited Alaska to just 16 shots in the game. The junior defenseman assisted on both goals in the game, getting the primary assist on Ryan Thang’s (Jr., Edina, Minn.) power-play game winner at 11:40. He then helped set up Erik Condra’s (Sr., Livonia, Mich.) insurance goal with 57 seconds left. Pearce got his third shutout of the season by making 16 stops as he and the Irish penalty killers stopped all five Alaska power-play chances.
On Saturday night, it was more of the same hard-nosed defensive play as the Irish scored three, third-period goals in the 3-0 victory. Lawson was +2 in the game with two shots on goal and a pair of blocked shots. He assisted on Christian Hanson’s (Sr., Venetia, Pa.) game winner at 5:33 of the third period. Pearce turned aside all 22 shots he faced and again held the Alaska power play at bay, stopping all five chances.
For the season, Lawson has scored two goals and added 10 assists for 12 points to rank second among Irish defensemen in scoring. He is tied with defenseman Ian Cole (So., Ann Arbor, Mich.) with a team-leading +13 plus/minus this season.
Pearce improved his record to 17-3-2 overall with a 1.48 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage to go with four shutouts. He has authored Notre Dame’s current eight-game winning streak and 18-game unbeaten streak, playing in every game of the streak. He is first in the nation in wins (17), third in goals-against average (1.48), fourth in save percentage (.940) and first in shutouts. His eight career shutouts move him into second on the team’s all-time list and his 46 career wins rank him fourth all-time for the Irish.
Lawson, Pearce and their Notre Dame teammates will take to the road this weekend as the Irish travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., for a pair of games at Lake Superior State on Jan. 16-17. Both games have a 7:05 p.m. starting time.