Feb. 14, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Series: #1/#1 Notre Dame (24-5-3/18-3-3) at Alaska (9-15-6/7-12-5)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., February 16-17, 2007 â€¢ 7:05 p.m. (AST) â€¢ Carlson Center (4,350)
â€¢ Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert calls the action for the Irish. Television: Friday night’s game will be televised on tape delay on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 9:30 a.m. by WHME-TV 46 in South Bend. The actual broadcast will be done by KFXF Fox 7 in Fairbanks.
â€¢ Internet: Irish hockey can be heard on the internet at the Notre Dame website – www.und.com. All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.
FINAL REGULAR-SEASON ROAD TRIP: Notre Dame makes its longest (distance-wise) road trip of the season as the Irish head north to Alaska to face the Alaska Nanooks on Feb. 16-17. Game time both nights is 7:05 p.m. (AST) – 11:05 p.m. in South Bend. Irish fans will be able to watch Friday night’s contest on tape delay, Saturday, Feb. 17 at 9:30 a.m. when WHME-TV 46 will broadcast the game using KFXF Fox 7 in Fairbanks’ feed from the previous evening. The Irish go into the weekend with a chance to lock up their first-ever CCHA title. Ranked number one in the nation for the second consecutive week in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV college hockey polls, Notre Dame is 24-5-3 overall and 18-3-3 in the CCHA, good for 39 points. The Irish, who have already clinched a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs, lead second-place Miami (34) by five points, third-place Michigan (33) by six and fourth-place Michigan State (31) by eight. Any combination of three points (Irish wins or ties or Michigan losses or ties) will give the Irish the conference title. Alaska will enter the series with a 9-15-6 record and the Nanooks are 7-12-5 in the conference and tied for ninth with Northern Michigan with 19 points. They are two points behind eighth-place Lake Superior (21) and four behind seventh-place Western Michigan (23) as they look for home ice in the first round of the CCHA playoffs (fifth through eighth). The Irish close out the regular season at home, Feb. 23-24, with a pair of games versus Ferris State at the Joyce Center.
IRISH AND NANOOKS MEET AGAIN: Notre Dame and Alaska meet for the second time this season this weekend. The two teams met on Dec. 2-3 at the Joyce Center with the Irish taking 3-1 and 6-2 victories. Alaska leads the all-time series, 20-18-3, and at the Carlson Center, the Nanooks are 12-6-2 against the Irish. The last time the Irish visited Fairbanks was Nov. 26-27, 2005 with the Irish winning the first game of the series, 3-2, before falling in the second by a 3-2 margin.
HOT IRISH: Notre Dame comes into the series with Alaska on a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2). Notre Dame’s last loss came on Jan. 19, a 3-2 loss at Western Michigan. Since Dec. 2, the Irish are 13-1-2 in 16 CCHA games and 14-2-2 in all games.
HOBEY HOPEFULS: Two Notre Dame players – goaltender David Brown (Sr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) and right wing Mark Van Guilder (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) – are among 40 players listed by the Hobey Baker Award website as candidate’s for the prestigious honor. Phase one of – Vote For Hobey – is now underway. Fans now have the opportunity to select their favorite candidate for the list of top ten finalists on the new Hobey Baker Award website (www.hobeybaker.com). Fans may vote for one candidate at a time, but can vote multiple times per day. The standings will run concurrently on the Hobey Baker website. Voting in phase one will end on March 4. Phase two will begin on March 15 after the top ten finalists have been announced. To vote, visit the Vote For Hobey link on the Hobey Baker website, or just click on the Vote For Hobey button on the site’s homepage.
David Brown: With a win and a tie versus Nebraska-Omaha last week, David Brown is now 23-4-3 on the year with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. His 23 wins lead the nation while his goals against leads the CCHA and is tops in the country. Brown’s save percentage is second in the conference and ninth nationally. He has led the Irish to the second-best defense in the nation, giving up just 1.73 goals-per game. He is tied for the CCHA lead with three shutouts and is tied for eighth in the nation in that category. In his last seven games, Brown is 5-0-2 with a 1.40 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage and one shutout. Brown is currently ranked second by Inside College Hockey.com’s Hobey Tracker and first by CSTV.com’s Hobey Watch.
Mark Van Guilder: Van Guilder has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last four games. He is currently fourth on the team in scoring with career highs in goals (15) and points (29).
Kevin Deeth scored twice, including the game winner with 9.6 seconds left in the 4-2 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Friday night.
NEBRASKA-OMAHA RECAP: Notre Dame picked up three points in the weekend series with Nebraska-Omaha, winning on Friday, 4-2, and then playing to a 2-2 tie on Saturday. In Friday’s series opener, the two teams put on a defensive clinic early before turning on the offense in the third period, combining for six goals. For 40 minutes the game was scoreless with the two teams getting 12 shots each. That ended at 1:43 of the third period when Kevin Deeth (Fr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) scored his first of the game on a rebound to give the Irish a 1-0 lead. The Mavericks answered back with two goals in a 57-second span as Jeric Agosta (3:55) and Dan Charleston (4:52, ppg) but UNO ahead 2-1. The score would stay that way until the 11:02 mark when Justin White (So., Traverse City, Mich.) rifled a shot from the top of the right wing circle on the power play for the Irish to knot the score at 2-2. As time was running out, Deeth took a feed from Ryan Thang (Fr., Edina, Minn.) and beat Maverick goaltender Jeremie Dupont on a wrap-around goal with 9.6 seconds left on the clock to give the Irish a 3-2 lead. T.J. Jindra (Sr., Faribault, Minn.) scored into and empty net with three seconds left to give Notre Dame the 4-2 win. The Irish out shot Nebraska-Omaha by a 25-16 margin. Dupont made 21 saves in the Maverics’ goal while David Brown (Sr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) had 14 saves in winning his 23rd game of the year. Saturday’s game saw the Irish take a 2-0 lead only to see the Mavericks score twice in the final 4:12 to pull out the 2-2 tie. Defenseman Noah Babin (Sr., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at 4:23 of the first period when he tucked a rebound past Dupont in the Mavericks’ goal. The score stayed that way until the 4:44 mark of the third period when Erik Condra (So., Livonia, Mich.) notched his 12th of the season when he scored on a rebound of a Kevin Deeth shot to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. Nebraska-Omaha finally broke through on Brown in the Notre Dame goal when Dan Charleston deflected a Phil Angell shot at 15:48 to cut the lead to 2-1. The Mavs got the game-tying goal at 18:17 when Bryan Marshall beat Brown with a wrist shot from in front to tie the game at 2-2. In overtime, UNO out shot the Irish, 6-0, but Brown held the Mavericks off to pick up the tie. In the game, Notre Dame out shot Nebraska-Omaha by a 30-22 margin. Brown finished with 20 saves while Dupoint had 28.
JOYCE CENTER SELLOUTS: With two sellouts versus Nebraska-Omaha, Notre Dame has now had four straight and sellouts in six of the last seven games, dating back to Dec. 10. For the year, the Irish have had seven sellouts at the Joyce Center and are averaging 2,390 fans per game in 13 home games this season. By the way, the final two home games against Ferris State on Feb. 23-24 are also sold out.
FRIDAY NIGHT FUN: The Irish ran their record to 11-1-0 in the opening game of a CCHA series with the Feb. 9, 4-2 win versus Nebraska-Omaha. The lone loss came on Jan. 19 at Western Michigan (3-2). Saturday’s tie with UNO gives the Irish a 7-2-3 mark in the second game of the series.
LOST LEADS: The Irish have lost just two third-period leads this season with the 2-2 tie on Feb. 10 with Nebraska-Omaha being the first two-goal lead that Notre Dame has surrendered this season. The other time was on Jan. 7 when the Irish took a 2-1 lead into the third period and gave up three goals to Robert Morris in a 4-2 loss. Notre Dame is 19-1-1 when they lead after two periods of play.
STIFLING DEFENSE: Nebraska-Omaha came into the weekend series with Notre Dame (Feb. 9-10) averaging 31.6 shots per game. In two games, the Irish defense held the Mavericks to just 38 shots total, 16 in Friday’s 4-2 win and 22 in Saturday’s 2-2 tie with six of those shots coming in overtime. For the second time this season, the Irish held a team to one shot on goal in a period as UNO had one shot in the first period of Saturday’s game, getting it with one second left on the clock.
COMING FROM BEHIND: Friday night’s 4-2 win (Feb. 9) over Nebraska-Omaha marked the fifth time this season that the Irish rallied from a third-period deficit as they trailed 2-1 before scoring the final three goals of the game. On Dec. 2 versus Alaska, the Irish trailed 1-0 going into the third period and scored three times for a 3-1 win. On Dec. 10, ND trailed Michigan, 3-2, entering the third period and scored twice for a 4-3 win. On Dec. 30, the Irish trailed Northern Michigan, 2-1 entering the third and scored three times in a 4-3 win. On Jan. 27, Notre Dame trailed Miami, 2-0 entering the third and scored twice for a 2-2 tie. On the year, when trailing going into the third period, the Irish are 3-3-1.
THE KID LINE: Notre Dame’s line of Ryan Thang, Kevin Deeth and Erik Condra (two freshmen and a sophomore) has been the team’s top scoring trio this season. The threesome was at it again in the Nebraska-Omaha series, getting three goals and four assists in the win and tie. On Feb. 9, for the second game in a row, Deeth was the hero, this time scoring a pair of goals, including the game winner with 9.6 seconds left on the clock. For the season the trio now has 43 goals and 57 assists for 100 points. Included in the 43 goals are 17 power-play goals, three short-handed goals and 11 game winners. The three players are a combined +60. Condra is second in the CCHA with a +22, Deeth is third with a +21 and Thang is tied for eighth with a +17.
TURN THE PAIGE: Senior center Jason Paige (Saginaw, Mich.) ran his career-high point streak to five games with assists in each of the games against Nebraska-Omaha. Paige has five assists in the streak for the longest assist streak for Notre Dame this season. On the year, Paige has career highs in assists (10) and points (18). His previous best season came in 2003-04 when he had 10 goals and six assists for 16 points. He recorded the second two-goal game of his career in the win over Michigan State on Nov. 17. He has already surpassed his totals from last season (4g, 1a, 5pts). One of the top defensive forwards in the CCHA, Paige continues as Notre Dame’s top face-off man winning 380-of-644 for a 59.2% success rate.
SICK BAY: Sophomore center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) has been sidelined since the Lake Superior series (Jan. 12-13) with mononucleosis. He is expected to be available for the Alaska series.
NOAH KNOWS: Defensemen Noah Babin scored once and had two assists for a three-point weekend against Nebraska-Omaha. The senior blueliner now leads Irish defensemen in scoring with two goals and 16 assists for 18 points. His 16 assists and 18 points are career highs.
THE REAL THANG: Freshman right wing Ryan Thang took over the team lead in goals (16) and power-play goals (8) with his goal in the 3-2 win over Bowling Green on Feb. 2. Thang’s 16 goals are most by an Irish freshman since Rob Globke `04 had 17 in 2000-01. He is tied for tied for ninth on the Irish list for goals by a freshman with current Irish volunteer assistant Mike McNeill `88 who had 16 in the 1984-85 season. He is second in the CCHA among freshmen goal scorers, trailing Western Michigan’s Mark Letestu who has 18. Fellow freshman Kevin Deeth, with 15 goals this season, needs just one to break into the top 10 among Irish rookie goal scorers.
Irish Freshman Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Goals1. Dave Poulin (78-79) 282. Paul Regan (69-70) 273. Kevin Hoene (68-69) 24 John Noble (68-69) 245. Greg Meredith (76-77) 236. Tom Mooney (84-85) 197. Brian Walsh (73-74) 17 Rob Globke (00-01) 179. Mike McNeill (84-85) 16 Ryan Thang (06-07) 1611. Kevin Deeth (06-07) 15
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU: Senior goaltender David Brown continues to be one of the leading contenders for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award for college hockey’s top player. Brown bounced back from his first loss in 10 games (3-2 on Jan. 19 at Western Michigan) to record his third shutout of the season, winning at Western, 3-0 on Jan. 20. Over his last seven games since the loss, Brown is 5-0-2 with a 1.40 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. Prior to the Jan. 19 loss, Brown had not lost a game since Nov. 25 at Nebraska-Omaha. In his nine-game winning streak, Brown had a 2.21 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. Overall, he has now appeared in 30 of Notre Dame’s 32 games and has a 1.72 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage to go with an 23-4-3 record. The Hobey Baker candidate is first among CCHA goaltenders in wins (23) and goals-against average (1.72), second in save percentage (.926) and second in minutes played (1,818:58). He ranks first nationally in wins, first in goals-against average, second in minutes played and ninth in save percentage. His .817 winning percentage is first in the CCHA and third nationally. Brown and the Irish defense are second in the nation, giving up just 1.73 goals-per-game (56 in 32 contests). The senior goaltender now has 48 career wins at Notre Dame to rank third on the all-time wins list. A three-time CCHA goaltender of the week (Oct. 23, Nov. 6 and Jan. 29), Brown was also the all-tournament goaltender at the Lightning College Hockey Classic. This season, Brown has taken over Notre Dame’s all-time top spot for career goals-against average (2.44), save percentage (.913) and shutouts (9).
FRESHMEN POINT PRODUCERS: Irish freshmen Kevin Deeth and Ryan Thang rank second and third on the team in scoring as freshman, Deeth with 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points while Thang has 16 goals and 14 assists for 30 points. The dynamic duo are rapidly climbing the charts on Notre Dame’s single-season freshman scoring list. They currently rank second and thrid respectively among CCHA freshmen scorers and 11th and 15th in the nation.
Irish Freshman Point Scoring Leaders Player Points1. John Noble (69-70) 24-35-59 Dave Poulin (78-79) 28-31-593. Paul Regan (69-70) 27-20-474. Kevin Hoene (68-69) 24-22-465. Greg Meredith (76-77) 23-22-45 David Bankoske (88-89) 11-34-457. Mike McNeill (84-85) 16-26-428. Ian Williams (70-71) 15-26-419. Jamie Ling (92-93) 14-26-4010. Tom Mooney (84-85) 19-20-3911. Jim Cordes (68-69) 12-24-3612. Bill Green (68-69) 14-21-35 Joe Bonk (68-69) 11-24-3514. Brian Walsh (73-74) 17-17-34 Erik Condra (05-06) 6-28-3416. Kevin Deeth (06-07) 15-17-3217. Curtis Janicke (89-90) 11-21-3118. Eddie Bumbacco (70-71) 15-15-30 Ryan Thang (06-07) 16-14-30
SCORING IN BUNCHES: Through the first 32 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored two or more goals in a period a total of 33 times, including four goals in the third period versus Nebraska-Omaha on Feb. 9. The totals include 21 periods with two goals, nine periods with three goals, two periods with four goals and one with five lamplighters.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame is 10-1-2 at home this season for an .846 winning percentage that is the best since the 2003-04 season when the Irish were 14-2-2 at the Joyce Center for an .833 winning percentage. Only two other Irish teams have had better home records – 1987-88 team was 18-2-0 (.900) and the 1969-70 team was 12-1-1 (.893).
THE WHITE CALL: Sophomore center Justin White picked a great time to get the first power-play goal of his career when he scored at 11:02 of the third period to tie Friday’s game at 2-2. For White, the goal was his second of the season and the second of his career.
DYNAMIC DEETH: With two goals in the win over Nebraska-Omaha on Feb. 9, freshman center Kevin Deeth is now second on the Irish in scoring with 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points. Included in his 15 goals are six power-play goals and two game winners. He has now scored back-to-back game-winning goals for the Irish. He has four multiple-goal games and seven multiple-point games this season.
PENALTY-KILLING POWER: Over the last nine games, Notre Dame’s penalty killers have been especially tough, giving up just three man-advantage goals in 42 opponent chances for a 92.9% success rate. For the season, the Irish have killed 141-of-157 chances (16 ppg’s against) for an 89.8% success rate that is the best in the CCHA and tops in the nation.
RANKINGS UPDATE: For the second week in a row, Notre Dame is ranked number one in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV polls. The Irish have been in the polls for 16 consecutive weeks, the longest span for any Irish team. Prior to this season, the last time the Notre Dame was ranked was the 2003-04 campaign when the Irish finished the year ranked 12th.
CONDRA BESTS: Sophomore right wing Erik Condra continues to lead the team with 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points. His 12 goals are a career high and rank fourth on the team. His 26 assists are just two off his career high set last season and lead the team. A year ago, Condra had 34 points for the year on six goals and 28 assists.
MR. STEADY: Junior Mark Van Guilder continues to be Notre Dame’s steadiest player as he is tied for second on the team in goals (15) and points (29) and is sixth with a +10. The Hobey Baker Award candidate leads the Irish with eight multiple-point games on the year. His 15 goals are a career high, surpassing his eight goals of a year ago. The Roseville, Minn., native now has his eyes set on Notre Dame’s “Iron Man” record of 153 consecutive games, set by Tim Wallace (2002-06) as he has now played in 106 consecutive games in his career.
BARTLETT SCORES: Senior Michael Bartlett (Sr., Morton Grove, Ill.) scored a goal in each of the games at Bowling Green. His goal in the 3-2 win was the game winner and snapped a 24-game goal-less drought that started after his Oct. 30 goal at Providence. The game winner was his first since Oct. 30, 2003 when he had the game winner against Nebraska-Omaha. He added his third goal in the 2-1 win on Saturday, tying the game in the second period. Bartlett’s three goals this season are the most he’s scored since getting six goals as a freshman in 2003-04.
FIRST-PERIOD GOALS: Bowling Green became the eighth team this season to score first versus the Irish (ND is 5-2-1 in those games). On the year, the Irish have given up just 12 first-period goals while scoring 32 of their own. Notre Dame has scored the first goal of the game 24 times this year and is 19-3-2 in those games. Versus Michigan on Dec. 10, Notre Dame surrendered two goals in the first period for the only time this season and trailed the Wolverines 2-1 after one period. Notre Dame is 15-2-1 when they lead after one period and 6-2-1 when tied after one period. The Irish are now 3-1-1 when they trail after one period of play.
IRISH RANKING HISTORY: Notre Dame hasn’t been ranked often in its 39-year hockey history. During the 1972-73 season, the Irish finished ranked fourth overall in the WMPL radio poll and were ranked for eight weeks during the year. That season, Notre Dame lost to Wisconsin in the WCHA finals. The following year (1973-74), the Irish opened the season ranked second (WMPL) and stayed as high as No. 2 through the first four weeks of the year before dropping out. In 1976-77, the Irish were ranked in the final seven weeks of the season, reaching as high as No. 2 on Jan. 31, finishing the year ranked third in the WMPL radio poll. They lost to Minnesota in the WCHA playoffs in a total-goal series. Notre Dame would not be ranked again until October 26 of the 1981-82 season when they reached 10th but weren’t ranked again. In 1998-99, the Irish spent 16 consecutive weeks (Oct. 19-Feb. 16) in both the USA Today and USHCHO.com polls, before falling out at the end of the year. In 2002-03, the Irish were ranked for one week and in 2003-04, they were ranked six weeks in total, including the final four weeks in a row to finish 12th in the USA Today Poll and 13th in the USCHO.com final polls.
CLUTCH SCORER: Freshman Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) picked up his sixth goal of the season with a power-play goal in the 3-2 win at Bowling Green on Feb. 2. Kissel now has six goals in 18 games this season with three of them being game winners.
KID STUFF: Notre Dame’s freshman class continues to excel on the ice and played a key role in the three-point weekend against Nebraska-Omaha. Of the six goals the Irish scored, two came off the sticks of freshmen and they added three assists on the weekend. In the 32 games, the freshmen have combined for 43 goals and 63 assists for 106 points, 15 power-play goals, three short-handed tallies, 11 game-winning goals and are a combined +75. Leading the way are Kevin Deeth (15g, 17a) and Ryan Thang (16g, 14a) with 32 and 30 points respectively. Thang leads the team with eight power-play goals and is followed by Deeth with six. Thang’s four game-winning goals ties him for the team lead and is third in the CCHA and eighth in the nation. Defenseman Kyle Lawson has become a force on the Irish blue line with three goals and 13 assists on the year and is second on the team with a +20. Fellow blueliner Brett Blatchford has 14 points on two goals and 12 assists and is +10. Left wing Dan Kissel has six goals and three assists for nine points in 16 games. Christian Minella has scored one goal and added four assists in 17 games. The freshman class has accounted for 11 of Notre Dame’s 24 game-winning goals (Thang – 4, Kissel – 3, Deeth – 3 and Blatchford one).
ROAD SWEEPS: Notre Dame’s weekend sweep at Bowling Green on Feb. 2-3 was the second road sweep for the Irish this season. They also took two from Lake Superior on Jan. 12-13. That sweep was the first road sweep for Notre Dame since Feb. 14-15, 2003 when they won a pair of games at Bowling Green.
ALL TIED UP: Notre Dame’s 2-2 tie with Nebraska-Omaha on Feb. 10 was the fifth overtime game for the Irish this season. Notre Dame is now 1-1-3 in the extra session. On Jan. 27, the Irish battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie Miami, 2-2. On Jan. 12, at Lake Superior, the Irish took a 4-3 overtime win that was the first for the Irish since Dec. 10, 2004 when the Irish defeated Michigan State, 3-2, at the Joyce Center. The last time that the Irish won an overtime game on the road was March 9, 2002, a 2-1 win at Nebraska-Omaha in the CCHA playoffs. In 57 overtime games since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish are 8-7-42 in overtime.
PLAYING WITH THE LEAD: Through the first 32 games of the season, Notre Dame has played a total of 1943:09 minutes. In those 32 games, the Irish have trailed for just 260:29 minutes (or 13.4% of the time). On the year, the Irish have been in the lead or tied for 86.7% of the time or 1682:40 minutes. That breaks down to being tied for 647:06 minutes (33.3%) and leading 1,035:34 (53.4%).
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame’s loss to Robert Morris on Jan. 7 snapped an 8-0-0 start for the Irish at the Joyce Center. A year ago, Notre Dame was 7-11-3 on home ice. Through the first 32 games, the Irish have played just 13 games at home (10-1-2) and 19 on the road (four neutral site games). The Irish are 10-4-1 in away games and 4-0-0 in neutral site games. The last time the Irish won more than 10 games on the road was in 1997-98 when they were 12-11-0 away from the Joyce Center.