Senior captain Erik Condra and teammate Jordan Pearce are finalists for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

Notre Dame Meets Western Michigan In Thanksgiving Weekend Series

Nov. 26, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Game: #2/#2 Notre Dame (9-3-1/5-2-1-1) vs. Western Michigan (2-7-3/1-4-3-1)

• Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., Nov. 28-29, 2008 • Joyce Center (2,713) • 7:35 p.m./7:05 p.m.

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM in South Bend. Mike Lockert, now in his seventh season, will call all the action for the Irish.

• Television: Saturday’s game will be televised live by Comcast/NHL Network Canada at 7:05 p.m. The game can be seen on the NHL Network in the United States on tape delay, Sunday, Nov. 30 at 12:00 noon. Ben Holden and Lyle Phair will handle the play-by-play and color commentary.

• Internet: All Notre Dame hockey games can be heard live on the internet via the Notre Dame website at Friday’s game against Bowling Green will be streamed live at All Notre Dame home games and all CCHA games are available via gametracker.

TALKING TURKEY: After the Irish break for Thanksgiving this Thursday, they will return to the CCHA hockey wars this weekend with a home series against the Western Michigan Broncos on Nov. 28-29. Friday’s game has a 7:35 p.m. start time with Saturday’s game starting at 7:06 p.m. Saturday’s game will be televised live by Comcast Michigan and can be seen on the NHL Network live in Canada on Saturday and on tape delay in the U.S., Sunday at 12:00 noon. Ben Holden and Lyle Phair will call the action. This series ends a streak of five of the last six games at home for Notre Dame. The Irish bring an eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1) into the weekend series and are currently 9-3-1 overall and 5-2-1-1 in the CCHA, good for 12 points and a tie for second place behind Miami. The Broncos are 2-7-3 on the season and 1-4-3-1 in conference play, good for six points and are currently 11th in the league. Notre Dame is coming off a weekend sweep versus Bowling Green, winning Friday at home, 5-1 and then 9-1 on Saturday at the BGSU Ice Arena. The Broncos were idle last weekend. The Irish go into the weekend ranked second in the nation in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and the College Sports rankings.

IRISH VERSUS BRONCOS: Notre Dame and Western Michigan have met 68 times in the all-time series with the Broncos owning a 35-28-5 edge in those games. At the Joyce Center, the Irish are 18-12-1 in 31 meetings. The teams met four times in 2007-08 with Notre Dame having a 3-1-0 record, winning twice at home and splitting a pair in Kalamazoo, Mich. The lone Bronco win was a 3-0 shutout victory at Lawson Arena with goaltender Riley Gill making 42 saves. The Irish have won the last four meetings at the Joyce Center with the last Western win coming on March 13, 2004 in the second game of the CCHA Tournament. Notre Dame is 6-3-1 versus the Broncos in the last 10 meetings, dating back to the 2004-05 season.

BOWLING GREEN RECAP: Saturday, November 22 – The Irish traveled to Bowling Green, Ohio for game two of the weekend series and handed the Falcons a 9-1 loss at the BGSU Ice Arena. Notre Dame scored six power-play goals in 12 chances and had a six-goal third period in the win. The Irish snapped a 1-1 tie with two second-period, power-play goals before scoring six times in the third. Calle Ridderwall (So., Stockholm, Sweden) led Notre Dame with two goals and two assists while Christian Hanson (Sr., Venetia, Pa.) had his second three-point game (2g, 1a) of the weekend. Billy Maday (Fr., Burr Ridge, Ill.), Ben Ryan (So., Brighton, Mich.), Ryan Guentzel (So., Woodbury, Minn.), Erik Condra (Sr., Livonia, Mich.) and Justin White (Sr., Traverse City, Mich.) had single goals for the Irish in the win. Notre Dame out shot Bowling Green, 32-23, in the game with Jordan Pearce (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) making 22 saves in the win. The Falcons got their lone goal on the power play in the first period off the stick of Nick Bailen to tie the game, 1-1. The Falcons were 1-for-7 on the power play. Jimmy Spratt made 23 saves in goal.

Friday, November 21 – Senior Christian Hanson scored a pair of goals and added one assist while Notre Dame got single goals from Justin White, Billy Maday and Christiaan Minella (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) as the Irish downed Bowling Green, 5-1, in front of a sellout crowd of 2,857 at the Joyce Center. Goaltender Jordan Pearce stopped 27-of-28 Falcon shots to record the victory. Brandon Svendsen scored the lone Falcon goal, scoring short-handed in the second period. Hanson staked the Irish to a 1-0 lead at 16:04 of the first period with a power-play goal, his fifth goal of the season. White would make it 2-0 at 19:06 when he scored his second of the season on a shot from the left-wing circle. Bowling Green cut the lead to 2-1 when Svendsen took a pass from David Solway and scored on a short-handed breakaway for his sixth goal of the year at 5:03. The Irish would answer back on the same power play when Maday scored his team-high sixth goal of the season on a shot from the left point that beat goaltender Jimmy Spratt at 6:09 to give Notre Dame a 3-1 lead. The Irish added to the lead with two late goals. Minella made it 4-1 at 17:49 when he scored his fourth of the season on a rebound and Hanson closed out the scoring when he jammed his own rebound past Spratt with one second left in the second period for his second of the night and sixth of the year to make it 5-1. Neither team scored in the final period as the Irish finished with a 32-28 shot advantage. Spratt made 27 saves on the night. Notre Dame was 2-for-6 on the power play while the Falcons were 0-for-7.

LETTERS OF INTENT: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson has announced that five players have signed national letters-of-intent to play hockey at Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2009: The list includes two defensemen and three forwards. Joining the Irish for next season are: Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge, Ill.), Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.), Nick Larson (Apple Valley, Minn.), Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) and Riley Sheahan (St. Catharines, Ont.). Calabrese, Fowler and Palmieri all play for the USA Under-18 team while Larson plays for Waterloo in the USHL and Sheahan is a member of the St. Catharines Falcons organization in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. Calabrese and Palmieri are eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft next June while Fowler and Sheahan can’t be drafted until the June of 2010 draft. Larson was selected in the fourth round of last year’s draft by the Calgary Flames.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE MAN ADVANTAGE: Prior to last weekend’s series with Bowling Green, Notre Dame’s power-play was hitting at a 15.6% success rate and ranked fifth in the CCHA and 31st in the nation. After going 2-for-6 in Friday’s game and 6-for-12 in Saturday’s win, Notre Dame’s power play is now 20-for-95 for a 21.1% success rate. That leads the CCHA and is fifth nationally.

PICK SIX: The last time Notre Dame scored six power-play goals in a game was Oct. 21, 1994 when the Irish had six ppg’s in an 8-4 win over Waterloo at the Joyce Center. The last time the Irish had 12 power-play chances in a game was on Oct. 8, 2004 at home against Minnesota-Duluth. The Irish were 1-for-12 on the power play in that game.

NINE LIVES: The nine-goal output by the Irish in the 9-1 win at Bowling Green on Nov. 22 marked the first time that Notre Dame had scored nine goals in a game since Nov. 10, 2005 when they scored nine versus Bowling Green in a 9-4 victory.

ON A ROLL: With last weekend’s sweep of Bowling Green, the Irish are now 7-0-1 in their last eight games. Included in the streak are two road wins at Northern Michigan, road wins at Boston College and Providence, a win and a tie at home against Lake Superior State and a pair of wins versus the Falcons in a home-and-home series. The unbeaten streak is the longest for the Irish since a nine-game winning streak last season between Nov. 16 and Dec. 8. The Irish are 2-0-1 at home during the streak and 5-0-0 on the road.

GOING TO THE GOAL: In Notre Dame’s eight-game unbeaten streak, the Irish have outscored the opposition by a 37-13 margin (4.63 to 1.63). Over the last seven games the Irish have had four or more goals in six of those contests. The lone game with less that four was a 3-3 tie with Lake Superior State on Nov. 15.

WEEKLY HONORS: Defenseman Brett Blatchford (Jr., Temperance, Mich.) and center Christian Hanson were selected as the CCHA’s defensive and offensive players of the week respectively for the week ending Nov. 23. Blatchford had four assists in the two games, including a three-assist game on Nov. 22 and was +3 in the two wins. This is the second consecutive week that Blatchford has captured the league’s top defensive player of the week award. Hanson had four goals and two assists for six points in the two games and was +3 for the series. Hanson scored two goals with one assist in each game for the first three-point games of his career. He also was selected as Inside College’s player of the week for his play in the games against the Falcons.

MR. RELIABLE: Senior goaltender Jordan Pearce has been a regular in the Notre Dame goal over the last two seasons. Since Jan. 5, 2008, Pearce has appeared in 35 of the last 36 Irish games. Of those 35 games, 34 have been starts. Pearce saw his personal streak of 21 consecutive starts snapped on Oct. 18 of this season when junior Tom O’Brien (Mokena, Ill.) made his first career start versus Sacred Heart. Pearce has appeared in 12 of Notre Dame’s first 13 games this season and is 8-3-1 with a 1.91 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. In his current eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1), Pearce has a 1.61 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage. His 40-save performance against the Lakers on Friday night, was the most saves in his career, surpassing the previous high of 34 set on Feb. 17, 2006 versus Bowling Green in a 7-4 win.

HANSON HEROICS: Senior center Christian Hanson turned in the first two, three-point games of his career and he did it in back-to-back games versus Bowling Green last weekend. Hanson had two goals to go with one assist in each game of the series. The two-goal games for Hanson were the second and third of his career. During the month of November, Hanson has five goals and six assists of 11 points in seven games.

MINELLA MAGIC: Junior right wing Christiaan Minella scored his first career goal, on his first shot in his first collegiate game against Bowling Green on Nov. 11, 2006. It would be 46 games before he would score again, getting the second goal of his career on Oct. 18 of this season against Sacred Heart. The 6-2, 216-pound forward saw his goal streak snapped at three games (Nov. 14-Nov. 21) but now has a four-game point streak since Nov. 14 with four goals and two assists for six points. His four goals this season are a career-best for Minella and he’s done it in just 11 games.

SHARE THE WEALTH: Through the first 13 games of the season, Notre Dame now has 15 players with two or more points and 13 players with two or more goals. Christian Hanson leads the team with eight goals and six assists for 13 points and is followed by Calle Ridderwall (5g, 8a), Brett Blatchford (13 assists), Billy Maday (7g, 5a), Kevin Deeth (2g, 10 asst.) and Erik Condra (4g, 6a) with 10 or more points.

ROAD WARRIORS: As a team, the Irish have now won five games in a row on the road and are 5-1-0 this season away from the Joyce Center. The current five-game road streak is the first for Notre Dame since Feb. 2 – Feb. 17, 2007 when the Irish won a weekend series at Bowling Green and Alaska as part of a five-game road winning streak.

THE PLAYMAKER: Junior defenseman Brett Blatchford comes into the series with Western Michigan with 13 assists for 13 points in 13 games. The smooth-skating defenseman has already exceeded his output of last season when he had 12 assists in 45 games. He is currently second among defensemen in scoring in the CCHA and tied for sixth nationally. His 13 assists tie him for second in the CCHA and eighth nationally in that category.

RED HOT SWEDE: Sophomore Calle Ridderwall credits his recent offensive exploits to increased confidence. The speedy left wing has seen his game take off in recent weeks as he has now scored nine points (3g, 6a) in his last three games. His recent tear started in a game that he didn’t get credited with any points, but got the winning goal for the Irish. On Nov. 14, Notre Dame faced Lake Superior in their first-ever shootout and Ridderwall dazzled the crowd with a great move to score the winning goal for the Irish. He followed that with a career-best three-point game (1g, 2a) in the win over the Lakers the following night. Versus Bowling Green, Ridderwall had a pair of assists in the 5-1 win and then added his first career four-point game (2g, 2a) in the 9-1 win over the Falcons on Nov. 22. For the year, Ridderwall is second on the team in scoring with five goals and eight assists for 13 points, surpassing his freshman totals of five goals and two assists for seven points.

A CHILL (ING) REUNION: Calle Ridderwall and freshman Billy Maday were put on the same line with center Kevin Deeth in the second game of the Miami series, it marked the first time that Ridderwall and Maday played together at Notre Dame. The two aren’t strangers as they spent the 2005-06 season as linemates with the Chicago Chill Midget AA program, helping the Chill to a second-place finish at the USA Midget AA championships. Maday had 38 goals and 87 assists for 125 points in 74 games with the Chill while Ridderwall had 52 goals and 66 assists for 118 points that season. In nine games together this season, the duo has combined for 10 goals and and 12 assists with Maday having five goals and five assists and Ridderwall five goals and seven assists for 12 points in those games.

GOOD FOR GUENTZEL: Ryan Guentzel’s third-period goal on November 14 tied the game against Lake Superior State and was the final goal of the game in Notre Dame’s 3-3 tie and shootout win against the Lakers. The goal also was the first of the sophomore right wing’s collegiate career and snapped a 35-game goal-less drought. Since then, Guentzel has added a goal and two assists to give him two goals and four assists for six points, giving him career highs in goals and points. As a freshmen, he had just four assists on the season.

THE WHITE KNIGHT: Senior center/left wing Justin White has scored a goal in each of his last two games, giving him three goals and five assists for eight points in his first 12 games of the season.

THE KID’S ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Billy Maday was held off the regular scoresheet on Friday (Nov. 14) night (snapping a season-high five-game point streak) in the 3-3 tie with Lake Superior but had the biggest goal of the game for the Irish in the shootout. Trailing 1-0 in the shootout with one shot left, Maday beat the Lakers’ Brian Mahoney-Wilson to tie the shootout at 1-1 and send it to sudden death where Ridderwall won it. He found his goal-scoring touch again on Saturday (Nov. 15) when he scored his team high fifth goal of the season. His goal-scoring exploits have gone from one game to three as he had one goal in each of the games versus Bowling Green and now has seven goals and five assists for 12 points on the year. That ranks him first among all freshmen in the CCHA in scoring and ties him for eighth nationally.

BACK ON TRACK: Senior captain Erik Condra scored a power-play goal to tie the game at 2-2 in the first period of the November 15, 5-2, win over Lake Superior. The goal snapped a seven-game goal-less drought for Condra and was his first goal since scoring on Oct. 18 versus Sacred Heart. He added a short-handed goal in the 9-1 win over Bowling Green, his first of the year in that category and fifth of his career. He now is tied for ninth all-time at Notre Dame with the five short-handed goals. After scoring six points (2g, 4a) in his first five games, Condra has been held to just four points (2g, 2a) in his last eight contests.

POWER SURGE: After going 0-for-16 on the power play in the Miami series (Oct. 24-25), Notre Dame got back on track with the extra man versus Northern Michigan (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) as the Irish were 5-for-15 (33.3%) and scored once with the goaltender pulled and a delayed penalty called on the Wildcats. This season, the Irish are 20-for-66 (30.3%) on the power play in their nine victories and 0-for-29 in the three losses and one tie, going 0-for-8 in each game versus Denver and two with Miami and 0-for-5 versus Lake Superior in the tie. On the season, the Irish are 20-for-95 (21.1%) with the man advantage.

UNLUCKY SEVEN: Notre Dame has given up just seven power-play goals in the first 13 games this season. The seven goals have actually come in just four games and the Irish are 1-2-1 in those contests. So far this season, the Irish have given up seven power-play goals in 76 chances for a 90.3% success rate. Notre Dame has given up those power play goals to: two to Denver on Oct. 11, two to Miami on Oct. 25, two to the Lakers on Nov. 14 and one to Bowling Green on Nov. 22.

GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame’s defense has gone on the offensive during the first 13 games of the 2008-09 season. Irish defensemen have scored six goals and 27 assists this year for 33 of the team’s 138 points. Brett Blatchford leads the defensemen with 13 points (all assists). He is followed by sophomore Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and junior Kyle Lawson with eight points – Cole (3g, 5a) and Lawson (2g, 6a). Freshman Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) has two assists while sophomore Teddy Ruth (one goal) and senior Luke Lucyk (Fox Point, Wis.) with one assist, have one point each.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Erik Condra is sixth on the team in scoring with four goals and six assists for 10 points. That has moved him into at tie for 23rd on the all-time points list (with Ben Simon `00) with 130 career points. Condra now has 39 goals and 91 assists for his 130 points. He is all alone in 14th place on the all-time assists list with 91.

SHORT STUFF: Junior center Kevin Deeth recorded the third short-handed goal of his career in the 4-1 win at Boston College. The Irish now have four short-handed goals this season in the first 13 games. A year ago, the Irish had nine shorties in 47 games. With three short-handed goals for his career, Deeth now ranks 14th on the all-time Irish short-handed goal list.