Sophomore goaltender Mike Johnson has a career-best 16 wins this season in the Notre Dame goal.

On The Clock With Mike Johnson

Feb. 4, 2011

Notre Dame hockey goaltender Mike Johnson is in his second season between the pipes for the Irish. As a freshman he moved into the regular lineup early in the year and became the team’s number one goaltender, taking Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) all-rookie honors as he was 10-13-5 with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage with a pair of shutouts. This season, the Verona, Wis., native has continued his strong play in goal as he is currently 13-7-4 on the year with a 2.63 goals-against mark and a .902 save percentage. Johnson’s solid play in goal has helped Notre Dame to a 16-9-5 overall record and a 13-6-3-2 record in conference play. The Irish enter their off week this week ranked 10th in the nation and are in first place in the CCHA. Earlier this week,’s Vicky Jacobsen caught up with Johnson after a practice at the Joyce Center.

Who was your favorite player when you were growing up? “I would have to say my favorite player was Martin Brodeur; watching him play for the New Jersey Devils was pretty cool. I didn’t grow up in an area where there was a pro team so I watched him as much as I could.”

Why did you become a goalie? “I became a goalie because it was my turn in the rotation to play goalie when I was little and I ended up playing really well in my first game. I have stuck with it ever since.”

Goaltenders have a reputation of having a different mentality than other hockey players. Do you think this is generally true and would your teammates say this is true for you? “There are definitely some goalies who are quirky. There are a lot of goalies who are very superstitious, but I try not to be. I hope my teammates would say I don’t fall into that category, but I don’t know.”

What is the most exciting game you have ever been a part of? “My most exciting game was probably when I was in pee wee’s; we played a four overtime championship game and we ended winning in the fourth overtime.”

What is your major and why did you choose it? “My major is sociology. I choose it because I took a criminology class and I really enjoyed it. I understood it and it was just a good match.”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? “My superpower would probably be the ability to fly, that way I wouldn’t have to walk through the snow.”

If you could design a goalie mask, what would you put on it? “If I could design a goalie mask, I would go with the mask I have now: the Notre Dame logo and the two Fighting Irish.”

If you could change one thing about the sport of hockey or the hockey team, what would it be? “If I could change one thing about hockey, I would make the net smaller, for sure.”

What is your favorite spot on campus? “I would have to say my favorite spot on campus is LaFortune.”

What is your favorite chick flick? “My favorite chick flick is probably The Notebook.”

If you could live in anywhere on earth, where would you choose? “I would live somewhere in the Bahamas.”

How was Notre Dame as a university and as a hockey program different from the other schools you looked at? “Academically, Notre Dame was a lot more prestigious and recognized than the other schools I looked at. The hockey program is a top ten team fighting for a national title so I thought it was the best of both worlds.”

How do you and your teammates pass time off the ice? “A lot of guys pass time by playing video games. I don’t play video games, but we just hang out.”

What’s your favorite pre-game meal? “My favorite pre-game meal is chicken and pasta.”

What is the most helpful thing Coach Jackson has ever said to you? “The most helpful thing Coach Jackson has said to me is probably, `Just stop the puck.'”

How do you feel about moving into the new hockey facility – the Compton Family Center – next year? “I’m really excited about the new facilities. I think it’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be very different from the current facilities but I think it’ll be really exciting and it will get guys geared up to go to the rink every day.”

What is your favorite song? “My favorite song is probably `Cowboy In Me’ by Tim McGraw.”

What is your favorite season in South Bend? “My favorite season in South Bend is definitely not winter – spring is probably my favorite season.”

What would you do if you were snowed-in for the day? “If I was snowed in I would just sit on my bed and watch movies all day.”

What would you like to be doing ten years from now? “In ten years I hope I’ll be playing hockey professionally, but if not probably doing something in the business world.”