Feb. 12, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Formalizing a leadership role that senior defenseman Robbie Russo has undertaken all season with his freshman-laden positional group, Notre Dame head hockey coach Jeff Jackson announced on Thursday evening that the Westmont, Illinois native will serve as a team captain for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.
Russo has played in 28 games this year and scored 11 goals with 14 assists for 25 points. The 11 goals lead all defensemen nationally while the 25 points on the season ranks fifth among Russo’s blue line peers. He recorded the only hat trick in the nation this year by a defenseman when he scored three times in Notre Dame’s 6-1 win at UConn on Jan. 18. The game was part of a five-point weekend for the New York Islanders draft pick, earning him Hockey East Player of the Week honors and the NCAA’s national first star of the week.
“Robbie’s been a leader for our team the whole season and I thought it was time that he got the opportunity to be recognized for that leadership,” Jackson said. “He’s done a great job with our young blue line. He’s had an All-America type of year, but it’s not just based on his performance. It’s based on the fact that he’s taken charge of this team and times, put them on his back at times and shown some character. His attitude has been extremely positive and he’s well-respected in the locker room.”
“It’s an honor being a captain here,” Russo said. “I’m just going to be myself and keep doing what I’ve been doing. Keep leaning on Steven (Fogarty), even though he can’t play (due to injury). He’s a great leader. I’ve been working with them the whole year. Steven’s our captain and Sam (Herr) and Peter (Schneider) have done a great job too. Hopefully we can all lead this team and get the job done.”
Notre Dame returns to its familiar home ice at the Compton Family Ice Arena both Friday and Saturday nights when it faces off with No. 10 Providence in a crucial Hockey East series. The Friars are in fourth place with 19 points, one point ahead of fifth-place Notre Dame for the league tournament’s fourth and final first round bye. Ticket information is available at UND.com/BuyTickets.