Defenseman Kyle Lawson and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish face off versus Massachusetts in the opening game of the Lightning College Hockey Classic on Dec. 29

Sixth-Ranked Irish Travel To Tampa, Fla., For The Lightning College Hockey Classic December 29-30

Dec. 19, 2007

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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Lightning College Hockey Classic Central

• The Tournament: The Lightning College Hockey Classic

• The Teams: #6/#6 Notre Dame (16-4-0); #9/#9 Massachusetts (7-3-5); #4/#4 Colorado College (11-5-0); nr/#17 Rensselaer (8-7-3).

• Date/Site/Time: Sat.-Sun., Dec. 29-30 • 5:05/8:05 p.m. • St. Pete Times Forum (19,758) • Tampa, Fla.

• The Games: Saturday – 5:05 p.m. – Notre Dame vs. Massachusetts 8:05 p.m. – Colorado College vs. Rensselaer Sunday – 5:05 p.m. – Third-Place Game 8:05 p.m. – Championship Game

• Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490, South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert, “the voice of Irish hockey” will bring you all the play-by-play action.

• Internet Broadcast: At the Notre Dame website – or follow the game via Gametracker at

HOLIDAY HOCKEY IN FLORIDA: The Notre Dame hockey team will end its 20-day break for finals and the Christmas holidays on Saturday, Dec. 29 when the Irish meet the University of Massachusetts Minutemen in the opening game of the Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Fla. Notre Dame and UMass will meet at 5:05 p.m. with the Colorado College Tigers facing the Rensselaer Engineers in the second game at 8:05 p.m. The tournament will be played at the St. Pete Times Forum and is hosted by the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. The third-place and championship games will be played on Sunday, Dec. 30 with games at 5:05 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. The Irish are the defending champions after winning last season’s first-time event on Oct. 28-29. This year’s tournament features one of the top fields in college hockey as all four teams are ranked as of Dec. 17. Colorado College, a member of the WCHA, is 11-5-0 on the year and ranked fourth in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and the polls. Notre Dame is sixth in both polls and brings a 16-4-0 record into the tournament. Massachusetts is 7-3-5 overall and will enter the tournament ranked ninth in the nation. Rensselaer is 8-7-3 on the year and is receiveing votes in the USA Today Poll while being 17th in the poll.

LIGHTNING COLLEGE HOCKEY CLASSIC HISTORY: The first Lightning College Hockey Classic was played on October 28-29, 2006 and featured Notre Dame, Alabama-Huntsville, Army and Air Force.

October 28, 2006 (6,772)Air Force 7, Alabama-Huntsville 5Notre Dame 3, Army 0
October 29, 2006 (7,043)Third Place Game: Alabama-Huntsville 2, Army 1Championship Game: Notre Dame 2, Air Force 0All-Tournament Team: Goal: David Brown (ND); Defense: Brock Sheahan (ND) and Tyler Hilbert (UAH); Forwards: Christian Hanson (ND), Zach McElvey (Army), Eric Ehn (Air Force).Tournament MVP: Christian Hanson (ND).SERIES INFORMATIONIrish vs. Massachusetts
All-time Series: Series tied, 2-2-0At Notre Dame: ND leads, 1-1-0At Amerst: Series tied, 1-1-0Neutral: N/A
Last Meetings:Dec. 10, 1999 UM 4, at ND 3Dec. 11, 1999 at ND 5, UM 3SERIES INFORMATIONIrish vs. Colorado College
All-time Series: ND leads, 25-18-1At Notre Dame: ND leads, 13-9-0At Colorado Springs: ND leads, 12-8-1
Last Meeting:Oct. 21, 2005 at CC 3, ND 1SERIES INFORMATIONIrish vs. Rensselaer
All-time Series: R.P.I leads, 3-2-0At Notre Dame: Series tied, 1-1-0At Troy: R.P.I. leads, 2-1-0
Last Meeting:Nov. 24, 2007 ND 4, at RPI 3

IRISH VERSUS MINUTEMEN: Notre Dame and Massachusetts (Hockey East) have met four times in the all-time series with each team winning twice. The last time the two schools met was during the 1999-2000 season when the teams split two games at Notre Dame on Dec. 10-11, 1999. UMass took the opener, 4-3, and the Irish won the second game, 5-3. The teams first played at Amherst, Mass., Dec. 30-31, 1994 with the Irish winning the opening game, 6-3 and the Minutemen taking a 4-3 overtime win on the second night.

IRISH VERSUS TIGERS: These two teams were long-time rivals in the WCHA from 1971-81, but have met just twice since the Irish left that conference for the CCHA in the 1981-82 season. The Irish and Tigers have faced off 43 times in the all-time series with Notre Dame holding a 25-18-1 edge. On neutral ice, CC owns a 1-0-0 record. The last time the two teams met was on Oct. 21, 2005 at Colorado Springs, Colo., with the Tigers taking a 3-1 win in the first game of Jeff Jackson’s tenure as coach of the Irish. The two teams have met once before in tournament play as they met in the third-place game of the Norwest Cup in Denver, Colo., tournament on Jan. 1, 2000. The Tigers took a 5-2 win in that game.

IRISH VERSUS ENGINEERS: Notre Dame and Rensselaer (ECAC) have already met once this season in tournament play as the two teams met in the title game of the 57th Rensselaer Holiday Tournament on Nov. 24. The Irish rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 decision in that game. All-time, the two schools have played five times with R.P.I. holding a 3-2-0 edge. The teams have met three times in tournament play with all three games coming at the R.P.I. Tournament. The Engineers won the first two meetings in 1988-89 and 2000-01.

TOURNAMENT VETS: The Lightning College Hockey Classic is the third in-season tournament for the Irish this season. They opened the year at the Lefty McFadden Classic in Dayton, Ohio, losing to Wisconsin, 4-1, before defeating Mercyhurst, 4-0, to take third place. Over Thanksgiving, the Irish played in the Rensselaer Holiday Tournament, taking the championship with wins over Alabama-Huntsville (4-1) and Rensselaer (4-3).

TOURNEY RESULTS: With the victory at the R.P.I. Tournament, the Irish have now appeared in 29 in-season tournaments, winning six times, finishing second, six times with sixth third-place finishes and 11 fourth spots. Notre Dame has now won two of the last three in-season tournaments that the Irish have played in, winning the 2006 Lightning Collegiate Hockey Classic in Oct. of 2006 in Tampa, Fla. All time, the Irish are 22-33-3 in tournament play.

BALANCING ACT: Notre Dame comes into the Lightning College Hockey Classic ranked third in the nation in scoring, averaging 3.55 goals per game. Despite the ranking, the Irish have just one player on the roster with 10 goals this season – Ryan Thang (So., Edina, Minn.). The Irish have accumulated their 71 goals this year with nine players on the roster having five goals or more.

ON A ROLL: Notre Dame enters the Lightning College Hockey Classic on a nine-game winning streak that began on Nov. 16 for the longest active winning streak in the country. During the nine game run, the Irish are 4-0-0 at home, 4-0-0 on the road and 1-0-0 on neutral ice. The Irish have out scored the opposition 40-13 (4.44 gpg to 1.44 gpg). The Irish are 10-for-51 on the power play (19.6%) and have killed 39-of-41 power-play chances for a 92.9% success rate. They also have scored five times short-handed. The Irish are out shooting their opponents, 360 (31.7) to 160 (17.8). Erik Condra (Jr., Livonia, Mich.) is the leading scorer with four goals and eight assists for 12 points and is followed by defenseman Kyle Lawson (So., New Hudson, Mich.) with one goal and nine assists for 10 points. Lawson is also +12 to lead the team in the nine games. In goal, Jordan Pearce (Jr., Anchorage, Alaska) is 7-0-0 with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. Freshman Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) is 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and a .974 save percentage. Both goaltenders have one shutout.

RECORD STREAK: Notre Dame’s nine-game winning streak is the longest since a 14-game streak from Dec. 11, 1987 to Feb. 13, 1988. During that time, the Irish were a Division I Independent. The streak is the longest for the Irish as a member of the CCHA or the WCHA.

COLE NAMED TO U.S. JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM: Notre Dame defenseman Ian Cole (Fr., Ann Arbor, Mich.) has been selected to play on the U.S. Junior National Team that will participate in the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. Cole, a first-round draft choice (18th overall) of the St. Louis Blues, has played in all 18 games for the Irish this season and has two goals and four assists for six points. He is -1 and has nine penalties for 18 minutes. Cole will miss both games of the Lightning College Hockey Classic and two conference games on Jan. 4-5 at Northern Michigan.

CCHA DEFENSEMAN OF THE WEEK: Senior defenseman Dan VeNard (Vernon Hills, Ill.) was named the CCHA defenseman of the week for the week ending Dec. 9. In the weekend sweep at Princeton, VeNard had two goals and two assists for four points and was +2 on the weekend. His three-point game on Dec. 8 in Notre Dame’s 7-0 win was a career high for the blueliner. He now has five goals and three assists for eight points in 20 games this year. In 71 career games prior to this season, VeNard had two goals and six assists for eight points.

SHORT-CIRCUITED: Notre Dame’s penalty-killing unit is one of the top groups in the nation this season. In 20 games the Irish have given up just seven power-play goals on 96 chances for a 92.7% success rate that ranks second in the nation. More importantly, Notre Dame has scored seven short-handed goals in that same period. The seven shorties are tops in the nation.

NO GOALS FOR YOU: Junior goaltender Jordan Pearce recorded his second shutout of the season in the 5-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 1. The shutout also was the fourth of his career and moved him into a tie for third with Mark Kronholm `74 on Notre Dame’s all-time shutout list. He trails just Morgan Cey `05 (2nd with 6) and David Brown `07 (first with 12). Pearce’s first career shutout came in his second career game, a 2-0, 27-save win over Princeton on Oct. 28, 2005. Freshman goaltender Brad Phillips recorded his first career shutout on Dec. 8 with a 24-save, 7-0 whitewashing of the Princeton Tigers.

NIFTY NOVEMBER: Notre Dame finished November with a 9-1-0 record, including wins in the last six straight. Some other numbers for the month: The Irish were 7-1-0 in the CCHA and 5-0-0 at home while going 3-1-0 on the road and 1-0-0 at neutral sites … the Irish out scored the opposition by a 38-19 margin (3.8 gpg to 1.9 gpg) …Notre Dame out shot the opposition by a 31.0 – 20.1 margin … the Irish were 13-for-52 on the power play (25.0%) and killed 41-of-46 opponent power plays for an 89.1% success rate … Erik Condra (Jr., Livonia, Mich.) led the team in scoring with six goals and 10 assists for 16 points and was followed by Kevin Deeth (So., Gig Harbor, Wash.), Mark Van Guilder (Sr., Roseville, Minn.) and Kyle Lawson (So., New Hudson, Mich.) with 10 points each … Jordan Pearce was 7-1-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage … Brad Phillips (Fr., Farmington Hills, Mich.) was 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against and a .935 save percentage.

CENTURY CLUB: Notre Dame’s “Century Club” added its newest member on Nov. 24 when junior Erik Condra recorded an assist versus R.P.I. In 98 career games, Condra now has 28 goals and 76 assists for 104 points. His 76 assists tie him for 27th on the all-time assist list. Here’s who is ahead of Condra on the points list. <>

"Century Club"Name (Seasons)                      G      A    Pts1.   Brian Walsh (1973-77)         89     145   2342.   John Noble (1969-73)          81     145   226
30. Alex Pirus (1973-76) 57 66 123 John Schmidt (1978-82) 28 95 12332. Jeff Brownschidle (1977-81) 30 92 12233. Ray DeLorenzi (1971-74) 55 59 11434. Aaron Gill (2000-04) 49 62 111 Connor Dunlop (1999-03) 25 86 11136. Jack Brownschidle (1973-77) 31 78 10937. Tim Reilly (1981-86) 43 65 10838. Aniket Dhadphale (1995-99) 61 44 10539. Erik Condra (2005-) 28 76 10440. Bob Thebeau (1982-86) 40 63 10341. Kevin Hoene (1968-71) 50 51 101 Matt Hanzel (1985-89) 50 51 10143. Paul Clarke (1973-77) 38 62 100
TWO SHORTIES: Mark Van Guilder and Ryan Thang each scored short-handed goals in the 5-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 1. That marked the first time the Irish had scored a pair of short-handed goals in a game since Dec. 20, 2000 when Brett Lebda `04 and Dan Carlson `01 scored short-handed goals in a 7-3 win at Nebraska-Omaha.<>WITH A KISS-EL: Sophomore left wing Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) turned in a career-best four-point game in Notre Dame's 7-0 win at Princeton on Dec. 8. The speedy forward scored twice and added two assists in the contest while turning in a +4 plus/minus. He and his linemates - Evan Rankin (Sr., Portage, Mich.) and Christian Hanson (Jr., Venetia, Pa.) had a big night in the win. Rankin had a career-best three-point game (1g, 2a) and Hanson added a goal and an assist in the win as the line combined for four goals and five assists and nine points in the game.
IRON MAN: Senior center Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.) has his sights set on Notre Dame's all-time record for most consecutive games played. The record of 153 straight games was set by Tim Wallace `06 who played in every game of his career - 153 straight. Van Guilder has now played in every game of his career - 136 consecutive games played through the first 20 games this year.
END THE DROUGHT: It took freshman defenseman Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.) 18 games to record his first collegiate point, but when he got on the scoresheet once, he decided to do it again. On Dec. 1 against Nebraska-Omaha, Ruth picked up a second-period assist when his shot was deflected by Christian Hanson past goaltender Eric Aarnio. Less than four minutes later, Ruth was at it again, notching his first collegiate goal when he scored off a face off just 49 seconds into the third period to give the Irish a 3-0 lead. Ruth has gotten it done all season defensively as he is currently +9 on the season, second to defensive partner Brock Sheahan's +14.
LETTERS OF INTENT: Irish head coach Jeff Jackson has announced that three players have signed national letters of intent in the early signing period to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2008. The trio - defensemen Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) and Eric Ringel (Hinckley, Ohio) and forward Patrick Gaul (Pittsburgh, Pa.) - will join Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) who signed in Nov. of 2007 but deferred until next fall. Lorenz and Gaul are members of the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-18 team. Ringel plays in the North American Hockey League for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms and Maday is a member of the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL).
HOT HAND: During Notre Dame's current nine-game winning streak, goaltender Jordan Pearce has his own seven-game streak, going 7-0-0 with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. Pearce is 9-1-0 since Nov. 1 with the lone loss coming to No. 1 ranked Miami on Nov. 10. For the sesaon, Pearce is 13-4-0 with a 2.01 goals against and a .911 save percentage and two shutouts.
FUN RUN: Since the start of the 2006-07 season through today, Notre Dame has recorded a mark of 48-11-3 (.798) in 62 games. Prior to that it took the Irish 138 games (from the middle of 2002-03 through 2005-06) to win 48 games.
SENIOR CLASS HONORS: Notre Dame team captain Mark Van Guilder has been nominated for the Lowes Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award. The CLASS award was designed to honor the attributes of seniors who remain committed to their university and elects to pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bring. This award provides a fitting honor for a senior leader that has stood up to the challenge. In the end, the award hopes to recognize the prestige and dignity of being a senior hockey player at the college level. Former Irish goaltender David Brown `07 won the Lowes Senior CLASS award following the 2006-07 season.
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS: Through the first 20 games of the season, when the Irish are good, they are very good. In the 16 wins this season, Notre Dame has scored 68 goals (4.25 per game). In the four losses, Notre Dame has scored just three goals for a 0.75 goals-per game mark. In the 16 wins, the Irish have given up just 25 goals (1.56 goals-against average) while in the four losses, they have given up 13 goals (3.25 goals against).<>MR. CONSISTENT: Sophomore defenseman Kyle Lawson has proven to be one of the CCHA's most consistent defensemen this season. A two-time CCHA defenseman of the week this season, Lawson leads all Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with three goals and 11 assists for 14 points. Already this year, he has a power-play goal and a pair of game-winning goals. Lawson's 14 points tie him for third among CCHA defensemen this season. He is +7 on the year.
TOURNAMENT HARDWARE: Three Notre Dame players were named to the all-tournament team at the Rensselaer Holiday Tournament. Junior right wing Erik Condra recorded three assists on the weekend and was the lone Irish forward selected. Defensemen Brett Blatchford (So., Temperance, Mich.) and Ian Cole joined Condra on the team. Sophomore left wing Ryan Thang was named the tournament MVP after scoring the game-winning goal in each of Notre Dame's victories.
NEW KID: Freshman goaltender Brad Phillips has had a strong start in his young career for the Irish as he is now 3-0-0 following his 7-0 shutout at Princeton on Dec. 8. Phillips has given up just two goals this season for a 0.67 goals-against average and he has a .964 save percentage.