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2011 was a big year for senior hockey player Sean Lorenz. Following the 2010-11 season, Lorenz was named the CCHA's Defensive Defenseman of the Year and received Notre Dame's William Donald Nyrop Award as the team's top defensive player. In the fall of 2011, he received the ultimate honor of being named team captain alongside Billy Maday and Anders Lee in the hockey team's inaugural season in Notre Dame's new Compton Family Ice Arena. "Being a captain my senior year has been a great honor," Lorenz says. "It's been a demanding duty with a lot of ups and downs throughout the season but it's been a great learning experience to understand exactly what it takes to be a good leader." And a good leader he is. Sean's accomplishments on the ice are an equal match for his dedication in the classroom. As a finance major in the best undergraduate business school in the country, Lorenz was selected to the dean's list in the spring of 2011 for his impressive 3.8 grade-point average. But it's Lorenz's contributions to the community that will ensure yet another exciting year for the Irish senior. "Being a student-athlete in college can be a demanding task and being able to balance the classroom and competition while finding time to reach out to the community is a remarkable accomplishment," Lorenz notes. His accomplishments are so remarkable in fact that Lorenz is a finalist for the Lowe's Senior Class Award, a prestigious honor presented annually to an outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete across ten different sports. "Being considered for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award is an honor in itself and being a finalist for the award is truly humbling," Lorenz says. "Being named alongside guys like David Brown, Jordan Pearce, Erik Condra, Mark Van Guilder and Calle Ridderwall is something truly special to me because of the kind of people they were." Lorenz's long list of community service projects includes the Junior Diabetes Walk, Lifeworks Dream Team, Habitat for Humanity, teaching kids at the local Robinson Center about hockey, Kids Fighting Obesity events, and helping out with local hockey teams. While he found each of these experiences rewarding, Lorenz found true inspiration in the Lifeworks Dream Team. The mission was fairly simple, Lorenz describes: "We would go into a third grade classroom and talk to the kids about the importance of setting goals and chasing their dreams." And while the lone senior among Notre Dame's defensive line enters the last CCHA playoffs of his career this weekend March 2-4, he will never forget the teammates who got him there: "The thing I'm going to miss most about being a college athlete is being around the team all the time. Being a college athlete forces you to become a brother with the guy next to you and I think that's something truly special and certainly something I'm going to miss." Lowe's will announce the winner of the Senior CLASS Award on April 7 at the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla. Voting ends March 18. Cast your vote for Notre Dame senior hockey defenseman Sean Lorenz by clicking here. - Hilary Ferguson (Saint Mary's '12)
as they head into CCHA postseason play!
With just six weeks left in the NHL regular season, teams are preparing to make a late surge in the hopes of securing playoff positioning. Here's a look at the former Notre Dame hockey players who are a part of the madness ... Veteran defenseman Mark Eaton ('98) has seen significant ice time for the Islanders this year. His lone goal of the season came during overtime in his 600th career NHL game on Feb. 3 against the Senators. Defenseman Brett Lebda ('04) came off injured reserve last week and has returned to the Blue Jackets roster. Despite being undrafted out of Notre Dame, Lebda scored his first goal during his NHL debut on opening day in 2005 and contributed to the Red Wings' Stanley Cup run in 2008. The Islanders placed right winger Tim Wallace ('07) on waivers this week. His 31 games this year are almost double his previous career high (16). Senators right winger Erik Condra ('08) had an assist Monday, contributing to Ottawa's 6-0 win over the Islanders. Condra has seven goals and 14 assists with a solid 12 +/- in his first full season in the NHL. St. Louis recalled defenseman Ian Cole ('10) Friday from AHL Peoria. The former first-round pick has one goal and three assists in his last 10 NHL games. Although the spotlight is on the NHL, there are a few former Irish players who hope to be the future of their franchises. Here's a glimpse through the AHL ... Having played one game for the Vancouver Canucks this season, right winger Victor Oreskovich ('06) has contributed 12 points in 28 games for the AHL Chicago Wolves. Right winger Kyle Palmieri ('10) has played with both the AHL Syracuse Crunch and the NHL Anaheim Ducks this season. Currently on the Crunch's roster, Palmieri has scored an impressive 30 goals and 16 assists in only 34 AHL games. Having made his NHL debut Oct. 31, winger Ryan Thang ('10) has netted 24 points in 50 games for the Milwaukee Admirals, the Nashville AHL affiliate. - Craig Chval ('15)
Notre Dame looks to make it two in a row as it seeks a win tonight over Michigan State. Irish UNDerground will have all the angles in and around the action covered throughout tonight's game. Be sure to share your questions, comments and complaints and let your voice be heard throughout the Notre Dame nation. Want to track all the action from your mobile device? No problem. Simply click (or to be phone friendly, "touch") HERE.
Photo courtesy of @MGolicJR57In front of a sellout crowd at Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame got an important 2-0 victory over Michigan State in its second-to-last game of the regular season. After a scoreless first period, sophomore Jeff Costello netted his fourth goal of the season, giving the Fighting Irish a 1-0 lead, 2:31 into the second frame. Sophomore Shayne Taker and freshman Austin Wuthrich were credited with assists on the power play score. Just before the midpoint of the final period, freshman Peter Schneider scored his first goal of the season, on an assist from junior Kevin Nugent. The insurance goal gave Notre Dame a 2-0 advantage, and sealed the team's first win since Feb 3. (The Irish had lost five straight since defeating Bowling Green, 2-1, three weeks ago.) Sophomore Steven Summerhays stopped 25 shots, becoming the first Notre Dame goalie to record a shutout since Dec. 13, 2009, when Mike Johnson registered 38 saves against Michigan. Kickoff in Dublin is months away, but for the second time in three days, several members of the Notre Dame football team were making headlines. On Saturdays in the fall, they may reach a celebrity status, playing in front of 80,795 and millions more on national television. But this week, the Irish football players themselves were the ones in the crowd, reminding us that at the end of the day, they're students and fans, just like the rest of us. After being courtside at Purcell Pavilion for the men's basketball game on Wednesday, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Mike Golic Jr., Matt Mulvey and Mike Grieco were right against the glass cheering on their fellow student-athletes. Sporting the same floppy hat that intimidated the Mountaineers earlier in the week, Lewis-Moore may have also earned himself a spot on the Notre Dame cheerleading squad. The senior defensive end raised a big yellow "Go Irish!" sign and rallied the Notre Dame student body throughout the evening. Golic, Grieco and Mulvey, along with a few other football players, were into the game from the opening faceoff, even bringing along some homemade signs to show their support for the Irish icers. A big win for Irish hockey, a great night at Compton, and an awesome reminder of what makes Notre Dame a special university. The Fighting Irish will be back tomorrow night against the Spartans at 7:35 pm ET for the regular season finale. Catch the game on Comcast Channel 3, as Notre Dame looks to clinch home ice for the first round of the CCHA playoffs. - Josh Flynt ('11)
It's a hockey night in South Bend! Notre Dame is set to face Michigan State tonight at 8:35 p.m. (ET). Irish UNDerground will have all the angles in and around the action covered throughout tonight's game. It will also be televised on CBS Sports Network. Be sure to share your questions, comments and complaints and let your voice be heard throughout the Notre Dame nation. Want to track all the action from your mobile device? No problem. Simply click (or to be phone friendly, "touch") HERE.
It's been an eventful year for head coach Jeff Jackson's Notre Dame hockey squad. The icers began the 2011-12 campaign way back in mid-October. After a series at Minnesota-Duluth and a pair of home games against Ohio State, the Irish bid farewell to hockey in the Joyce Center. They opened the state-of-the-art Compton Family Ice Arena on Oct. 21 against Rensselaer, winning the inaugural game 5-2, thanks in part to a hat trick from sophomore Anders Lee. On Nov. 18, the dedication game at CFIA, #4 Notre Dame defeated third-ranked Boston College, 3-2, in an absolute classic. Sophomore Bryan Rust scored with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Irish to victory and sending the sellout crowd into chaos. Perfectly enough, NASCAR Media Group was in town that weekend to follow the hockey program for its one-hour feature, "Onward to Victory - Notre Dame Hockey," a special that first aired on Versus (now NBC Sports Network) on New Year's Eve. On Jan. 7, Notre Dame won its first game at #5/#3 Minnesota since Nov. 1980 - a win that looked like a spark for the rest of the regular season - but the team has gone just 3-9-0 since that victory. This weekend, the Fighting Irish will close out the schedule with a home series against Michigan State. After dropping its last five contests, Notre Dame has fallen into a tie for eighth in the conference standings and out of the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll (The team is still ranked 18th in the USCHO.com poll). Still, the Irish are in the running for the final home-ice spot for next weekend's CCHA best-of-three first-round playoffs - and just remember, anything can happen in the postseason. Michigan State, on the other hand, is fourth in the conference, and enters the weekend having won five of its last six games. The Spartans hold a 59-38-11 series advantage, but the Irish are 7-0-3 in the last ten head-to-head matchups, and have not lost to MSU since Jan. 2008. Notre Dame holds the tiebreaker advantage with Northern Michigan in the CCHA standings, so the Irish control their own destiny for the final home-ice spot. The puck drops at 8:37 pm ET on Friday night and the game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Saturday's "Senior Night" game begins at 7:38 pm ET on Comcast Channel 3 in the South Bend area. We'll also have you covered with a live blog right here on Irish UNDerground. - Josh Flynt ('11)