The Irish icers finish their weekend twindip with Bowling Green tonight at 7:05 p.m. (ET). 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.
Recently in Hockey Category
Notre Dame returns to the Compton Family Ice Arena for a two-game set this weekend against Bowling Green. Tonight's action begins at 7:05 p.m. (ET). 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.
ESPN.com - Jack Swarbrick remembers camping outside the Joyce Center with three of his college buddies his sophomore year of college, hoping to nab top-row, center-ice season tickets for 1973-74 Notre Dame hockey season. In the middle of the night, Swarbrick recalled, a car pulled up, its headlights temporarily blinding him. Legendary Fighting Irish football coach Ara Parseghian stepped out of the vehicle, wondering what the students were up to. Told they were waiting in line for hockey tickets, a confused Parseghian stopped and reminded Swarbrick and his gang that they could just show up in the morning to purchase tickets. "But it was a great atmosphere," Swarbrick, now Notre Dame's athletic director, said with a smile nearly 40 years later. "Even then [it] had a real community feel to it. So it was a little different from the campus events, and just a real fun environment." Swarbrick told the story from O'Brien's, a 250-seat premium club area overlooking the main rink of the two-sheet, $50 million Compton Family Ice Arena, which opened this past October after 19 months of construction. The Irish were in the middle of a 3-1 win over Central Collegiate Hockey Association rival Michigan before a "White Out" crowd of 5,022, the building's fifth sellout in its first 10 games. It's part of Notre Dame's ambitious plan to improve its facilities and increase its national profile. The timing can be seen as either fortuitous or an example of incredible foresight. The Irish are in the midst of their best run of seasons in school history and are coming off a Frozen Four appearance, their second in the last four seasons. All five of their NCAA tournament appearances have come in the last eight seasons. Those not in attendance that night for the Michigan game could have watched the contest live on NBC Sports Network, which airs 16 college hockey games this year and will televise Irish home games beginning in the 2013-14 season. That's when the program will leave the CCHA for Hockey East, bringing along a television deal that will give it, as Swarbrick said during the October announcement, "unprecedented level of national exposure." The realignment dominoes that began to fall throughout college hockey following the creation of a Big Ten hockey conference -- made possible by the September 2010 announcement that Penn State would start a Division I program -- rendered the CCHA on the verge of extinction, leaving Notre Dame with a choice of joining the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference or Hockey East, a New England-based conference that is the home of seven national title winners since 1993. "We all talked about expanding the footprint of Hockey East and taking it from a regional to a national-level conference," said Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch, one of four people on the committee that considered Notre Dame for admission into Hockey East. "We've had our share of national titles here, but it was still clear that Hockey East was a regional affiliation. And I think bringing Notre Dame into the mix creates more of a national profile for everyone in the league."
In a marquee weekend for Notre Dame sports that included an upset of No. 1 Syracuse by the men's basketball team and a 76-43 drubbing of Villanova by the women's hoops squad, the hockey team faced CCHA rival Michigan in a two-game home series. After a split series against the 10th-ranked Wolverines, the Irish had played their eighth straight game against a top-10 opponent, going 4-4 over that span. "Every game we've played since break has been against a top-10 team in the nation, so that's made the guys in the locker room have to be ready for every game," sophomore goalie Steven Summerhays said. "That's kind of the mentality we've had: know that our opponents are just as good as us and we've got to out-create them and out-work them." Goaltending was the story this weekend as Summerhays battled Michigan senior Shawn Hunwick. The Michigan goalie is 10th in the nation in save percentage and first in total saves. The Wolverines also entered the weekend on a nine-game unbeaten streak, presenting quite a challenge for the Irish. Summerhays held his own in the series split, allowing three goals (all power-play) on 55 shots. Hunwick was phenomenal, giving up three scores on 73 shots. On Friday night the Irish sealed the 3-1 victory with Billy Maday's empty net goal, and Summerhays and Hunwick were named the first and second stars of the game, respectively. "It was one of those nights when you're seeing pucks. The defense was doing a great job of clearing guys out in front," Summerhays said after the game. "So just seeing pucks - watching them into my glove and blocker - was a big help." The Irish surrendered two power-play goals in the first period of game two, but answered quickly in the second with a goal by Austin Wuthrich. However, Hunwick stopped everything after that, ending with 38 saves and only one goal. "He saw the puck well this weekend," said sophomore forward Anders Lee, who earned an assist on Wuthrich's goal. "We tried to get it in his face, and we probably didn't do a good enough of job of that, but he's a good goaltender, and he was able to see around our screens and find it. "I think the biggest thing is you've got to keep shooting because the more shots you get, one's bound to go in. Unfortunately, we didn't do that tonight. He's a great goaltender, and we've got to be able to put some behind him." Although the Irish fell to 1-3 over their last four games with Saturday night's 2-1 loss, head coach Jeff Jackson was pleased with the team's caliber of play, despite missing suspended forward Riley Sheahan. "I thought we played a really good hockey game," Jackson said after the game. "Our special teams could have been better, and that's where you miss a guy like Riley Sheahan. "But the guys that played, I thought they played a really good hockey game. Give kudos to Hunwick. He played extremely well. I think we needed to get more traffic in front of him, but we did a lot of things really well. I was really pleased with our performance tonight." With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Irish will attempt to improve their stock in the CCHA standings. They currently sit sixth, despite being only five points out of first place. "It will go to the last night, and you may have four teams competing for first place and four teams competing for fifth place," Jackson said. "That's the way our league is right now. You've got eight teams in the top 20 in the country. You know, things don't get easy around here." - Craig Chval ('15)
On Friday and Saturday night, the Notre Dame hockey team will host Michigan for a weekend series at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Both games begin at 7:35 pm ET and can be heard on Real Country 99.9 FM. On television, Friday's game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, while you can tune into the CBS Sports Network on Saturday. At the 2008 Frozen Four semifinal in Denver, Notre Dame upset the top-ranked Wolverines, 5-4 in overtime on a goal by left winger Calle Ridderwall. Here are the two calls from Notre Dame's thrilling win. First, from ESPN's Gary Thorne, and below, from the late Mike Lockert, the former radio voice of the Fighting Irish hockey team. Which is your favorite?
For those who will be around Notre Dame this weekend, prepare for the craziness that's about to hit campus. Over a 48-hour period from Friday through Sunday evening, there are eleven varsity athletic events scheduled at the university. Here's a quick look at the schedule: Friday:
Men's Tennis vs. William & Mary at 6 p.m.
Hockey vs. #15 Michigan at 7:35 p.m. (NBC Sports Network) Saturday:
Indoor Track Notre Dame Invitational at 10 a.m.
Women's Basketball vs. Villanova at 1 p.m. (UND.com)
Women's Tennis vs. Cincinnati at 1 p.m.
Women's Swimming vs. Michigan State at 2 p.m.
Men's Swimming vs. Michigan State at 2 p.m.
Men's Basketball vs. #1 Syracuse at 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey vs. #15 Michigan at 7:35 p.m. (CBS Sports Network) Sunday:
Women's Tennis vs. Missouri at 11 a.m.
Women's Tennis vs. IPFW at 5 p.m. There won't be any tailgating, Knights of Columbus steak sandwiches or team walk to the stadium, but the amount of traffic on campus might make it feel more like a football Saturday than a mid-winter weekend.
Most Recent Posts