Jan. 3, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. -
The Games: #3/#5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-6-3) vs. Russian Red Stars (2- 4-0 on North America tour)
Date/Site/Time: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) 7:05 p.m.
Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Real Country 99.9 FM, starting with the pre-game show 20 minutes before the opening face off. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish.
Internet: Audio and Video: Notre Dame will stream the audio and video for the exhibition game against the Russian Red Stars live and free of charge at UND.com. Twitter: Follow the Irish icers on Twitter at ND_hockey.
WELCOME TO 2012: The Notre Dame hockey team enters the 2012 portion of the schedule with a special exhibition game on Tues., Jan. 3, as the Irish play host to the MHL (Russian) Red Stars at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The Red Stars are an all-star team of 25 players, between the ages of 19 and 21, from the 51-team Minor Hockey League (MHL) that serves as the developmental league for the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Russia's professional league. The MHL is in its third season of existence and is the first junior hockey league that unites Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia. More than 2,000 players currently play for the league's 51 teams. Two of its more recent players - Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko - are both ranked among the top five players eligible for next June's NHL Entry Draft. The Red Stars are on an eight-game tour that started on Dec. 17 at North Dakota and are currently 2-4-0 on the tour. Their wins have come against the Alexandria Blizzard of the North American Hockey League by a 5-1 score and at Vermont, a 6-1 win. Following Tuesday's game, the Red Stars close out the tour on Jan. 5 at Lowell, Mass., versus the UMass-Lowell RedHawks.
Russian Red Stars Tour ResultsIRISH VERSUS INTERNATIONAL TEAMS: Notre Dame's game versus the MHL Red Stars marks just the second time in the program's 44-year history that the Irish have faced an international team from Europe. On Jan. 3, 1973, Notre Dame faced a team from Czechoslovakia that defeated the Irish at the Joyce Center, 12-5. Notre Dame's other "international" games have come against United States National Teams. On March 6-7, 1971, Notre Dame played the U.S. National Team in a two-game series, losing both games. Since 2002, the Irish are 3-1-0 in four exhibition games versus the U.S. National Developmemtal Program's Under-18 team.
NEW YEAR'S EVE REVIEW: Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) scored two goals and Garrett Peterson (Fr., Manhattan, Ill.), Jeff Costello (So., Milwaukee, Wis.) and Billy Maday (Sr., Burr Ridge, Ill.) scored single goals as Notre Dame handed Boston University a 5-2 loss at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Dec. 31. Sophomore goaltender Steven Summerhays (Anchorage, Alaska) stopped a career-high 30 shots in the win, giving up goals to Justin Courtnall and Wade Megan on the way to his second consecutive win. The Irish fell behind in the first period as Courtnall opened the scoring, beating Summerhays off a face off at 18:27 for his second goal of the season. Notre Dame tied the game early in the second, scoring on a power play at 1:12 when Lee ripped a shot past BU goaltender Kieran Millan to snap a personal nine-game goal less drought for his 13th goal of the year. Just over two minutes later, Peterson scored his second of the season as he tucked a shot inside the right post, converting a nifty saucer pass from the left boards by Patrick Gaul (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.). Fellow freshman Peter Schneider (Vienna, Austria) picked up his first of two assists in the game. The Irish would get the game winner at 7:09 of the second when Costello tucked a backhander past Millan for his second of the season with Peterson and Schneider getting assists on the goal. The lead would go to 4-1 at 3:30 of the third period when Lee banged home the rebound of a Maday shot for his second of the night and 14th of the year. Maday then scored his sixth of the season with a power-play goal at 6:23 for a 5-1 lead. Megan would close out the scoring with a short-handed goal at 14:52 of the third as the Irish were on their ninth power play of the game. Summerhays, making his second consecutive start, stopped 30 shots, including 15 in the second period. Millan finished the game with 29 saves as Notre Dame fired 34 shots on the Terrier goaltender.
IRISH VERSUS HOCKEY EAST: Notre Dame's 5-2 win over Boston University on Dec. 31 evened the Irish record at 2-2-0 this season against teams from Hockey East. The Irish defeated Boston College and dropped a pair of games to Northeastern at the start of December.
NEXT FOR THE IRISH: Following Tuesday's game with the Russian Red Stars, Notre Dame takes to the road as the Irish travel to Minneapolis, Minn., for a single game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7:07 p.m. (CT). The game is the Hall of Fame Game in honor of this year's inductees into the college hockey Hall of Fame. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network on Saturday night. Minnesota opens the week ranked fifth in the USA Today poll and third in the USCHO.com poll. The Gophers are 15-6-1 on the season to open the week.
WORLD JUNIORS: The Irish will again be without the services of defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) and center T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) as both are currently playing for the United States in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships in Calgary and Edmonton, Alta. In four games as of Jan. 2, Tynan has a goal and two assists for three points while Johns has one goal in his four games. Johns and Tynan join the following Notre Dame players that have played in the past:
Jack Brownschidle (1976-77, 1977-78) Ben Simon (1996-97, 1997-98) Joe Dusbabek (1997-98) Dan Carlson (1998-99) Brett Henning (1999-00) David Inman (1999-00) Connor Dunlop (1999-00, 2000-01) Rob Globke (2000-01, 2001-02) Brett Lebda (2001-02) Kyle Lawson (2006-07) Ian Cole (2007-08, 2008-09) Teddy Ruth (2008-09) Kyle Palmieri (2009-10)Kyle Palmieri, currently with the Anaheim Ducks, was a member of the 2010 gold-medal team. Kyle Lawson `09, a member of the Carolina Hurricanes organization, was a member of the bronze-medal winning 2007 team and Ben Simon `00 was on the 1997 silver-medal team.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the exhibition game with the Russian Red Stars ranked fifth in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and fifth in the USCHO.com poll. The Irish have been ranked in both polls all 13 weeks of the 2011-12 season.
MONKEY OFF HIS BACK: Sophomore left wing Anders Lee finally go the monkey off his back with a pair of goals in the 5-2 win over Boston University on Dec. 31. The two-goal game was his third multiple-goal game of the season. The goal snapped a nine-game goal-scoring drought for the big left wing. His last goal came on Nov. 12, 2011 versus Alaska. Lee, who has been among the leaders all season long in goals, now has 14 for the season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: Notre Dame' notched its 12th win of the season on Dec. 31 against Boston University. Amazingly, in those 12 wins, 12 different players have scored the game-winning goal. During the 2010-11 season when Notre Dame had 25 wins, a total of 12 players had game-winning goals for the Irish.
NATIONAL LEADERS: Center T.J. Tynan and left wing Anders Lee are among the nation's leaders in goals, assists, points and points per game moving into the second half of the season. Tynan currently leads the CCHA and is tied for sixth nationally with 27 points (7g, 20a). His 1.35 points per game leads the CCHA and is tied for ninth nationally. His 20 assists are tops in the CCHA and second in the nation. Lee leads the CCHA in goals with 14 and is tied for fifth nationally. He is third in the CCHA in points with 22 and is tied for 19th nationally. His six power-play goals tie him for the lead in the CCHA and tie him for fifth on the national level.
National Scoring Race (by points):HOT SUMMERHAYS: Sophomore goaltender Steven Summerhays has started each of the last two games for Notre Dame, picking up a 4-1 win on Dec. 10 versus Ferris State and then a 5-2 win on Dec. 31 against Boston University. Summerhays has now won four consecutive decisions dating back to a Nov. 11 win over Alaska in relief of starter Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.). In the win over Boston University, Summerhays stopped a career-high 30 shots in the win. For the year, the sophomore puckstopper is 5-1-0 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage.
SLOW STARTS: For some reason, Notre Dame has shown a penchant for getting off to a slow start in games this season. In the first 21 games, the Irish have given up the first goal of the game 12 times. In those games, Notre Dame is 7-4-1.
TURNING ON THE POWER: With two power-play goals in the 4-1 win over Ferris State on Dec. 10, Notre Dame has scored at least one power-play goal in 17 of the 21 games played to date with a season-high of three power-play goals in the Nov. 11 game with Alaska. The last time the Irish had three power-play goals in a game came on Jan. 7, 2011 when they were 3-for-7 in an 8-1 win at Northern Michigan. The Irish are now 4-for-17 on the power play over the last two games. Notre Dame is 22-for-109, a 20.2% success rate. That ranks the Irish second in the CCHA and 20th on the national level.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Over the last five games, Notre Dame's penalty-killing unit has given up just two power-play goals (one to Northeastern and one to Ferris State) in 24 chances (22-for-24, 91.7%). For the season, the Irish have killed 66-of-77 opponent power plays for an 85.7% success rate. That ranks Notre Dame sixth in the CCHA and 11th nationally. The Irish have scored just one short-handed goal in the first 21 games this season.
POWER-PLAY POINT PRODUCERS: The Notre Dame roster includes five of the CCHA's top 10 power-play point producers this season. Leading the way is center T.J. Tynan who leads the conference with 13 points (3g, 10a) on the power play. He is followed in second by fellow center Riley Sheahan (Jr., St. Catharine's, Ont.) who has 11 power-play points (3g, 8a). Tied for third in the CCHA is left wing Anders Lee who has six goals and four assists for 10 points. Freshman defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) is tied for fifth with eight points on three goals and six assists and senior left wing Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) is tied for eighth with three goals and five assists for eight points.
STREAKY IRISH: The first 21 games of the 2011-12 season has been made up of streaks for the Irish this season. After going 2-2 in the first four games through Oct. 15, Notre Dame reeled off an 11-game unbeaten streak (8-0-3) from Oct. 21 through Nov. 25. That streak was snapped on Nov. 26 and from there the Irish dropped four straight from Nov. 26 through Dec. 9 before snapping the run of four losses on Dec. 10 with a 4-1 win at home against Ferris State. Notre Dame enters the 2012 portion of the schedule having won their last two games.
HERE COMES RILEY: While much of the attention in the scoring column has gone to T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee early in the season, a third member of the Irish attack has moved up the ranks to be third on the team and tied for fourth in the CCHA in scoring. Junior center Riley Sheahan, who started the season by missing the first two games with an injury has moved into a tie for fourth in scoring in the conference with five goals and 13 assists for 18 points in his 18 games played. His 13 assists are tied for third best in the conference. Sheahan picked up the first multiple-goal game of his career on Nov. 15 against Western Michigan. Already this season, the 6-2, 212-pound center has five multiple-point games and now has 10 for his career. He has points in five of his last six games with a goal and four assists. His career best season was 2010-11 when he had five goals and 17 assists for 22 points.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END: Right in the middle of Notre Dame's 11-game unbeaten streak was junior goaltender Mike Johnson who had a personal-best 10-game unbeaten streak from Oct. 14 to Nov. 25. In that streak, Johnson appeared in 12 games, making 11 starts. He was 7-0-3 in 665:40 minutes, giving up 21 goals with 234 saves for a 1.89 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Since having the streak snapped on Nov. 26 with a 5-2 loss at Lake Superior State, Johnson has lost four in a row. In the four-game losing streak, Johnson has played 152:49, given up 13 goals and made 42 saves for a 5.10 goals-against average and a .764 save percentage. For the year he is 7-5-3 with a 2.59 goals-against and a .889 save percentage.
THE QUARTERBACK: Freshman defenseman Robbie Russo has quickly become the quarterback of the Notre Dame power play in his rookie season. The talented blueliner is tied for fourth on the team in power-play points with three goals and six assists for nine points. The point total ties him for fifth among all CCHA scorers and he is the top scoring defenseman among CCHA defensemen on the power play. For the year, Russo has played in all 21 games for Notre Dame and leads the defense in scoring with three goals and eight assists for 11 points. He picked up his second multiple-point game of the season with two assists in the 5-2 win over Boston University on Dec. 31. Russo is tied for 11th among defensemen in the CCHA in scoring and is the top rookie point getter among defensemen.
MAKING THE MOST OF A CHANCE: Freshmen forwards Garrett Peterson and Peter Schneider saw extended playing time in the win over Boston University due to T.J. Tynan being with the U.S. Junior National Team and Austin Wuthrich (Fr., Anchorage, Alaska) sidelined with an injury. The duo responded with the first multiple-point games of their careers versus the Terriers. Peterson had a goal and an assist in the 5-2 win while Schneider assisted on two goals.
OVERTIME MAGIC: Five of Notre Dame's nine games during the month of November ended in overtime. In those games, the Irish were 2-0-3. Prior to the 2-2 tie with Western Michigan on Nov. 22, the Irish defeated Boston College, 3-2, in overtime. They also have an overtime win against Alaska (Nov. 12) and ties at Northern Michigan (Nov. 4-5). The tie with Western Michigan extended Notre Dame's unbeaten streak in overtime to 26 games (7-0-19) with the streak going back to March 21, 2008 when the Irish lost in overtime (2-1) to Miami in the CCHA semifinals. The Irish have not lost a CCHA regular-season game in overtime since a Jan. 8, 2005, 2-1 loss at Lake Superior. Last season, Notre Dame was 2-0-5 in overtime and this year the Irish are 2-0-3.