Jan. 5, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. -
The Game: U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game #3/#5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-6-3) vs. #5/#3 Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-6-1)
Date/Site/Time: Saturday, January 7, 2012 Mariucci Arena (10,000) 7:07 p.m. (CT)
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. Television: Saturday's game will be televised live by the Big Ten Network with Dan Kelly calling the action, Rob Andringa handling the color commentary and Mark Strobel rinkside.
Internet: Audio: Notre Dame will stream the audio for the U.S. Hall of Fame Game with Minnesota live and free of charge at UND.com. Twitter: Follow the Irish icers on Twitter at ND_hockey.
U.S. HOCKEY HALL OF FAME GAME: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish travel to Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 7 to participate in the 2012 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game against the University of Minnesota. The game will be played at Mariucci Arena at 7:07 p.m. (CT). The Hall of Fame game will be televised live by the Big Ten Network with Dan Kelly and Rob Andringa calling the action and Mark Strobel providing sideline commentary. This is Notre Dame's second appearance in the Hall of Fame game as the Irish met Minnesota in the 2000 game that was the first college game played at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. The Gophers won that game, 7-3. Saturday's game is the second game this week for Notre Dame as the Irish played an exhibition game on Tuesday, Jan. 3 against the Russian Red Stars, winning the game 2-1. The game with Minnesota is Notre Dame's final non-conference game of the year as the Irish return to CCHA action next weekend (Jan. 13-14) with a home-and-home series against Western Michigan. The Irish are 4-3-0 this season in non-conference action.
IRISH VERSUS GOPHERS: Notre Dame and Minnesota have met 37 times in the all-time series with the Gophers holding a 22-12-3 advantage. At Minneapolis, Minnesota is 14-7-2 against the Irish. Saturday's game is Notre Dame's first-ever visit to the new Mariucci Arena. The last time the two teams met was on March 27, 2004 in Grand Rapids, Mich., as the Gophers defeated the Irish, 5-2, in Notre Dame's first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The last time the two teams played in Minnesota was Oct. 7, 2000 when the teams met in the Hall of Fame Game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., with Minnesota winning, 7-3. Notre Dame and Minnesota were WCHA rivals for 10 seasons from 1971-72 to 1980-81. In that span, the Irish were 11-14-3 against the Gophers.
LEFTY SMITH: Former Irish head coach and college hockey coaching legend, Charles "Lefty" Smith passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 3 from natural causes. The 81-year old Smith is a native of South St. Paul, Minn., and was planning on traveling with the Irish this weekend for the Hall of Fame game. Smith started the Notre Dame hockey program in 1968 and served as head coach for 19 years, retiring in 1987 with 307 career wins. Under his tutelage, Notre Dame produced six All-Americans -- Eddie Bumbacco (1973), Bill Nyrop (1973), Jack Brownschidle (1976, 1977), Brian Walsh (1977), Greg Meredith (1980) and Kirt Bjork (1983)--and finished second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) twice (1972-73, 1976-77). He was named WCHA coach of the year following the 1972-73 season. In 1981-82, the Irish moved to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) where Smith guided the Irish to the Great Lakes Invitational Championship and the CCHA championship game that season. Among players on that team was former Irish head coach Dave Poulin (current vice president of hockey operations for the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs). Smith remained the head coach through the 1986-87 season and retired with a career record of 307-320-30. In his 19 seasons, all 126 players who played for him completed their collegiate eligibility and earned college degrees. Smith served two years as president of the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) and also coached the Central team at the 1978 National Sports Festival. Eight members of that team would go on to be members of the gold-medal winning 1980 United States Olympic team. In 1992 he was inducted into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame and in 2003 was named a "Legend of Hockey" by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation. Smith and longtime Irish assistant Tim McNeill combined to start the Irish Youth Hockey League that first brought youth hockey to the South Bend area. Born Jan. 5, 1930, Smith got his start in coaching in South St. Paul, Minn., where he was instrumental in developing the fabled South St. Paul high school program before moving to South Bend. A 1951 graduate of St. Thomas University, where he was a standout hockey and baseball player, Smith became an assistant coach at South St. Paul in 1953 and took over as head coach in 1958. He remained there until 1968, turning in a record of 201-69-11 before leaving to start the hockey program at Notre Dame. Smith and his late wife Mickey (Mary McNally of New Richmond, Wis.) are the parents of seven living children (the Smiths were preceded in death by a son Greg), 16 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
IRISH VERSUS WCHA: Notre Dame opened the season at Minnesota-Duluth, splitting a pair of games with the Bulldogs, losing the season opener in Duluth, 4-3. The Irish bounced back in the second game with a 5-3 win to give them a 1-1-0 mark this season against teams from the WCHA.
A LOOK BACK: January 3, 2012 - Russian Red Stars First-period goals by Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) and Mike Voran (So., Livonia, Mich.) were all the Irish needed as they handed the Russian Red Stars, a 2-1 loss, in exhibition action Tuesday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Junior goaltender Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) stopped 27-of-28 shots in the win. Maxim Kvitchenko scored the lone goal for the Red Stars. Lee opened the scoring at 3:59 of the opening period and Voran scored at 7:22 for the 2-0 lead. Kvitchenko score at 4:16 of the second to snap Johnson's shutout bid. Notre Dame out shot the Red Stars, 31-28, in the game.
December 31, 2011 - Boston University Anders Lee 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.
NEXT FOR THE IRISH: Following Saturday's game against Minnesota, Notre Dame returns to CCHA action in a home-and-home series against Western Michigan. On Friday, Jan. 13, the Irish play host to the Broncos in a 7:35 p.m. game at the Compton Family Ice Arena. On Saturday, Jan. 14, Notre Dame travels to Kalamazoo, Mich., for a 7:05 p.m. game against Western Michigan at Lawson Arena. Friday's game will be televised live by the CBS Sports Network.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the game with Minnesota ranked third 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. Minnesota is ranked fifth in the USA Today poll and third in the USCHO.com rankings.
WELCOME BACK: Defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) and center T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) will return to the Notre Dame lineup on Saturday night after spending the last 17 days with the U.S. Junior National Team at the IIHF World Junior Championships. The duo helped the U.S. to a 3-3-0 record and a seventh-place finish. Tynan finished with a goal and three assists for four points while Johns had one goal and an assist in his six games. Johns and Tynan are the 14th and 15th Notre Dame players to play for the U.S. Junior National Team, joining the following former Notre Dame players:
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)NOTRE DAME-MINNESOTA TIES: Minnesota head coach Don Lucia `81 is a Notre Dame graduate who played from 1977-81 for head coach Lefty Smith. Lucia was a defenseman for the Irish who played in 124 games, scoring seven goals with 23 assists for 30 points. Lucia's son, Mario, will attend Notre Dame beginning next year. Minnesota associate head coach, Mike Guentzel, is the father of former Irish captain Ryan Guentzel `11, who finished his career last season. Ryan Guentzel played in 146 games at Notre Dame with 10 goals and 50 assists for 60 points.
MONKEY OFF HIS BACK: Sophomore left wing Anders Lee finally got 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.
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.
HOT SUMMERHAYS: Sophomore goaltender Steven Summerhays has started each of the last two regular-season 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 for the victory. For the year, the sophomore puckstopper is 5-1-0 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage.
CENTURY CLUB: Senior forward Billy Maday is on the verge of becoming the 46th player in the history of the Notre Dame hockey program to score 100 or more points in his career. Going into the Saturday's game at Minnesota, Maday needs just five more points to join the club as he has 39 goals and 56 assists for 95 points in 134 career games. He scored a goal and added an assist in the 5-2 win over Boston University and now has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points on the year.
"Century Club" Name (Seasons) G A Pts 1. Brian Walsh (1973-77) 89 145 234 2. John Noble (1969-73) 81 145 226 3. Eddie Bumbacco (1970-74) 103 117 220SPREADING 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.
TURNING ON THE POWER: With two power-play goals in each of its last two games, 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 is tied for eighth with three goals and five assists for eight points.
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.
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.
NATIONAL LETTERS-OF-INTENT: Irish head coach Jeff Jackson announced on Nov. 30 that Notre Dame has signed five student-athletes to national letters-of-intent. The five are: Thomas DiPauli (Woodridge, Ill.), Sam Herr (Hinsdale, Ill.), Vince Hinostroza (Bartlett, Ill.), Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) and Justin Wade (Aurora, Ill.). DiPauli is a 5-10, 183-pound center who currently plays for the USA Under-18 team in Ann Arbor, Mich. Herr (pronounced Hair) is a 6-1, 192-pound left wing who is in his second season with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. Hinostroza is a 5-10, 170-pound center who is in his second season with the USHL's Waterloo Blackhawks. Lucia is a 6-3, 195-pound left wing who currently plays for the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League. He is the son of University of Minnesota hockey coach and former Notre Dame defenseman, Don Lucia, a 1981 graduate. Wade rounds out the group and is a 6-2, 210-pound defenseman who is playing for the Fargo Force in the USHL. Those five join Steven Fogarty (Edina, Minn.) and Andy Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) who signed letters-of-intent last year but deferred attending Notre Dame until the fall of 2012. (For more information on the Irish recruiting class, check the Notre Dame website at und.com).
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.
THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska) continues to put points on the board for the Irish as he picked up his 11th point of the season with an assist on Nick Larson's (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.) goal on Dec. 2 against Northeastern. Wuthrich is tied for fifth on the team in scoring with four goals and seven assists for his 11 points. He is currently tied for seventh among CCHA freshmen in scoring with 11 points. The 6-1, 196-pound forward now has five points (1g, 4a) in his last six games. He was recently named to NHL Central Scouting's NCAA Watch List as a B Skater in the CCHA. Wuthrich is also the answer to a Notre Dame trivial pursuit question - Who scored the last goal in the Joyce Center? Austin Wuthrich at 18:35 of the third period on Oct. 15.