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    No. 2 Irish Hockey Returns To Action On Tuesday At No. 1 Minnesota

    FIGHTING IRISH Sophomore defenseman Robbie Russo leads all CCHA defensemen in scoring with 15 points in his first 18 games.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Sophomore defenseman Robbie Russo leads all CCHA defensemen in scoring with 15 points in his first 18 games.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Jan. 6, 2013

    Notre Dame, Ind. -

    Notre Dame Hockey Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    • The Teams: #2/#3 Notre Dame (14-4-0) at #1/#1 Minnesota (13-3-3)

    • The Games: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 • Mariucci Arena (10,000) • 7:10 p.m. (CT)

    • Broadcast Information: Radio: The Notre Dame-Minnesota game will be broadcast live on Real Country 99.9 FM in South Bend. Darin Pritchett, the voice of the Irish, will call the action. Television: The Notre Dame-Minnesota game will be televised by Fox Sports North with Doug McLeod and Kevin Gorg calling the action.

    • Internet: Audio/Video: Live audio streaming for the Minnesota game is available on the Notre Dame website at UND.com free of charge. Statistics: Livestats can be found at ccha.com or collegehockeyinc.com. Twitter: Follow Irish hockey on Twitter at ND_hockey.

    WELCOME BACK: Notre Dame returns to action for the first time since Saturday, Dec. 15 when the Irish travel to Minneapolis, Minn., on Tuesday, Jan. 8 to face the number one-ranked University of Minnesota. Game time at Mariucci Arena is set for 7:10 p.m. (CT). The Minnesota contest will be televised live by Fox Sports North with Doug McLeod and Kevin Gorg calling the action. Following the long, 24-day break from hockey, the Irish will get back into the swing of things with four games over the next eight days as they follow the Minnesota game with two at Michigan State on Jan. 11-12, then a single game on Jan. 15 at Bowling Green. Notre Dame enters the second half of its schedule with a 14-4-0 overall record and is 10-1-0-0 in the CCHA, good for a first-place tie with the Miami RedHawks. The Irish have three games in hand on Miami in the CCHA title race. Notre Dame has a six-game winning streak that started on Nov. 24 and has won eight of its last nine games overall since Nov. 15. The Irish also have eight straight wins in CCHA play since Nov. 4. Notre Dame enters the game with the Gophers ranked second in the USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine poll and third in the USCHO.com rankings, the high water mark for this season. In Notre Dame's last game on Dec. 15, the Irish won, 4-1, at Bowling Green. Top-ranked Minnesota enters the Tuesday night game with a 13-3-0 overall record and the Gophers are tied for fifth in the WCHA with a 6-3-3 record in 12 conference games. The Gophers have won two straight and are 4-0-1 in their last five games. Minnesota has played twice since Christmas, winning the Mariucci Classic with a 4-0 win over Air Force on Dec. 29 and then an 8-1 win over then No. 1 Boston College on Dec. 30.

    IRISH VERSUS GOPHERS: The two teams have met 38 times in the all-time series with Minnesota holding a 22-13-3 lead. At Minneapolis, the Gophers are 14-8-2 versus Notre Dame. The two teams met once last season, on Jan. 7, in the College Hockey Hall of Fame Game at Mariucci Arena, with the Irish taking a 4-3 win. Notre Dame and Minnesota were members of the WCHA from 1971-81 with 28 of the all-time games played during the WCHA years. The Irish were 11-14-3 against the Gophers in that span. Since then, the teams have met just four times with Minnesota holding a 3-1-0 advantage. The first six meetings in the series came between 1924-27 with the Gophers winning five of six games.

    FATHER VS. SON: Tuesday night's game will be a homecoming for Notre Dame freshman left wing Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) as he will return to face the team coached by his father, Don Lucia, who is a 1981 graduate of Notre Dame. The younger Lucia is returning from Ufa, Russia where he was a member of the United State's team that won the gold medal in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.

    NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday's game with Minnesota is the final non-conference game of the season for Notre Dame. The Irish return to CCHA action this coming weekend when they travel to East Lansing, Mich., for a pair of conference games against the Michigan State Spartans on Jan. 11-12. Both games are set for 7:05 p.m. at Munn Arena. The two teams met on Dec. 7-8 at Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena with the Irish winning twice, 3-2 and 5-1.

    IRISH VERSUS WCHA: Notre Dame's game against Minnesota on Jan. 8 is the sixth game this season that the Irish will have played against teams from the WCHA. They enter the game against the Gophers with a 3-2-0 mark in the first five games. Notre Dame opened the year with a 3-2 win over Nebraska Omaha in the championship game of the Ice Breaker Tournament (Oct. 13). The Irish then started their home schedule with two games against Minnesota Duluth (Oct. 18-19), splitting those contests, losing 3-1, and then taking a 4-1 decision. Notre Dame picked up another split versus North Dakota (Nov. 23-24), losing the first night, 2-1, before taking the second game, 5-2.

    ON A ROLL: The Irish come into their game versus Minnesota, having won six games in a row for the first time Feb. 13 to March 21, 2009 when that team won 10 games in a row. The Irish also have won eight straight CCHA games for the first time since Dec. 2 to Jan. 13, 2006-07 when that team won eight straight conference games.

    LAST TIME OUT: Notre Dame closed out the first half its schedule on Dec. 15 with a 4-1 win at Bowling Green. The trio of Mario Lucia, T.J. Tynan (Jr., Orland Park, Ill.) and Mike Voran (Jr., Livonia, Mich.) led the way with six points, as Tynan and Voran had a goal and an assist each while Lucia assisted on both of their goals. Junior right wing Bryan Rust (Novi, Mich.) and junior defenseman Shayne Taker (Surrey, B.C.) each had a goal in the win. Steven Summerhays (Jr., Anchorage, Alaska) picked up the win in goal, stopping 18-of-19 shots in the game. Ryan Carpenter had the lone Bowling Green goal of the night as he staked the Falcons to a 1-0 lead with the first goal of the game at 1:49 of the second period via the power play. Tynan got the equalizer, his fifth goal of the year, at 3:44 with assists to Voran and Lucia. Rust notched the eventual game winner with a power-play goal at 11:52, his fifth of the year, to make it 2-1. In the third period, the Irish added a pair. Voran made it 3-1 at 13:18 with his fourth of the season and Taker closed out the scoring with his first of the year at 15:14 for the 4-1 final score. The Irish out shot the Falcons, 32-19, with Andrew Hammond making 28 saves in the game. Notre Dame was 2-for-3 on the power play while Bowling Green was 1-for-2.

    USA-USA-USA: Freshman left wing Mario Lucia spent his Christmas break in Ufa, Russia as a member of the gold-medal winning United States World Junior Team. He is the 16th Notre Dame player to be selected to play in the championships and joins current teammates defenseman Stephen Johns (Jr., Wampum, Pa.) and center T.J. Tynan (Jr., Orland Park, Ill.) who were members of the 2012 team that finished seventh in Calgary, Alta. Lucia became the second Irish player to win a gold medal and the fifth to earn a medal since the tournament started in 1977. He joins Kyle Palmieri as a gold medal winner (Palmieri won gold in 2010) and Palmieri (bronze in 2011), Kyle Lawson `10 (bronze in 2007) and Ben Simon `00 (silver in 1997) as all-time medal winners. Lucia finished with one assist for one point in the seven games. Minnesota also had one player in the World Juniors - defenseman Mike Reilly - who played for the U.S. team.

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Notre Dame junior center T.J. Tynan was named the CCHA Warrior Player of the Month for the month of December. In four games, Tynan helped the Irish to a 4-0-0 record by scoring three goals with four assists for seven points. He scored one power-play goal and had a pair of game winners while being +4 for the month. Tynan scored at least one point in each game and had three games with two or more points. On the season, he is now tied for second on the team in scoring with five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 18 games.

    ROOKIE OF THE MONTH: Notre Dame freshman left wing Mario Lucia was named the CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Month for the month of December. The 6-3, 193-pound forward helped the Irish to a 4-0-0 month by scoring three goals with four assists for seven points. Two of his goals came on the power play and he was +4 over the four games. During November, Lucia recorded his first multiple-goal game (2 goals versus Lake Superior on Dec. 1) and had three multiple-point games overall. He was twice named the CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Week (Dec. 3 and Dec. 10). In nine games this season, Lucia has five goals and five assists for 10 points and is tied for the team lead with three power-play goals.

    WORK HORSE: Dating back to last Feb. 24, Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays has played in 22 of the last 25 games, making 21 starts. During those 22 games, Summerhays is 15-6-0 with a 1.47 goals-against average, a .943 save percentage and four shutouts. His shutout win versus Western Michigan (4-0) on Nov. 4 was the 20th win of his Notre Dame career. He is now 27-16-1 for his career with a 2.22 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. This season, Summerhays leads the CCHA in wins (12) and is second in goals-against average (1.53). He is fourth in save percentage (.937) and tied for second with two shutouts.

    MINNESOTA CONNECTIONS: The Notre Dame roster features four players with ties to the state of Minnesota. Senior left wing Nick Larson (Apple Valley) leads the group and is followed by junior captain Anders Lee (Edina, Minn.). The Irish also have two freshmen from the Minneapolis area - Steven Fogarty (Edina) and Mario Lucia (Plymouth).

    IRISH WINS VERSUS NO. 1: When Notre Dame faces No. 1-ranked Minnnesota on Tuesday, Jan. 8, it will mark the second No. 1 team the Irish have faced this season. On Nov. 9, Notre Dame traveled to top-ranked Boston College where the Irish dropped a 3-1 decision to the Eagles. The last time that Notre Dame defeated a No. 1-ranked team came on Oct. 23, 2010 when the Irish defeated #1/#1 Boston College with a 2-1 win. Notre Dame owns 12 wins over No. 1 ranked teams with four of those wins coming against Boston College. Here's a list of previous Irish wins versus top-ranked teams.

    10/23/10 - vs. Boston College, 2-1
     4/10/08 - vs. Michigan, 5-4 ot (at Frozen Four)
    10/9/07 - at Miami, 2-1
    10/21/06 - vs. Boston College, 7-1
    10/22/04 - vs. Boston College, 3-2
    10/23/03 - at Boston College, 1-0
    1/3/99 - at North Dakota, 4-3
    11/20/78 - at Minnesota, 3-2
    1/13/78 - vs. Denver, 5-3
    1/18/74 - vs. Michigan Tech, 7-1
    2/24/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 4-3
    2/23/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 8-5
    

    WELCOME BACK: Notre Dame has added sophomore forward Garrett Peterson (Manhattan, Ill.) to the roster for the second half of the season. Peterson sat out the first semester for personal reasons. As a freshman during the 2011-12 season, the 5-11, 196-pound center/right wing played in 20 games with two goals and two assists for four points. He was whistled for eight penalties resulting in 24 minutes.

    SCORING FIRST: Scoring the first goal of the game has been important to Notre Dame's early-season success. The Irish are 12-0-0 when they get the first goal of the game and 2-4-0 when the opposition scores first.

    STINGY DEFENSE: The Irish defense ranks among the stingiest in the nation as they have given up just 29 goals in 18 games to allow 1.61 goals per game. That ranks Notre Dame second in the CCHA and third in the nation. The Irish have given up the fewest goals (29) but Miami (1.55) and Quinnipiac (1.60) have better goals-per-game averages.

    TURNING ON THE POWER: After going the first 13 games of the season with just seven power-play goals in seven different games, the Notre Dame power play has now scored two man-advantage goals in four of the last five games. Versus Lake Superior State, the Irish were 2-for-6 on Friday (Nov. 30) and 2-for-5 on Saturday (Dec. 1) for a 4-for-11 mark (36.4%). They added a 2-for-5 night versus Michigan State on Dec. 7 before going 0-for-5 in the Dec. 8 game. On Dec. 15, the Irish were 2-for-3 on the power play against Bowling Green. Over the last five games, Notre Dame is 8-for-24 (33.3%). On the season, the Irish are 15-for-83 with the man advantage and are scoring at a 18.1% clip.

    LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: With the addition of freshman Mario Lucia to the Notre Dame roster in 2012-13, the Irish now have three sons who have followed in their father's footsteps to play hockey at Notre Dame. Mario, follows his father, Don Lucia `81, who was a defenseman for the Irish from 1977-81. He is the head hockey coach at Minnesota. Current teammate, Kevin Nugent followed his dad - Kevin Nugent, Sr., `78 who played at Notre Dame from 1974-78 and was a teammate of Lucia's for one season. The third father-son duo is goaltender Rory Walsh `06 who played for the Irish from 2002-06. He was the first to follow his dad - Brian Walsh `77, who played for the Irish from 1973-77 and was a teammate of Nugent's for three seasons (1974-77).

    MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME: Freshman left wing Mario Lucia missed the first nine games of the 2012-13 season with a broken leg that was suffered on Aug. 29 in preseason training. He returned to the lineup on Nov. 15 at Michigan and in nine games back in action, he has scored five goals with five assists for 10 points. Three of his goals have come on the power play. He currently has a five-game point streak (4g, 4a, 8 pts.).

    STRONG START: Notre Dame's 14-4-0 start this season going into the Christmas break is its best since the 2008-09 season when the Irish were 14-3-2 heading into the holidays. The14 wins is the second-best mark for the Irish, something they have done three times since 2006-07. The most wins and the best record that Notre Dame has had going into the holidays came in 2007-08 when the Irish were 16-4-0.

    2007-08:   16-4-0
    2008-09:   14-3-2
    2006-07:   14-3-1
    2012-13:   14-4-0
    

    SHORT-HANDED: Since giving up two power-play goals to Western Michigan on Nov. 2, Notre Dame is 39-for-42 (.929) killing penalties over the last 11 games. Only North Dakota (11/23), Michigan State (12/7) and Bowling Green (12/15)have managed to beat the Irish with the man advantage. For the year, the Irish are 63-for-70 for a .900 success rate. That is tops in the CCHA and sixth nationally. Notre Dame also has scored three short-handed goals.

    ODD FACT: Until Bowling Green scored its power-play goal against Notre Dame on Dec. 15, Notre Dame had given up all six opponent power-play goals at home. The Irish are 38-of-44 on the penalty kill at home for an 86.4% success rate. On the road and on neutral ice, Notre Dame is 25-of-26 killing penalties (96.2%).

    PUCKS TO THE NET: Through the first 18 games this season, Notre Dame has out shot the opposition 14 times and is 11-3-0 in those games. In games that opponents get more shots, the Irish are 3-1-0. For the year, Notre Dame is averaging 32.3 shots per game while the opposition is getting 24.6 per game.

    30 OR MORE: Through the first 18 games of the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame has outshot its opposition in 14 of them, getting 30 or more shots in a game all 14 times. The Irish are averaging 32.3 shots per game to 24.6 for their opponents. The 41 shots against North Dakota on Nov. 24 was a season high for Notre Dame. The 20 shots that the Irish registered against Boston College was a season low for a game.

    BRIGHT KIDS: University of Notre Dame athletic programs again rank as the best in the country in graduation rates, based on Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures released by the NCAA -- including first-place ratings in the sports of football, men's basketball, women's basketball and ice hockey. Among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of its sports with 100 percent scores (for the seventh time in eight years), with a .863 figure (19 of 22). In hockey, Notre Dame achieved a 100 GSR rating, to rank first (tied with Bowling Green) among Division I-A football-playing institutions. Here are the FBS institutions with scores of 65 or higher in that category:

    Score	Institution
    100	Notre Dame, Bowling Green
    96	U.S. Air Force Academy
    94	Michigan
    85	U.S. Military Academy,
    	Boston College, Connecticut
    83	Miami (Ohio)
    73	Western Michigan
    65	Michigan State
    

    The four-year GSR data is based upon the entering classes from 2002 to 2005. In addition to men's and women's basketball and hockey, other Notre Dame programs recording 100 GSR scores in the 2012 listings were baseball, men's cross country/track, women's cross country/track, men's fencing, women's fencing, men's golf, women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, women's softball, men's swimming, women's swimming, women's tennis and women's volleyball.

    BROOM TIME: Notre Dame's sweep of Michigan State on Dec. 7-8 was the second consecutive home sweep for the Irish this season and the fourth overall. The last time that Notre Dame swept back-to-back series was during the 2010-11 season when the Irish swept Bowling Green at home on Feb. 11-12, 2011 and then won two at Ferris State the following weekend (Feb. 18-19). The last time that Notre Dame had four sweeps in a season came in that 2010-11 season when the Irish had five series sweeps.

    GETTING OFFENSIVE: Sophomore defender Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) leads all CCHA defensemen in scoring with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points. He is tied for second in the CCHA in power-play points (3g, 5a, 8pts.) and his 11 assists tie him for fifth in the conference. His 15 points tie him for 11th overall in the CCHA scoring race while nationally, his 15 points tie him for fifth for the most points by a defenseman in the country.

    ON A TEAR: Several Notre Dame players open the second half of the season versus Minnesota on hot streaks. After getting off to a slow start, T.J. Tynan has points in six consecutive games (3g, 7a, 10 pts). Mario Lucia now has points in five straight (4g, 4a, 8 pts.) and points in seven of his last eight games (5g, 5a, 10 pts). Junior right wing Mike Voran has a five-game point streak (3g, 3a, 6 pts.) while Anders Lee has a two-game point streak (1g, 1a) and points in six of his last seven games (6g, 2a, 8 pts.). Junior right wing Bryan Rust has a two-game streak (1g, 1a, 2 pts.). Defenseman Robbie Russo had his team and personal best eight-game streak snapped by Bowling Green (2g, 9a, 11 pts.) and has points in eight of his last nine games.

    SHARING THE WEALTH: In Notre Dame's 5-1 win over Michigan State on Dec. 8, the Irish got goals from all four lines with the fourth line leading the way with a pair of goals. Through the first 18 games of the 2012-13 season, 16 different Notre Dame players have scored the team's 58 goals with Anders Lee leading the way with 11. Jeff Costello (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis.), Mario Lucia and T.J. Tynan are next with five goals each. Nineteen of the team's 22 skaters have scored at least one point with Lee leading the way with 17 points while Robbie Russo and Tynan are second with 15. Eight different players have scored game-winning goals for the Irish with T.J. Tynan leading the way with three.

     

     

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