Jan. 14, 2013
Notre Dame, Ind. -
END OF THE ROAD TRIP: Notre Dame will play its fifth consecutive road game since Dec. 15 and fourth in eight nights on Tuesday, Jan. 15 when the Irish visit the Bowling Green for a 7:05 p.m. tilt versus the Falcons. Coincidently, the five-game trip started with a game at Bowling Green that saw Notre Dame take a 4-1 win before heading into the Christmas break. The Irish are currently 2-2-0 on the trip and are 1-2-0 during the four games in eight nights part of the sojourn. Notre Dame is coming off a weekend split at Michigan State where the Irish opened with a 1-0 win on Jan. 11 and then dropped a 4-1 decision in the Saturday night contest. Notre Dame starts the week with a 15-6-0 overall record and is 11-2-0 in the CCHA, good for 33 points and first place in conference play. The Irish are one point ahead of second-place Miami and have three games in hand on the RedHawks. Notre Dame is ranked fourth in the nation in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and fifth by USCHO.com. Bowling Green enters the week in the midst of a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) that dates back to Dec. 29 versus Niagara. The Falcons last played on Jan. 8, taking a 5-1 win at Michigan. They are 6-10-5 overall on the season and check in with a 3-7-3-1 record in the CCHA. That gives Bowling Green 13 points in conference play and has them in 11th place overall, one point behind 10th-place Northern Michigan and three behind eight-place Michigan and Michigan State.
IRISH VERSUS FALCONS: Tuesday night's meeting between Notre Dame and Bowling Green will be the 101st meeting in the series between the two schools. The Irish have a 55-37-8 advantage in the first 100 games. At Bowling Green, the Irish have a 25-24-3 edge. Notre Dame has won four in a row at the BGSU Ice Arena dating back to Nov. 6, 2010. The two teams met four times last season with the Irish going 3-1-0 in those game. The last Falcon win versus Notre Dame came on Feb. 4, 2012, a 3-2 win at the Compton Family Ice Arena. That win snapped a six-game Irish winning streak in the series. The teams last met on Dec. 15 with Notre Dame taking a 4-1 win at the BGSU Ice Arena. The teams will meet two more times in 2012-13. They will battle again on March 1-2, in the regular season's final weekend at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
NEXT FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame returns home for its first home games since Dec. 7-8, a span of 41 days for a pair of games versus the Alaska Nanooks on Jan. 18-19. The Friday night contest has a 7:35 p.m. start while Saturday's game will start at 7:05 p.m.
NICE START: Notre Dame saw its school-record, nine-game, CCHA-winning streak stopped in the 4-1 loss to Michigan State on Jan. 12. The 11-2-0-0 record the Irish have in CCHA play is its best after 13 league games in the 25 seasons that Notre Dame has been a member of the conference.
MICHIGAN STATE RECAP: Friday, Jan. 11 - Junior goaltender Steven Summerhays (Anchorage, Alaska) stopped all 30 shots he faced and sophomore defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) scored the only goal he would need as Notre Dame blanked Michigan State, 1-0, in front of 6,120 at Munn Arena. The Irish out shot the Spartans, 33-30, on the night. Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand made 32 saves in the loss. After a scoreless first period, Notre Dame took advantage of a power play when Russo scored at 9:40 of the second period with a one-timer through a screen that beat Hildebrand over his blocker. Sam Calabrese (Sr., Park Ridge, Ill.) and T.J. Tynan (Jr., Orland Park, Ill.) provided the assists on the goal. From there it was all Summerhays as he made 22 of his 30 saves over the final two periods. The Irish were 1-for-4 on the power play while the Spartans were 0-for-4.
Saturday, Jan. 12 - Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand stopped 33-of-34 Notre Dame shots and got goals from four different players as the Spartans handed the Irish a 4-1 loss at Munn Arena in front of a sellout crowd of 6,716. Tanner Sorenson, RJ Boyd, Brent Darnell and Matt DeBlouw scored for Michigan State while Anders Lee (Jr., Edina, Minn.) notched the lone Irish tally in the game. Notre Dame out shot the Spartans by a 34-25 margin with 18 of the shots coming in the third period. Junior Steven Summerhays finished with 21 saves on the night, giving up three goals in 58:39 of playing time. The final Michigan State goal came with 15 seconds left and was into an empty net. The Spartans scored first at 1:48 of the first period as Sorenson's shot from the high slot appeared to be deflected by a Notre Dame defender and beat Summerhays over his glove and under the cross bar. Lee tied the game at 3:58 of the second period when he whipped a laser from the right circle inside the upper right corner over Hildebrand's glove for his 12th of the season to make it 1-1. Boyd then put Michigan State ahead to stay when his wrist shot snaked through a pair of Irish defenders and went through Summerhays' pads for Boyd's first collegiate goal. Darnell upped the lead to 3-1 at 10:53 when he scored off a power play during a 5-on-3 chance for the Spartans. DeBlouw closed the scoring with a third-period empty net goal at 19:45 for the 4-1 final score. Notre Dame was 0-for-4 on the power play while Michigan State was 1-for-6.
SCORING FIRST: Scoring the first goal of the game has been important to Notre Dame's early-season success. The Irish are 13-0-0 when they get the first goal of the game and 2-6-0 when the opposition scores first.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE: Notre Dame junior goaltender Steven Summerhays made 30 saves in the Jan. 11, 1-0 win, over Michigan State to record his third shutout of the season and the fifth of his career. He is the first Irish goaltender to record three shutouts in one season since Jordan Pearce `09 had eight in the 2008-09 season. Summerhays has recorded all five of his shutouts in his last 24 starts, dating back to Feb. 24 of last season. His first career shutout came versus Michigan State, a 2-0, 25-save performance on that date.
WORK HORSE: Dating back to last Feb. 24, Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays has played in 25 of the last 28 games, making 24 starts. During those 25 games, Summerhays is 16-8-0 with a 1.54 goals-against average, a .940 save percentage and five shutouts. His shutout win versus Western Michigan (4-0) on Nov. 4 was the 20th win of his Notre Dame career. He is now 28-18-1 for his career with a 2.20 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. This season, Summerhays is tied for the CCHA lead in wins (13) and is second in goals-against average (1.61). He is fourth in save percentage (.935) and tied for the league lead with three shutouts.
STINGY DEFENSE: The Irish defense ranks among the stingiest in the nation as they have given up just 37 goals in 21 games to allow 1.76 goals per contest. That ranks Notre Dame second in the CCHA and third in the nation. The Irish trail Quinnipiac (1.61) and Miami (1.64) in allowing the fewest goals.
CAREER YEAR: Sophomore defenseman Robbie Russo picked up his fifth goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Michigan State (Jan. 11). The goal was a career high and gives the Notre Dame blue liner a career-best 16 points this season on five goals and 11 assists. As a freshman, Russo recorded four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 40 games. He leads all CCHA defensemen in scoring this season. His four power-play goals are tops on the team.
LEAGUE LEADER: Junior center Anders Lee scored Notre Dame's only goal in the 4-1 loss to Michigan State on Jan. 12. The goal was his team-best and CCHA-leading 12th of the season. He now has 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points and is tied for third in the conference scoring race. His 12 goals tie him for fifth in the country in goal scoring.
SHORT-HANDED: Since giving up two power-play goals to Western Michigan on Nov. 2, Notre Dame is 54-for-58 (.931) killing penalties over the last 14 games. Only North Dakota (11/23), Michigan State (12/7), Bowling Green (12/15) and Michigan State (1/12) have managed to beat the Irish with the man advantage. Michigan State's power-play goal on Jan. 12 was a five-on-three advantage. Since the start of 2013, the Irish have give up just one power-play goal in 16 chances (.938). Notre Dame held Minnesota's eighth-ranked power play to an 0-for-6 night on Jan. 8. and Michigan State was 0-for-4 on Jan. 11 and 1-for-6 on Jan. 12. For the year, the Irish are 78-for-86 for a .907 success rate. That is tops in the CCHA and tied for fifth nationally. Notre Dame also has scored three short-handed goals.
ODD FACT: Until Bowling Green scored a 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 40-of-42 killing penalties (95.2%).
30 OR MORE: Through the first 21 games of the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame has outshot its opposition in 16 of them, getting 30 or more shots in a game all 16 times. The Irish are averaging 32.0 shots per game to 24.9 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. The Irish had 33 shots agains Michigan State on Jan. 11 and 34 on Jan.12.
PUCKS TO THE NET: Through the first 21 games this season, Notre Dame has out shot the opposition 16 times and is 12-4-0 in those games. In games that opponents get more shots, the Irish are 3-2-0. For the year, Notre Dame is averaging 32.0 shots per game while the opposition is getting 24.9 per game. The last time the Irish were out shot was by Minnesota, 26-23, on Jan. 8.
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 and led the Irish with a +6. He has yet to play in any games during the second half of the season.
USA-USA-USA: Freshman left wing Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) 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.
THE OTHER GUY: Senior goaltender Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) got the start in goal for the Irish on Dec. 1 versus Lake Superior State. That was his first start since Oct. 27 when he made 26 saves in the 3-2 win over Northern Michigan. Against the Lakers, Johnson made 13 saves, giving up one goal before being injured at the 14:23 mark of the second period with a 4-1 lead in a game the Irish would win, 6-1. This season, he is 2-0-0 with a 1.91 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. For his career, he has appeared in 93 games, making 87 starts and is 41-33-12 with a 2.62 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage with two shutouts. His 41 wins make him just one of seven Notre Dame goaltenders to win 40 or more games in his career.
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 eight games and power-play markers in five of the last eight. 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. Against Minnesota, the Irish were 0-for-4 on the night and then scored one power-play goal in four chances versus Michigan State on Jan. 11. Over the last seven games, Notre Dame is 9-for-36 (25.0%). On the season, the Irish are 16-for-95 with the man advantage and are scoring at a 16.8% clip.
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.
VETERANS: The 2012-13 Notre Dame team is a definitely a veteran unit. Looking at the Irish roster, there are currently seven players that have played 100 or more games in their careers and David Gerths (Jr., Ankeny, Iowa) is expected to play in his 100th gamve against Bowling Green. Three others have played 91 or more games and, barring injury, should play in their 100th games this season.
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 12 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 was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week twice in December and was the Rookie of the Month for December.
VERSUS WCHA: Notre Dame's game against Minnesota on Jan. 8 was the sixth game this season that the Irish played against teams from the WCHA. They finished their six games with a 3-3-0 mark. 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. The Irish closed out the WCHA portion of the schedule with a 4-1 loss at Minnesota on Jan. 8.
IRISH WINS VERSUS NO. 1: When Notre Dame faced No. 1-ranked Minnnesota on Jan. 8, it marked the second No. 1 team the Irish faced this season. They are 0-2 versus the top teams to date, having lost on Nov. 9 at top-ranked Boston College, 3-1. Notre Dame fell to Minnesota, 4-1, on Jan. 8. The last time the Irish 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
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).
WEATHERING THE STORM: Notre Dame's' series with seventh-ranked North Dakota (Nov. 23-24) closed out a streak of 11 consecutive games for Notre Dame versus nationally ranked teams. The streak that started on Oct. 18 versus Minnesota Duluth saw the Irish win seven of the 11 contests. Here is a look at Notre Dame's recent schedule against ranked teams. (Rankings are USA Today/USCHO.com. Rankings listed for games played are team's rankings on the day of the game).
10/18 vs. #13/#13 Minnesota Duluth L, 1-3 10/19 vs. #13/#13 Minnesota Duluth W, 4-1 10/26 at #15/#16 No. Michigan W, 5-2 10/27 at #15/#16 No. Michigan W, 3-2 11/2 vs. #11/#11 Western Michigan L, 2-3 11/4 vs. #11/#11 Western Michigan W, 4-0 11/9 at #1/#1 Boston College L, 1-3 11/15 at #13/#13 Michigan W, 3-1 11/16 at #13/#13 Michigan W, 4-1 11/23 vs. #7/#7 North Dakota L, 1-2 11/24 vs. #7/#7 North Dakota W, 5-2
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:
100 Notre Dame, Bowling Green
96 U.S. Air Force Academy
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.
TWO-TIMER: Freshman left wing Mario Lucia was selected as the CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the week in each of the last two weeks (Dec. 2 and Dec. 9). This past weekend, Lucia had a goal and two assists for four shots on goal and was +1 in a sweep of Michigan State. In each game of the series, the big left wing set up game-winning goals for the Irish. For the week ending Dec. 2, Lucia scored three goals in the two-game series with Lake Superior State, getting two of the goals via the power play. In the 3-2 win on Nov. 30, Lucia scored a second-period power-play goal to put the Irish in front, 2-0. He had four shots on goal and was -1 for the game. In the 6-1 victory on Dec. 1, the former Penticton Vee of the BCHL, scored two goals. The first came at 14:48 of the first period and gave Notre Dame a 3-0 lead. He added a second-period, power-play goal to give the Irish a 5-1 lead.