Feb. 29, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. -
The Games: Best-of-three First Round CCHA Playoffs rv/#18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17-16-3/12-13-3-0) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (15-13-5/11-12-5-1)
Date/Site/Time: Friday- Sunday, March 2-4, 2012 Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) 7:35 p.m./7:35 p.m./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. Television: Game 2 of the series, on Saturday, March 3, will be televised live by Fox Sports Detroit Plus with Ken Daniels, Darren Eliot and Shannon Hogan handling the play- by-play and color analysis.
Internet: Video: Games one and three of the series will be streamed live on the Notre Dame website at UND.com. There is no charge to view these games. Audio: Notre Dame will provide live audio for all three games of the series on the Notre Dame website at UND.com. Twitter: Follow the Irish hockey team on Twitter at ND_hockey.
THIRD SEASON: For some teams, the playoffs are the second season. For Notre Dame and Ohio State, the first round CCHA match-up, will be more like a third season, one that both teams hope goes much better than the second season. Both teams got off to fast starts in the first half of the year - the Irish were 10-3-3 through the end of November and closed out the first half with a 12-6-3 record on Dec. 31. The Buckeyes first half staked them to a 14-4-1 mark on Dec. 31 with both teams looking like serious contenders for the CCHA regular-season crown. The "second season" was less kind to both teams. Notre Dame opened January with a big win at No. 5 Minnesota on Jan. 7 but would finish the second season with a 5-10-0 record to finish 17-16-3 overall and 12-13-3-0 in the CCHA, good for an eighth-place tie with Ohio State as each team closed out with 39-league points. The Buckeyes were just 1-9-4 after Jan. 1 and closed the season with a 15-13-5 overall record and an 11-12-5-1 CCHA record. The Irish took eighth place and home ice in the first round by winning the league's first tiebreaker - conference wins as Notre Dame finished with 12 and Ohio State had 11. Both teams will look to get back on track in their new seasons - the playoffs - for both squads. The best-of-three, first-round series will be played Friday-Sunday, March 2-4 at Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena with game times set for 7:35 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 7:05 p.m. on Sunday if that game is necessary.
IRISH VERSUS BUCKEYES: Notre Dame and Ohio State have met 67 times in the all-time series with the Buckeyes owning a 31-27-9 advantage. At Notre Dame, the series is even at 13-13-4. The two teams opened the CCHA schedule against each other this season on October 14-15 in the final games at the Joyce Center. The Irish won the first one, 5-2, while Ohio State won the final game ever at the Joyce by a 4-3 margin. The teams have played three times in CCHA postseason action and it has been all Ohio State as the Buckeyes have won all four games. In 2002-03 and 2003-04, the teams met in the opening games of the CCHA Super Six at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. OSU took a 3-2 win in `03 and then had a 6-5 overtime win in `04. At the end of the 2009-10 season, the teams met in the first round of the CCHA playoffs at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio with the Buckeyes eliminating the Irish with 3-1 and 8-2 wins.
IRISH CCHA PLAYOFF HISTORY: The Irish have played 58 games in CCHA playoff history and are 25-33 in those games (15-8 at home, 5-16 on the road and 5-9 at Joe Louis Arena). Notre Dame won a second round series from Lake Superior last season, then lost in the CCHA semifinals to Miami. The Irish also lost the third-place game to Michigan at Joe Louis Arena. Under coach Jeff Jackson, the Irish are 12-10 in the CCHA postseason, winning the championship in 2007 and 2009.
ON THE AIR: Game two of the series on Saturday, March 3 will be televised by Fox Sports Detroit Plus at 7:35 p.m. with Ken Daniels, Darren Eliot and Shannon Hogan calling the action. The game can be seen on DirecTV Channels 664 and 664-1 (HD) while the DISH Network will have it at 442 and 9580 (HD).
RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the series with Ohio State receiving votes in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and is 18th in the USCHO.com poll. This is the second week in 21 weeks this season that the Irish are not part of the USA Today poll. Ohio State is receiving votes in both polls.
MICHIGAN STATE RECAP: Friday, February 24 - Sophomore goaltender Steven Summerhays (Anchorage, Alaska) stopped all 25 shots he faced and the Irish got goals from Jeff Costello (So., Milwaukee, Wis.) and Peter Schneider (Fr., Vienna, Austria) on the way to a 2-0 win over Michigan State on Friday night. The win snapped a five-game Notre Dame losing streak that started on Feb. 4. After a scoreless first period, Costello scored on the power play at 2:31 of the second period to give the Irish a 1-0 lead. That lead was the first for Notre Dame since that game on Feb. 4. The lead would go to 2-0 at 9:54 of the second period off a turnover by MSU goaltender Will Yanakeff. Kevin Nugent (Jr., New Canaan, Conn.) got the loose puck on the left wing boards and found Schneider driving to the goal. The freshman lifted it over Yanakeff for his first career goal. From there, Summerhays and the Irish defense held the Spartan attack at bay for the 2-0 win. Notre Dame out shot Michigan State, 32-25 in the game. Yanakeff had 30 saves for the Spartans. The shutout was the first for the Irish against Michigan State since Jordan Pearce `09 blanked the Spartans, 5-0, on Feb. 27, 2009.
Saturday, February 25 - The 2011-12 regular season came to an end Saturday night for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as they dropped a 4-2 decision to Michigan State in front of a seventh straight sell-out crowd at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The Spartans scored three unanswered goals after the Irish had taken a 2-1 lead on an Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) power-play goal and a short-handed tally by T.J. Tynan (So., Orland Park, Ill.) midway through the second period. Kevin Walrod, Chris Forfar (shg), Torey Krug and Dean Chelios scored for Michigan State in the victory while goaltender Will Yanakeff made 27 saves on the night. The evening got off to a strong start for the Irish as they jumped on top 1-0 at the 4:37 mark of the first period as Lee scored on the power play, backhanding a shot from the slot past Yanakeff for his 15th goal of the season. The goal was his first since scoring two against Boston University on Dec. 31. Senior forward Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) notched his 100th career point on the goal with an assist, making him the 46th player in Notre Dame history to reach the "Century" mark. Sam Calabrese (Jr., Park Ridge, Ill.) also had a helper on the play. The Spartans would get the equalizer at 17:02 of the first as a bad line change by the Irish resulted in a two-on-one with Brett Perlini setting up Walrod for his ninth goal of the season to make it 1-1 going into the first intermission. Irish special teams connected for the second time on the night midway through the second period as Tynan scored his second short-handed goal of the year and 13th overall at 10:57 for a 2-1 Notre Dame lead. Less than seven minutes later at 17:01 of the second, Michigan State returned the favor, getting a short-handed goal of their own as Forfar finished off a two-on-one by beating Notre Dame goaltender Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.) through the five-hole for his sixth goal of the year to make it 2-2. Center Anthony Hayes started the play by blocking an Irish shot and carrying the puck down the ice before setting up Forfar. The short-handed goal was the third given up by the Irish this season. The Spartans weren't done in the middle period as they took the lead for good at 19:18, scoring off a face off in the left circle with Hayes again setting up the play. The junior center won the draw off the left boards back to Krug on the left point. The junior fired a slap shot that beat Johnson low to the ice just inside the left post for Krug's 11th goal of the year. The Irish would have their chances in both the second and the third periods but couldn't get anything else past Yanakeff as he made 16 of his 27 saves in the final two periods. Michigan State would get an insurance goal at 9:13 of the third period to lock up the victory as Chelios drilled a shot from the right face-off dot that appeared to deflect off an Irish defender in front and end up behind Johnson for the final of 4-2. The goal was Chelios' eighth of the year and came off assists from Perlini and Matt Berry. Perlini's assist was his second of the night. For the night, the Irish out shot the Spartans by a 29-19 margin. Johnson finished with 15 saves on the night.
A SCORING CHAMPION: Sophomore center T.J. Tynan closed out the 2011-12 CCHA schedule with a short-handed goal in the 4-2 loss to Michigan State to give him nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points in 28 CCHA games. That was good for a share of the CCHA scoring title along with Michigan State's Torey Krug. With the co-championship, Tynan became the first Irish player to win a CCHA scoring title in the 22 seasons that the team has been a member of the conference. He is just the second Notre Dame player to win a conference scoring crown as he joins Eddie Bumbacco `74 who won the WCHA scoring title in the 1972-73 season with 31 goals and 34 assists for 65 points in 28 league games.
TWO IN A ROW: T.J. Tynan now has 40 points overall for Notre Dame on 13 goals and 27 assists, giving him 40 or more points in each of his first two seasons at Notre Dame. He is the first Irish player to put together back-to-back 40-point campaigns since David Bankoske `93 recorded a 56-point season in 1989-90 and a 49-point campaign in 1990-91.
SHUTOUT: Sophomore goaltender Steven Summerhays stopped all 25 shots he faced on Feb. 24 in Notre Dame's 2-1 win over Michigan State. The shutout was the first of Summerhays' Irish career and the first for a Notre Dame goaltender since Dec. 13, 2009 when Mike Johnson blanked Michigan, 2-0. The blanking of the Spartans also snapped a personal four-game losing streak for Summerhays. His last win came on Jan. 20 versus Michigan. For the year, Summerhays is 8-6-0 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage.
WELCOME BACK: The recent weeks have been quite trying for sophomore left wing Jeff Costello. He missed seven games (Jan. 28 to Feb. 18) due to an injury and last week had to deal with the death of his grandfather. He was able to put all that behind him on Friday night as he returned to action and scored Notre Dame's first goal in the 2-0 win over Michigan State. The goal was Costello's fourth of the season and his team-best third game winner. He has missed 11 games this season due to injuries.
COLD, HARD FACTS: Scoring goals has been a struggle for the Irish, especially in the second half of the season. In the month of February, Notre Dame has a 2-6-0 record. In those eight games, the Irish scored just 10 goals and were shutout twice. This season, when the Irish score two goals or less in a game, they are 2-13-3. When Notre Dame scores three goals or more in a game, the Irish are 15-3-0. The last time that Notre Dame had three or more goals in a game was on Jan. 28, a 4-2 win at Alaska. Freshman Peter Schneider's (Vienna, Austria) goal at 9:54 of the third period on Feb. 24 was Notre Dame's first even-strength goal since Feb. 3 at 5:45 of the third period when Nick Larson (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.) scored the game winner in a 2-1 win against Bowling Green. Notre Dame went 364:21 between even-strength goals, scoring just five power-play markers in that span.
CENTURY CLUB: Senior center Billy Maday finally became a member of Notre Dame's "Century Club," on Sat., Feb. 25 when he assisted on Anders Lee's power-play goal. He is now one of 46 Irish players to reach that mark is now tied with Paul Clarke `77 with 100 points. For the season, Maday is fourth on the team with nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points. Inching closer is sophomore center T.J. Tynan who enters the Ohio State series with 36 goals and 58 assists for 94 points in just 79 career games.
"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) 103 117 220
BACK ON TRACK: Sophomore left wing Anders Lee snapped a 15-game goal-less streak with his first-period power-play goal on Feb. 25. Prior to that goal, Lee's last markers came on Dec. 31 when he scored twice in a 5-2 win over Boston University. The 6-3, 227-pound portsider leads Notre Dame in goals with 15 and is second on the team with 31 points. Prior to the goal against Michigan State, Lee had become a playmaker for the Irish as he reeled off eight assists in the previous 10 games.
SLOW STARTS: The Irish have been out scored 38-23 in the first period this season. In the 36 games to date, Notre Dame has surrendered the first goal in 20 of them. When the Irish give up the first goal, they are 7-12-1. When they score first, Notre Dame is 10-4-2 on the season. When Jeff Costello scored the first goal on Friday, Feb. 24, it marked the first time the Irish scored the first goal of the game since Feb. 4 in the 3-2 loss to Bowling Green. They had given up the first goal of the night in four straight games.
IRISH VERSUS TOP-RANKED TEAMS: After gaining a split last weekend with #14/#13 Michigan State, Notre Dame is now 9-11-3 versus ranked teams this season. Despite that record, against the top six teams in this week's USCHO.com poll, the Irish are a combined 6-5-0.
1. Boston College (1-0) 2. Minnesota-Duluth (1-1) 3. Ferris State (1-3) 4. Boston University (1-0) Minnesota (1-0) 6. Michigan (1-1)Versus ranked teams overall this season, the Irish are 7-5-1 at home and 2-6-2 on the road. In 2010-11, the Irish played 24 games versus nationally ranked teams and finished 11-9-4 for the year.
SPECIAL TEAMS STRUGGLES: What a difference a few weeks makes. Going into the series with Western Michigan (Jan. 13-14), Notre Dame had the CCHA's top power play and was on a roll killing penalties. Since then, the Irish special teams have fallen on hard times. Over the last 14 games, Notre Dame is just 9-for-62 (14.5%) on the power play and is 41-for-53 (77.3%) on the penalty kill. For the season, Notre Dame is 33-for-174 (19.0%) on the power play and has killed 110-of-135 power plays for a 81.5% success rate.
SAM CAN: Junior defenseman Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge, Ill.) is quietly having another strong season on the Notre Dame blue line. Through the first 36 games of the season, Calabrese leads all Irish defensemen in scoring with three goals and 13 assists for 16 points. The 13 assists are a career high. He led Notre Dame defensemen in scoring in 2010-11 when he had six goals and 12 assists for 18 points.
ROAD DOGS: The Irish have now lost three in a row on the road to fall to 6-8-3 away from the Compton Family Ice Arena. In CCHA contests, the Irish are 4-7-3 away from Compton Arena. Notre Dame's three non-league road games came at Minnesota- Duluth (a split) and at Minnesota (a win).
CLASS OF THE CLASS: Notre Dame senior defenseman Sean Lorenz has selected as one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award that honors student athletes who excel both on and off the ice and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Lorenz is a three-time monogram winner for the Irish and serves as one of Notre Dame's alternate captains in 2011-12. He is coming off a career year as a junior (2010-11) for the Irish where he played in 44 games with career highs in goal (4), assists (11) and points (15) while being +33 on the year. He also was the CCHA defensive, defenseman of the year and the winner of Notre Dame's William Donald Nyrop Award as the team's top defenseman. Lorenz This season, Lorenz is second among Irish defensemen in scoring with three goals and 10 assists for 13 points and two game-winning goals. The Irish have had six players in the six-year history of the award make the list of 10 finalists. Former Notre Dame goaltender David Brown `07 won the award in 2007.
HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame is now 10-7-0 in its first 17 games at the new Compton Family Ice Arena and 11-8-0 on home ice this season. In the 17 games played at the Compton Family Ice Arena this season, Notre Dame has played in front of 11 sellout crowds of 5,022, including the last seven consecutively. In the 17 games at the CFIA to date, the Irish have drawn 82,940 for an average of 4,878 per game.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska) leads Notre Dame rookies in scoring with seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points. That ties him for 11th in the CCHA among freshman scorers. Rookie defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) is right behind him with four goals and 10 assists for 14 points. That ties him for 14th among CCHA rookies in scoring and makes him the top scoring rookie defenseman in the CCHA this season. He also is tied for 14th in the CCHA among power-play scorers with four goals and seven assists for 11 points. Wuthrich was recently ranked 73rd among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings. Wuthrich also is 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.