March 20, 2009
Detroit, Mich. - Three Notre Dame hockey players - seniors Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska) and junior Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) - were among the players honored at the CCHA's annual awards banquet held at the historic Fox Theatre on Thursday night. The awards show precedes Friday's CCHA hockey semifinal action at Joe Louis Arena.
Condra was selected as the winner of the Terry Flanagan Memorial Award named after the former Bowling Green assistant coach who died from cancer in 1991. The award honors a player for perseverance, dedication and courage while overcoming severe adversity. He is second Notre Dame player to win the award, following Dan VeNard who took the honor last season.
The Irish captain was injured in the third game of the 2007-08 CCHA playoffs, suffering a knee injury that ended his season and required reconstructive surgery. Condra had the surgery in late April and began the rehab work that lasted throughout the summer. On Oct. 11, in the season opener, the right wing returned to action. He leads Notre Dame in scoring for the fourth consecutive year as he goes into Friday's semifinal game against Northern Michigan with 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points while playing in all 37 contests this year. Among his goals were five power-play goals, two short-handed tallies and two game winners.
Pearce was named the CCHA's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining Cory McLean '05 who won the honor in his senior season of 2004-05. Pearce was named to the CCHA Scholar-Athlete team for the second consecutive year and also was the team's Perani Cup winner for the second time as he led the Irish in three star voting in CCHA contests this year.
A second team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American on the At-Large team in '07-'08, Pearce owns a 3.812 grade-point average in his double major in anthropology and pre-med. He is also a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award along with Condra.
On the ice, Pearce was an honorable mention all-CCHA selection but did not win player of the year honors as Alaska's Chad Johnson won the honor.
The Irish senior has had a remarkable season that has gone unheralded. He leads the nation in wins (28), goals-against average (1.62) and shutouts (8). Included in his outstanding season was a 20-game unbeaten streak that saw him go 17-0-3 from Oct. 31 to Jan. 30. Pearce became Notre Dame's all-time win leader, earning his 57th career win on March 14 to pass Lance Madson '90 who had the record for 19 years. This season he also set Notre Dame's single-season record with eight shutouts. Over his last five games, Pearce has given up one goal, with four shutouts, stopping 111-of-112 shots for a .971 save percentage.
Lawson, who was a second team all-CCHA selection, was named the CCHA's top defensive, defenseman, becoming the first Irish player to take the honor.
The junior blueliner is the leader of a Notre Dame defense that is the stingiest in the nation, giving up 1.65 goals per game. The team's true "warrior" on defense, Lawson is tied for the team lead with a +15 and is a key member of the penalty-killing unit that is second in the nation with an 88.9% success rate.
Lawson is third on the team in scoring among defensemen with three goals and 18 assists for 21 points with a pair of power-play goals, one short-handed goal and a game winner.
The CCHA also announced its other major award winners for the 2008-09 season.
Player of the Year - Chad Johnson, Sr., G (Alaska)
Rookie of the Year - David Wohlberg, Fr., F (Michigan)
Coach of the Year - Dallas Ferguson (Alaska)
Top Defensive Forward - Tim Miller, Sr., F (Michigan)
Top Offensive Defenseman - Erik Gustafsson, So., D (Northern Michigan)
Mike and Marian Ilitch Humanitarian Award - Jeff Lerg, Sr., G (Michigan State)
Jerad Kaufmann, G (Nebraska-Omah
The CCHA Tournament begins on Friday, March 20 at Joe Louis Arena when Notre Dame faces Northern Michiga at 4:30 p.m. and Michigan faces Alaska at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, the third-place game will be played at 3:30 p.m. and the championship game starts at 7:30 p.m.