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    Irish Travel To Marquette, Mich., For CCHA Series Versus No. Michigan

    FIGHTING IRISH Junior center Kevin Deeth is second among Notre Dame scorers after five games with a goal and four assists.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Junior center Kevin Deeth is second among Notre Dame scorers after five games with a goal and four assists.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 28, 2008

    Notre Dame, Ind. -

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    • The Series: #13/#13 Notre Dame (2-3-0/0-2-0-0) at Northern Michigan (2-3-1/1-2-1-0)

    • Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2008 • Berry Events Center (3,902) • 7:35 p.m.

    • Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM in South Bend. Mike Lockert, now in his seventh season, will call all the action for the Irish.

    • Internet: All Notre Dame hockey games can be heard live on the internet via the Notre Dame website at www.und.com. All Irish home games not being televised also will be available through live video streaming at und.com.

    ROAD TRIP: After playing its last four games at home, the Notre Dame hockey team takes to the road for four consecutive road games. The road trip starts this weekend with a pair of games in Marquette, Mich., where the Irish will face off against the Northern Michigan Wildcats. The two-game series at the Berry Events Center will be played on Fri.-Sat., Oct. 31-Nov. 1 with game time both nights set for 7:35 p.m. Notre Dame is coming off a tough home weekend series that saw the Irish drop a pair of games to Miami, 2-0 and 3-2. The losses dropped Notre Dame to 2-3-0 overall and 0-2-0-0 in the CCHA. Northern Michigan is coming off a 3-2 shoot out loss and a 2-0 loss to Michigan State on the road. The shoot out loss gives the Wildcats one point in the CCHA standings for the weekend. Northern Michigan is 2-3-1 overall and is 1-2-1-0 for three points in CCHA play. The Irish enter the weekend ranked 13th in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CBS College Sports polls. This season, Notre Dame and Northern Michigan are rivalry partners. The two teams will play at the Joyce Center on Feb. 13-14. Following the Northern Michigan series, the Irish travel to Boston College and Providence on Nov. 7-8.

    IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: Notre Dame and Northern Michigan have met 39 times in the all-time series with the Wildcats holding a 20-14-5 edge. At Marquette, Mich., Northern Michigan is 9-5-2 versus the Irish. The Wildcats also hold the edge in the last 10 meetings with a 5-4-1 mark. The teams met twice in the regular season and once in the postseason during the 2007-08 campaign. During the regular season, the teams played at Northern Michigan (Jan. 4-5) with the Wildcats winning the first game, 2-1, only to see Notre Dame take the second contest, 2-1. The third meeting came in the third-place game in the CCHA Tournament where Northern Michigan prevailed, 2-1.

    THE LAST TIME: Miami's 2-0 shutout of the Irish on Fri., Oct. 24 was the first shutout of Notre Dame since Feb. 29, 2008 when Western Michigan's Riley Gill stopped 42 shots in a 3-0 shutout at Kalamazoo, Mich. The Irish were shutout twice during the 2007-08 season with the other shutout coming on Oct. 27, 2007, a 3-0 shutout at Ferris State. The last time the Irish were shutout at home was on March 4, 2006 when Alaska blanked the Irish, 1-0, in the second game of the CCHA playoffs. The Nanooks won that series, 2-0, to move on to the second round.

    POWER OUTAGE: Notre Dame's power play had a rough weekend in the Miami series, going 0-fo-8 in both games for an 0-for-16 mark on the weekend. For the year, the Irish are just 4-for-40 with the man advantage for a 10.0% success rate.

    MIAMI RECAP: The Irish dropped both games of their series with Miami, losing 2-0 on Friday night and 3-2 in the series finale on Saturday. In Friday's loss, freshman goaltender Cody Reichard stopped all 29 shots he faced and Miami got goals from Pat Cannone and Gary Steffes as Miami shutout Notre Dame, 2-0, at the Joyce Center. Cannone put the RedHawks ahead 1-0 at 5:05 of the first period when he combined with Andy Miele on a 2-on-1 to beat Jordan Pearce (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) for his third goal of the year. Steffes made it 2-0 at 5:02 of the second when he one-timed a blast from the top of the right circle past Pearce. Miele assisted on that goal, Steffes' fourth of the season. Notre Dame out shot Miami, 29-23, on the night. Pearce made 21 saves for the Irish. Notre Dame also was blanked on the power play, going 0-for-8 on the night. The RedHawks were 0-for-3 on their power-play chances in the game. In Saturday's game, Miami got a pair of power-play goals from Steffes and Justin Mercier and an even-strength goal from Alexandre Lacombe. Notre Dame received goals from Ian Cole (So., Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Christian Hanson (Sr., Venetia, Pa.) in the loss. Steffes got Miami on the board first at 10:40 of the opening period. Cole answered back with a blast from the left point past goaltender Connor Knapp at 15:45 of the first for his second goal of the season from Calle Ridderwall (So., Stockholm, Sweden) and Billy Maday (Fr., Burr Ridge, Ill.). The RedHawks scored twice in the second period to build a 3-1 lead. Mercier made it 2-1 with a power-play goal at 17:10 and Lacombe got the eventual game winner at 18:32 when he flipped a loose puck past Pearce on the right side of the goal for his second of the season. Miami out shot Notre Dame, 15-2, in the second period. In the third, the Irish would cut the lead to 3-2 with 1:26 left as Notre Dame pulled its goaltender for a sixth attacker. Erik Condra (Sr., Livonia, Mich.) and Sean Lorenz (Fr., Littleton, Colo.) set up Hanson in the slot and he one-timed a shot by Knapp to cut Miami's lead to one goal and the 3-2 final. For the game, the RedHawks outshot the Irish, 24-19. Knapp finished with 17 saves while Pearce had 21 in the Notre Dame goal. Miami was 2-for-7 wth the power play while the Irish were 0-for-8.

    MORE SHUTOUTS: Friday's 2-0 shutout by Miami marked the third consecutive shutout at the Joyce Center this season. Notre Dame won the first two, 3-0 and 7-0, versus Sacred Heart (Oct. 17-18). Those two consecutive shutouts versus Sacred Heart were the first back-to-back shutouts for the Irish since Oct. 27-28, 2006 when they shutout Army (3-0) and Air Force (2-0) to win the first-ever Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Fla. Notre Dame's shutout streak ended at 132:12 when Pat Cannone scored for Miami.

    TWO IN A ROW: The two consecutive losses by Notre Dame to Miami on Oct. 24-25 marked the first time that the Irish have lost two in a row at home since March 3-4, 2006 when they lost both games of their first round, CCHA playoff series to Alaska, 3-1 and 1-0. The last time that Notre Dame was swept at home in a regular-season CCHA series was Nov. 25-26, 2005 when the Irish were swept at the Joyce Center by Ohio State, 4-1 and 5-2.

    CHILL(ING) REUNION: When sophomore Calle Ridderwall and freshman Billy Maday combined to set up Ian Cole's first-period goal in the 3-2 loss to Miami, it marked the first time that the duo played on the same line at Notre Dame. The two have played together before as they spent the 2005-06 season as linemates with the Chicago Chill Midget AA program, helping the Chill to as second-place finish at the USA Midget AA championships. Maday had 38 goals and 87 assists for 125 points in 74 games with the Chill while Ridderwall had 52 goals and 66 assists for 118 points that season.

    FIRST TIME OUT: Junior goaltender Tom O'Brien (Mokena, Ill.) became the first Notre Dame goaltender to record a shutout in his first career start when he blanked Sacred Heart, 7-0, making 17 saves in the Oct. 18 contest. The previous earliest shutout was held by Jordan Pearce who recorded a shutout in just his second start in 2005. David Brown `07 had his first shutout in his third game as a freshman in October of 2003.

    STREAK ENDER: When Tom O'Brien made the start in goal against Sacred Heart on Oct. 18, it marked the first time since Jan. 5, 2008 that Jordan Pearce did not see action in a game for the Irish. Prior to that game, Pearce had made 21 consecutive starts dating back to Jan. 25 of last season and had appeared in 25 consecutive games going back to Jan. 11 of last year. The last goaltender to see action other that Pearce before O'Brien last Saturday was sophomore Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.). Phillips started at Northern Michigan on Jan. 5 of 2008 and defeated the Wildcats, 2-1.

    CCHA DEFENSEMAN OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame sophomore defenseman Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was named the CCHA defenseman of the week ending Oct. 19 for his play against Sacred Heart. In the two games, Cole had a goal and three assists and was +4 on the weekend while helping the Irish to a pair of shutout wins. In Friday's 3-0 win, Cole had one assist and was +1 in the contest. In Saturday's 7-0 blanking of the Pioneers, Cole had the second three-point game of his career with a goal and two assists while being +3 on the evening.

    MOVING UP THE LIST: With his 3-0 shutout of Sacred Heart on Oct. 17, Jordan Pearce recorded the fifth shutout of his career, making 18 saves against the Pioneers. The shutout moves him into third on the all-time shutout list as he trails Morgan Cey `05, who has six, and David Brown `07, who finished his career with 12. Pearce's shutout was the first at the Joyce Center since Dec. 1, 2007 when he whitewashed Nebraska-Omaha, 5-0.

    CLUTCH SCORER: Ryan Thang's game-winning goal in the Oct. 18 win over Sacred Heart gives him 12 for his career and moves him into a tie for fourth on the all-time list with David Bankoske `93. He is one off the school record of 13 for his career. Three people - Rob Globke `04, Brian Urick `99 and Dave Poulin `82 - hold that mark.

    POWER-PLAY STRUGGLES: Notre Dame was 0-for-8 on the power play in both games of the Miami series. The Irish have gone 0-for-8 in all three of their losses this season (also 0-8 in 5-2 loss at Denver). For the season, the Irish are just 4-for-40 with the man advantage for a 10.0% success rate on the power play.

    STREAKY DEETH: Junior center Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) saw his five-game point-scoring streak snapped in the Oct. 24, 2-0 loss to Miami. Deeth had scored in Notre Dame's first three games this season and the final two games last year, getting three goals and four assists for seven points in the streak.

    VERSUS THE BEST: With the two losses to No. 10 Miami, the Irish are now 0-3 against ranked teams this season. The third loss came in the season opener, a 5-2 decision to No. 6 Denver, in Colorado.

    FINDING THE BACK OF THE NET: Junior Christiaan Minella snapped a 46-game goal-scoring drought when he deflected a Brett Blatchford (Jr., Temperance, Mich.) shot past Sacred Heart goaltender Olivier St. Onge in the second period of the 7-0 shutout of Sacred Heart on Oct. 18. The goal was the second of Minella's career and his first since scoring on Nov. 11, 2006 against the Bowling Green Falcons.

    HOME OPENERS: Notre Dame's 3-0 win over Sacred Heart on Oct. 17 in the home season opener improved the Irish to 23-17-1 in all-time home openers going back to the 1968-69 season.

    CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Erik Condra leads the Irish in scoring this season with two goals and four assists for six points. That has moved him into a tie for 26th on the all-time points list with Kevin Humphreys `81 with 126 career points. Condra now has 37 goals and 89 assists for his 126 points. He is all alone in 14th place on the all-time assists list with 89.

    OPENING ACTS: Notre Dame's season-opening loss at Denver drops the Irish to 20-19-2 all-time in season openers. In the first road game of the season, they are now 16-22-3 in 41 road openers. Following the home-opening win against Sacred Heart, Notre Dame is now 23-17-1 in home lidlifters.

    ON THE SIDELINES: The Irish will be without the services of sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) for the entire season. Phillips injured his right knee in the preseason and will be out of action for the year. He was 4-1-0 as a freshman with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.

    LOTS OF RUBBER: Notre Dame's 42 shots on goal against Sacred Heart on Friday night were the most in a game for the Irish since a 40-shot game against Northern Michigan on March 22, 2008 in the CCHA third-place game. Notre Dame lost that contest, 2-1. Pioneer goaltender Stefan Drew's 39-save night was the most for an opposing goaltender since Western Michigan's Riley Gill had 42 saves on Feb. 29, 2008, a 3-0 shutout for the Broncos.

    THEY HAVE OUR NUMBER: Notre Dame's loss to the University of Denver drops the Irish to just 10-35-3 all-time against the Pioneers. Playing at DU has been a problem for the Irish as they are now 2-22-2 in the all-time series at the Mile High City. The two teams were members of the WCHA from 1971-1981. Since leaving the WCHA following the 1980-81 season, the Irish are just 1-4-1 against Denver and 1-3-0 since Jeff Jackson took over as head coach in 2005-06.

    NEW KIDS: Four freshmen made their collegiate debuts for Notre Dame at Denver on Oct. 11. Forwards Billy Maday and Patrick Gaul (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and defensemen Nick Condon (Wausau, Wis.) and Sean Lorenz (Littleton, Colo.) all saw action in the game. Maday scored a goal, had two shots on net and was +1. Gaul had one minor penalty and was -1 for the night. Condon also had a minor penalty and was even while Lorenz was -1 in the game. Freshman defenseman Eric Ringel (Hinckley, Ohio) made his first career appearance on the Notre Dame blue line on Friday, Oct. 17 against Sacred Heart. The sixth member of the class, Richard Ryan (Toronto, Ont.), saw his first career action on Oct. 25 versus Miami.

    FOUR OR MORE: When the University of Denver scored four times in the third period of the 5-2 win on Oct. 11, it marked just the second time since the start of the 2005-06 season that the Irish had given up four goals in one period. The first time came on Nov. 4, 2005 when Notre Dame surrendered four goals in the third period to Michigan in an 8-5 loss. The four-goal period snaps a streak of 120 games where the Irish held opponents to three goals or less in a period. In fact, in those 120 games, the Irish had just five games (over three seasons) where opponents had three goals in one period. Last season the Irish surrendered five or more goals in a game just twice. They gave up five goals just once in 2006-07 and five times in 2005-06.

    FOUR FOR US: After giving up four goals in the third period of the season opener at Denver (10/11), the Irish blitzed Sacred Heart for four goals in the second period of the 7-0 shutout on Oct. 18. The four-goal outburst was the first for Notre Dame since doing it on Dec. 8, 2007, getting four goals in the second period of a 7-0 shutout at Princeton. Notre Dame also scored four goals in a period on November 1, 2007 with four in the second versus Lake Superior State in a 7-3 victory.

    DOCTOR, DOCTOR: Seniors Erik Condra and Jordan Pearce don't have much in common on the ice as one is known for shooting pucks and the other for stopping them. Off the ice, the senior duo have a great deal in common as they are both pre-med majors at Notre Dame, balancing the books and hockey and doing both rather well. Condra has a double major in psychology and pre-med whil Pearce has his double major in anthropology and pre-med. On the ice, Condra is the team's top returning scorer as he led the Irish with 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points as a junior. Pearce started 43 games in goal for the Irish, going 23-15-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. He had the best goals against in the CCHA with a 1.80 mark in conference games. The native of Anchorage, Alaska was the team's Most Valuable Player and won the Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award while being selected to the CCHA's Scholar-Athlete team and a second team Academic All-American.

    ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN HONORS: Goaltender Jordan Pearce was selected as an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American during the 2007-08 season. Pearce, with a double major in anthropology/pre-med, was a second team selection on the At-Large team. He owns a 3.816 grade-point average and has made the Dean's List in four of his first six semesters. Pearce became the first Notre Dame hockey player to take Academic All-American honors since Dan Carlson `01 and the fifth player overall. He joins Carlson (third team), Andy Jurkowski `00 (third team), Forrest Karr `99 (second team) and Steve Noble `97 and `98 (first team and second team). Two other Irish players were selected to the all-Region V team in `07-'08 - Mark Van Guilder `08 and Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.)

    BACK-TO-BACK: Following the 2007-08 CCHA regular season, goaltender Jordan Pearce won the league's top goaltender award based on his 1.80 goals-against average in CCHA games. Pearce followed David Brown `07, who had a 1.77 goals-against average to win the 2006-07 award. This marks the fourth time since the 1982-83 season that the same school has won back-to-back goaltending titles with different goaltenders between the pipes. Pearce and Brown are joined on that list by:

    1988-89  Bruce Hoffort - LSSU (2.67)
    1989-90  Darin Madeley - LSSU (2.37)
    

    1997-98 Chad Alban - MSU (1.63) 1998-99 Joe Blackburn - MSU (1.34) 1999-00 Ryan Miller - MSU (1.34)

    CAPTAINS: Senior right wing Erik Condra will serve as Notre Dame's captain for the 2008-09 season. Joining Condra as alternate captains in `08-'09, are senior center Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) along with junior left wing Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) and junior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.). Condra served as an alternate captain in 2007-08 while this is the first season as captains for Hanson, Thang and Lawson.

    ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: Nineteen of 22 athletics programs at the University of Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none were below 90 percent, according to the fourth year of Graduation Success Rate measurements developed by the NCAA and released on Oct. 11. None of the 119 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I ) programs in the country had a higher percentage of 100 GSR scores than did Notre Dame with its .863 figure (19 of 22). This marked the third time in the four years of the survey that Notre Dame has ranked number one in percentage of teams with 100 scores. Here are the top 10 in that category (only 10 institutions had 50% or more of their sports registering 100 marks):

    
    Institution              Pct      100 Scores/
                                        Sports Rated
    1.  Notre Dame          .863         19/22
    2.  Northwestern        .789         15/19
    3.  Boston College      .740         20/27
    4.  Duke                .681         15/22
    5.  Vanderbilt          .667          8/12
    6.  Wake Forest         .642          9/14
    7.  Stanford            .629         17/27
    8.  U.S. Naval Academy  .578         11/19
    9.  Rice                .539          7/13
    10. Tulane              .500          6/12
    

    NCAA figures showed that all 11 Irish women's programs posted a GSR of 100 percent -- basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Among Notre Dame's men's sports, baseball, basketball, cross country/track, fencing, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and tennis achieved 100 percent GSR scores. Ice hockey scored 96 percent, football scored 94 percent, and golf was at 90. Overall, that's one more perfect score than a year ago for the Irish programs, after Notre Dame recorded 18 100 percent GSR scores (of 22 sports) in 2007. In 2005, among the 119 NCAA Division I-A football-playing institutions, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of its sports with 100 percent scores, with a .800 figure (16 of 20). The 2006 data put Notre Dame's percentage at .773 (17 of 22), to rank second behind the U.S. Naval Academy. The 2007 data put Notre Dame's percentage at .818 (18 of 22), which again ranked number one.

    FAMILY GUYS: Three members of the Notre Dame hockey team - senior forwards Erik Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Garrett Regan (Hastings, Minn.) and sophomore goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) - have family ties to the Irish athletics program. Condra's uncle is All-American forward Kirt Bjork `83 who played at Notre Dame from 1979-83. He scored 76 goals with 85 assists for 161 career points in 141 career games. Bjork took All-America honors in 1983 when he had 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points. Regan's uncle - Sean Regan - was a defenseman for the Irish from 1981-83 before finishing his career at the University of Minnesota. Phillips' uncle, is former Irish quarterback Terry Andrysiak `89, who played at Notre Dame from 1985 to 1988.


     

     

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