Nov. 2, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. -
The Games: #4/#6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-2-0/3-1-0-0) at rv/#17 No. Michigan Wildcats ( 4-3-1/1-2-1-0)
Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., November 4-5, 2011 Berry Events Center (3,902) 7:35 p.m./7:35 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 faceoff. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish.
Internet: Audio: Notre Dame will stream the audio for both games of the Northern Michigan series live and free of charge at und.com. Twitter: Follow the Irish icers on Twitter at ND_hockey.
WEEKEND IN THE UPPER PENINSULA: Notre Dame returns to the road this weekend for a fall trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to face the Northern Michigan Wildcats in a pair of CCHA contests. The Nov. 4-5 series in Marquette, Mich., will be played at the Berry Events Center with both games starting at 7:35 p.m. The Irish will bring a three-game winning streak into the series and are currently 5-2-0 overall and 3-1-0-0 in the CCHA. Notre Dame recorded its first series sweep of the season last weekend with 3-1 and 3-2 wins at Bowling Green. Northern Michigan lost a pair of games last weekend at Western Michigan, falling to the Broncos, 4-2, on Friday night before losing the second game, in overtime, 3-2, in the Saturday contest. The Wildcats come into the Notre Dame series with a 4-3-1 overall record and are 1-2-1-0 in the conference. Following this weekend's series, the Irish return home for four consecutive games. They open the homestand by playing host to the Alaska Nanooks on Nov. 11-12 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The Nov. 11 game has a 7:05 p.m. start time while the Nov. 12 contest will begin at 5:05 p.m.
IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: Notre Dame and Northern Michigan have met 50 times in the all-time series and the series can't be any more even than it is going into this weekend. The all-time series is even at 22-22-6. At Marquette, the series is even at 9-9-2. At Notre Dame, the series is even at 11-11-4 and on neutral ice, the series is tied at 2-2-0. The two teams met four times last season with the Irish winning three and losing once to the Wildcats. On Dec. 11 at the Joyce Center, Northern took a 3-2 win. The following night, the Irish bounced back with a 5-2 victory. The teams met Jan. 7-8 at the Berry Events Center and Notre Dame prevailed twice, winning 8-1 in the opener and 3-1 in the second game of the series.
EN FUEGO: Notre Dame's dynamic duo of Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) and T.J. Tynan (So., Orland Park, Ill.) turned in great months of October that have them among the national leaders in goals, assists and points to start the year. Lee has scored at least one goal and point (career highs) in each of his first seven games and leads the CCHA and the nation in goals with 10 and is second in the CCHA with three power-play goals. Lee has four games this season with two or more points and two games with two or more goals, including a hat trick on Oct. 21 at home against Rensselaer. Tynan has now scored a point in eight straight games (a career high) dating back to April 7 in the Frozen Four. During the streak, Tynan has three goals and 12 assists for 15 points. He leads the CCHA and the nation in assists (12) and points (14) through the end of October.
BOWLING GREEN RECAP: October 29 - Notre Dame was forced to rally from a 2-1 deficit after two periods and scored twice in the third to pull out a 3-2 win over Bowling Green in the second game of the series on Saturday night. Freshman Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska), sophomore Anders Lee and senior Patrick Gaul (Pittsburgh, Pa.) scored for the Irish in the win. After a scoreless first period, the Falcons took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Ryan Viselli at the 10:00 mark. Wuthrich tied the game at 12:41 of the middle period when he beat goaltender Andrew Hammond from the left face off circle for his third of the season to make it a 1-1 game. Bryce Williamson put the Falcons ahead at 19:40 of the second with his fourth of the season and second of the weekend. The Irish woke up in the third period with Lee's power-play goal at 7:02 for his 10th of the season. Gaul would get the game winner at 11:59 off a great set up from freshman Peter Schneider (Vienna, Austria) for his career-best second goal of the season. Goaltender Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) made it stand up as the Irish killed two late penalties and over a minute of Bowling Green playing with a sixth attacker. He finished the game with 19 saves while Hammond had 23 stops for the Falcons.
October 28 - Notre Dame used strong special teams play and saw a pair of freshmen score their first collegiate goals on the way to a 3-1 win versus Bowling Green on Friday night in the series opener. Sophomore Anders Lee started the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period for a 1-0 lead. The goal was his CCHA and nation-leading ninth of the year. In the second, the Notre Dame lead went to 2-0 when Garrett Peterson (Fr., Manhattan, Ill.) scored his first career goal off an assist from fellow freshman Peter Schneider. The Falcons cut the lead to 2-1 on a Bryce Williamson goal before the Irish added a third-period power-play goal off the stick of freshman defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.). Sophomore center T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) set up both power-play goals. The Irish were 2-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. They out shot Bowling Green, 25-18, in the game as junior goaltender Mike Johnson made 17 saves in picking up his third win of the season.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the weekend ranked fourth in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll while dropping to sixth in the USCHO.com poll despite a weekend road sweep at Bowling Green. Northern Michigan is receiving votes in the USA Today poll and is ranked 17th in the USCHO.com poll for the week of Oct. 31.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Through the first seven games this season, Notre Dame has scored at least one power-play goal in every game, including a season-high two on Oct. 28 in the 3-1 win at Bowling Green. For the year, the Irish are 8-for-36 with the man advantage for a 22.2% success rate. That ranks Notre Dame fourth in the CCHA and 17th in the nation. Over the last five games, the Irish have killed 22-of-24 (91.7%) opponent power-play chances, including 11 straight over the last three games. For the season, Notre Dame has now killed 30-of-35 power-play chances for an 85.7% success rate. That ranks the Irish seventh in the CCHA and 18th nationally.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE: After giving up four goals in a season-opening loss at Minnesota-Duluth, junior goaltender Mike Johnson has been stellar between the pipes in his last five appearances. In that span he has made four starts, playing a total of 267:02, going 4-0-0 while giving up seven goals with 78 saves for a 1.57 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. For the year, he is 4-1-0 with a 2.02 goals-against and a .906 save percentage.
PAT ON THE BACK: Senior center Patrick Gaul had the best weekend of his career at Bowling Green, scoring a goal and an assist for two points. He now has career highs in goals (2), assists (2) and points (4) this season. In Friday's 3-1 win, Gaul picked up his second assist of the season on Garrett Peterson's game-winning goal. In Saturday's 3-2 win over the Falcons, Gaul scored his second goal of the season, getting the third-period game winner. In just seven games this year, Gaul has four points after having just three points (a goal, two assists) in the first 48 games of his career.
FRESHMAN FIRSTS: Notre Dame's five-man freshman class has begun contributing to the team's early season success. Here is a look at the "firsts" of their careers.
#5 Robbie Russo - D First Game - vs. Minnesota-Duluth (10/7) First Point - vs. Minnesota-Duluth (10/8) First Assist - vs. Minnesota-Duluth (10/8) First Goal - vs. Bowling Green (10/28) First PPG - vs. Bowling Green (10/28)ON A TEAR: Junior center Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine's, Ont.) recorded his third multiple-point game with a pair of assists in the 3-2 win at Bowling Green. After missing the first two regular-season games with a lower body injury, Sheahan has picked up a goal and six assists for seven points in the first five games of his season.
MAD HATTER: Anders Lee recorded the second hat trick of his Notre Dame career in the 5-2 win over Rensselaer on Oct. 21. Lee scored the opening goal of the game, then broke a 1-1 tie with his second-period goal. He appeared to score his third goal in the third period but that was waved off on a questionable high stick on the puck call before he finished the trick with an empty net goal with 1:20 left in the game. His first hat trick came in his first career game on Oct. 8, 2010 versus Holy Cross in the Warrior Ice Breaker Classic in St. Louis, Mo.
CONFERENCE CALL: The Hockey East Association and the University of Notre Dame announced on Wednesday, Oct. 5 that the Fighting Irish have been accepted into the league as the 11th member school and will begin play in the 2013-14 campaign. The announcement came at a press conference on the ice at Notre Dame's new Compton Family Ice Arena.
In making the announcement, Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said, "It is not an overstatement to say that this is one of the most significant days in the history of our conference. The addition of new institutions is always exciting but Notre Dame brings a unique set of qualities and circumstances to the continued growth of our league. We are proud to welcome Notre Dame into the fold and we look forward to getting to the many details that come with this announcement."
Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said, "We are excited to be joining Hockey East beginning in the 2013-14 season. Many factors played a role in our decision, but three were of special importance to us. The first two were the critical issues of the student-athlete experience and Notre Dame's fit with the other schools in the conference. But of special importance in this instance, was our goal of giving our hockey program an unprecedented level of national exposure through our expanded partnership with the NBC Sports Group. Athletics at Notre Dame has always served as a platform for promoting the University."
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson added, "We are honored and pleased to join Hockey East for the 2013-14 season. The conference is an established league with a great tradition and outstanding programs that share Notre Dame's values. The exposure for our players and team in a major media and NHL market will be second to none. Hockey East's commitment to playing a smaller league schedule will allow us to enhance our home and non-conference schedule with traditional western and Big Ten rivals. This will allow us to bring great games to the Compton Family Ice Arena and create a more diverse, nationally-televised schedule. We are grateful to Joe Bertagna and the Hockey East Association members for this tremendous opportunity."
Notre Dame is currently a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and has had two stints with the CCHA during its 44 years of Division I hockey. The Irish first joined the conference from 1981-83 and then again in 1992 through the 2012-13 season. During that time, Notre Dame has won two CCHA regular-season and postseason tournament titles (2007 and 2009).
The current shift in conferences began with the Big Ten's decision to form their own hockey league beginning in 2013-14. That started the realignment process in both the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and the CCHA that has occurred this past summer and fall.
NEW HOME OF THE IRISH: The Compton Family Ice Arena became the new home of the Notre Dame hockey team on Tuesday, Oct. 18 when the Irish moved into the building at 5:30 p.m. that evening. The original announcement for the new building was made on Feb. 12, 2009 by Notre Dame executive vice-president John Affleck-Graves and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick after the University's Board of Trustees approved the plan. Work began in the spring of 2010 with the first steel erected in July of that year. On Sept. 11, 2010, a project blessing ceremony for the $50-million facility was held with many of the key benefactors in attendance. At the ceremony, Swarbrick, announced that the building would be named the Compton Family Ice Arena in honor of the generous donation from Kevin and Gayla Compton and their family. The Comptons are part of the ownership group of the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks. The Compton Family Ice Arena houses both the Charles "Lefty" Smith rink, within the new 5,022-person capacity main arena with a second sheet of ice (Olympic-sized) with limited seating availability. The majority of the general public arena seating will be of the chair-back variety. The facility will include offices for the Notre Dame coaching staff, a state-of-the art locker room suite that includes both wet and dry locker rooms, meeting rooms, a sports medicine area that includes hot and cold hydrotherapy, cardio and weight rooms, a players' lounge, equipment areas, video operations and a multi-purpose room that will be the location for weekly team Mass and serve as a study lounge and dining area. The arena also will feature a balcony level with a 200-seat, Irish pub-themed club called O'Briens, multiple concession areas on both levels, spacious restrooms and a merchandise shop. The Compton Family Ice Arena also will serve the Notre Dame and South Bend community as a place for the Irish Youth Hockey League (IYHL) and local figure skating groups to flourish. On campus it will become the home of club and interhall hockey, the figure skating club and intramural broomball, curling and physical education classes. Multiple locker rooms also will be available for campus and community use of the facility. Design and construction of the Compton Family Ice Arena are under the auspices of the Southfield, Mich., office of Barton Malow, a national design and construction services firm and their project partner Rossetti Architects, also of Southfield, Mich.
DEDICATION GAME: The University of Notre Dame will officially dedicate the Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday, Nov. 18 when the Irish play host to the Boston College Eagles at 7:35 p.m. The building will be blessed at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 18 with a dedication mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 3:30 p.m. and a reception and dinner at 4:45 and 5:15 p.m. at the South Dining Hall.
FINAL TOTALS: With the Oct. 14-15 split versus Ohio State, the Joyce Center era for the Irish hockey program ended with Notre Dame being 361-286-57 (.553) at the Joyce Center. Under Jeff Jackson, the Irish had a 66-32-13 (.653) record under the north dome.
LARGEST HOME CROWD: Opening night at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Oct. 21 saw the Irish play in front of the largest home crowd for Division I hockey in the program's history as a standing-room only gathering of 5,022 filled the new building for the 5-2 win over Rensselaer. The previous record crowd was 4,816 versus Wisconsin in the WCHA playoffs on March 10, 1973 at the Joyce Center. The Joyce Center had various seating configurations in its 44-year history with the final sell-out mark being 2,713 seats and 2,857 being a standing-room sell out.
SUCCESS OFF THE ICE: The NCAA released its annual Graduation Success Rate (GSR) measurements on Oct. 25 and the Notre Dame hockey team achieved a 95 GSR rating to rank second to Air Force among Division 1-A football playing institutions. Here are the FBS institutions with scores of 65 or higher in that category:
Score Institution 95 Notre Dame 94 Bowling Green 92 Boston College 84 U.S. Military Academy 82 Connecticut 77 Western Michigan 75 Michigan 73 Miami (Ohio) 68 Michigan State, MinnesotaAmong the top institutions overall, Notre Dame ranked first overall among FBS institutions with 50 or more percent of their sports registering 100 marks. The Irish had an 81.8% success rate to lead Wake Forest in second with a 78.5% mark.
CAREER HIGH: Junior defenseman Sam Calabrese (Park Ridge, Ill.) recorded a career-high three assists in the win over Rensselaer. The team's top scoring blue liner in 2010-11 with six goals and 12 assists for 18 points, Calabrese has five assists in seven games this season.
THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich continues to impress in the early part of the season as he recorded the first multiple-point game of his career in the win over Rensselaer on Oct. 21, assisting on a pair of goals. Wuthrich now has three goals and two assists for five points this season. He is also 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.
A PLUS FOR LORENZ: Defenseman Sean Lorenz (Sr., Littleton, Colo.) has picked up where he left off last season in the plus-minus category. The senior blue liner who is the reigning CCHA defensive defenseman of the year after recording a +33 last season, leads the Irish with a +5 this year after six games. He also has two goals and two assists for four points.
RANKINGS UPDATE: Notre Dame entered the 2011-12 season ranked second in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and first in the USCHO.com poll. The Irish finished the 2010-11 campaign ranked fourth in the final USA Today and USCHO.com polls. The number one ranking marks the sixth time in the program's history that the Irish were ranked for at least a week during a season. During the `06-'07 season, Notre Dame was ranked No. 1 for seven straight weeks from Feb. 5 to March 25. During the `08-'09 campaign, the Irish were No. 1 from Dec. 1 to Jan. 26, a span covering seven weeks. The Irish moved into first in the USA Today poll again on Feb. 23, 2009 for the second time that season and on March 15, 2009 were ranked No. 1 in the USCHO.com poll. The fifth time that Notre Dame was No. 1 came for one week in the 1976-77 season.
Week-by-week with the Irish this season:
2011-12 Irish National Rankings Date USA TODAY USCHO.com 9/26 2nd 1st 10/06 no poll no poll 10/10 2nd 2nd 10/17 5th 6th 10/24 5th 5th 10/31 4th 6thFOR OPENERS: The season-opening loss to Minnesota-Duluth, Notre Dame is now 21-21-2 in all-time season openers. In road season openers Notre Dame falls to 17-23-4 for the 44-year history of the program. After knocking off Ohio State at the Joyce Center on Oct. 14, the Irish are now 25-18-1 all-time in the home opener.
FULL HOUSE: With one sellout in the weekend series against Ohio State (Oct. 14-15), the Irish closed out the Joyce Center with sellouts in 17 of the last 21 games played there. During the 2010-11 season, Notre Dame sold out 16 of its 19 home games at the Joyce Center. A year ago, Notre Dame averaged 2,801 fans per game. Since Dec. 13, 2008, the Irish have recorded sellouts in 40 of their last 47 home games. A sellout at the Joyce Center is 2,713 with 2,857 capacity with standing room. Twice during the `09-'10 season - Jan. 15 vs. Michigan State and Jan. 29 against Nebraska-Omaha - 3,007 fans jammed into the Joyce Center. Prior to that number, the largest crowd to see an Irish hockey game was 3,310 on March of 1995 when Notre Dame play Illinois-Chicago. The following season, new seating was installed and capacity was reconfigured.
SHORT-HAND SUCCESS: T.J. Tynan's first goal of the season came short-handed in the win over Minnesota-Duluth and was the third of his career. In 2010-11, Tynan had two of Notre Dame's 13 short-handed goals. The 13 shorties tied Boston College for the national lead. The 13 short-handed tallies were the most for the Irish since setting a school record with 19 during the 1981-82 season.
CLASS OF THE CLASS: Notre Dame senior defenseman Sean Lorenz has been named one of 20 candidates 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 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. Last year's candidate, Calle Ridderwall `11, was a finalist for the award. Former Notre Dame goaltender David Brown `07 won the award in 2007.
CLUTCH SCORER: Sophomore left wing Anders Lee has continued his clutch scoring skills this season. His first goal in the win over Ohio State was the game winner, the first this season and the eighth of his career. Lee, who led the Irish with 24 goals, last season scored seven game winners to lead the team and the CCHA in `10-'11. Those seven game winners tied a Notre Dame single-season record that was set in 1989-90 by David Bankoske `93, who also had seven game-winning goals.