Nov. 19, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. - University of Notre Dame sophomore defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) and junior goaltender Steven Summerhays (Anchorage, Alaska) have been named the CCHA Gladiator defenseman of the week and the conference's goaltender of the week respectively for the week ending Nov. 18th. The Irish duo was instrumental in Notre Dame's sweep at Michigan on Nov. 15-16. That marked the first time since Feb. 3-4, 1978 that the Irish had won a series at Yost Arena.
Russo was part of a Notre Dame defensive unit that combined with Summerhays to limit Michigan's second-ranked offensive attack (4.22 goals per game) to just one goal each night while also playing his part in the Irish offensive attack. In Thursday's 3-1 win at Yost Arena, Russo assisted on Bryan Rust's (Jr., Novi, Mich.) game-winning goal. He had two shots on goal and was even on the night. In Friday's 4-1 win, Russo scored twice for the first multiple-goal game of his career. He had three shots on goal with a pair of blocked shots and was +2 for the game.
Russo gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead at 11:41 of the first period on the power play. His long shot from the right point beat Wolverine goaltender Steve Racine low to the ice and inside the left post for Russo's third goal of the season. He added an insurance goal into an empty net with 43 seconds left to close the scoring at 4-1 after Michigan pulled Racine in favor of a sixth attacker with two minutes left in the game. After 11 games this season, the talented blue liner already has equaled his goal out put of 2011-12 when he had four goals in 40 games. He is tied for second on the team in scoring with four goals and three assists for seven points. His 34 shots are second on the team and he is +3 for the season.
For Summerhays, this marks his second CCHA goaltender of the week award as he was honored for his play in the first week of the season (Oct. 15). Against Michigan, the junior stopped 52-of-54 shots in the two games for a .963 save percentage and one goal in each game. He helped Notre Dame's penalty killers stop all seven Wolverine power-play attempts in the series.
In the 3-1 win on Nov. 15, Summerhays stopped 24-of-25 shots with the lone Michigan goal coming off a turnover in his own zone. The Wolverines were 0-for-2 on the power play on the night.
In Friday's 4-1 win, the Irish goaltender stopped 28-of-29 shots with Michigan getting its only goal in the second period. Summerhays and his penalty-killing teammates stopped all five Wolverine power-play chances. In both games, the former Green Bay Gambler, kept the game tied until the third period when the Irish offense broke the contests open with two goals on Thursday and three on Friday.
For the season, Summerhays is now 7-3-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage plus two shutouts. He currently leads the CCHA in wins (7) and goals-against average (1.51). He is fourth in save percentage and tied for first with two shutouts.
Notre Dame is currently 8-3-0 overall and 5-1-0-0 in the CCHA for 15 points and is currently tied for second in the CCHA. The Irish are ranked sixth in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and the USCHO.com rankings. They open a six-game homestand this weekend, Nov. 23-24, when the Notre Dame plays host to the University of North Dakota at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Friday's game has a 7:35 p.m. start time while Saturday's game begins at 5:05 p.m.