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    No. 15 Notre Dame Travels To Oxford, Ohio To Meet No. 1 Ranked Miami RedHawks

    FIGHTING IRISH Irish captain Ryan Thang scored on the power play against Bowling Green for his 24th career power-play goal.  That ties him for eighth on the all-time list with Brian Walsh '77.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Irish captain Ryan Thang scored on the power play against Bowling Green for his 24th career power-play goal. That ties him for eighth on the all-time list with Brian Walsh '77.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Dec. 2, 2009

    Notre Dame, Ind. -

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    • The Games: #15/#15 Notre Dame (7-5-4/4-2-4-2) at #1/#1 Miami (9-2-5/6-1-3-1)

    • Date/Site/Time: Fri.-Sat., December 4-5, 2009 • Steve Cady Arena • 7:35 p.m./7:05 p.m.

    • Broadcast Information: Radio: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on Cat Country 99.9 FM, starting with the pregame show 20 minutes before the opening face off. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish. Television: Both games of the series are being televised by the Ohio News Network (ONN) with the games being carried by Comcast. In South Bend, those games will be available on South Bend Comcast Channel 3.

    • Internet: Audio: Both games of the Miami series will have live audio streaming available free of charge at und.com. Live stats are available at und.com and on the CCHA website at ccha.com.

    IRISH TO FACE TOP-RANKED MIAMI: Notre Dame travels to Oxford, Ohio this weekend to take on the No. 1-ranked Miami RedHawks in a pair of games at Steve Cady Arena on Dec. 4 and 5. Game time on Friday is 7:35 p.m. while Saturday's opening face off is set for 7:05 p.m. Both games of the series will be televised by the Ohio News Network (ONN) and carried by Comcast in Michigan. The games also will be carried live on South Bend Comcast Cable's channel 3. The Irish are in the midst of a five-game unbeaten streak, going 2-0-3 since November 15. Notre Dame is 7-5-4 overall and 4-2-4-2 in the CCHA, good for fourth place in the standings with 18 points. Miami is 9-2-5 on the year and 6-1-3-1 in the conference, good for 22 points and first place in the CCHA, two points ahead of second-place Michigan State and four ahead of the Irish. Notre Dame enters the week ranked 15th in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and 14th in the USCHO.com rankings. Miami is ranked first in each poll and has been No. 1 in the nation for eight straight weeks. Following the Miami series, the Irish close out December with a home-and-home series against Michigan, Dec. 11 and 13.

    NOTRE DAME AND MIAMI: The Irish and the RedHawks have met 55 times in the all-time series with Miami holding a commanding 32-15-8 edge. At Oxford, Ohio, the Irish are 8-16-2 in 26 contests. The two teams met twice last season at Notre Dame with the RedHawks sweeping the Irish, 2-0 and 3-2 on Oct. 24-25. The Irish followed the two losses a year ago with a 20-game unbeaten streak (17-0-3). Miami has won four straight in the series and is 10-2-3 versus the Irish dating back to the start of the 2003-04 season. The last Notre Dame win in Oxford was on Nov. 9, 2007, a 2-1 victory.

    KNOCKING OFF NO. 1: This weekend's series with Miami marks the first time since April 10, 2009 that the Irish have faced the top-ranked team in the nation. On that night, at the NCAA Frozen Four in Denver, Colo., in the semifinals, Notre Dame defeated No. 1 Michigan, 5-4 in overtime. During that season, the Irish played five games against No. 1 teams, going 2-3, including a November split (W, 2-1, L, 1-3) with No. 1 Miami.

    IRISH WINS VERSUS No. 1: Here's a look at Notre Dame's wins in the past versus teams ranked No. 1 when they faced the Irish.

    4/10/08 - vs. Michigan, 5-4 ot (at Frozen Four)
    10/9/07 - at Miami, 2-1
    10/21/06 - vs. Boston College, 7-1
    10/22/04 - vs. Boston College, 3-2
    10/23/03 - at Boston College, 1-0
    1/3/99 - at North Dakota, 4-3
    11/20/78 - at Minnesota, 3-2
    1/13/78 - vs. Denver, 5-3
    1/18/74 - vs. Michigan Tech, 7-1
    2/24/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 4-3
    2/23/73 - vs. Wisconsin, 8-5
    

    BOWLING GREEN RECAP: Friday, November 27 - Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson (Verona, Wis.) stopped 20-of-21 Bowling Green shots and got goals from Kyle Palmieri (Fr., Montvale, N.J.) and Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) to as Notre Dame defeated the Falcons, 2-1, in overtime. Cole's game winner came with 2.4 seconds left in overtime to give the Irish the win. BG's Nathan Pageau scored on the Falcons' first shot of the game just 16 seconds into the contest to give Bowling Green an early lead. Palmieri picked up his fifth goal of the season and his third in as many games with a power-play goal at 4:07 of the second period. Notre Dame out shot the Falcons, 33-21. Nick Eno made 31 saves in goal for the Falcons.

    Saturday, November 28 - Junior left wing Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm, Sweden) recorded his first career hat trick and linemate Billy Maday (So., Burr Ridge, Ill.) added four assists as Notre Dame and Bowling Green battled to a 4-4 tie. The Falcons won the shoot-out, 1-0, for the extra point in the CCHA standings. The Irish jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of Ridderwall power-play goals. The Falcons tied the game with goals by Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Ian Ruel, 56 seconds apart at 5:04 and 6:00 to even the score, 2-2. Ridderwall put Notre Dame ahead with his third of the night at 8:45 of the second to give the Irish a 3-2 lead. In the third stanza, Bowling Green went ahead on goals by Tommy Dee (3:38) and Marc Rodriquez (9:53) only to see Ryan Thang (Sr., Edina, Minn.) tie the game with Notre Dame's third power-play goal of the game at 11:06. Junior Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) got the start in goal and made 13 stops in the first 50:09 before being pulled in favor of freshman Mike Johnson, who made eight saves in regulation and overtime. Nick Eno stopped 33-of-37 shots by the Irish. In the shoot-out, Samuels-Thomas scored the only goal for the Falcons.

    ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Notre Dame's trip to Miami this weekend will be just the fifth and sixth road games of the season for the Irish. Notre Dame is 2-1-1 in its first four road games this year. Last season, the Irish were 14-2-2 away from the Joyce Center, the best road record in the program's 42-year history.

    GOAL-SCORING MACHINE: Junior left wing Calle Ridderwall recorded his first career hat trick in Notre Dame's 4-4 tie with Bowling Green and now leads the Irish with 10 goals on the season. He is currently second among CCHA goal scorers and seventh in the nation. His six power-play goals tie him for the lead in the CCHA and tie him for second nationally. Over the last two seasons, he has scored 27 goals for Notre Dame with 17 of them coming via the power play. Ridderwall's hat trick on Nov. 28 was the first for an Irish player since Jan. 5, 2007 when Kevin Deeth (Sr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) scored three in a win over Robert Morris at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.

    LENDING A HELPING HAND: Sophomore right wing Billy Maday turned in a career high four-point and four-assist game in the 4-4 tie with Bowling Green. His previous best in both categories was two points and two assists. Maday's four-assist game was the first by a Notre Dame player since Erik Condra `09 had four assists on March 9, 2007. The four-point game was the first by an Irish player since Ian Cole (Jr., Ann Arbor, Mich.) had four points (2g, 2a) on Feb. 13, 2009 versus Northern Michigan. BEST OF THE BEST: Over the past three-plus seasons, the Notre Dame hockey program is tops in the nation in wins and winning percentage followed by Michigan and Miami. Since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Irish have won 97 games and own a .717 winning percentage over that period. Notre Dame leads Michigan (95) in wins and winning percentage (.701). Miami has 89 wins and a .684 winning percentage. Here are the top five teams by wins and winning percentage since 2006-07.

    
    WINS                   WINNING .PCT
    Notre Dame  97         Notre Dame (.717)
    Michigan  95           Michigan (.701)
    Miami  89              Miami (.684)
    North Dakota 84        Boston College (.642)
    Boston University 78   North Dakota (.640)
    Boston College 78
    

    DEFENSIVE DANDIES: Through the first 16 games this season, the Notre Dame defense has held opponents to two goals or less in 10 of them and has given up three or less in 15 of the 16 games. For the year, the Irish have given up just 30 goals for a 1.88 goals per game to rank second in the nation in team defense. The trio of Irish goaltenders - junior Brad Phillips, freshman Mike Johnson and senior Tommy O'Brien (Mokena, Ill.) own a 1.83 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage to go with the 7-5-4 record. Johnson's 1.35 goals-against average and .947 save percentage are tops in the nation.

    USA...USA...USA: Freshman right wing Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) is one of 29 players selected to the preliminary roster for the 2010 U.S. Junior National Team. The 29 players will participate in a three-day pre-tournament training camp Dec. 17-19 in Grand Forks, N.D. The tournament will run from Dec. 26, 2009 through Jan. 5, 2010 in Saskatoon and Regina, Sask. A 2009 first round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks, Palmieri has five goals and two assists for seven points in the first 16 games for the Irish. Since 2006-07, Notre Dame has had at least one player on the U.S. Junior National Team - Kyle Lawson (Sr., New Hudson, Mich.) in 2006-07, Ian Cole in `07-'08 and `08-'09 and Teddy Ruth (Jr., Naperville, Ill.) in `08-'09.

    OVERTIME MARKS: Four of Notre Dame's last five games have gone into overtime with one game decided in the extra session and three going to a shoot-out. For the season, the Irish are 1-0-4 in overtime games. In the four shoot-outs to date, Notre Dame is 2-2. The overtime win on Nov. 27 versus Bowling Green was the first for the Irish since Feb. 20, 2009 at Nebraska-Omaha, a 4-3 win. Notre Dame is now 3-0-7 in overtime since its last overtime loss, a 2-1 decision to Miami on March 21, 2008, in the CCHA semifinal game.

    ON A ROLL: Over the last five games, Notre Dame's penalty killers have killed 24 straight power-play chances and for the year are 68-of-74 for a 91.4% success rate that is second best in the nation and tops in the CCHA. On Nov. 19 at Michigan State, the final stat sheet showed that Notre Dame was 4-for-4 killing penalties. Behind that number is the fact that the Irish had to kill a pair of five-minute majors and one 5X3 power-play for a full two minutes. On the night, Michigan State had 9:57 of power-play time while the Irish had just 2:17. Versus Bowling Green last weekend, Notre Dame was 5-for-5 in each game against the Falcons.

    THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson has gotten his collegiate career off to a fast start through the first 16 games of the season. In eight games, including seven starts, Johnson is 4-2-2 with a 1.35 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage with one shutout. Johnson recorded a shutout versus Providence College on Oct. 16 in his first career start. His 1.35 goals-against average and .947 save percentage are tops in the nation so far this year.

    HERE COMES THE FUTURE: Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson has announced that nine players have signed national letters-of-intent to begin playing hockey at Notre Dame over the next two seasons. The list included three defensemen and six forwards. The defensemen are Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.), Kevin Lind (Homer Glen, Ill.) and Jarred Tinordi (Millersville, Md.) and the forwards include Jeff Costello (Milwaukee, Wis.), David Gerths (Ankeny, Iowa), Anders Lee (Edina, Minn.), Garrett Peterson (Manhattan, Ill.), Bryan Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.). In making the announcement, Jackson said, "We're very excited about this class of players and over the next two years they will have an impact on the next phase of our program. This class gives us a nice balance of skill, grit and size for the future." Three members of the incoming class - Johns, Rust and Tinordi - play for USA Hockey's National Team Developmental Program. The other six are all currently playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL). Two members of this group - Costello and Lee - have already been drafted by National Hockey League teams in the 2009 Entry Draft and four are currently listed by the National Hockey League's Central Scouting in their preliminary rankings - Johns, Rust, Tinordi and Kevin Lind. For more information on the nine players check the Notre Dame website at und.com.

    
    USHL                            GP    G    A   PTS   PIM
    Jeff Costello - Cedar Rapids    15    9    7    16    34
    David Gerths - Lincoln          16    2    9    11    10
    Anders Lee - Green Bay          19   12    8    20    22
    Kevin Lind - Chicago            15    2    4     6    21
    Garrett Peterson - Lincoln      18    2    0     2    45
    T. J. Tynan - Des Moines        20    9   25    34    14
    

    USA UNDER-18 GP G A PTS PIM Stephen Johns 24 1 6 7 22 Bryan Rust 24 9 7 16 10 Jarred Tinordi 24 1 5 6 36

    HIGHLY RANKED: Notre Dame freshman center Riley Sheahan (St. Catharine's, Ont.) is the lone CCHA player with an A ranking in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players in the NCAA. The highly ranked freshman has three goals and seven assists for 10 points in his first 16 games this season.

    HOME ICE STRUGGLES: After going 1-0-1 last weekend versus Bowling Green, the Irish are now 4-4-3 in their first 11 home games this season. During the 2008-09 campaign, the Irish were 13-3-2 at the Joyce Center and over the previous three seasons owned a 37-9-7 mark on home ice.

    SCORING DROUGHT: Through the first 16 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored a total of 38 goals. The Irish have scored goals via the power play in 13 of their first 16 games and going into the Miami series, have 18 power-play goals and one short-handed goal to go with 19 even-strength goals. Notre Dame has scored four or more goals in just two games this season. For the year, the Irish are averaging 2.38 goals-per game and the offensive attack is tied for 47th in the nation.

    TOUGH TICKET: Friday's standing room-only crowd of 2,857 was the seventh sellout crowd for Notre Dame in 11 home games this season. The Irish have now sold out 16 of their last 20 home games dating back to Dec. 13, 2008 versus Bowling Green. This season's opening night crowd of 2,994 against Alabama-Huntsville is the largest crowd to see a home opener since 1995 as the building's seating capacity was reconfigured following that year with 2,713 being a sellout since then. Through 11 games, the Irish are averaging 2,685 per game.

    DEETH TOPS 100: Senior center Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) became the 44th player in the 42-year history of the Notre Dame hockey program to reach 100 points for his career on Oct. 23. His assist on Calle Ridderwall's first-period goal gave Deeth 32 goals and 68 assists for his 100th career point. He reached that mark in 133 games. Deeth now has 106 career points and is 39th on the all-time points list. Right behind him is senior teammate Ryan Thang who has now played in 135 career games, scoring 51 goals with 46 assists for 97 points. He needs just four assists to join the 50/50 club for players with 50 goals and 50 assists in a career.

    CHART CLIMBING: Senior captain Ryan Thang recorded his third power-play goal of the season on Nov. 28 versus Bowling Green as he scored the game-tying goal at 11:06 of the third period. The goal was the 24th power-play goal of Thang's career and moved him into a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Brian Walsh `77. The top nine on the list look like this:

    
    Power-Play Goals
    Name (Seasons)                     PPG
    1.  Greg Meredith (1976-80)         43
    2.  Dave Poulin (1978-82)           32
    3.  Mike McNeill (1984-88)          31
    4.  Lou Zadra (1988-92)             28
    5.  Aniket Dhadphale (1995-99)      25
        Tim Kuehl (1986-90)             25
        Kirt Bjork (1979-83)            25
    8.  Ryan Thang (2006- )             24
        Brian Walsh (1973-77)           24
    

    CHART-CLIMBING, PART TWO: Notre Dame defenseman Kyle Lawson leads Irish defensemen in scoring and is tied for fourth in the CCHA among defensemen with three goals and eight assists for 11 points. For his career, Lawson has played in 139 games with 16 goals and 63 assists for 79 career points. He is moving closer to the top 10 in scoring among Notre Dame defensemen.

    
    Points By A Defenseman
    Name (Seasons)                       G     A    Pts
    1.  John Schmidt (1978-82)          28    95    123
    2.  Jeff Brownschidle (1977-81)     39    92    122
    3.  Jack Brownschidle (1973-77)     31    78    109
    4.  Bob Thebeau (1982-86)           40    63    103
    5.  Paul Clarke (1973-77)           38    62    100
    6.  Bill Green (1969-73)            30	  66     96
        Kevin Markovitz (1986-90)       24    72     96
    8.  Bill Nyrop (1970-74)            17    72     89
    9.  Benoit Cotnoir (1995-99)        28    60     88
    10. Brett Lebda (2000-04)           26    59     85
      - Kyle Lawson (2006-)             16    63     79
    

    SWEEPLESS IN SOUTH BEND: On Nov. 16, for the third time this season, Notre Dame found itself in a position that it hasn't been in very often over the last four seasons - looking at a possible opponent sweep. Since Jeff Jackson took over behind the Irish bench for the 2005-06 season, the Irish have lost back-to-back games on a weekend just eight times. Five of those series losses came during the 2005-06 season with two coming in 2007-08 and one last year (2008-09). The last time the Irish dropped a weekend series came on Oct. 24-25, 2008 when they lost twice to Miami at the Joyce Center.

    BACK BETWEEN THE PIPES: The second half of Notre Dame's 1-2 punch in goal - junior Brad Phillips has had a successful return to the Notre Dame lineup this season. The 6-2, 187-pound goaltender missed all of last season due to a knee injury suffered in the 2008-09 preseason that required surgery. Phillips, who made five starts in his freshman year (2007-08) and was 4-1-0 with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage to go with one shutout, has started eight games this season and is 2-3-2 with a 2.26 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage with one shutout. In his last outing (Nov. 28), Phillips gave up four goals with 13 saves in 50:09 of playing time in a 4-4 tie with Bowling Green.

    CLOSE ONES: With the 2-1 overtime win versus Bowling Green on Nov. 27, Notre Dame improved to 2-4 this season in one-goal games. During the 2008-09 campaign, the Irish were 11-2 in games decided by one goal.

    RING(EL) THE BELL: Sophomore defenseman Eric Ringel (Hinckley, Ohio) recorded his first career point with the Irish when he assisted on a Calle Ridderwall goal in the 4-4 tie with Bowling Green. After playing in just six games as a freshman, Ringel has become a regular on the Irish defense, playing in 15 of the team's 16 games.

    HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Notre Dame's game versus Michigan State at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 22 marked the third time the Irish had played there. They are now 2-1 all-time at the Ft. Wayne building. Notre Dame first played there on Feb. 18, 2005, dropping a 9-2 decision to Michigan in front of 7,948 fans. The Irish returned on Dec. 30, 2006 and defeated Northern Michigan, 4-3, with a crowd of 3,134 on hand for the contest. This time, Notre Dame prevailed, 4-1, on Nov. 22 with a 3,572 in attendance. Notre Dame, the Allen Co. War Memorial Coliseum and the city of Ft. Wayne will serve as cohosts of the 2010 NCAA Hockey Midwest Regional on March 27-28, 2010.

    IN A RUT: Notre Dame's 4-1 win over Michigan State (Nov. 19) snapped a four-game winless skid (0-2-2) for the Irish. That was the longest winless streak since Feb. 16-Feb. 29, 2008 when they were 0-2-2 over that four-game span.

    FRESHMEN SCORERS: Freshmen forwards Kyle Palmieri and Riley Sheahan each scored a goal in the 4-1 win over Michigan State. That marked the first time since the season opener that the dynamic duo each scored in the same game.

    BACK-TO-BACK: Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson made three consecutive starts in goal for the Irish from Nov. 6 through Nov. 14 for the first time in his career. On Friday, Nov. 6, Johnson made a career-high 35 saves in the 3-2 win over the Nanooks. Included were 16 saves in the third period as the Irish were out shot, 16-3, in the final stanza. On Saturday, Nov. 7, Johnson gave up two goals on 23 shots in a 3-1 loss to Alaska. On Nov. 14, he made 15 saves in a 3-2 loss to Northern Michigan. In the three-game span he was 1-2-0 with a 2.34 goals against and a .910 save percentage. On Nov. 19, Johnson played in his first CCHA shoot-out, stopping three-of-four shots in a 2-1 shoot-out win for the Irish.

    MADAY TO THE RESCUE: Trailing 2-0 to Northern Michigan on Nov. 15, the Irish turned to sophomore Billy Maday to jump start the offense. His power-play goal at 8:42 of the second period cut the lead to 2-1 and his four-on-four tally at 2:36 of the third tied the game at 2-2. In the shoot out, Maday scored Notre Dame's first goal of the shoot out (he's scored on four of seven shoot out attempts in two seasons) as the Irish picked up the extra point with a 2-1 win. The two-goal game was the second of Maday's career. He leads the team in scoring with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points.

    STEALING THE SHOW: Junior goaltender Brad Phillips made a career-high 34 saves as he handed the Boston University Terriers a 3-0 loss at Agganis Arena. Phillips got all the offensive support he needed in the second period when Billy Maday (So., Burr Ridge, Ill.) and Ben Ryan scored 12 seconds apart to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. Calle Ridderwall added a power-play goal in the third period for the 3-0 final score. Maday, Ryan and Ridderwall each had a goal and an assist in the game. Phillips made 27 of his 34 saves in the first and third periods, including 17 in the final stanza. Notre Dame was 8-for-8 killing penalties on the night and 1-for-6 on the power play. BU out shot the Irish, 34-16, in the game. The win was the first-ever for the Friars against Boston University (1-2-0 all-time).

    STINGY IRISH: Over the last three seasons, the Irish have been ranked first in the nation twice with lowest goals-against average. For the 2006-07 season, Notre Dame was best in the nation with a 1.67 goals against. The Irish followed that in 2007-08 with a 2.13 goals-against average to rank fifth in the country and last year the goals-against average was best with a 1.73 average. Through the first 16 games of the 2009-10 season, the Irish are second in the nation, giving up just 1.83 goals per game.

     

     

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