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    Irish Close Out First Half With CCHA Series Against Ferris State

    FIGHTING IRISH Junior center Riley Sheahan takes a four-game point streak (1g, 3a) into the series against Ferris State.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Junior center Riley Sheahan takes a four-game point streak (1g, 3a) into the series against Ferris State.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Dec. 7, 2011

    Notre Dame, Ind. -

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    • The Games: #7/#7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-5-3/7-2-3-0) vs. #10/#9 Ferris State Bulldogs (10-5-1/6-5-1-0)

    • Date/Site/Time: Friday, December 9, 2011 • Ewigleben Ice Arena (2,493) • 7:05 p.m.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011 • Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) • 7:05 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 face off. Darin Pritchett will call the action for the Irish.

    • Internet: Audio/Video: Notre Dame will stream the audio for both games and video for Saturday's game live at und.com free of charge at und.com. Friday night's video will be streamed live at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com on a pay-per- view basis. Twitter: Follow the Irish icers on Twitter at ND_hockey.

    FIRST HALF FINALE: Notre Dame and Ferris State close out the first half of the 2011-12 season with a home-and-home series on Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10. On Friday night the Irish travel to Big Rapids, Mich., to face the Bulldogs in a 7:05 p.m. contest at Ewigleben Ice Arena. The two teams then meet on Saturday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena at Notre Dame with opening face off set for 7:05 p.m. The Irish enter the weekend in the midst of a three-game losing streak after falling twice last weekend in a non-league series versus Northeastern. They are 10-5-3 overall and 7-2-3-0 in the CCHA, good for 24 points and second place in the conference race. Notre Dame trails first-place Ohio State by five points in the standings. Ferris State enters the series having lost two in a row and three of its last four games. The Bulldogs are 10-5-1 overall and check in at 6-5-1-0 in the conference, good for 19 points and fifth-place in the CCHA. Following this weekend's series with Ferris State, Notre Dame takes a 21-day break for finals and the Christmas holidays. The Irish return to action on New Year's Eve when they play host to Boston University at the Compton Family Ice Arena in a game that will be televised nationally by Versus at 7:05 p.m.

    IRISH VERSUS BULLDOGS: Notre Dame and Ferris State have met 69 times all-time with the Bulldogs owning a 39-24-6 advantage in a series that began in 1981-82. In Big Rapids, Mich., Ferris State has a 14-12-2 lead in the series while at Notre Dame, the Bulldogs are 23-12-2 all-time. The Irish have won two straight and six of the last eight meetings between the two schools, dating back to the 2007-08 campaign. Last season, Notre Dame won both games at Ferris State, taking 3-2 and 5-2 wins on Feb. 18-19. In 2009-10, the Bulldogs won both meetings at the Joyce Center. The last time the Irish downed Ferris State at home was March 16, 2008, a 2-1 win in game three of the CCHA second-round series.

    WORLD JUNIORS: Two members of the Notre Dame roster - defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) and center T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) - have been selected to the preliminary roster for the U.S. World Junior National Team that will compete in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships from Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2012. The duo are part of a 29-man roster that will report to a pre-tournament selection camp in Camrose, Alta., on Dec. 17. With exhibition games scheduled against Russia (Dec. 20), Switzerland (Dec. 21) and Slovakia (Dec. 23), the roster will be cut to 22 for the championships that will be played in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.

    RANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the weekend ranked seventh in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com polls. FeRANKINGS: Notre Dame enters the weekend ranked seventh in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com polls. Ferris State enters the series ranked 10th in the USA Today poll and ninth in the USCHO.com poll. The Irish have been ranked in both polls all 10 weeks of the 2011-12 season.

    NORTHEASTERN RECAP: December 2: Notre Dame suffered its first-ever loss at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday, December 2, when Northeastern blasted the Irish by a 9-2 score. Twelve different Huskies got on the scoresheet in the victory as Braden Pimm and Garrett Vermeersch each scored twice while Adam Reid, Dan Cornell, Cody Ferriero, Justin Daniels and Drew Ellement scored single goals. Ludwig Karlsson and Steve Quailer added four and three assists respectively for Northeastern. T.J. Tynan and Nick Larson (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.) scored for Notre Dame. All three Notre Dame goaltenders - Mike Johnson (Jr., Verona, Wis.), Steven Summerhays (So., Anchorage, Alaska) and Joe Rogers (So., Marysville, Mich.) - got in the game with Johnson taking the loss after giving up three goals in the first 4:13 of the game. The Huskies scored four goals in the first period and the lead was 6-0 when Tynan scored on the power play at 19:47 of the second period to make it 6-1. In the third, the lead would go to 7-1 before Larson deflected a Kevin Lind (So., Homer Glen, Ill.) shot past goaltender Chris Rawley at 11:32 of the third. Northeastern would add two more goals for the 9-2 final score. The Irish out shot Northeastern 27-20 in the game.

    December 3: Steve Quailer's power-play goal at 5:19 of the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and goaltender Chris Rawley made 23 saves as Northeastern swept the series with a 2-1 win over Notre Dame in Saturday's contest. Riley Sheahan (Jr., St. Catharine's, Ont.) gave the Irish a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 3:05 of the second period. The lead lasted until the 13:02 mark when Braden Pimm scored to tie the game at 1-1. Quailer got his game winner when Garrett Vermeersch won a face off in the right circle back to the senior left wing. Quailer moved across the slot and fired a shot from between the circles that beat Mike Johnson for the game winner. Johnson stopped 13-of-15 shots in the game as the Irish outshot Northeastern, 24-15, on the night.

    THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame gave up nine or more goals in a game came on March 11, 2005 when the Irish dropped a 10-1 decision to Michigan in a first-round game of the first round of the CCHA playoffs. The most goals a Jeff Jackson team had ever given up was eight when the Irish lost to Michigan, 8-5, on Nov. 4, 2005, the fifth game of Jackson's tenure at Notre Dame.

    THREE-GAME SKID: The last time that the Irish lost three games in a row came during the 2009-10 season when Notre Dame lost three straight between Feb. 5-Feb. 16, 2010.

    MIDWAY POINT: Notre Dame enters the series with Ferris State having reached the midway point of the 2011-12 season. Here's how the Irish stack up compared to the 2010-11 season at the halfway point.

    
                            2011-12             2010-11
    Overall Record          10-5-3              10-6-2
    CCHA Record             7-2-3-0             8-4-1-1
    CCHA Points             24 pts.             26 pts.
    CCHA Standings          2nd                 3rd
    Goals For               55                  63
    Goals Against           50                  53
    Penalties/Minutes       83/204              113/278
    Power Play%             20.9                13.5%
    Penalty Kill%           83.9%               87.5%
    G Avg.                  2.72                2.92
    Save %                  .882                .887
    Top Goal Scorer         Lee (12)            Tynan (10)
    Top Assists             Tynan (19)          Guentzel (15)
    Top Points              Tynan (25)          Tynan (21)
    

    HERE COMES RILEY: While much of the attention in the scoring column has gone to T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee (Edina, Minn.) early in the season, a third member of the Irish attack has moved up the ranks to be third on the team and tied for fourth in the CCHA in scoring. Junior center Riley Sheahan, who started the season by missing the first two games with an injury has moved into a tie for fourth in scoring in the conference with five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in his 16 games played. His 12 assists are third best in the conference. Sheahan picked up the first multiple-goal game of his career on Nov. 15 against Western Michigan. Already this season, the 6-2, 212-pound center has five multiple-point games and now has 10 for his career. He goes into the series with Ferris State with a four-game point streak (1g, 3a).

    STREAK STOPPER: Sophomore right wing Bryan Rust (Novi, Mich.) saw his career-best four-game, goal-scoring streak snapped in Dec. 2 loss to Northeastern. Rust started his streak on Nov. 18 when he scored with 1.1 seconds left in overtime to give the Irish a 3-2 win over Boston College. On Nov. 22, his goal with 6:11 left on the clock at Western Michigan was the game-tying goal in a 2-2 overtime finish. He then added single goals in each game of the series at Lake Superior State last weekend. For the season, Rust now has five goals and two assists for seven points in 18 games. As a freshman in 2010-11, Rust had six goals and 13 assists for 19 points in 40 games.

    TURNING ON THE POWER: With power-play goals in both games of the series with Northeastern, Notre Dame has scored at least one power-play goal in 15 of the 18 games played this year with a season-high of three power-play goals in the Nov. 11 game with Alaska. The last time the Irish had three power-play goals in a game came on Jan. 7, 2011 when they were 3-for-7 in an 8-1 win at Northern Michigan. Notre Dame is now 18-for-86, a 20.9% success rate. That ranks the Irish third in the CCHA and 19th on the national level.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Notre Dame's penalty-killing unit bounced back from giving up three power-play goals on Nov. 26 at Lake Superior State to stop Northeastern on four power-play chances on Dec. 2. The Huskies then got a power-play goal for the game winner on Dec. 3 as the Irish killed four of five in that game. Prior to the Lake Superior game, the Irish had killed nine straight power plays and over a 13-game span were 35-of-38 (92.1%). For the year, Notre Dame has now killed 52-of-62 for an 84.1 % success rate. That ranks them eighth in the CCHA and tied for 23rd in the nation in penalty killing.

    SPREADING THE WEALTH: Notre Dame's 4-1 win over Lake Superior State on Nov. 25 was the 10th victory of the season for the Irish. In those 10 wins, 10 different players have scored the game-winning goal. During the 2010-11 season when Notre Dame had 25 wins, a total of 12 players had game-winning goals for the Irish.

    NATIONAL LETTERS-OF-INTENT: Irish head coach Jeff Jackson announced on Nov. 30 that Notre Dame has signed five student-athletes to national letters-of-intent. The five are: Thomas DiPauli (Woodridge, Ill.), Sam Herr (Hinsdale, Ill.), Vince Hinostroza (Bartlett, Ill.), Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) and Justin Wade (Aurora, Ill.). DiPauli is a 5-10, 183-pound center who currently plays for the USA Under-18 team in Ann Arbor, Mich. Herr (pronounced Hair) is a 6-1, 192-pound left wing who is in his second season with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. Hinostroza is a 5-10, 170-pound center who is in his second season with the USHL's Waterloo Blackhawks. Lucia is a 6-3, 195-pound left wing who currently plays for the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League. He is the son of University of Minnesota hockey coach and former Notre Dame defenseman, Don Lucia, a 1981 graduate. Wade rounds out the group and is a 6-2, 210-pound defenseman who is playing for the Fargo Force in the USHL. Those five join Steven Fogarty (Edina, Minn.) and Andy Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) who signed letters-of-intent last year but deferred attending Notre Dame until the fall of 2012. (For more information on the Irish recruiting class, check the Notre Dame website at und.com).

    
    BCHL
                                    GP    G     A    PTS   PIM
    Mario Lucia - Penticton 	25    20    30   50    18
    Steven Fogarty - Penticton	29    16    19   35    16
    

    USHL GP G A PTS PIM Sam Herr - Green Bay 17 3 13 16 20 Vince Hinostroza - Waterloo 17 5 6 11 21 Andy Ryan - Sioux City 21 2 8 10 16 Justin Wade - Fargo 21 0 1 1 18

    USA UNDER-18 GP G A PTS PIM Thomas DiPauli 23 4 5 9 10

    SLOW STARTS: For some reason, Notre Dame has shown a penchant for getting off to a slow start in games this season. In the first 18 games, the Irish have given up the first goal of the game 10 times. In those games, Notre Dame is 6-3-1.

    ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END: Junior goaltender Mike Johnson saw his personal career-high unbeaten streak come to an end in the 5-2 loss to Lake Superior State on Nov. 26. He has now lost three in a row after back-to-back losses to Northeastern on Dec. 2-3. In his three-game losing streak, Johnson has played 93:02, given up nine goals for a 5.80 goal-against average and has just 23 saves for a .719 save percentage. In his 10-game unbeaten streak (Oct. 14-Nov. 25), Johnson appeared in 12 games, making 11 starts. He was 7-0-3 in 665:40 minutes, giving up 21 goals with 234 saves for a 1.89 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. For the year, he is 7-4-3 with a 2.49 goals-against and a .893 save percentage.

    NATIONAL LEADERS: Center T.J. Tynan (So., Orland Park, Ill.) and left wing Anders Lee (So., Edina, Minn.) are among the nation's leaders in goals, assists, points and points per game leading into the Ferris State series. Tynan currently leads the CCHA and is tied for third nationally with 25 points (6g, 19a). His 1.39 points per game leads the CCHA and is 13th nationally. His 19 assists are tops in both the CCHA and the nation. Lee continues to lead the CCHA in goals with 12 and is tied for sixth nationally. He is third in the CCHA in points with 19 and his five power-play goals tie him for second in the CCHA and eighth on the national level.

    THE QUARTERBACK: Freshman defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) has quickly become the quarterback of the Notre Dame power play in his rookie season. The talented blueliner is tied for fourth on the team in power-play points with three goals and five assists for eight points. The point total ties him for fifth among all CCHA scorers and he and Lake Superior's Zack Trotman are the highest scoring power-play defensemen in the conference. For the year, Russo has played in all 18 games for Notre Dame and leads the defense in scoring with three goals and six assists for nine points.

    OVERTIME MAGIC: Five of Notre Dame's nine games during the month of November ended in overtime. In those games, the Irish were 2-0-3. Prior to the 2-2 tie with Western Michigan on Nov. 22, the Irish defeated Boston College, 3-2, in overtime. They also have an overtime win against Alaska (Nov. 12) and ties at Northern Michigan (Nov. 4-5). The tie with Western Michigan extended Notre Dame's unbeaten streak in overtime to 26 games (7-0-19) with the streak going back to March 21, 2008 when the Irish lost in overtime (2-1) to Miami in the CCHA semifinals. The Irish have not lost a CCHA regular-season game in overtime since a Jan. 8, 2005, 2-1 loss at Lake Superior. Last season, Notre Dame was 2-0-5 in overtime and this year the Irish are 2-0-3.

    SHOOTOUT BLUES: While the Irish have had success in overtime this season, taking a pair of wins, things aren't quite as good in the shootout. Notre Dame is 0-3 in the shootout this season and, in fact, the Irish haven't scored a goal in any of the three they have been in. Notre Dame is 0-for-8 to date, while losing a pair of 1-0 decisions and a 2-0 verdict to Western Michigan on Nov. 22.

    THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Freshman right wing Austin Wuthrich (Anchorage, Alaska) continues to put points on the board for the Irish as he picked up his 11th point of the season with an assist on Nick Larson's (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.) goal on Dec. 2 against Northeastern. Wuthrich is fifth on the team in scoring with four goals and seven assists for his 11 points. He currently ranks sixth among CCHA freshmen in scoring, just four points behind Ohio State's Ryan Dzingel and Miami' Austin Czarnik. The 6-1, 196-pound forward now has five points (1g, 4a) in his last six games. He was recently named to NHL Central Scouting's NCAA Watch List as a B Skater in the CCHA. Wuthrich 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.

    EVEN SLOWER STARTS: Notre Dame has trailed 2-0 in games five times this season and has rallied in three of them to be 3-2-0 in those contests. On Oct. 8 at Minnesota-Duluth, the Irish trailed 2-0 in the second period and rallied for a 5-3 win. On Oct. 14, Notre Dame trailed Ohio State, 2-0 in the first at home and came-from-behind to win 5-2. The following night, the Irish gave up two first-period goals and trailed 4-0 after two before scoring three in the third for a 4-3 loss. On Nov. 11, Alaska took a 2-0 lead 6:53 into the first period only to see Notre Dame rally for the 5-4 victory. On Dec. 2, the Irish trailed Northeastern, 2-0, early in the first period, 4-0, at the first intermission and 6-0 before scoring late in the second period. The Irish lost that game, 9-2.

     

     

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