Dec. 17, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. -
University of Notre Dame hockey junior defenseman Shayne Taker (Surrey, B.C.) has been selected as the CCHA Gladiator Defenseman of the Week as he helped the Irish to their sixth consecutive win in a 4-1 win at Bowling Green on December 15.
In the only game of the week for Notre Dame, Taker scored a goal and added an assist for a career-best two-point night. He took two shots on goal, had one blocked shot and was +1 in the Irish road victory.
The win in the final game before the Christmas break extended Notre Dame's current winning streak to six straight and eight victories in the last nine outing since November 4. The Irish also have won eight straight CCHA conference games. On the season, Notre Dame is now 14-4-0 overall and 10-1-0-0 in the CCHA, good for 30 points and a first-place tie with Miami. The Irish have three games in hand on the RedHawks.
Against Bowling Green, the 6-4, 201-pound defenseman helped set up Bryan Rust's (Jr., Novi, Mich.) game-winning goal on the power play in the second period. Taker moved the puck from the left point with a quick pass to Jeff Costello (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis.) on the goal line to the right of Bowling Green goaltender Andrew Hammond. Costello passed across the front of the goal to Rust at the bottom of the left circle who one-timed a wrist shot inside the left post for his fifth goal of the season at 11:52 to give Notre Dame the 2-1 lead it never relinquished.
In the third period, Taker added an insurance goal on the power play as he moved in from the left point to snap a pass from Costello under the cross bar at 15:14 for his first goal of the year to close the scoring at 4-1. The goal snapped a 44-game goal-less drought for Taker who last scored on Nov. 18, 2011 versus Boston College at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
For the season, Taker has played in all 18 games with one goal and six assists for seven points. He has 35 shots on goal and is +4 on the season. His 13 blocked shots tie him for fourth on the team in that category. He is part of a defensive corps that has allowed just 29 goals in 18 games this season. Defensively, Notre Dame ranks first in the CCHA in scoring defense, surrendering just 1.61 goals per game. That ranks the Irish second in the nation in team defense.
Notre Dame now breaks for the Christmas holidays and will not be in action again until, Tuesday, Jan. 8 when the Irish travel to Minnesota to face the Golden Gophers at Mariucci Arena. Game time is set for 7:07 p.m. (CT).