Archive for NCAA – Notre Dame

2013/14 Hockey East Overall Standings & Upcoming Schedule


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For a second consecutive holiday season this winter, Providence College will be without the services of workhorse goaltender JON GILLIES (32) for the time being because the standout sophomore from South Portland, Maine, who was named an NCAA (East) Second Team All-America as a freshman for the Friars will, once again, be part of the United States squad competing at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships.
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As the short winter break that will conclude a few days after Christmas begins, there are, at present, no fewer than eight Hockey East teams ranked inside the nation’s Top 20 according to the latest “PairWise Comparison Ratings” chart, which is constantly updated by the good people over at College Hockey News. (www.collegehockeynews.com)

HOCKEY EAST overall standings
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12 wins … 2 losses … 3 ties ……….. # 1 – PROVIDENCE COLLEGE
10 wins … 4 losses … 2 ties ……….. # 6 – BOSTON COLLEGE
10 wins … 5 losses … 2 ties ……… # 10 – NORTHEASTERN
11 wins … 5 losses … 0 ties ……… # 12 – UMASS / LOWELL
10 wins … 7 losses … 1 ties ……… # 17 – NOTRE DAME

8 wins ….. 6 losses … 1 ties ………. # 16 – VERMONT
9 wins ….. 9 losses … 1 ties ………. # 18 – NEW HAMPSHIRE
9 wins ….. 6 losses … 1 ties ………. # 19 – MAINE

7 wins ….. 8 losses … 2 ties ………. # 28 – BOSTON UNIVERSITY
6 wins … 12 losses … 2 ties ………. # 38 – MASSACHUSETTS
4 wins ….. 9 losses … 2 ties ………. # 47 – MERRIMACK

(“PairWise” rankings as of December 22nd, 2013)

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Vermont right wing PETER MASSAR (11), the homegrown redshirt senior from Williston who began his NCAA career at Clarkson University before transferring out after his sophomore campaign, struggles to maintain posession of the puck under pressure from Northeastern Canadian legionnaire JOSH MANSON (3), the junior defenseman from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, who was the sixth round pick (# 160 overall) of the Anaheim Ducks at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft and is the son of a former rugged professional player with more than 1,100 NHL games to his credit, during the recent Hockey East tilt won by the visiting Huskies 3-0 at the Gunderson Fieldhouse in Burlington.
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Eight out of the eleven Hockey East teams will quickly return to the ice the first weekend after the arrival of Christmas Day as Boston College, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Providence, UMass-Lowell and Vermont will all be participating in a variety of holiday tournaments.

Boston College will be traveling to western Pennsylvania for the second annual THREE RIVERS CLASSIC hosted by the Consol Energy Center, the home of the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins. The Universities of Maine and New Hampshire, respectively, will be migrating south to participate in the 14th annual FLORIDA HOCKEY CLASSIC, a tournament which is always held in the little southwestern town of Estero (total population of roughly 18,000 people) at the Germain Arena (official capacity for 7,082 spectators), the regular rink of the East Coast Hockey League’s Florida Everblades. In the meantime, the University of Vermont are staying home on campus in Burlington to host the 17th installment of the CATAMOUNT CUP, a trophy which was first offered in December of 1990, and will be joined there by visiting Hockey East rival UMass-Lowell.

Northeastern University as well as Providence College are both heading north to attend the traditonal LEDYARD NATIONAL BANK CLASSIC party being thrown at the Thompson Arena in Hanover, New Hampshire, by the Ivy Leaguers of Dartmouth College while the University of Massachusetts will be making the short trip just beyond its southern border to skate in the 21st annual UCONN HOCKEY CLASSIC, an interesting four-team affiar which includes three of the four Division I schools from “the Constitution State” — host University of Connecticut, last season’s beaten NCAA Finalist Quinnipiac University as well as Sacred Heart University.

Dec 27 … Pittsburgh, PA …….. Boston College vs Bowling Green

Dec 28 … Pittsburgh, PA …….. Boston College vs unknown
Dec 28 … Estero, FL …………. Maine vs Princeton
Dec 28 … Burlington, VT …….. UMass – Lowell vs Canisius
Dec 28 … Estero, FL …………. New Hampshire vs Cornell
Dec 28 … Burlington, VT …….. Vermont vs Clarkson

Dec 29 … Estero, FL …………. Maine vs unknown
Dec 29 … Estero, FL …………. New Hampshire vs unknown
Dec 29 … Burlington, VT …….. Clarkson vs UMass-Lowell
Dec 29 … Hanover, NH ………. Northeastern vs Air Force
Dec 29 … Storrs, CT …………. Massachusetts vs Quinnipiac
Dec 29 … Burlington, VT …….. Vermont vs Canisius
Dec 29 … Hanover, NH ………. Providence vs Dartmouth

Dec 30 … Storrs, CT …………. Massachusetts vs unknown
Dec 30 … Hanover, NH ………. Northeastern vs unknown
Dec 30 … Hanover, NH ………. Providence vs unknown

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Boston College star left wing JOHNNY GAUDREAU (13), the prolific junior from Carneys Point, New Jersey, who was selected in the fourth round (# 104 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames and has piled up 55 goals and 123 points in 95 NCAA games to date since that time, is averaging nearly two full points per game for the Golden Eagles this season after being named an NCAA (East) First Team All-America as well as one of only finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award as a sophomore.
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HOCKEY EAST scoring leaders
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28 pts … 13 go … 15 as … 16 ga ……… Johnny GAUDREAU, Boston College
25 pts … 12 go … 13 as … 16 ga ……… Ross MAUERMAN, Providence
24 pts … 10 go … 14 as … 16 ga ……… Kevin HAYES, Boston College
24 pts … 13 go … 11 as … 17 ga ……… Kevin ROY, Northeastern
20 pts ….. 4 go … 16 as … 16 ga ……… Bill ARNOLD, Boston College
20 pts ….. 7 go … 13 as … 18 ga ……… Kevin GOUMAS, New Hampshire
20 pts … 11 go ….. 9 as … 19 ga ……… Nick SORKIN, New Hampshire
19 pts ….. 7 go … 12 as … 16 ga ……… Devin SHORE, Maine
19 pts ….. 4 go … 15 as … 19 ga ……… Trevor VAN RIEMSDYK, Maine
18 pts ….. 6 go … 12 as … 17 ga ……… Mike SZMATULA, Northeastern
15 pts ….. 7 go ….. 8 as … 16 ga ……… Ryan FITZGERALD, Boston College
15 pts ….. 8 go ….. 7 as … 17 ga ……… Braden PIMM, Northeastern
15 pts ….. 5 go … 10 as … 17 ga ……… Dalen HEDGES, Northeastern
15 pts ….. 3 go … 12 as … 18 ga ……… T.J. TYNAN, Notre Dame
15 pts ….. 9 go ….. 6 as … 19 ga ……… Grayson DOWNING, New Hampshire
14 pts ….. 3 go … 11 as … 12 ga ……… Vince HINOSTROZA, Notre Dame
14 pts ….. 3 go … 11 as … 15 ga ……… Connor LEEN, Maine
14 pts ….. 7 go ….. 7 as … 16 ga ……… Austin CANGELOSI, Boston College
14 pts ….. 7 go ….. 7 as … 16 ga ……… Ben HUTTON, Maine
14 pts ….. 4 go … 10 as … 20 ga ……… Conor SHEARY, Massachusetts

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University of Massachusetts – Lowell netminder CONNOR HELLEBUYCK (37), the fifth round (# 130 overall) choice of the Winnipeg Jets at the 2012 NHL Draft, has continued the same sort of form this term that saw the sophomore from Commerce, Michigan, earn all kinds of accolades as a freshman for the River Hawks last season including the award as Hockey East Goaltender of the Year as well as the Hockey East Tournament Most Valuable Player honor.
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HOCKEY EAST goaltending leaders
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1.72 avg … .947 svpct … 10 ga ……… Connor HELLEBUYCK, UMass-Lowell
1.81 avg … .931 svpct … 17 ga ……… Steve SUMMERHAYS, Notre Dame
1.82 avg … .933 svpct ….. 6 ga ……… Doug CARR, UMass-Lowell
1.88 avg … .941 svpct … 15 ga ……… Jon GILLIES, Providence
1.97 avg … .945 svpct … 13 ga ……… Clay WITT, Northeastern
1.99 avg … .924 svpct ….. 9 ga ……… Rasmus TIRRONEN, Merrimack
2.01 avg … .930 svpct ….. 5 ga ……… Brady HOFFMAN, Vermont
2.06 avg … .929 svpct … 15 ga ……… Martin OUELLETTE, Maine
2.13 avg … .922 svpct … 15 ga ……… Casey DESMITH, New Hampshire
2.31 avg … .911 svpct ….. 6 ga ……… Thatcher DEMKO, Boston College
2.40 avg … .919 svpct … 10 ga ……… Mike SANTAGUIDA, Vermont
2.49 avg … .929 svpct ….. 5 ga ……… Sean MCGUIRE, Boston Univ
2.58 avg … .917 svpct … 10 ga ……… Brian BILLETT, Boston College
2.61 avg … .929 svpct … 13 ga ……… Matt O’CONNOR, Boston Univ
2.66 avg … .914 svpct … 17 ga ……… Steve MASTALERZ, Massachusetts
2.73 avg … .884 svpct ….. 7 ga ……… Sam MAROTTA, Merrimack
2.89 avg … .883 svpct ….. 6 ga ……… Jeff WYER, New Hampshire

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University of Notre Dame goaltender STEVEN SUMMERHAYS (1), the undrafted senior from Anchorage, Alaska, who is having a career year, statistically speaking, in his final collegiate campaign for the Fighting Irish, focuses sharply on the airborne puck during the NCAA non-conference clash with the mighty University of Minnesota earlier this season at the Compton Family Center in South Bend, Indiana.

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St. Cloud State Throttles # 4 Notre Dame


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St. Cloud State defenseman NICK JENSEN (14), the homegrown junior from Roger who was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round (# 150 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, sweeps the puck away from Notre Dame’s imported Austrian right wing PETER SCHNEIDER (15) during the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal match watched by the crowd of 2,988 spectators at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
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Three goals inside of a five and a half minute span in the middle of the second period broke open a closely-checked, defensive-oriented struggle as WCHA runners-up ST. CLOUD STATE stormed to a convincing 5-1 triumph over reigning CCHA champion and # 4 ranked NOTRE DAME in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.

Notre Dame, who have now qualified for the annual NCAA tournament five times in the last seven seasons under head coach JEFF JACKSON and advanced to the Frozen Four on its last appearance in 2011, entered this year’s Midwest Regional Semifinal clash with St. Cloud State in the midst of a nine-game unbeaten streak. Furthermore, the Fighting Irish featured no fewer than a dozen skaters who have already been drafted by National Hockey League clubs. Meanwhile, the Huskies, who were only promoted from Division II to the elite level of college hockey in the late 1980s, had already qualified for the annual NCAA tournament on eight occasions prior to this season but had done very little as the school’s historical record of one win against eight losses would indicate.

Nevertheless, it would be St. Cloud State, who have five skaters that have already been reserved by NHL teams, scored the only goal of what was, relatively-speaking, a wide-open first period that saw the shots-on-target finish 11-10 in favor of the Huskies; left wing BEN HANOWSKI, the homegrown senior from Little Falls who was selected in the third round (# 63 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, cashed in on a rebound at the 11:32 mark and tallied his 17th goal of the season for St. Cloud State.

Notre Dame appeared to have tied the game less than half a minute later through its captain ANDERS LEE, the prolific junior from Edina, Minnesota, who led the Fighting Irish with both 20 goals and 38 points this, but the referees correctly disallowed the goal after the video evidence confirmed the New York Islanders’ prospect had kicked the puck into the net.

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Notre Dame goaltender STEVEN SUMMERHAYS, the undrafted junior from Anchorage, Alaska, who appeared in 36 games (2.01 avg, .919 save pct) for the Fighting Irish this season, has no chance as St. Cloud State left wing JOEY BENIK (9), the 21-year-old freshman who spent the previous two seasons on the other side of the border skating for the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League, nets the first of his two goals in the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal contest at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
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St. Cloud State doubled its lead on the power play roughly nine and a half minutes into the second period after a shot from the point right to left wing JOEY BENIK, the homegrown freshman from Andover who had scored just three goals in his first 21 games for the Huskies this season. The WCHA representatives from Minnesota struck again a little over four minutes later after Notre Dame turned the puck over behind its own goal line and St. Cloud State center CORY THORSON, the homegrown junior from Crystal, emerged at close range with the little black disc. Right wing JONNY BRODZINSKI, the homegrown freshman from Ham Lake, concluded the burst on an odd-man rush and netted his team-leading 22nd goal of the season to leave the Fighting Irish facing a massive 4-0 deficit with just over five minutes to skate in the second period.

Jackson attempted to rally his troops and, in a bid to change the sagging fortunes of the Fighting Irish, replaced the starting goaltender Summerhays, who had permitted three goals on only seven shots faced in the second period, with MIKE JOHNSON, the senior from Verona, Wisconsin, who appeared in exactly eight games (2.39 avg, .904 save pct) this season after having made 91 appearances his first three years at Notre Dame, to begin the final frame.

Three undisciplined penalties in the first six minutes of the last period made it very difficult for constantly-outmanned Notre Dame, who generated only three shots on target in the entire second period and just five in the final frame, to muster any kind of sustained attack. The Fighting Irish did, however, finally get on the scoreboard after right wing MIKE VORAN netted a shorthanded goal nearing the eight-minute mark of the third period but Notre Dame, who concluded its 2012/13 campaign with a record of 25 victories against 13 defeats with three draws, would come no closer. Yet another penalty to the Fighting Irish, in fact, would enable Benik to collect his second power play goal for unstoppable St. Cloud State.

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St. Cloud State captain DREW LEBLANC (19), the homegrown senior from Hermantown who would be selected as one of three finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award this season, passes the puck before Notre Dame right wing MIKE VORAN (16), the undrafted junior from Livonia, Michigan, who totaled five goals and a dozen points in 32 games for the Fighting Irish this term, can intervene during the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal contest at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
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NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal
Huntington Center – Toledo, Ohio
ST. CLOUD STATE 5 – NOTRE DAME 1

11:32 … STC – Hanowski 17 (Prochno, Kossila)
29:28 … STC – Benik 4 (Jensen, Hanowski) – ppg
33:35 … STC – Thorson 11 (Bertsch, Benik)
34:53 … STC – Brodzinski 22 (Murray)
47:44 … ND – Voran 5 (Rust) – shg
51:07 … STC – Benik 5 (Prow, Prochno) – ppg

NOTRE DAME : Summerhays (M. Johnson) – Lind, Johns ; E. Johnson, Russo ; Taker, Calabrese – Costello, Lee, Rust ; Lucia, Tynan, Wuthrich ; Larson, Gerths, Voran ; Di Pauli, Fogarty, Schneider

ST. CLOUD STATE : Farragher – Prochno, Jensen ; Gavel, Daly ; Rabey, Prow – Hanowski, LeBlanc, Kossila ; Murray, Dowd, Brodzinski ; Benik, Thorson, Bertsch ; Oliver, Morley, Holka

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Notre Dame Claims Final CCHA Crown


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Notre Dame center T.J. TYNAN (10), the junior out of Orland Park, Illinois, who was the third round choice (# 66 overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, looks to shield the puck from tenacious Michigan defenseman MAX BENNETT (23), the junior from Narragansett, Rhode Island, who was the third round selection (# 79 overall) of the Montreal Canadiens at the 2009 NHL Draft, during the departing Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s post-season tournament final contested at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
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Three unanswered goals in the second half of the contest left absolutely no doubt as to which side had been in command throughout as # 9 NOTRE DAME rallied past streaking MICHIGAN 3-1 in the 42nd and last-ever edition of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s post-season tournament final.

The Wolverines had entered this historical meeting with the Fighting Irish at the Joe Louis Arena having already knocked out Western Michigan, the defending CCHA playoff titlist from last season, as well as Miami University, the CCHA tournament champion in 2011 who just barely edged Notre Dame for the final CCHA regular season crown during this 2012/13 campaign. Nine victories on the trot had evened resurgent Michigan’s record for this term at 18 wins against 18 losses with three ties but victory over the Fighting Irish in Detroit was necessary if the Wolverines’ current record of 22 consecutive appearances at the annual NCAA tournament was to be extended. To put things in proper perspective, only eight of the 20 Notre Dame players in uniform for the 2013 CCHA playoff tournament final were even alive the last time that head coach RED BERENSON’s club failed to qualify for the NCAA’s post-season party on ice in 1990.

But, Notre Dame had already beaten Michigan in all four CCHA regular season contests earlier this term and were keen to wni the conference playoff title for only the third time in school history. And so it came as no great surprise that the Fighting Irish took the game straight to the Wolverines, as might be indicated by the shots-on-goal statistics (18-6) for the opening frame. Michigan were fortified by a strong effort between the pipes from STEVE RACINE, the 21-year-old freshman from Williamsville, New York, who had started all nine games for the Wolverines in conjunction with its current winning streak.

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Notre Dame goaltender STEVEN SUMMERHAYS (1), the junior shot-stopper from Anchorage, Alaska, makes a nifty save with his arm and hip to rob Michigan left wing JUSTIN SELMAN (10), the 19-year-old freshman from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, who totaled four goals and ten points in 30 games for the Wolverines this season, during the CCHA Final watched by the crowd of 9,576 spectators at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
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The Wolverines, who were aiming for the 10th CCHA tournament title in school history at the expense of the favored Fighting Irish, also managed to score the game’s first goal while skating a man short late in the first period, as well; Michigan right wing KEVIN LYNCH, the homegrown senior from Grosse Pointe who had three assists in the Wolverines’ 6-2 win over Miami University in the CCHA semifinals, started a rush which ended with junior DEREK DEBLOIS, the undrafted right wing from Narragansett, Rhode Island, swiping home a centering pass from highly-touted freshman defenseman JASON TROUBA with exactly one minute to play before the first intermission.

Notre Dame had also surrendered the first goal in their CCHA semifinal contest with underdog Ohio State, however, and were prepared to continue with their patient, disciplined style of hockey. Indeed, the Wolverines would generate even fewer shots on target (four) in the second period than it already had in the opening twenty minutes at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The Fighting Irish, meanwhile, hauled themselves level just a little past the halfway point of this 42nd CCHA Final after a point shot from defenseman STEPHEN JOHNS, the junior from Wampum, Pennsylvania, who was the second round pick (# 60 overall) of the Chicago Black Hawks at the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, missed the net completely.

Left wing JEFF COSTELLO controlled the rebound of the end boards and immediately sent the puck in front for Notre Dame captain ANDERS LEE and the junior from Edina, Minnesota, who was the sixth round selection (# 152 overall) of the New York Islanders at the 2009 NHL Draft had no trouble finding the back of the net for his team-leading 20th goal of the season at the 10:34 mark of the second session.

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Michigan defenseman JON MERRILL (24), the homegrown junior from Brighton who was the second round choice (# 38 overall) of the New Jersey Devils at the 2010 NHL Draft, leans on Notre Dame rookie center STEVEN FOGARTY (26), the freshman from Edina, Minnesota, who was tabbed by the New York Rangers in the third round (# 72 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, during the noteworthy CCHA Final at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
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For the game-winning goal in the last-ever Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoff tournament final, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame would be forced to wait until the puck dropped to start the third period — but not much longer thereafter.

Less than half a minute had elapsed when center T.J. TYNAN rushed the puck into the Michigan zone and dished off to youthful winger MARIO LUCIA, the talented freshman from Plymouth, Minnesota, who was taken in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild, on the right. The Wolverines defense swarmed the Notre Dame rookie with great haste but right wing AUSTIN WUTHRICH, the sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska, who was the fourth round choice (# 107 overall) of the Washington Capitals at the 2012 NHL Draft last summer, was on hand to fire the loose puck past the Michigan netminder Racine. From there on out, Notre Dame sought to protect what had already been gained and, accordingly, relied heavily on its goaltender, the undrafted junior STEVEN SUMMERHAYS, the rest of the way.

Costello, the third leading scorer for Notre Dame this season with 30 points despite having only played in 32 games, caught Michigan in the midst of pulling its goaltender and shot the puck into an unguarded net from long distance to clinch a memorable victory on behalf of the Fighting Irish. The 3-1 triumph over the Wolverines marked a third CCHA tournament title in Notre Dame school history and also made certain that the Fighting Irish will be making its xth all-time appearance at the annual NCAA tournament this spring. As for Notre Dame head coach JEFF JACKSON, who used to be in charge at Lake Superior State before taking over in South Bend, this particular 2013 Mason Cup success marks the seventh occasion that the 57-year-old skipper has steered his school to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association post-season tournament championship.

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Highly-regarded Michigan defenseman JACOB TROUBA (8), the homegrown freshman from Rochester who was the first round pick (# 9 overall) of the Winnipeg Jets at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft last summer as well as the third highest scorer for the Wolverines this season with 29 points (12 goals), hopes to steal the puck from Notre Dame left wing JEFF COSTELLO (11), the junior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who was the fifth round choice (# 146 overall) of the Ottawa Senators at the 2009 NHL Draft, during the very last Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoff tournament final at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
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CCHA Final
Joe Louis Arena – Detroit, Michigan
NOTRE DAME 3 – MICHIGAN 1

19:00 … MICH – DeBlois 11 (Trouba, K. Lynch) – shg
30:34 … ND – Lee 20 (Costello, Johns)
40:29 … ND – Wuthrich 5 (Lucia, Tynan)
58:53 … ND – Costello 11 (unassisted)

NOTRE DAME : Summerhays – Lind, Johns ; Johnson, Russo ; Taker, Calabrese – Costello, Lee, Rust ; Lucia, Tynan, Wuthrich ; Larson, Gerths, Nugent ; Di Pauli, Fogarty, Schneider

MICHIGAN : Racine – Bennett, Trouba ; Moffie, Merrill ; Szuma, Serville – Di Giuseppe, Nieves, K. Lynch ; Guptill, Copp, DeBlois ; Sinelli, Treais, Moffatt ; Selman, T. Lynch, Hyman

Notes — for this last-ever CCHA playoff tournament final, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame featured no less than 12 players who have been drafted by National Hockey League clubs while the opposing Michigan Wolverines deployed another 11 skaters who have already been reserved by the NHL professionals.

The CCHA all-tournament team chosen by officials featured Steve Racine of Michigan in goal, a defense pairing of Stephen Johns of Notre Dame and Jacob Trouba of Michigan as well as the forward line of Notre Dame’s T.J. Tynan and Austin Wuthrich along with Andrew Copp of Michigan.

Fighting Irish center T. J. Tynan was selected as the 2013 CCHA tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

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Notre Dame Overpowers Ohio State In Detroit


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Ohio State senior goaltender BRADY HJELLE (34) watches anxiouxly as the Buckeyes’ Canadian legionnaire JUSTIN DA SILVA (25), the 22-year-old sophomore defenseman from Cambridge, Ontraio, clears the puck away from Notre Dame captain ANDERS LEE (9), the junior center from Edina, Minnesota, who was chosen by the New York Islanders in the sixth round (# 152 overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Draft, during the CCHA tournament semifinal contest at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
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Sensational netminding from the senior who was chosen as the conference’s best goaltender on the season only the night before held the obvious underdogs in contention until the final period but a power play goal and an empty net strike put an end to all hopes of an upset as # 9 NOTRE DAME outlasted a defiant OHIO STATE 3-1 in the semifinals of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s last-ever playoff tournament.

It was Ohio State, of course, who were the very first CCHA tournament champions back in the spring of 1972 and the Buckeyes, quite naturally, had been entertaining thoughts of bookend titles before its move next season to the new Big Ten conference. As a direct result of its record of 16 wins and 16 losses with seven ties heading into the semifinal meeting with Notre Dame in Detroit, the only path to the annual NCAA tournament for head coach MARK OSIECKI’s club was if Ohio State could somehow win the CCHA playoff tournament for the only third time in school history. And so, the Buckeyes had everything to skate for at the Joe Louis Arena and remained unfazed even after the Fighting Irish came out flying in the first period.

Indeed, it was Ohio State who grabbed the lead (very much against the run of play) roughly ten minutes into the game after leading scorer RYAN DZINGEL worked the old give and go with right wing ANTHONY GRECO, the 19-year-old freshman from Fairbault, Minnesota. In fact, the sophomore left wing from Wheaton, Illinois, who was the seventh round seleciton of the Ottawa Senators at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft netted his 16th goal of this 2012/13 NCAA season on the Buckeyes’ very first shot of this CCHA semifinal. Unfortunately for Ohio State supporters, however, the celebration would be quite brief.

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Sophomore left wing RYAN DZINGEL (18), the 21-year-old Illinois native who finished second in scoring (33 games, 7 goals, 24 points) for the Buckeyes as a freshman arriving from the Land of The Galloping Ghost, led the Ohio State pucksters with both 16 goals and 38 points in 40 NCAA contests this season.
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This because the Fighting Irish, who had already lost to Ohio State 6-3 a day before drawing 2-2 with the Buckeyes in Columbus earlier this season, struck back less than sixty seconds after falling behind in Detroit. Significatnly, it was the checking line of Notre Dame that generated the equalizing 3-on-1 rush which Austria junior international PETER SCHNEIDER finished off perfectly with a low wrist shot. Quite some time would expire before Ohio State goaltender BRADY HJELLE, the 22-year-old senior from International Falls, Minnesota, would be beaten again, though.

The Buckeyes’ current number one this term had appeared in only eight games (2.53 avg, .922 save pct) as a junior for Ohio State a year ago after transferring from the University of Minnesota – Duluth, who, ironically enough, won the 2011 NCAA national championship while Hjelle was sitting out the collegiate season and tending the nets for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the United States Hockey League. Last year’s starter in Columbus was Cal Heeter (32 ga, 2.45 avg, .918 save pct), who is now guarding cages in the American Hockey League for the Adirondack Phantoms, the farm club of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers. Finally given his chance at Ohio State, Hjelle responded with a standout effort (34 ga, 2.00 avg, .935 save pct) and was subsequently honored as the CCHA’s Best Goaltender for this 2012/13 campaign.

Thanks in large part to a phenomenal effort from Hjelle, who finished with 41 saves in his final appearance for Ohio State, the Buckeyes went into the last period with Notre Dame and its dozen NHL draft picks all tied at one goal apiece. As a matter of fact, with only a bit more luck, Ohio State might have found themselves ahead in the second period after a backhander from left wing ALEX LIPPINCOTT, the homegrown junior from Akron who scored just once in 31 games for the Buckeyes this season, bounced off the post and rolled along the goal line. But it was not to be and Notre Dame goaltender STEVEN SUMMERHAYS soon recovered to neutralize the danger.

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Notre Dame’s imported right wing PETER SCHNEIDER, the rugged sophomore who has represented his native Austria at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships on two occasions, delivers a devastating shoulder check to Ohio State left wing MAX MCCORMICK (17), the sophomore from De Pere, Wisconsin, who was the sixth round choice (# 171 overall) of the Ottawa Senators at the 2011 NHL Draft and the second-leading goal-scorer (15) for the Buckeyes this season, during the CCHA semifinal clash at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
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Notre Dame right wing PETER SCHNEIDER (15), the 21-year-old sophomore who comes by way of Vienna, Austria, and is only the third European native to ever play NCAA ice hockey for the Fighting Irish, bumps fists at the bench after scoring a big goal against Ohio State in the first period of the CCHA semifinal at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
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Notre Dame, who would limit the stubborn Buckeyes to just seventeen shots on target for the entire CCHA semifinal contest, finally broke through early in the third period after Ohio State right wing DARIK ANGELI, the undrafted sophomore from Lakewood, Colorado, was sent to the penalty box for interference at the two-minute mark. Center T.J. TYNAN, the 21-year-old junior from Orland Park, Illinois, who was chosen by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third round (# 66 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, skated in from the point and threaded a shot past Hjelle to give the Fighting Irish its very first lead of this CCHA semifinal. The Buckeyes had managed to stay even for the first forty-four minutes but, for all its bravery on display at the Joe Louis Arena, never did really look like mounting a sincere rally.

Notre Dame left wing JEFF COSTELLO, the junior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who was the fifth round pick (# 146 overall) of the Ottawa Senators at the 2009 NHL Draft, wrapped things up for Notre Dame by shooting the puck into Ohio State’s empty net with roughly a minute to play in Detroit.

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Notre Dame center T.J. TYNAN (18)
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Ohio State’s beleaguered netminder BRADY HJELLE (34) despairs as Notre Dame center DAVID GERTHS (10), the decently-sized (6’0″ 217 lbs) but undrafted junior from Ankeny, Iowa, raises his stick to signal the decisive early third period power play goal scored by the Fighting Irish’s not-pictured T.J. Tynan during the CCHA playoff semifinal contest watched by a crowd of 10,164 spectators at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
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CCHA semifinal
Joe Louis Arena – Detroit, Michigan
NOTRE DAME 3 – OHIO STATE 1

09:56 … OSU – Dzingel 16 (Greco, Fritz)
10:52 … ND – Schneider 5 (Di Pauli)
43:50 … ND – Tynan 10 (Gerths, Calabrese)
58:55 … ND – Costello 10 (Tynan, Rust)

NOTRE DAME : Summerhays – Lind, Johns ; Johnson, Russo ; Taker, Calabrese – Costello, Lee, Rust ; Lucia, Tynan, Wuthrich ; Larson, Gerths, Nugent ; Di Pauli, Fogarty, Schneider

OHIO STATE : Hjelle – Gedig, Dalrymple ; McLean, Krogh ; Da Silva, Jardine – McCormick, Fritz, Szczechura ; Dzingel, Oddo, Greco ; Lippincott, Lundey, Angeli ; Johnson, Simpson, Crane

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Notre Dame Bounce Bowling Green, Crack Top Ten Polls


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Notre Dame BRYAN RUST (21), the NHL prospect whose 32 points (15 goals) are second on the Fighting Irish this season, is pursued by Bowling Green right wing ADAM BERKLE (13), the undrafted sophomore from Collegesville, Pennsylvania, during the Central Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal playoff round at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.
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Timely goal-scoring from BRYAN RUST and competent goaltending from STEVEN SUMMERHAYS powered hopeful NOTRE DAME to a two-game sweep of visiting BOWLING GREEN in the quarterfinals of the last-ever Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoff tournament.

Bowling Green’s senior Canadian legionnaire ANDREW HAMMOND, the undrafted 25-year-old by way of Surrey, British Columbia, stopped all 35 Notre Dame shots in regulation on Friday night but the Fighting Irish prevailed when Rust, the 20-year-old junior from Novi, Michigan, who was the third round pick (# 80 overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, scored just 1:22 into the overtime session.

Rust also found the back of the net for Notre Dame less than seven minutes into Saturday night’s tilt with the visitors from neighboring Ohio. Left wing NICK LARSON, the senior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, who was the fourth round choice (# 108 overall) of the Calgary Flames at the 2008 NHL Draft, added a second goal for the Fighting Irish before Bowling Green made a concentrated effort to get back into the series. Canadian legionnaire BRYCE WILLIAMSON, the junior right wing from Seba Beach, Alberta, and left wing BEN MURPHY, the 21-year-old freshman from Duxbury, Massachusetts, each scored goals to bring the Falcons level by the end of the second period.

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Bowling Green left wing DAN DESALVO (11), the productive little sophomore from Rolling Meadows, Illinois, who finished second in scoring for the Falcons with 25 points (5 goals) in 41 games this season, is denied by the outstretched left skate of Notre Dame goaltender STEVEN SUMMERHAYS (1), the junior from Anchorage, Alaska, who has appeared in 33 games (1.99 avg, .921 svpct) for the Fighting Irish this term, during the CCHA quarterfinal playoff series at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend.
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Rust, however, notched his third goal of this CCHA quarterfinal playoff series for the Fighting Irish on a penalty shot eight and a half minutes into the final period. And center ANDERS LEE, the junior from Edina, Minnesota, who was tabbed in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders, added a critical insurance marker for Notre Dame three and a half minutes later. It is the experienced Lee, to review, who tops the Fighting Irish with both 19 goals and 37 points this season.

A second goal of the night from Williamson brought Bowling Green to within 4-3 but would not save the Falcons, who concluded this 2012/13 NCAA campaign with a record of 15 wins against 21 losses with five ties, from elimination.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, improved its slate this term to 23 wins against a dozen setbacks with three ties. The Fighting Irish also moved up an impressive six places in the so-called “Pairwise Comparison Ratings” rankings going into the CCHA semifinals at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit this weekend. Notre Dame are also currently ranked # 9 by both the USA Today / College Hockey Magazine as well as the USCHO.COM national polls.

Indeed, head coach JEFF JACKSON, who steered Notre Dame to both of the CCHA tournament titles (in 2007 and 2009) that the Fighting Irish have claimed in school history, does have his charges in a seemingly good position to earn an NCAA tournament berth for the fifth time in the past seven seasons …

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