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View Full Version : The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!



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IrishHockeyFan
01-16-2010, 08:28 AM
Although it appears we can't practice for an afternoon or play a game anymore without losing someone for the rest of the season, at least we know they can still play a little of what we've come to see as Notre Dame hockey.

Everything looked familiar. Faceoffs, special teams, establishing a forecheck, energy, coaching, everything that has been absent for too many games this year made a much needed appearance. Four seniors in particular played their most effective games of the season. Dan Kissel, Ryan Thang, Kyle Lawson, and Brett Blatchford all had the look of players who said "enough is enough" and played smart and focused hockey. I LOVE smart and focused hockey.

But it is only one game. We've seen games like this a couple of times this season, complete efforts and nice wins. But to really be Notre Dame hockey, the boys have to find a way to translate 60 minutes into a run. They have to find a way to carry it over night after night. The hole they've dug is still deep and last night was simply a single rung on the ladder.

masquedman
01-16-2010, 08:49 AM
I thought Johnson played well too, now as stated by so many can ND build on that and keep elevating their game?

Craig P.
01-16-2010, 09:43 AM
In addition to being a complete game, that was also a nice triumph of character last night. After kicking MSU's *** up and down the ice in the first period and having a one-goal deficit to show for it, they came out a little slow in the second and gave up a kind of flukey goal. Given the way the season is going, ND could have folded up their tents at that point, but instead they persevered, started hitting some corners with their shots, and got a great (and well-deserved) result.

crazy_guy_in_section_1
01-16-2010, 11:00 AM
Does anyone know the extent of Christiaan Minella's injury? He was limping off the ice & then on crutches after the game!

Craig P.
01-16-2010, 12:28 PM
Does anyone know the extent of Christiaan Minella's injury? He was limping off the ice & then on crutches after the game!

There was an aside in the SBT article on the game that Minella may be done for the season. :(

StillaLeafsFan
01-16-2010, 03:32 PM
There was an aside in the SBT article on the game that Minella may be done for the season. :(
The injury blurb at the bottom of today's hockey column on Irish Illustrated states that the injury could end his career. I really hope that's not the case. Regardless, the injury sounds bad. This team can't catch a break in the injury department this year (no pun intended)
http://notredame.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1040472

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
01-16-2010, 04:23 PM
It's odd because while watching the replay of the game today the camera had a great shot of the check that forced Minella to backhand the puck to a linemate (quite adeptly, I might add). There was no knee on knee or cheap shot and he backed into the boards...kinda hard, but not anything that would've made me look twice. Talk about a fluky, freak injury... Add to that Teddy Ruth with the "no go" tonight. StillaLeafsFan said it best...they can't buy a break. If this keeps up, Brian Brooke may need to dress...and skate out! :eek:

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
01-16-2010, 08:51 PM
Well, I can't really complain about the SO loss because it doesn't matter outside of the league. It's still a tie, and a well-fought tie for ND. I wish they could've held on to win, but to go down 3-0 and walk out of there with a point after scoring 4 unanswered (i.e. not giving up) goals bodes well. That and the fact that Ryan Thang got 4 goals in 2 games this weekend gives me a little hope.

There's still a lot of work to do, boys, starting up north.

IrishHockeyFan
01-16-2010, 11:41 PM
The shootout is mildly tolerable when your team wins. When it loses I find it virtually unwatchable. Double standard, I know.

Giving up a CCHA point here or there probably won't end up mattering a whole lot anyway, since the team has probably backed itself into a corner of the NCAA bubble that will see them in the NCAA tourney only through a CCHA playoff championship. It would take a pretty remarkable run to the finish of the season otherwise. Who knows, though.

This was a pretty productive weekend at any rate. To be able to overcome a 3-0 hole, on the road, in a place where Notre Dame doesn't find much success showed the team has found a higher gear than what they had been cruising in for most of the season. The potential for that remarkable finish exists.

Craig P.
01-17-2010, 12:50 PM
We're going to need to both win out the regular season and do something (not sure how much) in the CCHA tournament.

Every regular season result short of a win will increase how much we need to do in the tournament.

At this stage, we might almost be better off if we finish around 5th or 6th, hopefully get a good enough first round opponent to pad our RPI, though we would then also need to beat a decent team on the road in the second round.

IrishHockeyFan
01-18-2010, 05:49 PM
We're going to need to both win out the regular season and do something (not sure how much) in the CCHA tournament.

Every regular season result short of a win will increase how much we need to do in the tournament.

At this stage, we might almost be better off if we finish around 5th or 6th, hopefully get a good enough first round opponent to pad our RPI, though we would then also need to beat a decent team on the road in the second round.

As things stand now at least it looks like no CCHA win will need to be thrown out of the RPI calculations. Of course that is only because Notre Dame's own RPI is a little lower than we're used to seeing it.

Before the first puck dropped on the season I would have said a fifth place finish in the CCHA would have been extremely disappointing. As January winds down I'd have to say I'd be overjoyed with a fourth place finish.

My guess is winning out in the regular season would probably be enough to finish in 4th. But since that probably isn't going to happen (hey I did say probably :) ) I wonder how many losses will doom a chance at the first round bye? I would think anything less than an 8-2 finish would probably leave 4th place out of the mix. I think the best we can hope for is winning all 3 home games left, beating the two last place teams on the road, and hopefully taking at least 5 of the 9 points in the road games against Lake State and Michigan.

Any way you slice it, this is still a real deep hole for this team to work out of. We sweated out a late night waiting for that first tourney bid in 2004. Hopefully we'll at least have a chance on March 20th. Now we're spoiled, but it is more fun to exceed expectations than struggle to live up to them.

NDHockey9
01-18-2010, 07:40 PM
Congratulations to Nick Larson and Kyle Lawson for picking up weekly honors.

http://www.catcountry999.com/crew/crew02.php

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
01-19-2010, 06:21 PM
We're going to need to both win out the regular season and do something (not sure how much) in the CCHA tournament.


That's not only disheartening, but a mighty tall order. Not impossible to scale...but tall...

If any team has the talent to do it, it's this team.

(In the not-too-distant past, the team stepped up in fine fashion when its leading scorer went down with a season ending injury...IIRC, dished out by the same opponent) ND is now led by Calle Ridderwall in points, goals and PPG's. He has 19 points, 13 of which are goals, and 9 of those are the man-up variety. Kyle Lawson follows (I don't know why, but I hate it when defensemen are in the top 2-3 in scoring on a team...) with 18 points. ND has 9 guys in double digits in scoring. LSSU is led by Rick Schofield with 23 points. Close on his skates are Will Acton and Zac MacVoy, each with 20. The Lakers have 8 guys in double digits. After those first few, the teams are pretty interchangeable in point totals.

ND scores a healthy 20.4% of the time on the PP, while going 89.4% on the PK (2nd in the country). Ridderwall (9 PPG's) and Ryan Thang (6) lead ND on the PP. ND has scored 31 PPG's and allowed only 13 while scoring 2 shorties and allowing only 1. LSSU's PP is close to ND's at 19.3%. Their PK is also close at 86.2% (11th). They are led by Chad Nehring with 6 PPG's. They've scored 23 PPG's and given up 16. They've also scored 5 shorties while allowing 3.

ND's D is 6th in the country, allowing 2.27 G/game. They're scoring 2.38 G/game. Still anemic, but improving. LSSU allows 2.65 G/game while scoring 3.0 G/game. While it was nice to see Brad Phillips come in and do well for ND against MSU last weekend, Mike Johnson should be in net. His GA is 2.17 with a save % of .922. Brian Mahoney-Wilson has played the vast majority of games for the Lakers, and I assume that will continue as he garnered goalie of the week honors in the league this past weekend (as mentioned by NDHockey9, ND also earned honors for Lawson and Nick Larson). His GA is 2.59 with a save % of .917.

Once again, aside from one or two significant stats differences, the teams are quite similar. To (sort of) quote The Wolf from Pulp Fiction, "...so pretty please, with sugar on top...win the f*#@ing games."

IrishHockeyFan
01-19-2010, 08:59 PM
ND scores a healthy 20.4% of the time on the PP, while going 89.4% on the PK (2nd in the country).

If this team was as successful 5-5 as they are on special teams they'd be scoring 5 goals a game and would be without a loss... well, maybe not that good, but you get the point.


While it was nice to see Brad Phillips come in and do well for ND against MSU last weekend, Mike Johnson should be in net. His GA is 2.17 with a save % of .922.


I think Philips is going to get a start this weekend.

IrishHockeyFan
01-22-2010, 09:38 AM
Can it be? For the first time in weeks it seems we are going into a weekend series without a new injury (that we didn't already know about).

Lake State has a tough, tough finish to the season, back-to-back weekends with the top of the CCHA, series left against a lot of good teams, tough road trips... Notre Dame can overtake them in the standings by the end of the year, especially with a great showing this weekend. We need 5 points at minimum this weekend. It feels like anything less than that on any given weekend and we can eliminate a first round bye. My hope is that final weekend of the season against UM still has fourth place as a possibility. There isn't a game left on the schedule that isn't winnable. Make your own luck boys.

streaker
01-22-2010, 11:03 AM
Can it be? For the first time in weeks it seems we are going into a weekend series without a new injury (that we didn't already know about).

Lake State has a tough, tough finish to the season, back-to-back weekends with the top of the CCHA, series left against a lot of good teams, tough road trips... Notre Dame can overtake them in the standings by the end of the year, especially with a great showing this weekend. We need 5 points at minimum this weekend. It feels like anything less than that on any given weekend and we can eliminate a first round bye. My hope is that final weekend of the season against UM still has fourth place as a possibility. There isn't a game left on the schedule that isn't winnable. Make your own luck boys.

I don't believe in jinxes, but I thought once you get your guys healthy, you'll make a run. I see U-M and ND playing the last weekend of the season for the 4th spot. UA and LSSU have tough schedules, and the teams below us have brutal schedules. I could be wrong, but I think that outside of the top 3 teams, anything can happen. Hard to say who I want to win this weekend... ;)

IrishHockeyFan
01-22-2010, 04:08 PM
I don't believe in jinxes, but I thought once you get your guys healthy, you'll make a run. I see U-M and ND playing the last weekend of the season for the 4th spot. UA and LSSU have tough schedules, and the teams below us have brutal schedules. I could be wrong, but I think that outside of the top 3 teams, anything can happen. Hard to say who I want to win this weekend... ;)

If it comes down to it, the CCHA did a good job with the scheduling. What a weekend that could be, home and home, a couple of senior nights, winner gets a week off.

crazy_guy_in_section_1
01-22-2010, 08:22 PM
Congrats to Calle w/ his 2nd hat trick of the season! They said 6 is the highest number of goals in a game this season...! Does anyone know what the highest goals in a game is ever? someone asked me tonight and I thought I would ask!

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
01-22-2010, 08:35 PM
Holy crap. Ryan Thang. On fire. Again. Patrick Gaul. First goal. Kevin Nugent. First point. Calle. Calle. Calle.

Now this is stepping up to help out your fallen (former) leading scorer.

1 down. 9 to go.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
01-22-2010, 08:58 PM
Does anyone know what the highest goals in a game is ever? someone asked me tonight and I thought I would ask!

For ND? In the "modern" era (my lifetime), ND has scored in the double digits many, many times. 15 was the upper limit...and this was even against "real" teams.