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Hockey: Irish announce senior Lavin as team captain

Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Irish coach Jeff Jackson announced his selections as captains and alternates for the upcoming 2010-11 season Monday. Senior defenseman Joe Lavin will wear the ‘C’ for the Irish, while classmates Calle Ridderwall, Ben Ryan and Ryan Guentzel will serve as alternates.

Lavin only joined the Irish for the second half of last season after starting his career at Providence and playing one and a half seasons for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL).

Despite playing only 18 games for Notre Dame last season, Lavin scored three goals and seven assists. He will be the only senior defenseman on the Irish roster this season.

“Joe [Lavin] was a unanimous choice by the players to be team captain and the coaches agreed,” Jackson said to und.com. “That says an awful lot about a young man who transferred in here at midseason and the kind of impact he has had since arriving and over the summer months.”

Ridderwall, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, led the Irish in goals (19), points (27) and shots (132) last season. In 114 career games, Ridderwall has tallied 41 goals, including a dramatic overtime game-winner in the 2008 national semifinal that propelled the Irish into the national championship game. As a right wing, he also led the CCHA last year with 11 power-play goals.

“Calle [Ridderwall] has made great strides in his four years here as a player on the ice, in the weight room and in the classroom,” Jackson said. “He leads by example with his work ethic and his tenacity in the way he plays the game.”

Ryan has played in 115 career games for Notre Dame,

scoring 29 goals. The center has also shown a knack for scoring when in matters most, with seven career game-winning goals. Ryan will also likely handle a majority of the faceoff duties for the Irish this season.

“[Ryan] has taken a very proactive approach to getting our team back to a high level in giving back to the community,” Jackson said. “I’m very proud of where Ben is right now. I expect him to be one of our top players and have a strong presence in the locker room.”

Guentzel rounds out the Irish leadership corps for the upcoming season. Playing at right wing, Guentzel has seen action in 100 career games, with four goals and 17 assists to his name. While he may not put up gaudy statistics, Guentzel garnered praise for his versatility and leadership off the ice.

“He’s played a modest role for us since he’s been here but has always had a good attitude and a strong understanding of the game,” Jackson said. “He’s one of the vocal guys in the locker room. He understands what we need to do and how we need to do it as far as doing the right thing.”

Notre Dame will take the ice for the first time this season Friday in an exhibition game against the University of Guelph. The Irish will kick off their regular season slate Oct. 8 when they take part in the Warrior College Hockey Ice Breaker Tournament in St. Louis.