March 15, 2010
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame hockey seniors Brett Blatchford (Temperance, Mich.) and Dan Kissel (Crestwood, Ill.) began their professional hockey careers this past weekend. Blatchford signed an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Chicago Wolves while Kissel signed on with the East Coast Hockey League’s (ECHL) Bakersfield Condors.
Blatchford saw his first pro action on Saturday, March 13 with the Wolves in their 2-1 shootout win versus Houston. Kissel has played in three games for Bakersfield as the Condors had a three-game series with Las Vegas. He scored in his first pro game, a 5-4 loss, versus the Wranglers.
Both players were four-year regulars for the Irish with Blatchford being a member of the Notre Dame defense while Kissel patrolled the left wing during his career.
This season, Blatchford scored a career-high four goals and added 15 assists to tie for fifth on the team in scoring with 19 points. Two of his goals came on the power play and one was short-handed. His point totals tied him with Ian Cole for second among Irish blue liners in scoring.
For his career, the 23-year old defenseman played in 153 career games and scored six goals with 67 assists for 73 points and was +11. He was called for 37 penalties that resulted in 101 penalty minutes. His best season came in 2008-09 when he had a career-high 25 assists with no goals for 25 points.
Blatchford will graduate from Notre Dame in May with degrees in psychology and sociology from the College of Arts and Letters.
Kissel closed his Notre Dame career this season, playing in all 38 games and scored four goals with four assists for eight points. He had one power-play tally and a short-handed goal among his four markers.
In his four seasons, the 23-year old left wing played in 140 career games and scored 25 goals with 32 assists for 57 points while being +22 in those contests. He had five power-play goals, three short-handed goals and eight game winners during his career. The speedy forward was called for 32 penalties for 64 minutes. Kissel’s best season came in 2007-08 when he had career highs in goals (9), assists (14) and points (23). He was the winner of the team’s most improved player award that year.
Kissel will graduate from Notre Dame this May with a degree in Political Science.
The duo joins senior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) to give Notre Dame three players who have began pro careers since the Irish season came to an end on March 6 at Ohio State. Lawson signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on March 8 and began his pro career with the AHL’s Albany River Rats last weekend.