October 23, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior goaltender Forrest Karr posted the first shutout of his career and the Notre Dame offense managed three goals despite seeing its potent power play held in check, as the #8-ranked Irish hockey team remained unbeaten with a 3-0 victory over #9 Ohio State in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Friday night at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse. Notre Dame (6-0-0, 5-0-0 CCHA) is comfortably atop the early conference standings while extending the best season-opening start in the program’s 39-year varsity history. The six-game winning streak is the first for Notre Dame since Dec. 30, 1992 and the first during the nine seasons in which the Irish have competed in the CCHA (1981-82, ’82-’83 and ’92-present). Notre Dame next will look to post the program’s first seven-game winning streak since Feb. 13, 1988, when the Irish travel to Western Michigan for a game on the night of Sat., Oct. 24. The squad then will have 12 days off from competition before a game at current #1 Boston College on Nov. 6.

Ohio State (1-4-0, 1-2-0 CCHA) failed to put a third-period shot on goal until five minutes were left in the game and ultimately managed just two shots in the final 20 minutes. The teams combined for 44 penalty minutes, including 24 by OSU and 20 minutes worth of coincidental penalties.

The Irish entered the game having converted on 39.3 percent of their power-play chances during the first five games but came up empty on six man-up opportunities versus the Buckeyes. Notre Dame freshman center David Inman ignited the crowd of 2,279 with a goal just 1:07 into the first period while senior left wing Aniket Dhadphale pushed the lead to 2-0 with a score early in the second period. Junior center Ben Simon iced the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute of play.

The Irish again turned in strong all-around team defense, limiting OSU to 16 total shots after holding Lake Superior to just 11 shots in the previous game (Oct. 17 at LSSU). During that two-game stretch, Notre Dame has allowed just 4.5 shots per period while stopping 13 of 14 opponent power-play chances.

In other CCHA action Friday, #5 Michigan State (2-0-1) erupted for a 7-1 win at Bowling Green (2-2-1) while #6 Michigan (2-1-0 prior to game) held a 5-1 lead at Alaska Fairbanks (0-0-0) with 15 minutes left in the third period. Three other CCHA teams played non-conference games, with Lake Superior losing 5-2 at #9 New Hampshire, Miami posting a 5-3 win at Providence and Northern Michigan rallying for a 6-5 win at #7 Clarkson.

Each of Notre Dame’s last three shutouts have come versus Ohio State, with 1998 graduate Matt Eisler’s matching Karr’s save total (16) in a 4-0 home win over OSU on Nov. 11, 1995 before posting a memorable 47-save shutout at OSU on Oct. 25, 1997 (3-0).

Karr, who has allowed just five even-strength goals in six games this season, lowered his season goals-against average to 1.67 while raising his save percentage to .924. During the past two seasons, he is 12-3-1 with a solid 2.42 goals-against average. Karr is 8-2-0 in his last 10 decisions and will get a chance on Saturday to erase memories of his tough 5-3 loss at WMU late in the 1997-98 season.

Irish sophomore left wing Dan Carlson-who has six assists in the last three games-initiated the first goal when he intercepted an outlet pass by OSU junior right wing Louie Colsant. Carlson sent a cross-ice pass to the right point for junior right wing Joe Dusbabek, who fed the puck to Inman in the right circle. Inman then fired a low shot past OSU sophomore goaltender Jeff Maund and inside the far left post for the third goal of his rookie season.

Inman became the sixth different Irish player to notch a game-winning goal in as many games this season while extending Notre Dame’s first-period scoring dominance in 1998-99 to an 8-1 ratio.

Junior center Ben Simon got things going on the second goal with a pass to senior right wing Brian Urick, who blasted a shot from close range on the right side. Maund made the save but Dhadphale was waiting for the rebound and stuffed the puck between Maund’s right skate and the post for his fourth goal of the season and third straight game with a goal (5:57). The play extended Dhadphale’s career-best point streak to six games while Simon also has a point in every game this season (he had an eight-game streak as a freshman).

Ohio State had some bizarre scoring chances in the final period, including a late shot from the right circle by junior defenseman Ryan Jestadt that appeared to smack off the helmet of Karr, who had skated forward on the play. A mad scramble then ensued between the circles but the Buckeyes failed to capitalize. In the early moments of the third period, OSU sophomore Vinnie Grant fired a close shot from the left but the puck clanged off the right post.

Irish sophomore defenseman Ryan Clark poked the puck to Urick in the final minute, with Urick then feeding Simon for a rush down the right side. Simon skated with OSU sophomore Andre Signoretti inside the OSU blue line before drilling a shot into the middle of the empty net (19:18). The goal was Simon’s third of the season (all in the last four games) and the 16th of his career.

NOTES: Dhadphale’s goal pulled him even with Urick in their friendly race to 50 career goals (each has 47) while Urick’s assists give him 48 in his career, leaving him just five points shy of the 100-point plateau … Urick failed to extend his goal-scoring streak to what would have been a fifth straight game, despite nine shots on net … Notre Dame is 6-2-1 in its last nine home games, with a commanding 33-14 scoring edge in those games … Friday’s win was just the second for Notre Dame at home versus a national top 10 team during the past three seasons (2-8-1, compared to 4-10-0 on the road) … Notre Dame has just three home games, and 10 on the road, during the next 11 weeks … the Irish are 9-4-0 in their last 13 games versus CCHA teams (with three of the losses to eventual 1998 national champion Michigan) … Notre Dame’s 25 goals have included eight in the first period, seven in the second and 10 in the third … Notre Dame has trailed for a total of just 11:37 this season (for 8:36 in the first period of the home game vs. Lake Superior and for 3:01 in the third period at Ferris State). #9 OHIO STATE (1-4-0, 1-2-0 CCHA) 0 0 0 – 0

#8 NOTRE DAME (6-0-0, 5-0-0 CCHA) 1 1 1 – 3

1st – ND 1. Inman 3 (Dusbabek, Carlson) 1:07. 2nd – ND 2. Dhadphale 4 (Urick, Simon) 5:57. 3rd – ND 3. Simon 3 (Urick, Clark) 19:18. Shots: OSU 8-6-2/16, ND 11-12-10/3. Saves: OSU (Maund) 10-11-9/30, ND (Karr) 8-6-2/16.

Power Play: OSU 0-5, ND 0-7. Penalties: OSU 12 for 24:00, ND 10 for 20:00.