March 4, 2000
IRISH HOCKEY GAMEDAY NOTES
At Michigan State
Saturday, March 4, 2000
IRISH CLINCH HOME ICE
ND senior C Ben Simon scored the game-tying goal with 5:37 left to play and freshman Tony Zasowski turned in a 32-save effort, as the Irish played to a 2-2 tie with visiting MSU on March 3 before finishing the night with possession of the fifth and final home ice spot for the upcoming CCHA Tournament … ND’s win-coupled with FSU’s 4-2 home loss to WMU-ensures that the Irish (14-15-8, 12-9-6 CCHA) will finish fifth in the final CCHA standings … FSU (12-13-2) is locked into the sixth spot and will play its first-round CCHA playoff series vs. the Irish at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse … MSU moved into a tie with NMU for second in the CCHA standings while Michigan wrapped up the regular-season title with a 3-1 win at BG … the Spartans overcame an early goal from Irish junior LW Dan Carlson, with sophomore RW Adam Hall scoring twice to push his CCHA-leading season goal total to 22 … MSU freshman Ryan Miller totaled 29 saves but gave up Simon’s power-play goal for the final 2-2 score.
* ND 1, MSU 0 – Carlson turned in an outstanding individual effort for his team-leading 16th goal of the season … passes from senior D Nathan Borega and Sean Molina moved the puck to Carlson near mid-ice and the speedy junior did all the rest from there … Carlson moved the puck down the right side-using bursts of speed to shake several MSU players-before sliding free down the endline towards the goal area … Miller stopped Carlson’s first try from close range (a low shot between the legs) but Carlson collected the rebound and quickly stuffed the puck into the left side of the net for an Irish lead heading into the first intermission (14:50).
* ND 1, MSU 1 – In the opening moments of the second period, sophomore D Andrew Hutchinson took a shot and Hall pounced on the rebound, sending a shot from between the circles that tucked under the crossbar (00:45). * MSU 2, ND 1 – After an interference penalty on Irish sophomore C Brett Henning, MSU cashed in its fifth power-play chance of the night … Irish senior D Tyson Fraser tried to clear the puck to his left but the puck kicked off the skates of one of the officials … MSU senior C Shawn Horcoff beat Fraser to the puck and lightly banked the puck off the right boards … freshman LW Brian Maloney collected the loose puck and skated down the end line towards the goal-taking a similar route to Carlson’s earlier in the game … Zasowski rotated to challenge the charging Maloney, who then shifted the puck to Hall, with the CCHA’s leading goalscorer banging the puck into the net from the right side of the crease (16:38).
* ND 2, MSU 2 – With Horcoff in the box for a hooking penalty, Simon won a rightside faceoff in the MSU zone and slapped the puck to his right for senior D Tyson Fraser, who then cycled the puck back to the right point … Carlson had junior RW Ryan Dolder open on the other point but elected to send a shot on net, with senior RW Joe Dusbabek setting the screen between the circles … the low shot kicked by Dusbabek and Miller slapped the puck off to his left … but the lefthanded Simon was in position at the inside edge of the right circle and paused briefly before wristing a low shot past Miller’s right leg, with the MSU goalie guessing wrong to his left (14:23).
DAVE POULIN ON FRIDAY’S TIE
“We have never been happier with a tie, and the way it happened, coming back to get it. Every time we have tied this year, it was really a tie. Tonight, we came back and got this one. … You don’t like it when things are out of your control. Ideally, we would have liked to win tonight and tomorrow night. But you take all the help you can get in this league. Tonight, we earned our points. Our penalty-killing lines were great. That was a very good power-play unit they were up against. Basically, the power-play efficiency was a draw. They just had more chances. … Ryan Miller has not gotten a lot of ink, but he has had a great year. He really does not get that much recognition, but he really does a great job for them. … Home ice is a big advantage for us. We like this building and we play well at home. … They felt it on our bench. After hearing the score, they really picked it up. Dan Carlson was the first to jump up and he said, ‘It’s in our hands, let’s go get it.’ There was a definite surge. … Carlson’s goal was obviously highlight material. I remember seeing him do stuff like that in high school.”
ND is now 2-4-2 in its last eight games versus MSU, after enduring a 17-game winless streak versus the Spartans (0-14-3) … the home team has gone unbeaten in the last seven games of the series (5-0-2), with the Irish losing their last four games at MSU’s Munn Ice Arena … ND has totaled eight goals in its last seven games vs. MSU.
Friday’s game ultimately hinged on ND’s ability to hold back MSU’s power play, which entered the game with a CCHA-best .218 efficiency … the Irish stopped 5-of-6 MSU PPs, including the first four of the game … Adam Hall’s PPG capped an 11-minute stretch that saw MSU receive four PP chances … on the other side of the ice, ND scored on the PP and now has PPGs in nine of the last 11 games … 42.9 pct. of the ND’s goals this season coming on the PP (39-of-91), including 20 of the last 38 (52.6 pct.) … eight of senior C Ben Simon’s 10 goals have come on the PP, including the last three … ND is 13-8-4 this season when scoring one-plus PPG, 8-1-1 when scoring two-plus and 2-7-2 when scoring none … seven of ND’s 14 wins can credit PPGs with the margins of victory while five of ND’s ties have included PPGs (the Irish had two PPGs in the 3-3 game at UAF).
Notre Dame will play host to the CCHA play-in game, if one of the 7-10 seeds pulls off an upset in the first round … one team that appears capable of such an upset is 7th-seeded Nebraska-Omaha, which will play at Lake Superior or Northern Michigan … it two teams seeded 7-10 pull off upsets, the ND-FSU winner will bypass the play-in and head straight to Joe Louis Arena.
Notre Dame currently is playing without three of its top left wings: sophomore David Inman (mononucleosis), senior Andy Jurkowski )hand injury) and junior Chad Chipchase (knee surgery) … freshman Michael Chin was shifted from right to left wing for last night’s game … Inman’s spot on the second power-play unit was filled by junior LW Jay Kopischke.
ND is now 1-4-1 in the final week of the regular season under Dave Poulin, with a win and tie in the last two (4-2 win in regular-season finale last year at Miami).
LEAD IN THE LOCKERROOM
Last night’s game marked the first time this season that ND has not won when holding a lead at the first intermission (9-1-1, 21-2-3 during the last two seasons) … the Irish are unbeaten in their last 39 games when holding the second-intermission lead (36-0-3, 10-0-3 this season) …
PRIMED FOR MSU
Senior C Ben Simon has 5G-2A in 10 career games vs. MSU (the rest of the ND team has just six career goals vs. MSU) … Munn Ice Arena was the site of Simon’s first career goal with the Irish (Dec. 6, 1996), after he had opened his career with no goals in his first 14 games (31 shots on goal) … MSU won that game 4-3, on Mark Loeding’s goal with 0:54 left in regulation.
ND now stands 7-2-3 this season (.708) when facing a team ranked ahead of (or tied with) the Irish in the CCHA standings, compared to a mark of just 5-3-3 (.591) when playing a team below the Irish in the standings.
NOT MANY BROOMS IN THE CLOSET
ND will finish the regular season having been swept in just two of 14 CCHA series (the first two of the season, versus Michigan and Ferris State) … both of those series included clinching empty-net goals while ND’s only sweeps (vs. WMU and UAF) included an OT goal vs. the Broncos and a pair of one-goal games vs. the Nanooks.
ALMOST BACK TO .500
Since dropping a 5-2 game to Colorado College on New Year’s Day (at the DU Cup), ND is 7-3-5 in its last 15 games and remains one win shy of reaching .500 for the first time this season … ND is 2-0-2 in its last four games, 6-2-3 in the last 11.
FIT TO BE TIED
ND last night extended its team record with eight ties this season (the old record was five, in ’93-’94 and ’98-’99).
LET’S PLAY FIVE MORE
ND has played to OT in eight of last nine weeks and has played 10 OT games overall, tying the team record (2-4-4, in ’97-’98) … ND has lost just once in its last 16 OT games (2-1-13, with a 3-2 loss at Miami on March 5, 1999).
Junior LW Dan Carlson has 12G-9A in his last 18 games, compared to 10G-5A in the last 11 … senior c Ben Simon has points in five of the last six games (4G-6A) and 21 (8G-13A) in the last 22 … he has goals in three of the last four games, after going nearly two months without a goal (a shocking 14-game goal drought, from Dec. 19-Feb. 11) … in the last six games, linemates Carlson (5G-5A) and Simon (4G-6A) have combined for nine goals and 20 points.
Senior C Ben Simon’s recent surge gives him 126 career points in 139 career games (41G-85A), leaving him five points shy of the Irish career top-20 scoring list.
ROOKIE GOALIE MATCHUP
ND’s Tony Zasowski and MSU’s Ryan Miller have proven to be the top freshmen goalies in the CCHA this season, with Zasowski owning the upper hand in their “head-to-head” matchups (1-0, 2-2) … Zasowski’s stats vs. MSU this season include 56 saves and two goals against (one on the PP), for an 0.96 GAA and .966 save pct. in those games (his overall stats vs. MSU include 77 saves, six goals against, a 1-1-1 record, 1.95 GAA and .928 save pct. … Miller’s stats vs. the Irish include 51 saves, three goals allowed (one on the PP), a 1.45 GAA and .944 save pct. … in their two matchups this season, Miller and Zasowski have combined for 128 saves and just five goals allowed.
Freshman Tony Zasowski last night improved his ND-record totals for season GAA (2.27) and save pct. (.910) … he has allowed just 36 even-strength goals in 26 games played (15 in the last 14) … Zasowski has started ND’s last 14 games and has allowed 0-2 goals in 16 of his 23 starts.
ND is now 20-7-6 in its last 33 regular-season home games (including three one-goal losses and a pair of losses to Princeton while three of the top ND forwards were at the World Junior Championship).
A LEADER IN A LOT OF WAYS
Notre Dame junior LW Dan Carlson was credited by head coach Dave Poulin with urging his teammates on during the third period of last night’s game, after it had been announced that Western Michigan suddenly had surged in front of Ferris State (the Bulldogs led 2-1 before falling behind, 4-2) … Carlson leads the Irish this season in overall points (31), goals (16), power-play goals (10), game-winning goals (4), first goals (4, including last night) and shots on goal (107) while ranking second in shot pct. (.150) and assists (tied with Joe Dusbabek, at 15) … in CCHA games only, Carlson also leads ND in points (23), goals (13), PPGs (8), GWGs (3), shots (78) and shot pct. (.167).
PENALTY KILL KEEPING ND IN GAME
The Irish have stopped 23-of-26 opponent PPs (.885) during the last six games, helping pick up eight crucial points.
LESS PRESSURE FOR FROSH
ND has relied less on freshmen for scoring in the past two seasons, as ND’s freshman class totaled 79 points in 1996-97 and 91 in ’97-’98, but just 34 in ’98-’99 and 45 this season.
CARLSON BREAKS THROUGH VS. MSU
Junior LW Dan Carlson had just one point in his previous eight career games vs. MSU before last night, when his highlight-reel individual effort produced the first ND goal before his shot set up Ben Simon’s rebound PPG.
EXPERIENCE CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
Excluding third-string G Kyle Kolquist (2 career GP) and injured junior LW Chad Chipchase (92), ND’s other 13 seniors and juniors have combined to log 1,442 career games played with the Irish … the eight-member senior class-which played its last regular-season home game last night-has combined for 951 career games played.
RETURN OF THE ROAD WARRIORS?:
Despite a 5-8-5 season road record (3-6-5 on opponent’s ice), ND is 3-2-3 in its last eight road games and has turned in its share of big road victories during the past few seasons … in fact, the Irish have posted wins in 22 different road arenas during the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin (20 in the past three seasons) … the previous two seasons (’97-’98 and ’98-’99) saw ND post road wins over all 10 CCHA opponents, including a 4-2 CCHA playoff win at Michigan and wins over Ohio State at the OSU Ice Arena and the off-campus Columbus Fairgrounds Coliseum (the Irish recently added a win over OSU at yet another Columbus venue, with the 2-1 overtime win on Feb. 5) … ND also owns three road wins over Wisconsin during the Poulin era, all at different sites: Milwaukee’s Bradley Center, the Dane County Coliseum and the Kohl Center dedication game … the Irish own road wins in the Poulin era at Mankato State, St. Cloud State, Northeastern and North Dakota-plus a 5-5 tie at Boston College, plus a pair of 2-2 ties this season at the Omaha Civic Auditorium and NMU’s Berry Events Center … finally, ND has posted recent neutral-site victories at the University of Minnesota (vs. Brown), the University of Denver (vs. Union) and the University of New Hampshire (vs. Vermont) … there are seven facilities in which a Poulin-coached Irish team has played but not posted any wins: Princeton (two losses in ’96-’97), Boston College (loss and tie), Illinois Chicago (loss in ’96-’97), the Palace at Auburn Hills (loss to Michigan in ’96-’97), Van Andel Arena (loss last season and this season), the Omaha Civic Auditorium (0-1-1 this season) and NMU’s Berry Center (0-1-1 this season).
MO KEEPS GOING
Senior D Sean Molina’s nine points (1G-8A) are a career-best and he has totaled just 39 career penalties while playing the most games (143) of any current Irish player (he is averaging 3.7 games per penalty for his career) … Molina is tied for eighth on the 1999-2000 team with a career-best eight assists … by playing tonight and in at least two postseason games, Molina would become the ninth ND player ever to log 146 career games played … just five ND players have appeared in 148-plus career games, with two-time Academic All-American Steve Noble (148, 1994-98) the only player to do so since 1982 … just two other ND players have logged 145-plus career games since ’82: Brett Bruininks (145, 1992-96) and Brian Urick (146, 1995-99).
VETERAN DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY
ND’s senior defenseman foursome of Nathan Borega (135), Tyson Fraser (126), Sean Molina (143) and Sean Seyferth (62) has combined for 466 career games played … throwing in junior Ryan Clark (84) gives the top five Irish D a total of 550 games of career experience (the starting six has 586 career games between them, with freshman Evan Nielsen’s 36).
FAMILIARITY BREEDS SUCCESS
ND’s defensive pairings have remained unchanged since New Year’s Eve (18 straight games, including tonight), with the only exception being the Feb. 19 game at Bowling Green (when junior Ryan Clark did not play due to injury) … Sean Molina and Nathan Borega will be skating together for the 32nd time in 38 games this season (18 straight) while fellow seniors Tyson Fraser and Sean Seyferth will be skating together for the 27th time season (18 straight) … Clark and freshman Evan Nielsen are paired for the 26th time this season (17 of the last 18) … during that string of consistency in the defensive pairings, ND is 7-4-6 with a 2.45 team goals-against average … since a stunning 6-0 loss at Northern Michigan on Jan. 14, ND is 6-2-3 with a 2.21 team GAA (four games with 1 GA, one with 2 GA, five with 3 GA and one with 4 GA).
Notre Dame’s Record When
|When scoring first||11-4-3|
|When ahead at 1st intermission||9-1-1|
|When behind or tied at 1st intermission||5-14-7|
|When ahead at 2nd intermission||10-0-3|
|When behind or tied at 2nd intermission||4-15-5|
|When outshooting opponent||8-9-2|
|When scoring 1 goal||2-7-2|
|When scoring 2 goals||3-4-3|
|When scoring 3 goals||1-4-2|
|When scoring 4 goals||3-0-0|
|When scoring 5 goals||4-0-0|
|When scoring 6 goals||0-0-0|
|When scoring 7 goals||1-0-0|
|When scoring no PPGs||2-7-2|
|When scoring one PPG||4-7-5|
|When scoring two PPGs||7-0-1|
|When scoring 3-plus PPGs||1-1-0|
|When scoring a SHG||1-1-0|
|When allowing no PPGs||8-3-3|
|When allowing one PPG||5-7-3|
|When allowing two PPGs||1-2-2|
|When allowing 3-plus PPGs||0-3-0|
|When allowing a SHG||2-5-0|
|When totaling less than 20 shots||1-3-0|
|When totaling 40+ shots||1-1-0|
|When allowing less than 20 shots||4-2-0|
|When allowing 40+ shots||0-0-0|