April 30, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – University of Notre Dame hockey coach hockey coach Dave Poulin announced today that that he has received commitments from five players to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2002. The five include goaltender Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.), defenseman Chris Trick (Troy, Mich.) and forwards Tony Gill (Rochester, Minn.), Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Ak.) and Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.).
The five players will join center Matt Amado (Langley, B.C.) who signed a national letter-of-intent in the fall of 2000, but deferred until the 2002-03 season to play another year of junior hockey with the Coquitlam Express of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
“I’m very excited about this incoming group of players,” says Poulin. They bring speed, size, skill and tremendous work ethics to the program. They will add to our talent level and depth this season.”
The six players will replace five players lost to graduation – goaltender Jeremiah Kimento and forwards David Inman, Jon Maruk, Sam Cornelius and Brett Henning. Henning missed his senior year due to a neck injury suffered during his junior year. He served the team as an undergraduate assistant coach.
Rory Walsh is a 5-9, 175-pound goaltender who played prep school hockey at Noble and Greenough in Dedham, Mass. In two seasons at Noble and Greenough, Walsh recorded had an 18-13-3 record with a 2.37 goals against average. Walsh has the distinction of becoming the first son of a former Notre Dame hockey player to play for the Irish. The 19-year old goaltender is the son of All-American forward Brian Walsh (1973-77) who is still Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer with 234 (89-145) career points.
“Rory is a talented athlete with good quickness who will give us excellent depth in goal. He had an outstanding prep school career and will give us a solid trio in goal with Morgan Cey and Tony Zasowski,” says Poulin.
Gill joins his brother, junior Aaron Gill, on the Irish roster for the coming season. The duo becomes the eighth brother combination to play hockey at Notre Dame. A 6-0, 170-pound center, Gill joins the Irish after playing for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the United States’ Hockey League (USHL). In 60 regular season games, Gill had six goals and 17 assists for 23 points. A strong, penalty killer, Gill and his Cedar Rapids team upset the top-seeded Lincoln Stars in the first round of the USHL playoffs. Gill scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime of Cedar Rapids’ opening game playoff win over Lincoln. The Rochester, Minn., native has excellent quickness and has a great work ethic. He was selected the RoughRiders “Most Dedicated Player” and the team’s Unsung Hero.
“Tony is a smart, active hockey player who makes things happen on the ice,” says Poulin. “He’s a gritty, hard working player who is an outstanding penalty killer. He’s highly competitive who can fill a variety of roles for us. You can’t have better character players than guys like Tony and Aaron Gill.”
At 6-4, 214-pounds, Trick gives the Irish size and mobility on the blue line. A two-year member of the Chicago Freeze of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), Trick had three goals and 15 assists for 18 points in 41 games before season-ending surgery to repair broken fingers on his left hand. An outstanding student, Trick won the NAHL’s Academic Achievement Award for the 2001-02 season. Trick also played two seasons with the Michigan Select 16 and Select 17 teams.
“I’m very excited about Chris Trick joining our lineup next season,” says Poulin. “He’s a big, mobile defenseman who moves the puck and shoots it well. He gives us another quality defenseman on a deep and experienced defense.”
Wallace joins the Irish roster after playing right wing for the USA Under-18 team in 2001-02. A 6-1, 180-pound forward, Wallace was fourth on the Under-18 team in scoring with 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points. He added two power play goals, one shorthanded and three game-winners during the season. At the World Championships won by the USA, Wallace contributed two goals and five assists for seven points in eight games. The gold medal Wallace received for helping the United States win the Under-18 World Championship gives the power forward a gold medal in each of the last four seasons. He was a member of the Pacific District Select 15 and 16 championship teams and then helped the USA Under-17 team to the Under-17 World Challenge title in January of 2001. A strong, physical player, Wallace has outstanding potential and likes to play a physical brand of hockey.
“Timmy Wallace is a big, strong power forward-type player who got great experience this year playing with the national developmental program,” says Poulin. “He’s got a presence on the ice and he’s strong at both ends. He’s a very athletic player with good hands around the goal.”
The second Walsh in the 2001-02 recruiting class is left wing Mike Walsh who will come to Notre Dame after being a key member of the NAHL Champion Compuware Ambassadors. The 6-1, 205-pound forward scored 25 goals with 24 assists for 49 points in the regular season for Compuware. Nine of his goals came via the power play and three were game-winners. Walsh added four goals and two assists in six NAHL playoff games as Compuware advances to the national junior tournament. He played in the 2001 NAHL all-star game and also played in the 2002 Viking Cup where he was a star-of-the-game in the quarterfinals. Walsh played in the 2001 and 2002 USA Top Prospects Tournament. He has also been a teammate of current Irish defenseman Derek Smith with the Michigan Select 16 and Select 17 teams. His father, Max, was an offensive tackle on Notre Dame’s 1973 national champion football team.
“Mike Walsh is a poised, mature forward who is one of the top players in the North American Hockey League,” says Poulin. “He’s strong on his skates and has excelled at every level he’s played. He brings an all-around complete game to our lineup. There’s no question – he can play.”
Notre Dame Hockey Incoming Freshman Class
Player Pos. Birthdate Ht. Wt. S/C Hometown/2001-02 TeamMatt Amado F 5/7/83 5-11 170 Left Langley, B.C./Coquitlam Express (BCHL)Tony Gill F 11/19/81 6-0 170 Right Rochester, Minn./Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)Chris Trick D 8/12/84 6-4 210 Right Troy, Mich./Chicago Freeze (NAHL)Tim Wallace F 8/6/84 6-1 180 Right Anchorage, Ak./USA Under 18 TeamMike Walsh F 1/12/83 6-2 191 Left Northville, Mich./Compuware Ambassadors (NAHL)Rory Walsh G 11/2/82 5-9 175 Left Milton, Mass./Nobles and Greenough