January 13, 1999
SOUTH BEMD, Ind. – The No. 8-ranked Notre Dame (12-6-2, 9-5-1 CCHA) hockey team, riding a three-game winning streak, remains home this week for a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series versus Alaska Fairbanks, on Jan. 15-16 … the Jan. 16 game will be carried by Michigan-based ComCast TV (satellite coordinates: telestar 4, TR-6, horizontal, 89 degrees west, downlink frequency 3820, 6.2/6.8 mono audio).
IT’S FUN TO PLAY IN THE CCHA: An exciting Central Collegiate Hockey Association season currently finds Michigan State (12-2-2/26 pts) atop the standings, followed closely by Michigan (12-2-1/25) and Ohio State (10-6-2/22) … Ferris State (9-5-2/18) stands in fourth, just ahead of Notre Dame (9-5-1/190 and Northern Michigan (8-8-0/16) 7-5-1/15) … each of the above six teams has been ranked among the national top 10 this season … Bowling Green (6-8-1) is seventh while Alaska Fairbanks (5-13-0), Western Michigan (2-9-6), Miami (3-12-3) and Lake Superior (3-9-2) likely will battle for the eighth and final CCHA tournament spot … the top four teams will play host to first-round CCHA tournament series (March 12-14) … the Irish lead the CCHA in overall power play pct. (.233, fifth in the nation among major-conference teams) while ranking second in scoring (3.45 goals/gm), third in fewest penalty minutes (17.9/gm) and fifth in defense (2.70 goals allowed/gm) but the Irish rank 11th in penalty-killing pct. (.807) … junior C Ben Simon (10G-19A) is tied for second in the CCHA for overall scoring while senior RW Brian Urick (12G-15A) is tied for third.
IRISH NOTES: Nine players have combined on the 12 Irish game-winning goals … Notre Dame is 9-0-1 when playing with a second-intermission lead this season … the Irish are 6-0-1 at home (33-12 scoring edge) and play eight of the next 13 games at the Joyce Center … the Irish are 9-2-1 in their last 12 home games, with a commanding 51-22 scoring edge in those games (losses last season to eventual NCAA semifinalists Ohio State and Michigan) … the Irish power-play ended slumps of 0-for-17 and 3-for-32 when senior D Benoit Cotnoir scored last week at Bowling Green … senior RW Brian Urick’s PPG vs. Miami gives the Irish two PPGs in their last six chances … Notre Dame shook up its top forward lines prior to the 4-3 win at No. 1 North Dakota … senior LW Aniket Dhadphale and senior RW Brian Urick have joined freshman C David Inman on the second (1B) line while sophomore LW Dan Carlson and junior RW Joe Dusbabek are now skating alongside junior C Ben Simon on the 1A line … Notre Dame’s top four defensemen have combined to miss 17 games this season due to injury … the Irish have played well in hostile arenas during the past two seasons, with road wins vs. every CCHA team but Miami during that stretch, a pair of victories at Wisconsin, a two-game sweep at St. Cloud State and a win at North Dakota … the Irish have allowed only two shorthanded goals in each of the past two seasons, with Ohio State accounting for all four of those goals (two on 1/25/98 and two on 12/5/98) … Notre Dame raced out to its best start in 39 years of varsity hockey (6-0-0) and best conference start (5-0-0) in 19 seasons as a member of the WCHA (1971-81) or CCHA (1981-83, 1992- ).
PLAYER NOTES: Senior RW Brian Urick’s 12 career game-winning goals are tied for second in Notre Dame history, just one behind the record held by current Irish head coach Dave Poulin … Urick has 53G-59A in 131 career games … senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (53G-42A) is five points shy of the 100-point plateau and needs eight more assists to join Urick as two of the 28 Notre Dame players ever to total 50 goals and 50 assists in their careers … with 20 of 35 regular-season games in the books, Urick (12-15) and junior C Ben Simon (10-19) are on pace to flirt with the 50-point mark this season, a mark reached just 25 times in Irish hockey history (last by Curtis Janicke in 1991-92) … a 50-point season would give Urick 135 career points (now 53-59) and push him past Tom Michalek (133, 1976-80) and Don Fairholm (131, 1974-78) into 18th on the Irish career scoring list (only 13 Irish players ever have reached 150) … Simon is averaging nearly a point per game for his career (85 in 87 games) … sophomore D Ryan Clark has missed the last four games (rehab. from Dec. 23 shoulder surgery) … sophomore LW Dan Carlson missed the Jan. 2-3 split at No. 1 North Dakota while playing with Team USA at the World Junior Championship.
LAST WEEK: Notre Dame won 4-1 at Bowling Green, behind 26 saves from senior Forrest Karr and timely goals by sophomore RW Ryan Dolder (first goal in 18 games) and senior D Benoit Cotnoir (first goal in nine games) … senior LW Aniket Dhadphale added his 10th goal of the season and Cotnoir capped the scoring with an empty-netter … the Irish are 6-1-1 in their last seven games vs. BG, including 4-0-0 at the BGSU Ice Arena … the Irish then won 2-0 at home over Miami, with the eventual CCHA defensive player of the week Karr making 22 saves for his second shutout of the season and second of his career … the game was scoreless early in the third period, bringing back memories of the 0-0 game between the Irish and RedHawks on Dec. 10, 1994 at the Joyce Center (the first scoreless tie in CCHA history) … the Irish finally scored on their 34th shot, giving senior RW Brian Urick his team-leading 11th goal of the season … junior C Ben Simon added his 10th goal of the season … the Irish ended an 0-5-1 slide vs. Miami and had been just 1-14-3 vs. Miami since rejoining the CCHA (prior to the win) … Notre Dame has outshot Miami 113-59 in the last three games of the series.
INJURY UPDATE: Three Irish players returned in early December at Ohio State, after missing multiple games due to arm injuries: senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (4 missed), junior RW Joe Dusbabek (2) and sophomore D Ryan Clark (2) … the Irish power play was hitting at a .321 clip during the first 10 games with Dhadphale but the Irish were just 2-for-17 (.118) on the PP during the four games without their top sniper … Clark has missed the last four games, after undergoing shoulder surgery Dec. 23 in his home state of Colorado, and remains out indefinitely while undergoing rehabilitation.
KARR HONORED: Notre Dame senior Forrest Karr (Madison, Wis.) was named CCHA defensive player of the week, following a 48-save performance last week in wins over Bowling Green (4-1) and Miami (2-0) … Karr allowed just one goala second-period, power-play score by the Falconswhile directing a defense that killed nine of 10 opponent power plays … he had 26 saves in the win at BG and 22 vs. Miami for his second career shutout … Karr’s 2.59 season GAA is on pace to best the Notre Dame record of 2.70, set last season by four-year starter Matt Eisler, while his .901 season save pct. ranks third in Irish history … Karr is the fifth Irish goalie ever to post two career shutouts and is the first to post two in the same season (he had 16 saves in the 3-0 win over No. 9 Ohio State on Oct. 23) … during the current three-game win streak, Karr has 83 saves and just four goals allowed (three of them on the PP), with a 35-save performance in the 4-3 win at No. 1 North Dakota … in 20 games overall, Karr has allowed just 23 even-strength goals … for his career, Karr is 20-17-3 (including 18-9-3 during the past two seasons, 12-7-1 on the road and 4-3-2 vs. top-10 teams) … his 3.07 career GAA is on pace to shatter Eisler’s Notre Dame record (3.66) while Karr’s .885 career save pct. is even with the Irish record held by John Peterson (1974-78) … Karr is 5-0-0 in his career vs. Bowling Green, including 4-0-0 at the BGSU Ice Arena … he also earned CCHA defensive player of the week honors on Oct. 11, after totaling 43 saves and allowing just one even-strength goal in wins over Lake Superior (4-2) and Western Michigan (7-1).
MORE ON KARR: Forrest Karr owns a solid 2.72 GAA during the past two seasons (79 GA, 1,741:25) while his impressive effort on the road during the past two seasons has yielded a 12-7-1 record and a 2.93 GAA (55 GA, 1,127:16), with two losses coming at Western Michigan, one vs. FSU at Van Andel Arena, two in early December at Ohio State and one at top-ranked North Dakota … Karr’s career record vs. top-10 ranked teams stands at 4-5-2 after a recent 5-5 tie at former No. 1 Boston College, a 2-2 tie vs. No. then-7 Michigan, a 1-0 loss at then-No. 8 Michigan and a split at No. 1 North Dakota (1-8, 4-3) … like many of his teammates, Karr has a history of playing well in hostile arenas, with wins at Wisconsin last year and this year, three career wins at Bowling Green, a win over Ohio State as a junior at the Ohio Expo Center, and solid efforts this season at Boston College (5-5), Michigan (0-1, 25 saves) and North Dakota (4-3, 35 saves).
LINE CHANGE: Following the frustrating 8-1 loss at top-ranked North Dakota on Jan. 2, Notre Dame shook up its lineup and the Irish responded the next day with a 4-3 upset win that sparked the current three-game win streak … the changes included breaking up of the nation’s most dangerous threesomes-senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (10-9A), junior C Ben Simon (10-19) and senior RW Brian Urick (12-15)-but could result in more balanced production from each of the first two lines … Dhadphale and Urick have dropped back to the second line, combining veteran savvy with the growing talent of freshman C David Inman … Simon has been joined by two players who he is familiar playing with: sophomore LW Dan Carlson (4-11) and junior RW Joe Dusbabek (2-5) … the Dhadphale-Simon-Urick line combined for 22 goals and 50 points through the first 10 games (5.0 points/gm) … the members of the current first (1A) line of Carlson (15-28)-Simon (23-62)-Dusbabek (16-25) have totaled 169 career points in 219 combined games … the line of Dhadphale (53-42)-Inman (7-7)-Urick (53-59) owns 221 career points in 266 combined games … the six members of the first two lines have combined to total 390 career points (167-223) in 485 games, for an average of 2.4 pts/gm per line.
THE SERIES: Alaska Fairbanks leads its all-time series with Notre Dame 12-6-0, but the Irish have won the last two season series (both 2-1) … Notre Dame senior RW Brian Urick had a memorable first career CCHA game at UAF on Oct. 19, 1995, scoring four goals in the 7-4 Irish win (UAF came back to win the series 6-4, 6-4) … Urick has nine goals and three assists in nine career games vs. UAF … other top Irish scorers in the UAF series include: senior D Benoit Cotnoir (8 gms, 2G-9A), junior C Ben Simon (6, 1-7) and senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (7, 3-4) … UAF sixth-year head coach Dave Laurion and Irish fourth-year head coach Dave Poulin were classmates and roommates on the 1978-82 Notre Dame hockey teams … Laurion is just 1-3-0 vs. Notre Dame at his old home rink (the Joyce Center).
LAST YEAR’S SERIES (at UAF, Jan. 10-12)
- ND 4, UAF 2: Aniket Dhadphale scored twice while Matt Eisler made 15 saves for the win … the Irish surged ahead in the second, when Sean Molina sent a sharp pass to John Dwyer, whose slapshot from the right was tipped in by Steve Noble (5:32) … 26 seconds later, Lyle Andrusiak sent a pass into the middle for Dhadphale, who faked one defenseman and went around another before flicking the shot over Perkins’ glove hand (5:58) … UAF tied the game later in the second but the Irish went back ahead on the power play, after a crisp pass from Tyson Fraser to Benoit Cotnoir … Dhadphale was camped in the slot and flicked home Cotnoir’s rebounded shot for the 3-2 lead (17:18) … with Ian Perkins on the bench for a 6-on-4, the Irish scored shorthanded when Cotnoir led a 3-on-2 break and fired into the empty net (19:21).
- UAF 3, ND 2 (OT): Chris Kirwan’s goal with 45 seconds left in OT lifted UAF to the comeback win … Perkins knocked the puck to Kevin Epp, who sent a long pass up the middle… Kirwan skated onto the puck for the breakaway on Eisler (4:15) … Notre Dame owned a 37-25 shot advantage but Perkins made 17 saves in the third, three in OT … Notre Dame opened to a 1-0 lead when passes from Ben Simon and Sean Molina set up Brian Urick, who skated untouched into the left side of the slot (6:55) … UAF tied the game four minutes later, on Eon McFarlane’s shot from the left point …. Dwyer scored with two seconds to play in the second (assisted by Molina) … UAF tied the game early in the third, on a Sean Fraser PPG (2:58).
- ND 5, UAF 1: The defensive pairing of Cotnoir and Mark Eaton combined for two goals and five assists while Notre Dame scored four power-play goals … the Irish used a 51-20 shot advantage to cap a 120-62 series shot edge … Forrest Karr made 19 saves for the win … the teams combined for 76 penalty minutes (UAF 44, ND 32) … Perkins stopped 46 shots for UAF (he had 110 saves, 10 goals allowed in the series) … Dhadphale put the Irish on the board early in the second, a 4-on-4 goal set up by Cotnoir and Nathan Borega, with Dhadphale sending a shot from the top of the left circle (1:04) … the Irish went ahead 2-0 at 12:12 of the second, on Urick’s power-play shot from the right circle (set up by Cotnoir and Eaton) … UAF scored moments before the second intermission (19:25) … the Irish stretched to 4-1 with PPGs in a two-minute stretch midway through the third … Eaton scored on a two-man advantage wrister from the slot (8:18) … Dan Carlsonwho combined with Ben Simon to assist on Eaton’s first goalthen took a pass from Eaton and sent a slapshot from the right point that bounced off Perkins and found the net (10:26) … Eaton closed the scoring with two minutes to play, on a PPG from the left point (set up by Cotnoir).
SCOUTING UAF: The Nanooks (6-14-0, 5-13-0), coming off a 4-1 loss at Ferris State on Jan. 12, are battling for the eighth and final CCHA playoff spot, as they currently are tied with Western Michigan, one point ahead of Miami and two ahead of Lake Superior … UAF returned 20 of 23 letterwinners from its 1997-98 team that went 10-21-4 and finished 10th in the CCHA (7-20-3) … top returning UAF scorers include junior RW Sjon Wynia (13G-16A), senior LW Chris Kirwan (13-9) and junior C Kerry Hafele (4-17) … top scorers this season include sophomore RW Jim Lawrence (6-8) and Kirwan (7-4) … senior Ian Perkins (5-9-0) has logged 935 minutes in the nets for UAF, with a 3.85 goals-against average and .893 save pct. … his classmate Chris Marvel started the FSU game and has totaled 261 minutes (1-5-0, 3.90, .879) … UAF’s stat rankings in the CCHA: scoring (8th, 2.50 goals/gm), defense (11th, 3.90 goals allowed/gm), power-play pct. (11th, .093), penalty-killing pct. (9th, .820) and fewest penalty minutes (4th, 19.9/gm) … wins: Alaska Anchorage (5-4/OT), Miami (3-2, 5-2), @BG (6-5), @Lake (5-4) and @WMU (4-1) … losses: @Alaska Anchorage (1-3), Michigan (1-6, 1-2), @FSU (3-8, 2-5) @Michigan (3-6), OSU (2-3, 1-3), @NMU (3-5), MSU (1-4, 1-3, 0-5) and @WMU (2-3). FRIEND OR FOE?: Several current players from Notre Dame and Alaska-Fairbanks played together on previous teams … they include: Notre Dame junior D Nathan Borega and UAF junior RW Sjon Wynia (Vernon Vipers), Borega and UAF sophomore RW Scott McIlroy (Anchorage Northstars), and Irish junior D Sean Molina and UAF senior D Mike Jaros (USA Viking Cup).
THE TRAVELLERS: Notre Dame last week ended an 11-week stretch in which the Irish played just three games at home and 10 on the road, in eight different cities: Kalamazoo, Mich.; Boston, Mass. (2); Ann Arbor, Mich.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; Grand Forks, N.D. (2); and Bowling Green, Ohio … that 11-week stretch included five off-weekends for the Irish (Oct. 31-Nov. 1, Nov. 27-28, Dec. 11-12, Dec. 18-19 and Dec. 25-26) … on the flip side, Notre Dame is now in the midst of playing nine of 14 games at home before ending the regular season with a pair of games at Miami.
CARLSON RETURNS: Notre Dame sophomore LW Dan Carlson (Edina, Minn.) represented the USA at the World Junior Championship, Dec. 26-Jan. 4 in six Manitoba cities … the USA opened with 6-3 losses to Finland and the Czech Republic before dropping a tough 3-2 game to Slovakia and beating rival Canada, 5-2 … the USA wrapped up play with wins over Switzerland (5-4) and Belarus (7-2), with Carlson scoring a key tying goal (4-4) in the win over Switzerland … Irish freshman C David Inman (Toronto, Ont.)-who owns joint citizenship-was among four players cut from the squad, following a Dec. 14-17 tryout camp at the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Ice Cube facility … Carlson missed Notre Dame’s series at No. 1 North Dakota … current Notre Dame junior forwards Ben Simon and Joe Dusbabek were members of last year’s U.S. junior team, with Simon also skating on the 1996-97 U.S. team that claimed the World Junior silver medal in Switzerland … the 5-10, 190-pound Carlson ranks fourth on the Irish squad with 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists), including two PPGs, one GWG and the team’s only SHG of the season … he ranked among the CCHA top freshman scorers in ’97-’98 with 11 goals (three power-play, three shorthanded) and 17 assists … the final junior national team roster included 14 current college players, with six hailing from teams in the CCHA … other CCHA players included two from Michigan State (G Joe Blackburn and F Adam Hall), Michigan D Jeff Jillson, Bowling Green F Ryan Murphy and Lake Superior State F Mike Vigilante … the other college players included two each from Wisconsin and Maine and one each from Boston Coll., Minnesota, Colorado Coll. and Boston Univ.
SIMON THE SCORER: Junior C Ben Simon-who has points in 16 of 20 games this season and already has surpassed his sophomore goal total (9)-ranks second in the CCHA overall scoring charts (10G-19A) while his 23 points in CCHA play (9-14) are tied for the league lead with Michigan State’s Mike York (7-16) … York (14-17) also is the overall scoring leader, just two points ahead of Simon … Simon scored a memorable goal 17 seconds into the third period of the 7-1 win over Western Michigan on Oct. 10, slanting in from the right and tucking the puck inside the left post-his first goal in 13 games (he had endured 31 shots on net without a goal) … Simon has excelled at setting up his teammates (62 assists in 87 career games) but owns just 23 career goals on 228 shots (9.9 shots per goal), with the goal vs. WMU signaling a breakthrough goalscoring season for the player who totaled 166 goals in four prep seasons (including 45 goals in 50 games as a senior with the Cleveland Jr. Barons) … Simon is averaging just 5.4 shots per goal this season (54 shots), compared to 13.4 shots per goal during his first two seasons (13 goals, 174 shots).
TURN BACK ON THE POWER: Notre Dame’s power play opened at .321 clip but the Irish were just 4-for-38 (.105) during a six-game stretch before going 2-for-9 last week … despite the recent dropoff, the overall power-play pct. (.233) would rank best by an Irish team playing as a member of the CCHA or WCHA since the 1981-82 season (.303) … the .233 Irish mark also is on par with the CCHA-best effort by Michigan State in ’97-’98 (.233) …. for comparison, Notre Dame owned just a .127 power-play pct. in ’96-’97 and a .176 PP mark last season … power-play goals have helped provide the decisive margin this season in wins over Ferris State (5-3, 2 PPGs), Lake Superior (403, 4 PPGs) and Northeastern (4-3, 3 PPGs) while the Irish netted three PPGs in the 5-5 tie at Boston College … nine different Irish players have notched a PPG this season, led by five from senior RW Brian Urick and four each from senior LW Aniket Dhadphale and junior C Ben Simon … the other PPGs have come from sophomore LW Dan Carlson (2), freshman C David Inman (2), sophomore LW Chad Chipchase (2), sophomore RW Matt Van Arkel (3), junior RW Joe Dusbabek and senior D Benoit Cotnoir … the primary power-play unit has included Dhadphale, Simon and Urick, with Carlson and either Cotnoir or junior D Tyson Fraser at the point … that first unit has 17 PPGs, with Dusbabek scoring with the first group at Lake Superior (while Simon was in the penalty box) and Chipchase scoring vs. Ferris State.
HOME IMPROVEMENT: After a 3-6-3 start at home in ’97-’98 (in which the Irish were outscored 39-31), Notre Dame finished strong at home, going 3-2-0 in its final five home games with an 18-12 scoring edge … the Irish have extended that strong play at home, going 6-0-1 at the Joyce Center this season with a 33-12 scoring edge … in its last 12 home games, Notre Dame is 9-2-1 with a 51-22 scoring edge (two 7-1 wins and a 9-5 win) … the recent home losses came last season to eventual NCAA champion Michigan (1-0, goal in first minute) and eventual NCAA semifinalist Ohio State (5-3) while the tie was vs. Michigan earlier this season (2-2).
1-2-3: Notre Dame has received steady production in all three periods, with 17 goals in the first period, 26 in the second and 26 in the third … during the first six games, the Irish owned an 8-1 scoring edge in the first period (17-14 overall) … the Irish also own a 26-18 edge in the second period but have struggled defensively in the third, with a 26-22 ratio (compared to 43-32 over the first two periods) … during the 1997-98 season, Notre Dame owned a 37-27 first-period scoring edge and went 11-4-1 in games with a first-intermission lead … the Irish were even more dominant last season in the second period (51-35) but lost five games when leading at the second intermission (16-5-2), due in large part to being outscored 49-37 in the final period.
SCHEDULE OF CHAMPIONS: Notre Dame’s 1998-99 schedule includes five teams that have combined for seven of the first nine NCAA titles during the 1990s: Wisconsin (1990), Northern Michigan (’91), Lake Superior (’92, ’94), Michigan (’96, ’98) and North Dakota (’97) … the Irish do not face recent NCAA champs Maine (’93) or Boston University (’95) this season.
DUDE LOOKS LIKE A SCORER: Senior LW Aniket Dhadphale (pronounced Uh-NEE-kett Dod-FALL-ee) has become one of the most well-known-and often mispronounced-names in the CCHA due to his scoring prowess … with pronunciations ranging from Dudepole to Daffapail, Dhadphale has kept P.A. announcers on their toes by totaling 35 goals and 19 assists during the past two seasons (57 games).
STREAKY SEASON: Notre Dame opened with a six-game winning streak but recently lost five straight before the current three-game win streak.
REDEFINING MAN DOWN: During its last 32 games, Notre Dame has played without at least one of its top defensemen 27 times,going 15-10-2 in those games (four losses to Michigan, three to OSU, one to North Dakota) … the top four defensemen have missed a combined 17 games this season due to injury, yet the Irish remain in the national polls and are on pace to set the school record for GAA (2.68) … Notre Dame is 2-2-1 in the only games during the last 32 when senior Benoit Cotnoir, juniors Tyson Fraser and Nathan Borega and sophomore Ryan Clark all have been in the lineup (6-2 vs. BG, 2-2 vs. Michigan, 9-5 vs. WMU, 3-4 and 1-4 at OSU) … the games missed by Irish D in the last 32 games: Cotnoir (2), Fraser (13), Borega (15) and Clark (6, out indefinitely for rest of ’98-’99 ) … two of those players have missed the same game nine times over the last 32, with the Irish owning a solid 6-3-0 mark in those games … lost in the injury woes is the absence of ’98 CCHA rookie of the year Mark Eaton, who passed up the rest of his college eligibility when he signed as a free agent in the summer with the Philadelphia Flyers.
RETURN OF THE ROAD WARRIORS: Notre Dame has proven to be unfazed by playing on the road in hostile arenas over the past two seasons-most recently in the 5-5 tie at No. 1 Boston College, the 1-0 loss at Michigan and the 4-3 win at North Dakota-as the Irish are 18-16-1 away from home during that stretch, with the 16 losses including 10 by one goal … the Irish own a 113-107 scoring edge in those 35 road games … in ’97-’98, Notre Dame posted wins at St. Cloud State (4-3/OT, 4-1), Michigan State (6-1), Wisconsin (4-2), Northern Michigan (3-1) and Michigan (4-2)-in addition to losing three one-goal games at Michigan (two in OT) one-goal games at Miami, Ferris State, Alaska Fairbanks (OT) and Lake Superior (OT) … after opening ’98-’99 with a 2-1 win at Wisconsin’s dedication game for the Kohl Center (which drew nearly 14,000 fans), the Irish posted wins at Ferris State (5-3) and Lake Superior (4-3)-giving Notre Dame victories in every opposing CCHA building except Miami’s Goggin Ice Arena over the past two seasons … the Irish are 6-1-1 in non-conference away games the past two seasons, winning twice last season at St. Cloud State and once at Wisconsin before this season posting a 2-1 win at Wisconsin, a 5-5 tie at Boston College, a 4-3 win at Northeastern and a split at North Dakota (1-8, 4-3).
GETTING COMPETITIVE: Notre Dame finished ’97-’98 by going 4-4-0 in its final eight games vs. CCHA teams (four vs. Michigan, three vs. Northern Michigan and one at sixth-place Lake Superior) … that stretch included a sweep of NMU (4-3, 3-1, 5-2), an OT loss at Lake Superior (2-1), a 4-2 win over Michigan and three one-goal losses to Michigan (1-0, 2-1 in OT and 4-3) … the Irish held a 21-17 overall scoring edge in those games, allowing just 2.1 goals per game … in its last 22 games vs. CCHA teams, Notre Dame is 12-9-1, including an 11-7-1 mark in the regular season.
URICK LEADS THE WAY: Senior RW and team captain Brian Urick is heading into the final stretch of his stellar four-year career at Notre Dame … Urick, who notched his 50th career goal and an assist in the series finale vs. WMU on Nov. 20, saw his early four-game goal streak ended vs. OSU (equaling his career-high) but he still has 27 points in 20 games (12G-15A) … Urick is tied for third in the CCHA for overall scoring and conference scoring (9-13) … he leads the Irish in plus-minus (+21), has just nine penalties and owns 53 goals and 59 assists in 131 career games … Urick’s first of two assists in the Nov. 13 Bowling Green game made him the 27th Notre Dame player to reach the 100-point plateau … over the past two seasons, Urick has 61 points (28-33) in 61 games, a team-best +36, only 58 penalty minutes and eight of the team’s 30 game-winning goals … his 12 career game-winning goals ties Urick with Dave Bankoske (1988-93) for second in Irish history behind current Irish head coach Dave Poulin (13, 1978-82).
U.S. COLLEGE HOCKEY ONLINE POLL (1/11)
Team (1st-pl. votes), W-L-T Pts 1. North Dakota (28), 15-2-1 298 2. Michigan State (2), 18-3-2 259 3. Maine (2), 14-2-4 234 4. New Hampshire, 15-4-1 203 5. Michigan, 15-4-2 169 6. Boston College, 12-6-2 149 7. Colorado College, 15-6-1 143 8. NOTRE DAME, 12-6-2 77 9. Princeton, 11-4-1 5610. Rensselaer, 12-5-1 29
Others Receiving Votes: Colgate 10, Ohio State 10, Denver 7, Clarkson 3, Cornell 1, St. lawrence 1, Wisconsin 1.
USA TODAY/AMERICAN HOCKEY MAGAZINE POLL (1/11)
Team (1st-pl. votes), W-L-T Pts 1. North Dakota (9), 15-2-1 99 2. Maine, 14-2-4 82 3. Michigan State (1), 18-3-2 80 4. New Hampshire, 15-4-1 75 5. Michigan, 15-4-2 51 Boston College, 12-5-2 51 7. Colorado College, 15-6-1 48 8. Princeton, 11-3-1 21 9. NOTRE DAME, 12-6-2 2010. Colgate, 11-5-0 11
Others Receiving Votes: Rensselaer 6, Denver 5, Ohio State 1.
CCHA PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Team (1st-pl. votes), W-L-T Pts 1. Michigan (7) 117 2. Ohio State (3) 108 3. Michigan State (1) 104 4. Northern Michigan 79 NOTRE DAME 79 6. Ferris State 64 7. Miami 49 8. Bowling Green 45 9. Lake Superior 4210. Western Michigan 2411. Alaska Fairbanks 15
CCHA PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
Team Pts 1. Michigan 287 2. Ohio State 285 3. Michigan State 258 4. Northern Michigan 194 5. NOTRE DAME 189 6. Miami 153 7. Lake Superior 130 8. Ferris State 126 9. Bowling Green 9410. Western Michigan 7811. Alaska Fairbanks 52
'98-'99 CCHA Standings Overall CCHA Points GF-GA Power Play Penalty-Kill PIM/Gm 1. Michigan State 18-3-2 12-2-2 26 74-29 (9) .125 (1) .930 (5) 21.3 2. Michigan 15-4-2 12-2-1 25 62-39 (5) .152 (2) .894 (9) 22.9 3. Ohio State 11-10-2 10-6-2 22 67-63 (2) .172 (4) .884 (10) 23.5 4. Ferris State 10-7-3 9-5-2 20 58-44 (8) .126 (2) .894 (2) 17.6 5. Notre Dame 12-6-2 9-5-1 19 69-54 (1) .233 (11) .807 (3) 17.9 6. Northern Michigan 13-9-0 8-8-0 16 83-65 (4) .153 (5) .878 (6) 21.5 7. Bowling Green 10-10-1 6-8-1 13 66-78 (3) .167 (7) .827 (8) 22.3 8. Alaska Fairbanks 6-14-0 5-13-0 10 50-78 (11) .093 (9) .820 (4) 19.9 Western Michigan 3-10-6 2-9-6 10 39-69 (7) .133 (6) .852 (7) 21.510. Miami 5-15-4 3-12-3 9 60-87 (6) .142 (8) .822 (1) 16.611. Lake Superior State 4-13-3 3-9-2 8 43-70 (10) .115 (10) .807 (11) 27.3