Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Hockey Returns To Action In Silver Anniversary Conference Classic

Nov. 23, 1999

  • Hockey squad returns to action after off-week, with challenging tourney at UNH
  • Irish still looking for more consistency, after pair of one-goal wins over UAF
  • Jurkowski continues to spark struggling Irish offense

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame hockey team (4-6-2, 3-5-2 CCHA) returns to action this week, after 13 days off from competition … the Irish will compete in the Silver Anniversary Conference Classic at the University of New Hampshire, which features teams from the nation’s four major college hockey conferences

Notre Dame faces fifth-ranked UNH on Sat., Nov. 27, at 5:00 p.m., before playing Vermont on Sunday at 2:00 (North Dakota plays Vermont on Sat., UNH on Sun.) … the Irish games will be carried live in South Bend by WJVA 1580 AM (also available on realaudio via the Notre Dame athletic web site, at … the Irish played just four Central Collegiate Hockey Association games in November (and only two total home games), with an upcoming Sat.-Sun., home-and-home vs. Michigan State (Dec. 4 at ND, Dec. 5 at MSU).


Notre Dame has posted wins in 20 road arenas during the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin (18 in the past two-plus seasons) … the Irish could add two more arenas to that list in 1999-2000: New Hampshire’s Towse Rink and Ohio State’s Value City Arena (see Road Warriors note) … the previous two seasons saw Notre Dame post road wins over all 10 CCHA opponents … Notre Dame is 1-3-1 in east-coast games during the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, including a 5-5 tie at Boston College and a 4-3 win at Northeastern last season, plus three games in 1996-97 (6-1 loss at BC, 2-5 and 2-3/OT losses at Princeton) … the Irish have struggled after off weeks during the Poulin era, going 2-4-1 in games after having a week or more off from competition (including three games last season: a 5-5 tie at Boston College, a 4-3 loss at Ohio State and an 8-1 loss at North Dakota) … after that big loss at top-ranked North Dakota on Jan. 2, 1999, Notre Dame responded the next day with a stunning 4-3 win over the Fighting Sioux … the trip to UNH will be a northeast homecoming for Poulin (played three-plus seasons with the Boston Bruins, from 1989-93) and a pair of Irish freshman D: Paul Harris (native of Ridgefield, Conn.) and Evan Nielsen (attended The Taft School in Watertown, Conn.) … Notre Dame has gained a split in three previous regular-season tournament appearances during the Poulin era: the Badger Hockey Showdown on Dec. 28-29, 1995 (3-2 vs. Wisconsin, 3-7 vs. BU), the Mariucci Classic on Dec. 27-28, 1997 (2-4 vs. Northeastern, 5-1 vs. Brown) and the IceBreaker Tournament on Oct. 15-16, 1999 (1-2 vs. Providence, 4-0 vs. Union) … the Irish have three first-time opponents on their schedule this season (Providence, Union and Vermont).


Despite an 0-4-0 start in the CCHA, Notre Dame is 3-1-2 in last six games and tied for eighth place, just five points out of third … the Irish rank 10th in the CCHA for overall goals per game (2.33), 6th in goals allowed (2.83), 5th in power-play pct. (.167), 10th in penalty-kill pct. (.808) and 1st in fewest penalty minutes/gm (15.33) … sophomore LW David Inman is tied for 13th in the CCHA with six goals (he totaled 10 in ’98-’99) …


The Irish have scored PPGs in nine of 12 games this season while 12 of the team’s 28 goals have come on the PP … the Irish are 17-5-4 in their last 26 regular-season home games … Notre Dame has scored two or fewer goals in seven of 12 games (three games with three, one with four, one with five) … Notre Dame’s last eight OT games have produced seven ties and one loss (0-1-5 in 1998-99).


The Irish continue to start slowly this season (outscored 11-4 in the first period) but hold a 12-11 scoring edge in the second period (12-12 in the third) … the 3-2 win over Alaska Fairbanks (2 PPGs) was the first this season where a PPG helped provide ND’s winning margin, with four loss margins by opponent PPGs (ND’s 9-1-2 start in ’98-’99 included a 3-0 mark in games decided by PPGs) … the 3-2 win over UAF was Notre Dame’s first victory this season in the second game of a CCHA series (0-3-1 previously), with the following dropoffs on the second night of the five CCHA series this season: goals allowed (total of 13 in first games, 19 on second night, avg. of 2.6 to 3.8), PK pct. (drop from .848 to .765) and PP pct. (.156 to .133) … Notre Dame’s 4-6-2 start stands in stark contrast to the record-setting 9-1-2 opening in ’98-’99, with the most notable dropoffs coming in goals per game (4.3 to 2.3), PP pct. (.292 to .167) and first-period goals (15 to 4) … only two current Irish players have four-plus goals, compared to seven players with four-plus goals after 12 games in ’98-’99 … senior C Ben Simon (33G-70A) is the only current player with 70-plus career points, compared to four 70-plus scorers through 12 games in ’98-’99 … the Irish have tried several forward combinations this season, after opening ’98-’99 with the potent line of Brian Urick-Simon-Aniket Dhadphale that combined for 50 points, 22 goals and nine PPGs in the first 10 games.


Since becoming Notre Dame’s starting G, freshman G Tony Zasowski has turned in five strong performances (19-save shutout, plus four other games with 2G allowed) while suffering just one rough game (five GA at UNO) …Zasowski’s stats as a starter: 3-1-2, 2.11 GAA and .927 save pct. (he ranks 8th overall in the CCHA with a 2.35 GAA) …Senior RW Joe Dusbabek assisted on the game-tying and game-winning PPGs vs. UAF (3-2), giving him 11 points (3G-8A) in 11 career games vs. UAF …Senior LW Andy Jurkwoski-who moved up from the D this season-continues to be a surprising offensive spark, with points in six of the last seven games. Jurkowski’s six points this season (4G-2A) equal his total from the previous three seasons combined (2G-4A in 70 games, including 18 games as a freshman F) and he has scored goals in each of ND’s last four CCHA series (vs. FSU, MIA, UNO and UAF) … sophomore C Brett Henning (3) joins Jurkowski (4) and sophomore LW David Inman (6) as the only Irish players with more than two goals this season… Tyson Fraser and fellow senior D Nathan Borega have skated together in 71 career games (five this season) …Senior D Sean Molina leads the Irish in plus-minus this season (+5), after ranking second on the 1998-99 squad (+13). Molina also has totaled just 31 career penalties while playing the most games (118) of any current Irish player (he is averaging 3.8 games per penalty for his career). …Senior C Ben Simon scored a PPG in the 2-2 tie at UNO, one of just two goals that he has scored in 11 games played this season (he had a team-best 18 goals in 37 games last season, including six after 11 games). Simon is averaging 1.5 shots per game this season (17 in 11 games), compared to 3.1 in ’98-’99 (113 in 37) and 2.8 over his first three seasons (287 in 104) …ND’s five goals in the UNO series included three from unexpected sources: senior C Troy Bagne (3 career goals in 101 games, prior to UNO series), Jurkowski (4 in 78) and Fraser (6 in 98).


UNH has won each of its previous three games vs. Notre Dame:
5-3 at UNH on Jan. 2, 1991, with a pair of wins at ND the best season (7-1, 8-2 on Nov. 8-9, 1991) … the Irish and Vermont have not met previously in varsity hockey competition.


New Hampshire has opened with an 8-2-1 record (5-0-1 Hockey East), after a 5-5 tie vs. Boston University and a 2-1 OT win over Boston College … UNH’s other wins have come vs. Vermont (7-4), at Lake Superior (4-3, 5-3), at UMass-Lowell (2-1), vs. UMass-Amherst (2-1), vs. Providence (3-2, OT) and at PC (2-1), with losses to RPI (0-6) and at Yale (1-5) … Notre Dame shares one common opponent with UNH at this point in the season, as the Irish lost 2-1 to Providence in the IceBreaker Tournament … UNH is averaging 3.0 goals per game, with a 2.86 team GAA, a .111 power-play unit and .8766 penalty-killing … top early scorers for UNH include sophomore Darren Haydar (6G-5A) and senior Mike Souza (3G-7A) … junior Ty Conklin has played 587 of 672 minutes in the UNH nets, with a 7-1-1 record, 2.56 GAA and .903 save pct. … UNH returned 20 of 27 letterwinners from its ’98-’99 team that went 31-7-3, won the Hockey East regular-season title and lost to Maine in the NCAA title game (3-2 in OT) … UNH’s top returning scorers from ’98-’99 include Souza (23G-42A) and Haydar while Conklin returns after posting an 18-3-1 record, a 1.84 GAA and .923 save pct. last season … the Wildcats’ top losses included Hobey Baker Award winner Jason Krog (34G-51A) while the UNH defense must replace three regular D from ’98-’99, including early departure Jayme Filipowicz.


The Catamounts stand 3-5-1 (2-2-1 ECAC), with wins over BU (7-4), Brown (6-4) and Princeton (6-4) and a 1-1 tie at Dartmouth … UVM’s losses have come at UNH (4-7), vs. St. Cloud (2-7, 1-4), at Harvard (3-6) and vs. Yale (2-5) … top scorers include senior Kevin Karlander (4G-13A) and J.F. Caudron (6G-10A) while Andrew Allen (2-3-0, 4.64 GAA, .862 save pct.) and Tim Peters (1-2-1, 3.50, .879) have split time in the nets … UVM returned 17 of 23 letterwinners from a 1998-99 team that went 13-18-2 and finished ninth in the ECAC (7-13-2) … top returning scorers include Karlander (12G-10A) and fellow senior Matt Sanders (13G-6A).


Several Notre Dame players are former teammates of players on the current UNH and Vermont rosters: Irish senior D Sean Molina and UNH forward John Sadowski (Dubuque Fighting Saints) … ND junior RW Matt Van Arkel and UNH forward Darren Haydar (Milton Merchants) … Irish freshman RW Michael Chin and two UNH players: goalie Matt Carney and D Garrett Stafford (Des Moines Buccaneers) … UNH forward Pat Foley played alongside three current ND freshmen, as members of the U.S. National Team Development Program: C Connor Dunlop, RW John Wroblewski and D Paul Harris … Irish freshman D Evan Nielsen and two Vermont players: Chris Hills and John Longo (The Taft School) … ND freshman LW Jake Wiegand and Vermont’s Tim Peters (Lincoln Stars) … Irish freshman G Tony Zasowski and UNH’s Ty Conklin (Green Bay Gamblers).


Notre Dame has posted wins in 20 road arenas during the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin (18 in the past two-plus seasons) … the Irish could add two more arenas to that list: New Hampshire’s Towse Rink and Ohio State’s Value City Arena … the previous two seasons saw Notre Dame 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 … Notre Dame 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 … Notre Dame has recent neutral-site wins at the Minnesota (vs. Brown) and the Univ. of Denver (vs. Union) … Van Andel Arena (two losses to Ferris State) is one of six facilities in which a Poulin-coached Irish team has played but not posted any wins, with the others being: Princeton (two losses in ’96-’97), BC (loss and tie), Illinois Chicago (loss in ’96-’97), the Palace at Auburn Hills (loss to Michigan in ’96-’97) and the Omaha Civic Auditorium (tie and loss vs. UNO).


* Notre Dame entered 1999-2000 with five players who had 15-plus career goals to their credit (68.8 pct. of the entire team’s career goals) but those players have combined for just 28.6 pct. of the current goal total (8 of 28), as senior C Ben Simon, senior RW Joe Dusbabek, junior LW Dan Carlson and junior RW Matt Van Arkel each have two goals (junior LW Chad Chipchase has not scored in seven games played) … the unexpected scoring boosts included 4G from senior LW Andy Jurkowski (he had two previous goals in his ND career), plus 3G from sophomore C Brett Henning (he had four during his entire freshman season) and two from senior D Tyson Fraser (he had five in his first three seasons combined).

* The Irish continue to look for offensive boosts, after graduation losses of RW and team captain Brian Urick (16G-25A in ’98-’99), LW power-play ace Aniket Dhadphale (18-11) and All-America D Benoit Cotnoir (7-18) … senior C/LW Ben Simon (34 career goals, 70 assists) is the team’s most accomplished scorer while sophomore C/LW David Inman has six of the 28 Irish goals this season … Inman has 11 points (9G-2A) in the last 15 regular-season games while junior RW Ryan Dolder has seven (4G-3A) in the last 16 … freshman C Connor Dunlop it tied for the team scoring lead with seven points, including assists on four of the team’s five goals at the IceBreaker … Notre Dame’s trio of junior LWs-Dan Carlson, Chad Chipchase and Jay Kopischke-are due for a scoring breakthrough, as that threesome has combined for just four goals in Notre Dame’s last 28 games … Carlson’s goal in the 3-2 CCHA playoff win over Northern Michigan represented his only goal in 21 games (before his recent PPGs vs. Ferris State and Miami) while Chipchase’s crucial goal in the ’98-’99 season finale at Miami (4-2) marks his only goal in his last 23 games played … Kopischke has not scored since Jan. 30, 1998, spanning 46 games played … senior RW Joe Dusbabek could provide a huge scoring lift for the Irish, after scoring 13 goals during his big freshman season (he has seven goals, plus 27 often timely assists, in 64 games over the past three years) … sophomore C Brett Henning had one goal in a 19-game span before netting goals vs. Union, Miami and UAF (he has 3G in the last nine games) … junior RW Matt Van Arkel’s goals vs. Union and Miami extended his history of strong early-season play (19 of his 25 career points have come before New Year’s).

Waiting for the Wakeup Calls

Unlike the 1998-99 season-when Notre Dame bounced back repeatedly in the second game of a weekend-the Irish have tailed off in the second game of their CCHA series this season.

As the chart at right shows, Notre Dame has totaled just three points in the second game of its CCHA series while seeing a drop in its average scoring (2.4 to 2.2) and shots (25.6 to 23.3), with the power-play efficiency also lower (.156 to .033, 5 PPGs to 4).

Defensively, the Irish have allowed one more goal per game in the final game of the weekend (2.6 to 3.8), with the penalty kill dropping from .848 to .765 (5 PPGs allowed to 8).

In ’98-’99, the Irish were 9-5-4 on the first game of a weekend, 8-7-1 in the second (highlighted by a 2-2 tie vs. Michigan, a 4-3 win at North Dakota, 2-1 win over Northern Michigan).

1999-2000     1st Game   2nd GameW-L-T         2-2-1      1-3-1Goals (Avg.)   12 (2.4)   11 (2.2)PPGs            5          4
PPGs All. 5 8GA (Avg.) 13 (2.6) 19 (3.8)Shots/Goal 10.8 10.6
PP Pct. .156 .133PK Pct. .848 .765Shots (Avg.) 25.6 23.3

New Challenges …

* Notre Dame’s slow start to the 1999-2000 season stands in stark contrast to the record-setting 9-1-2 opening in ’98-’99. The Irish have shown a considerable dropoff in goals per game (4.3 to 2.3), shots per game (31.1 to 26.0), power-play goals (19 to 12) and first-period goals (15 to 4) while the Irish are averaging 11.1 shots/goal (compared to 7.2 last season).

* A big part of the Irish success in ’98-’99 was the PP unit, which operated at a .292 efficiency during the first 12 games and provided the winning margin in three early wins (the PP is hitting at a still-respectable .167 this season). By comparison, Notre Dame’s .809 penalty kill produced no losses due to opponent PPGs through the first 12 games of 1998-99 while the .808 unit this season has given up PPGs that have provided the margin of defeat in four games.

* Defensively, the Irish are allowing one more goals per game this season (2.4 to 2.8) and have allowed four-plus goals in five games (just two in first 12 games of ’98-’99).

* David Inman (6) and Andy Jurkowski (4) are the only current Irish players with four-plus goals, compared to seven at this point in ’98-’99: Aniket Dhadphale (9), Brian Urick (9), Ben Simon (7), Matt Van Arkel (5), Inman (5), Dan Carlson (4) and Chad Chipchase (4). Simon (33G-70A) is the only current player with 70-plus career points, compared to four 70-plus scorers through 12 games in ’98-’99 (Simon 77, Dhadphale 92, Urick 104 and Benoit Cotnoir 71).

* The Irish also continue to search for the right forward combinations, after opening the 1998-99 season with the potent line of Urick-Simon-Dhadphale that combined for 50 points, 22 goals and nine PPGs in the first 10 games (2.2 goals per game by that line alone, just shy of the entire 1999-2000 team’s average of 2.3).

After 12 Games

1998-99 1999-2000
W-L-T 9-1-2 4-6-2
Goals (Avg.) 52 (4.3) 28 (2.3)
Power-Play Goals 19 12
PPGs Allowed 13 14
Goals All. (Avg.) 29 (2.4) 34 (2.8)
Shots Per Goal 7.2 11.1
Power-Play Pct. .292 .167
Penalty Kill Pct. .809 .808
Shots (Avg.) 31.1 26.0
Players w/ 4+ Goals 7 2
Pl. w/ 70+ Career Pts 4 1
Games w/ 4+ GA 2 5
First-Period Goals 15 4
Wins by PPGs 3 1
Losses by PPGs 0 4


The Notre Dame hockey team has produced two early CCHA rookie-of-the-week honorees, as freshman goaltender Tony Zasowski (Darien, Ill.) was recognized on Nov. 1 for his strong series vs. Miami (center Connor Dunlop was honored by the CCHA on Oct. 18) … Zasowski made 58 saves in the series while allowing four goals (5-2, 2-2) and helping stop all 14 MU power plays … Zasowski became the first freshman to start in net for the Irish since Matt Eisler made his first career start in the second game of 1994-95 … Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.) assisted on four of Notre Dame’s five goals (including all three PPGs) in the IceBreaker Tournament … he had the primary assists on third-period goals by Matt Van Arkel and Brett Henning that helped clinch the win over Union (4-0) while also assisting on David Inman’s first goal in that game … Dunlop also assisted on Tyson Fraser’s PPG in the 2-1 loss to Providence and had a shorthanded goal in the 5-3, season-opening loss to Michigan (becoming the first Irish freshman to score in a CCHA opener since Brian Urick’s four-goal game in the 7-4 win at UAF in ’95) … Dunlop is tied for the Irish scoring lead, with seven points (1G-6A).


Notre Dame senior C Ben Simon (Shaker Heights, Ohio) has earned preseason CCHA “player of the year” honors from Hockey News … Simon registered a goal and assist in the season-opening Michigan series, giving him 100 points (32G-68A) in 113 career games (he added 1G-2A in the series at UNO) … Simon is the fourth Irish player to reach 100 points in the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, joining ’96 graduate Jamie Ling (51-102) and ’99 grads Brian Urick (57-69) and Aniket Dhadphale (61-44) … Simon needs 17 more goals to become the 29th Notre Dame player ever to total 50-plus goals and 50-plus assists … he is 28 points shy of cracking Notre Dame’s top-20 career scoring list and needs 27 more assists to crack that top 10 list.


In its last 26 regular-season home games, Notre Dame is 17-5-4 with a 93-53 scoring edge (two 7-1 wins, one 9-5 win) … Notre Dame’s last 17 home wins have included 10 by three goals or more … despite opening the ’98-’99 season with a 10-0-2 mark at home, the Irish are just 5-5-2 in their last 12 home games (including the CCHA playoff series with Northern Michigan) and have been outscored 34-28 in those games.


The Irish added a series vs. Princeton, after the end of finals week. Those games will be held at the Joyce Center, on Sunday, Dec. 19, and Monday, Dec. 20. … The Denver Cup is slated for Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 (previous schedules indicated earlier dates). The Irish are scheduled to play on New Year’s Eve vs. DU at 7:35 p.m., with a New Year’s Day game vs. Colorado College or Maine (4:35/7:35).


Six recent members of the Notre Dame hockey program-including ’99 graduates Benoit Cotnoir, Aniket Dhadphale, Forrest Karr and Brian Urick-currently are pursuing their careers in pro hockey. Urick signed with the Edmonton Oilers and reported to the Hamilton (Ont.) Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Dhadaphale and Matt Eisler (’98) made the opening-day roster with the Greensboro (N.C.) Generals in the East Coast Hockey League while Cotnoir made the roster of the ECHL’s Mobile (Ala.) Mystics. Karr was among the final cuts for the Mystics, after former Michigan State goalie Chad Alban was sent back down to Mobile (Karr recently was picked up by the ECHL’s Jacksonville Lizard Kings). Defenseman Mark Eaton-who in the summer of ’98 opted to forego his final three years at Notre Dame and signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Flyers-had a solid ’98-’99 season with the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms and is considered to be one of the top young prospects in the Flyers organization (he made the Flyers’ opening-day roster).