Oct. 1, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. – The 2004-05 Notre Dame hockey team faces a whirlwind of activity this weekend as they begin preparations for the regular season that begins on Thursday, Oct. 7 at the Joyce Center.
On Saturday morning, Oct. 2, the Irish hit the ice for the first official practice of the new season at 9:00 a.m. The Oct. 2 start date is the common starting date that all Division I programs will use this season. After just one practice, the Irish will split into two teams for the annual Blue-Gold intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 3 at 4:05 p.m. Admission to the Blue-Gold game is free, but donations will be taken to benefit the Coaches Foundation. The foundation provides assistance to athletes and coaches who as a result of being afflicted with cancer or other life-threatening illness/injury demonstrates the need for medical or financial assistance. The Foundation was started in memory of former University of Maine hockey coach Shawn Walsh who died in September of 2001 after a long bout with cancer.
Fans attending the game can enjoy a pregame tailgate featuring free food from Famous Dave’s barbeque while supplies last.
This is the fifth year that the game has been played with donations going to the Coaches Foundation. Each Notre Dame player and coaching staff member will play the game in memory of a friend or family member who has been impacted by cancer.
This season’s Blue-Gold game will be played in two 20-minute periods and will give the coaches and fans a chance to see the Irish in action this season.
With the regular season set to start on Thursday-Friday, October 7-8 versus NCAA Frozen Four participant, Minnesota-Duluth, this year’s Blue-Gold game will be an important as it gives head coach Dave Poulin a chance to see his new team under game conditions.
“This year’s Blue-Gold game will be very important for out team. It comes on just our second day on the ice and we open the season just four days later. We will get a chance to look at various combinations of players and give our players a chance to experience game conditions,” says Poulin.
He adds, “More importantly, we get to play for a great cause – the Hockey Coaches Foundation. Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way and the Blue-Gold game gives the players and staff a chance to honor someone they know who has battled this disease.”
The Blue-Gold game will be the first chance for Irish fans to see the seven-man freshman class in action. The group includes three forwards – Victor Oreskovich (Oakville, Ont.), Evan Rankin (Portage, Mich.) and Mark Van Guilder (Roseville, Minn.). Four defensemen will be looking for a chance to break into the lineup on Sunday. That foursome includes – Brian D’Arcy (Western Hills, Ill.), Luke Lucyk (Fox Point, Wis.), Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) and Dan VeNard (Vernon Hills, Ill.)
Following Sunday’s Blue-Gold game, Notre Dame will begin preparations for the season opener on Thursday night, Oct. 7 when the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs open a two-game series at the Joyce Center. The Bulldogs are preseason favorites to win the WCHA and come into the season ranked fourth in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and fifth in the USA Today national poll.