Dec. 20, 2000
Omaha, Neb. – Christmas came five days early for Dave Poulin and his Notre Dame hockey team Wednesday night in Omaha, Neb., as the Irish snapped a nine-game winless streak (0-7-2) taking a 7-3 decision over the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.
Senior left wing Dan Carlson (Edina, Minn.) collected his first career hat trick and added an assist for a four-point game and freshman defenseman Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) had a goal and four assists for the first five-point game by a Notre Dame player since October of 1994 as the Irish found the winning formula on the road.
Poulin was pleased with his team’s play versus the Mavericks. “I thought we played well on Tuesday night (a 1-0 loss to the Mavericks), we just didn’t score. Tonight, we scored the early goal and that got us rolling. We scored shorthanded and we scored on the power play. It was a strong all-around effort,” said Poulin.
For the Irish the win also snapped a five-game losing streak and moves them to 4-12-3 overall and 2-8-2 in CCHA play. UNO falls to 9-10-1 on the year and 6-7-1 in league play.
After being shutout on Tuesday night, the Irish came out flying in the first period and got that first goal just 2:19 into the game. It marked just the sixth time in 19 games that the Irish had scored the first goal of the game and they are now 3-1-2 when they score first.
John Wroblewski (So., Neenah, Wisc.) and Lebda teamed up on a nifty give-and-go with Lebda getting the initial shot on UNO goaltender Dan Ellis. The rebound bounced to Wroblewski and he jammed it between the post and Ellis’ pad for the goal for his second goal of the game.
After struggling to score in recent weeks, the Irish exploded for three goals in the second period as they answered each time that Nebraska-Omaha scored.
The Mavericks tied the game at 8:31 of the second period as David Brisson ripped a wrist shot past Jeremiah Kimento (Jr., Palos Hills, Ill.) from the top of the left wing circle for his eighth goal of the season.
The Irish came right back converting on their fifth power play chance of the game. Senior left wing Jay Kopischke (Alexandria, Minn.) connected for his first goal of the season as he deflected Jon Maruk’s (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) shot past Ellis at 12:18.
Just one minute and 18 seconds later, Carlson picked up his first of two goals in the period on picture perfect passes from Lebda and Ryan Dolder (Sr., Hutchinson, Minn). Dolder fed Lebda at the Maverick blueline and the freshman defenseman found Carlson cutting to the goal from the right side. Carlson was able to control the pass and slide the puck past Ellis for his fourth of the season at 13:36.
The two teams got sloppy in their own zones late in the period. UNO’s Brisson forced the Irish defense into a turnover along the right wing boards. Jeff Hoggan picked up the loose puck skated in front of Kimento and slid it past the Irish netmider for his seventh of the season at 16:16.
Less than a minute later, with the Irish killing a Nebraska-Omaha power play, the Mavericks returned the favor. Freshman center Aaron Gill (Fr., Rochester, Minn.) forced the UNO defense to turn the puck over in front of the net where Carlson was waiting. The senior left wing was all alone and just outwaited Ellis as he backhanded the puck past the sprawling goalkeeper for his fifth of the season at 17:19.
Notre Dame continued its strong play in the third period as the Irish picked up their second power play goal of the night as Lebda set up his fourth goal of the night.
The rookie blueliner fired a low wrist shot from the left point and senior right wing Matt Van Arkel (Sr., Richton Park, Ill.) was camped in front to deflect the shot past Ellis for his first goal of the season at 5:15.
All season long, Lebda had shown flashes of what he could do with the puck and tonight it all came together.
“Brett’s had some strong games this season,” said Poulin following the rookie’s five-point night.
“He led the rushes up ice and tonight he did a good job of jumping into the play without the puck. That gave us one more option and really opened things offensively. We’ve really had to play him too much this season with all the injuries on defense. He can be a better player if he only plays 20 minutes per game. Just think of what he can do leading the rush with fresh legs late in the game.”
UNO cut the lead to 5-3 when Brisson got his second goal of the game at 9:23, but the night belonged to Carlson as he quickly made the score 6-3.
After taking a pass at center from Ryan Dolder, the speedy wing raced in on Ellis, deked the freshman goaltender and slid the puck home for his sixth of the season and the first hat trick of his career. It was also the first Irish hat trick since Nov. 13, 1998 when Aniket Dhadphale scored three versus Bowling Green.
Lebda closed out the scoring with an empty net goal at 18:09 for the best game of his collegiate career. His four assists were the most by an Irish player since Oct. 21, 1994 when Jamie Ling had five assists versus Waterloo. The five-point night was also the most points in a game for the Irish since Ling’s seven-point night versus Waterloo.
Kimento picked up his third win of the season which equals his career best set last season. On the weekend, he gave up just four goals on 74 shots to improve to 3-5-1 on the season. On the night, the Irish outshot Nebraska-Omaha, 35-28. Ellis made 28 saves in the game for the Mavericks.
ND now breaks for the Christmas holidays before returning to action at the R.P.I Christmas Tournament in Troy, N.Y. on Dec. 29-30.
1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (4-12-3/2-8-2) 1 3 3 7
Nebraska-Omaha (9-10-1/6-7-1) 0 2 1 3
First Period: ND: John Wroblewski – 2 (Brett Lebda, Chad Chipchase), 2:19.
Penalties: ND: 7 for 14 minutes, UNO: 4 for 8 minutes.
Second Period: UNO: David Brisson – 8 (Allan Carr, Jeff Hoggan), 8:31, ND: Jay Kopischke – 1 (Jon Maruk, Lebda), PPG, 12:18, ND: Dan Carlson – 4 (Lebda, Ryan Dolder), 13:36, UNO: Hoggan -7 (Brisson), 16:16, ND: Carlson – 5 (Gill), SHG, 17:19.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes, UNO: 5 for 10 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Van Arkel – 1 (Lebda, Carlson), PPG, 5:15, UNO: Brisson – 9 (Hoggan, Zach Scribner), 9:23, ND: Carlson – 6 (R. Dolder), 11:57, ND: Lebda – 2 (unassisted), SHG, ENG, 18:09.
Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes, UNO: 4 for 8 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame: 9 – 13 – 13 – 35
Nebraska-Omaha 13 – 11 – 4 – 28
Notre Dame – Jeremiah Kimento (60:00) 13 – 9 – 3 – 25
Nebraska-Omaha – Dan Ellis (59:08) 8 – 10 – 10 – 28
Notre Dame: 2 for 8
Nebraska-Omaha: 0 for 9