Jan. 10, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame hockey team (8-12-4, 5-6-3 CCHA) resumes its much-travelled 1999-2000 schedule with a pair of games at Northern Michigan (both games start at 7:05 eastern) … the Irish are looking to climb farther up the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings, after moving into eighth with a win and tie last week versus Lake Superior (2-1, 1-1) … the CCHA standings currently feature one point (in succession) separating fourth through ninth place, with the Irish sitting just three points out of fourth and eight behind third-place NMU (10-3-1) … Western Michigan (7-7-2) and Ferris State (8-8-0) are tied for fourth, followed by LSSU (7-7-0) and Miami (6-4-2) … the Irish close the regular season with nine of the 14 remaining games on the road (including long trips to NMU and Alaska Fairbanks) … the NMU series will be aired live by WJVA radio 1580 AM (also available via the Notre Dame website at www.und.com, as are real-time stats for all home games).
A GROWING RIVALRY: This week’s series marks the first games between Notre Dame and NMU since the teams played a first-round CCHA playoff series at the Joyce Center last season (NMU won in three games) … the Irish and Wildcats played a tight regular-season series last season, featuring two ties and a 2-1 Irish win.
QUICK NOTES FROM THE LSSU SERIES (recaps later in release): The LSSU series ended a 55-day stretch in which the Irish played only two CCHA games (vs. Michigan State on Dec. 10-11) … all five goals in the LSSU series came during the first period … ND is 3-2-2 in its last seven games versus LSSU, after an eight-game winless streak versus the Lakers prior to last season (0-7-1) … two of ND’s three goals in the LSSU series came on the power play … the ND penalty kill is 16-for-17 during the last four games … the Irish are 17-6-5 in their last 28 regular-season home games … for the first time since rejoining the CCHA in 1992-93, Notre Dame will not be making the long trek to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to face the Lakers … due to the league’s new four-team cluster format, the Irish are not making the customary trips to four CCHA cities, including Kalamazoo, Mich. (Western Michigan), Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan) and Oxford, Ohio (Miami) … the four teams that will not visit the Joyce Center in 1999-2000 include Northern Michigan, Ferris State, Bowling Green and Ohio State.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: After shutting out Michigan State on Dec. 4 (1-0), the Irish gave up 27 goals in the next seven games before allowing just three in the LSSU series … Joe Dusbabek’s 5-on-3 goal in the loss to CC ended ND’s 1-for-20 slump on the power play … Notre Dame’s 3-3 tie with Denver included an early 2-0 Irish lead and no DU shots on goal in the game’s first 15 minutes … that game ended in a shootout, to decide which team advanced to the Denver Cup title game (ND missed all five of its shots while DU scored on its fourth try) … ND has scored the first goal in three of its last six games, with two losses and a tie in those games … nine of ND’s last 14 games have been decided by 0-1 goals (4-3-2 in those games) … ND’s last 10 OT games have produced nine ties and one loss (0-1-5 in 1998-99), with ND’s last OT victory coming nearly two years ago, a 5-4 win at Bowling Green on Jan. 24, 1998 … the Irish are 0-4-1 this season when playing the first game of non-conference weekend action … despite some solid penalty-kill moments this season, ND has fallen victim to some costly opponent PPGs, as seven of the 13 Irish margins of defeat have been due to opposing PPGs (including three of the last four losses) … ND’s four 1st-period goals in the 5-1 win over Vermont (Nov. 28) were its most in 25 games, since scoring four times in the 1st vs. UAF on Feb. 6, 1999 (a 5-2 win) … the Irish are 4-2-1 in first games of CCHA series this season (1-4-2 in the second games) … ND’s 5-3 comeback win over UMass made the Irish 2-9-1 this season when the opponent scores first (now 3-9-2, including both Lake Superior games) and 2-9-0 when facing a two-goal deficit (now 2-11-0) … ND scored a season-high three PPGs in that UMass game (5-for-12 in the series) … ND’s eight wins have featured eight different game-winning goalscorers … ND was riding a 28-for-30 penalty streak before allowing Princeton four PPGS in its final 14 chances of the series … the Irish are 17-6-5 (.696) in their last 28 regular-season home games, with three losses by one goal … the Irish are 22-0-3 during the past two seasons when leading at the second intermission (6-0-0 this season) and 17-2-2 when ahead at the first break (5-2-0) … the eight goals in the UMass series are the most by ND in consecutive games this season … ND had allowed just five goals in the previous five games before the 4-1 loss at MSU on Dec. 5 (followed by 15 goals allowed in the UMass and Princeton series and eight at the Denver Cup) … junior RW Ryan Dolder (GWG, 3 GWA) is the only Irish player with more than two game-winning points this season (a total of 14 players have scored or assisted on the eight GWGs this season) … ND’s 2.71 team goals-against average is on pace to challenge the team record set in 1998-99 (2.61) … prior to the 4-1 first period vs. Vermont, the Irish had been outscored 13-4 in the first period this season (now 26-20, with a 21-17 opponent edge in the second, 20-19 ND edge in the third) … ND has scored 0-2 goals in 14 of 24 games (six games with three, one with four, three with five) … since opening the 1998-99 season with a 10-0-2 record at home, the Irish are just 9-8-3 in their last 20 home games.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS: NMU (15-6-1, 10-3-1) remains third in the CCHA, one point behind Michigan and Michigan State … NMU split a home series last week with Ferris State (2-1, 1-5), with other CCHA losses at Western Michigan (3-5) and at home versus Lake Superior (1-4) … NMU ranks 2nd in the CCHA for scoring (3.41 goals/gm) and defense (2.18 GA/gm), 6th in power-play pct. (.1530, 9th in penalty killing (.825) and 7th in fewest penalty minutes/gm (21.45) … NMU has totaled eight shorthanded goals … the Wildcats are led by a veteran corps of five senior Fs, with four of those players currently ranking among the CCHA’s top-20 scorers … five NMU players rank among the CCHA’s top 20 scorers: Roger Trudeau (14G-10A, tied for 4th), freshman Chris Gobert (11G-8A, tied for 13th), Tyson Holly (5G-13A, tied for 16th), Bryan Phillips (6G-12A, tied for 16th) and J.P. Vigier (8G-9A, tied for 16th) … Trudeau is tied atop the CCHA goalscoring charts (14) and owns three SHGs … Gobert is the CCHA’s top-scoring freshman and is tied for seventh in the CCHA for goals (11), including three game-winners and four power-play goals … Holly is tied for 8th in the CCHA in assists (13) while Vigier owns a CCHA-best four SHGs … junior Dan Ragusett has logged 894 minutes while ranking 6th in the CCHA with a 2.02 goals-against avg. (.910 save pct., 11-4-0) … senior Duane Hoey has played 430 minutes (2.51, .884, 4-2-1).
THE ND-NMU SERIES
Notre Dame and NMU will be playing each other for the 10th and 11th time in the span of less than two years (23 months) … prior to dropping last year’s home playoff series to Northern Michigan (3-2, 1-7, 2-3), the Irish had not lost to the Wildcats since NMU rejoined the CCHA prior to the 1997-98 season, going 4-0-2 in those games … the 1999 playoffs marked Notre Dame’s first home playoff series since 1981-92 … prior the Irish sweep of the Wildcats in ’97-’98 (4-3, 3-1, 5-2), NMU had won the first six games of the series (five by a single goal), with the Wildcats now holding an all-time series edge of 8-5-2 (ND leads 5-2-2 since NMU rejoined the CCHA) … the 1998-99 regular-season series spanned 17 days and produced two 3-3 ties (at NMU on Jan. 22, at Notre Dame on Feb. 26) before the Irish won the season series with a 2-1 win on Feb. 27 … ND edged NMU by a point for fourth place in the CCHA ’98-’99 CCHA standings … ’98-’99 was the second straight year the Irish and NMU played a late-season series (Feb. 20, 27, 28 in ’97-’98) … the previous games in the series came early in ’82-’83 … ND’s Aniket Dhadphale and Ryan Dolder scored goals in all three games vs. NMU during the 1998-99 regular season … ’98-’99 Irish captain Brian Urick did not play in the 3-3 tie at NMU due to injury … since NMU rejoined the CCHA, all of its games versus ND have come in Jan., Feb. or March … ND’s top career scorers vs. NMU include senior C Ben Simon (3G-4A), junior LW Dan Carlson (1G-5A) and junior RW Ryan Dolder (3G-1A) … the Irish have not lost at NMU since the Wildcats rejoined the CCHA (4-3 win in ’97-’98, 3-3 tie last season).
FRIEND OR FOE?: Notre Dame junior RW Matt Van Arkel and NMU junior D Jeff White played together on the Milton Merchants … Irish freshman G Tony Zasowski and NMU sophomore F Chad Theuer were teammates on the Omaha Lancers.
1998-99 ND-NMU RECAPS
@ND 3, NMU 2 (3/12): ND’s Dan Carlson and Brian Urick ended personal goal slumps early in the 1st period (both unassisted) and Ben Simon scored the game-winner late in the 3rd … the game featured a CCHA-record-low eight penalty minutes (two by ND) … Forrest Karr made 18 saves in the win while Dan Ragusett had 31 … NMU tied the game behind a Brad Frattaroli goal and Tyson Holly’s SHG late in the 2nd … Urick and Chad Chipchase set up Simon’s quick rebound goal, with 2:33 left to play.
NMU 7, @ND 1 (3/13): J.P. Vigier scored an unassisted goal 13 seconds into the game and NMU broke open a 2-1 game with two goals in the 2nd and three in the 3rd to even the series … Karr made 23 saves before being replaced by Jeremiah Kimento (Ragusett stopped 26) … NMU held a 35-27 shot edge and stopped all five Irish PPs … Simon’s goal early in the 2nd averted the shutout … NMU’s other goals came from Sean Connolly, Buddy Smith, Bryan Phillips (2), Fred Matersdorfer and Vigier again … eight different NMU players collected assists, including Ragusett (on Smith’s PPG).
NMU 3, @ND 2 (3/14): Tyler Barabonoff’s first goal of the season held up as the game-winner and Ragusett completed his big series with 30 saves (he had 87 in the series, with 7 GA) … NMU took early leads in the 2nd and 3rd, behind goals from Holly and Connolly, but goals from Benoit Cotnoir and Urick twice tied the game … Cotnoir tied the game on ND’s first PPG in 15 chances … the game-winner came after a freak play in which the puck hit a seam in the back boards, as ND was trying to clear the puck … Theuer skated onto the puck and tried to feed Vigier, with Barabonoff backing up the play for the goal from the top of the crease.
ND 3, @NMU 3 (Jan. 22): Local product Aniket Dhadphale gave the Irish a 1-0 lead with a PPG midway through the first period, before Ryan Dolder scored 11 seconds later for a 2-0 game … NMU scored its first goal early in the third (on Theuer’s PPG) before Troy Bagne’s first goal of the season gave the Irish a 3-1 lead … NMU had the final push, with Lee Ruff (15:24) and Mattersdorfer (16:01) scoring in the final 5:00 … Ragusett made 27 saves while Karr had 31 … NMU was 1-6 on the PP, ND 1-4.
@ND 3, NMU 3 (Feb. 26): Simon scored a memorable goal late in the second and assisted on Dhadphale’s game-tying score with 3:43 left in regulation … ND held two leads, after goals by Dolder (assisted by Dan Carlson) and Simon, but NMU answered on scores by Theuer (rush from his own blue line) and Holly before surging ahead with 6:27 left on Smith’s unassisted goal (after winning a faceoff in the Irish end) … Karr made 27 saves, Ragusett 33 … the game featured no PPGs (ND 0-3, NMU 0-1) … Simon skated from his own end before flipping in a goal from the left side, as he was falling forward after his left skate was pulled off the ice by Connolly … NMU tied the game early in the 3rd, when Holly knocked home a pass from Mattersdorfer before Smith’s shot found its way through a crowded crease area … on the final goal, Simon zipped a pass from the left corner and Dhadphale beat Ragusett, low to the glove side.
@ND 2, NMU 1 (Feb. 27): Dhadphale ended ND’s 0-for-33 power-play drought midway through the 2nd period and Dolder also scored again … Karr posted 22 saves while helping stop four NMU power plays before yielding a 6-on-4 goal with 0:36 left … Dhadphale opened the scoring at 13:16 of the second period, taking a cross-ice pass from Urick and beating Ragusett with a high glove-side shot from the top of the left circle … Dolder scored at 13:06 of the third, on a line-change, give-and-go score with Chipchase (Dolder’s low shot from the left circle tucked inside the far post) … NMU pulled Ragusett with 54 seconds left to play and capitalized with a 6-on-4 goal from the top of the left circle by Doug Schmidt.
AROUND THE HORN
Junior RW Ryan Dolder has 10 points (3G-7A) in the last 10 games and has moved atop the Irish scoring charts with 16 points (5G-11A) … senior RW Joe Dusbabek’s PPG vs. LSSU made him the eighth different player to record a game-winning goal for ND this season (in eight wins) … Dusbabek leads ND with eight points in CCHA play (3G-5A) and ranks second on the team with five PPGs … he has two PPGs in the last three games and has totaled 12 points during his last 15 games played (4G-8A ) … sophomore F David Inman returned to center in the LSSU series and had 1G-1A in the two games, in his first action since returning from the World Junior Championship … Inman’s goal in the 2-1 win was his first in his last five games played and just his second since Nov. 6 (spanning nine games played) … both of freshman RW Michael Chin’s goals this season have come during the last five games (he scored in the 1-1 tie with LSSU) … senior C Ben Simon (6G-9A) and Inman (8) still remain the only Irish players with more than five goals … senior LW Andy Jurkowski has played in a team-best 76 consecutive games … junior LW Jay Kopischke has 3G-3A in his last eight games played (2G-7A in the previous 76) … senior C Troy Bagne has 2G-2A in 14 games played this season (3G-8A in 99 games during his first three seasons) … Simon’s five-game point streak was snapped in the Denver Cup … Simon has 113 career pts (37G-76A) in 126 games … Simon notched his third career two-goal game in the UMass win (he has yet to record a hat trick) … Simon-who was held without a point at the DU Cup-has 10 points (4G-6A) in his last 10 games (five in first 12) … Simon is averaging just 2.3 shots/game (45 in 21 GP), compared to 3.1 in ’98-’99 (113 in 37) and 2.8 over his first three seasons (287 in 104) … Dolder was recognized by the coaching staff for his emerging leadership by being named the team’s third alternate captain on Dec. 1 … Jurkowski posted the first multi-point game of his career in the 4-3 loss to Princeton (2A) and is tied for sixth on the team with 10 points (4G-6A, he had 2G-4A in 70 games over his first three seasons, as mostly a D) … Jurkowski has no points in the last five games (0G-2A in the last nine) and is in the midst of a 13-game goalless streak (he had 4G in the previous six games) … Dolder, junior LW Dan Carlson and Jurkowski are the only players to appear in all 24 games this season … sophomore Sam Cornelius has played five of the last six games as a fourth-line LW/extra D … freshman C Connor Dunlop has not registered a point since Nov. 13 (11 team games), with no points in four games played while missing three games due to injury and four while at the World Junior Championship … sophomore C Brett Henning has no points since Nov. 28 (he has no points in his last six GP while also playing in the World Juniors) … Inman has 3A in his last three games, after totaling just one in the first 17 … Carlson’s four-game point streak was snapped in the LSSU tie (he has points in six of the last eight games, 2G-4A).
FROM THE BLUE LINE
Senior D Sean Molina’s seven points this season (1G-6A) are a career-best … junior D Ryan Clark (from nearby Littleton, Colo.) scored in the Denver game for his first goal of the season and second of his career … Molina scored in the 4-3 loss to Princeton on Dec. 19, for his first career goal … Molina ranks third on the squad in plus-minus (+3), after ranking second on the ’98-’99 squad (+13) … Molina has totaled just 34 career penalties (three in the last 14 games) while playing the most games (130) of any current Irish player (he is averaging 3.8 games per penalty for his career) … Molina is tied for fifth on the 1999-2000 team with six assists, equaling his career-best season total from ’97-’98 … senior D Tyson Fraser’s assist vs. UMass was his 50th career point (7G-43A) and marked his 45th career game with a goal or assist … freshman D Evan Nielsen has 2G-3A in the last seven games.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Freshman Tony Zasowski ranks 7th overall in the CCHA with a 2.41 GAA , which would best the Irish record of 2.58 set by Forrest Karr last season, while sophomore Jeremiah Kimento (2.84) ranks 11th in the CCHA … Zasowski and Kimento combined for 56 saves and three GA in the LSSU series … Zasowski picked up the 2-1 win over LSSU in his first appearance since Dec. 10, making 29 saves and helping stop all six Lakers power plays … Zasowski closed the game with 28 straight saves, after allowing an early goal … he had allowed four goals in each of his previous two games … Zasowski raised his season save percentage to .912, ahead of the long-standing ND record of .907 (set by Mark Kronholm in 1970-71) … Zasowski has allowed 0-2 goals in eight of his 11 starts … Kimento closed the 1-1 game vs. LSSU with 25 straight saves (he totaled 27) … Zasowski turned in an earlier shutout streak of 130:36, spanning 54 minutes of the 2-1 loss at UNH and the first 76 minutes of the MSU series … ND’s team GAA of 2.71 could challenge the team record (2.61 ,set in 1998-99), but the Irish have allowed 27 goals in a recent eight-game stretch … Zasowski (19 saves vs. UAF, 24 vs. MSU) is the second ND goalie with two solo shutouts in the same season (Karr shut out OSU and Miami in ’98-’99) … Kimento posted a 19-save shutout vs. Union, marking the first time that the Irish have shut out three opponents in the same season … ND is one of five schools with a pair of goalies in the CCHA’s top-13 GAA leaders, along with Michigan State (Ryan Miller, 1st, 1.44, Joe Blackburn, 2nd, 1.83), NMU (Dan Ragusett, 6th, 2.02, Duane Hoey, 8th, 2.51), Ferris State (Phil Osaer, 3rd, 1.84, Vince Owen, 13th, 2.95) and Michigan (L.J. Scarpace, 4th, 1.85, Kevin O’Malley, 10th, 2.65) … junior G Kyle Kolquist made his first career start (and second career appearance) in the 4-2 loss to Princeton, with 21 saves and just one even-strength goal allowed.
RACKING UP THE MILES: Notre Dame’s 11 road trips this season cover many miles, with two trips to Denver, plus this week’s trip to the upper peninsula for a series at Northern Michigan, the upcoming trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, and earlier visits to Omaha, Neb. and Durham, N.H. … the other trips include Big Rapids/Grand Rapids, Mich., East Lansing, Mich. (2), Bowling Green, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio … the reworked CCHA “cluster” schedule resulted in the loss of the customary short trips to Kalamazoo (Western Michigan) or Ann Arbor (Michigan).
BACK TO FULL STRENGTH: Notre Dame faced some interesting lineup choices in the Princeton series (just 10 healthy F and seven D), due to the absence of three U.S. junior national team members: sophomore C Brett Henning, sophomore C/LW David Inman and freshman C Connor Dunlop … three others missed that series: senior RW Joe Dusbabek (illness), junior D Ryan Clark (injury) and freshman RW John Wroblewski (injury), with Dusbabek and Clark returning for the Denver Cup and Wroblewski back for the LSSU series.
AT THE MIDPOINT: Despite an 0-4-0 start in the CCHA, ND is 5-2-3 in its last 10 CCHA games and tied for eighth, three points out of fourth … ND ranks 10th in the CCHA for overall goals/gm (2.38), 5th in goals allowed (2.75), 5th in power-play pct. (.159), 7th in penalty-kill pct. (.843) and 1st in fewest penalty minutes/gm (16.13) … sophomore C/LW David Inman is tied for 17th in the CCHA with eight goals in 20 games played (he had 10 in ’98-’99) while senior C Ben Simon is tied for sixth in the CCHA with five PPGs in 23 games played … junior RW Ryan Dolder (5G-11A) is tied for 24th on the CCHA scoring charts, tied for 12th in assists.
AVOIDING THE SIN BIN: ND’s low team GAA (2.71) is due in large part to a surging penalty kill (.843, 16-for-17 streak) and the CCHA’s least-penalized squad (7.5 penalties, 16.2 PIM/gm, leading to just 5.6 opp. PP chances/gm) … since ranking as the CCHA’s most-penalized team in ’95-’96 (11.31), the Irish were the CCHA’s least-penalized in ’96-’97 (8.69) and ’97-’98 (6.37) and the third-least penalized in ’98-’99 (8.40) … ND’s more disciplined players include soph. RW John Wroblewski (2 penalties), senior LW Andy Jurkowksi (3, 22 in 94 career games), senior C Ben Simon (6, compared to 30-31-31 in the past three seasons), and sophomore C Brett Henning (4, 19 in 58 career games) … senior D Sean Molina has eight penalties this season (34 in 130 career games) … senior D Nathan Borega had just 16 penalties as a sophomore and 13 as junior but has 23 this season.
LSSU RECAP (2-1, 1-1, Jan. 7-8): ND responded to an early LSSU goal with two 1st-period scores and rode the 29-save effort of Tony Zasowski the rest of the way … ND played without Ben Simon (game DQ vs. CC) … LSSU received 34 saves from Jayme Platt but failed to cash in on six PP chances … ND received an early goal from David Inman (he put back his own breakway) while Joe Dusbabek scored the game-winning PPG, after crisp passes from Dan Carlson and Ryan Dolder … LSSU jumped ahead in the 5th minute, with Ryan Knox scoring at the top of the crease … in the second game, Jeremiah Kimento closed the game with 25 straight saves (27 total) while Platt stopped 29 Irish shots and six PP chances in the final two periods and OT (36 total saves) … LSSU jumped out to an early lead, on Fred Slukynsky’s tough shot from the left circle … ND answered later in the 1st, on Michael Chin’s PPG (he tipped in Evan Nielsen’s shot from the right point).
IRISH HELP U.S. REACH WORLD SEMI’S: Three ND players returned from a three-week stint with the U.S. National Junior Team, helping the U.S. reach the semi-finals of the World Junior Championship in Sweden (Dec. 26-Jan. 4) … this marked the fourth straight year that Irish players have been members of the prestigious 22-player team … the invitees included soph. C Brett Henning (Huntington, N.Y.), soph. C/LW David Inman (Toronto, Ont.) and fr. C Connor Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.)-most from any school on the initial roster … early U.S. highlights included ties with eventual finalist Czech Republic (2-2) and rival Canada (1-1) … Dunlop assisted on the first U.S. goal and scored unassisted to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead, in a 5-1 quarterfinal win over Sweden … the Czechs beat the U.S. in the semi’s (4-1) before Canada claimed the bronze with a shootout win over the U.S. (4-3, 3-1 in shootout) … Dunlop-who alternated as the 2nd and 3rd-line center-led the U.S. in faceoff pct. (64), winning 69 of 108 … Henning won 14 of his 37 faceeoffs as the 4th-line center while Inman was used as a winger on several lines … the team first assembled Dec. 13 in West Point, N.Y., and was introduced between periods of the N.Y. Rangers-L.A. Kings game on Dec. 15 … Boston College leads the way with nine selections to the National Junior Team during the past four years, followed by ND (7).