Jan. 8, 2002
WILDCAT INVASION: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will look to get back on the winning track this weekend as they play host to the Northern Michigan Wildcats in the third and fourth games of the current six-game homestand. The Wildcats come into the weekend ranked eighth in the USA Today Poll and ninth in the US College Hockey Online Poll. Notre Dame will be looking to get back in the win column after picking up just one point versus #8/#8 Michigan last weekend. The Irish tied the Wolverines on Friday, Jan. 4, 3-3, rallying from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits. On Saturday, Jan. 5, Michigan prevailed 2-1 despite a career-high 37-save performance from freshman goaltender Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.). Northern Michigan took three points last weekend versus Nebraska-Omaha at home, winning 3-1 and tying 2-2. The Wildcats start the week in fifth place in the CCHA standings with 16 points. They trail third-place Ohio State and Alaska Fairbanks by one point and first-place Michigan State and Michigan by five. Northern has a two-point lead on the Irish who are currently in eighth place with a 5-5-4 record in league play, good for 14 points. The Irish are one point behind sixth-place Ferris State and Nebraska-Omaha. Notre Dame has one game in hand versus Ferris State and two with Nebraska-Omaha and Alaska Fairbanks. The Irish will close out the current homestand next weekend (Jan. 18-19) when they play host to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame has played eight of its first 20 games at home and is 3-3-2 at the Joyce Center.
IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: These two teams have already met twice this season, splitting a pair of games in Marquette, Mich., on Nov. 2-3. Notre Dame won the series-opener 5-4 while Northern Michigan took the second meeting, 4-1. The two teams have met 21 times in the all-time series with Northern holding an 11-6-4 edge in those games. At the Joyce Center, the Wilcats are 7-4-2 including a win (3-1) and a tie (3-3) last season. Since Northern Michigan returned to the CCHA for the 1997-98 season, the Irish have a slight edge in the 15 games played (6-5-4). The last time Notre Dame beat Northern Michigan at home was March 12, 1999, a 3-2 win in the CCHA quarterfinals. Since that game, the Irish are 0-3-1 in the last four games at the Joyce Center versus the Wildcats.
SCOUTING NORTHERN MICHIGAN: Hard work and tough, tenacious defense have always been the trademarks of the Northern Michigan Wildcats and this season is no different. Coach Rick Comley’s squad is second in the CCHA in goals against, allowing just 2.40 per game and just 2.07 in league play. Chad Theuer (9-20-29) and Bryce Cockburn (9-11-20) lead the Wildcats offensively while Craig Kowalski is fourth in the CCHA among goaltenders with a 2.43 goals against average. Kowalski has started 19 of Northern’s 20 games and is 11-6-2 wth a .908 save percentage. For more information on the Wildcats, check their website at www.nmu.edu/athletics.
HEAD COACH DAVE POULIN: Irish head coach Dave Poulin is now in his seventh season behind the Notre Dame bench. He owns an 88-129-34 (.418) overall record and is 62-95-30 (.412) in CCHA contests. Against Northern Michigan, Poulin-coached teams are 6-5-4.
MICHIGAN RECAP: David Inman (Sr., Toronto, Ont.) scored a pair of goals and Aaron Gill (So., Rochester, Minn.) scored the game-tying goal with 5:41 left in the third period to give the Irish a 3-3 tie with eighth-ranked Michigan on Jan. 4. Notre Dame trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in the game and scored twice in the last nine minutes for the tie. Goaltender Morgan Cey continued his strong play by making 33 saves on the night as the Irish were outshot 36-25 in the game. Michigan scored once in the first (John Shouneyia, 15:50, PPG) and once in the second (Michael Woodford, 14:57) before Inman got his first of the night at 16:50 for the Irish. The Wolverines made it 3-1 with their second power play goal of the game at 8:30 of the third period by Brandon Rogers. Inman cut the lead to 3-2 at 11:04 off a great feed from Connor Dunlop (Jr., St. Louis, Mo.) and Gill got his sixth of the season to tie the game at 14:19. Michigan was 2-for-4 on the power play while the Irish were 0-for-3. Josh Blackburn made 22 saves in goal for Michigan. On Saturday, Jan. 5, the Irish jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead as Michael Chin (Jr., Urbana, Ill.) scored his ninth of the season just 1:06 into the game off a pass from Jake Wiegand (Jr., Northville, Mich.). With the Irish on a power play, Woodford tied the game at 1-1 as he and Shouneyia combined on a two-on-one at 16:21 of the first period. Michigan would get the game-winning goal off a scramble in front at 19:08 of the second period as Mark Mink was able to tuck a rebound past Cey for the final goal of the game. Cey made a career-high 37 saves on the night. Blackburn had 26 stops for the Wolverines.
HAVING HIS CEY: Freshman goaltender Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.) was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week for his play in the week ending Dec. 30, 2001. Cey led the Irish to a pair of wins at Princeton to give the Irish their first road sweep since 1997. The 6-3, 174-pound puckstopper stopped 48 of 51 shots in the 2-1 and 4-2 wins to record a 2-0 mark with a 1.50 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. Versus Michigan, the former Flin Flon Bomber stopped 70 of 75 shots on the weekend (.933 save percentage) while giving up just two even-strength goals on the weekend. Over his last seven games, Cey is 4-2-1 with a 2.12 goals against and a .927 save percentage.
MAKING THE CEY-VE: Freshman goaltender Morgan Cey made a career-high 37 saves in the 2-1 loss to Michigan on Jan. 5. That followed a 33-save performance the previous night in the 3-3 tie. On the season, Cey is 6-8-3 with a 2.97 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.
SHOT STUFF: Prior to the Michigan series, the Irish had outshot the opposition in six consecutive games by a 245-150 margin (40.8 to 25.0 average). Michigan turned the tables by outshooting the Irish 75-51 in the two games. When the Irish outshoot their opponents, they are 7-2-1. When outshot, Notre Dame is 0-5-4.
THE IN(MAN) THING: Senior forward David Inman is in the midst of the best season of his Notre Dame career. His two-goal game versus Michigan (1/4) was the sixth two-goal game of Inman’s career. He ranks second on the team in scoring with 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points which puts him 13th in the CCHA scoring race. His 11 goals rank fifth in the CCHA this season. The 10 assists equal his career-high set in both his freshman and sophomore seasons while his 11 goals equals his total from last season. The 21-points is a career-high for Inman. The Toronto, Ont. native also had a career-high 10 shots on goal in the Dec. 8 game at Bowling Green. On Nov. 2, he recorded the second four-point game of his career in the 5-4 Irish win at Northern Michigan.
STREAKING IRISH: Connor Dunlop had his career-high seven-game point streak (2-9-11) snapped in the 2-1 loss to Michigan … Rob Globke returns from his tour of duty with the U.S. Junior National team and has a four-game point-streak (3-3-6) … defenseman Tom Galvin has points in three of his last four games (0-3-3) and has points in seven of his last nine games (2-6-8) … Aaron Gill has points in two of his last three games (1-2-3) … Michael Chin has goals in three of his last four games (3-0-3) and has points in 11 of his last 13 games (8-6-14) … Jake Wiegand (0-2-2) has a two-game point-scoring streak, the longest of his career.
TV TIME: Notre Dame’s game with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Saturday, Jan. 19 will be televised locally by WHME-TV with Bob Nagle and Craig Brown calling the action. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
BACK IN THE USA: Notre Dame center Rob Globke and defenseman Brett Lebda will return to the lineup this weekend versus Northern Michigan after helping the U.S. Junior National team to a 4-1-2 record and a fifth-place finish at the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic. Globke had two goals and an assist for three points in seven games while Lebda had two goals in the tournament. The lone U.S. loss came to Russia in the quarterfinal round. Russia went on to wen the tournament. The Irish have had at least one player on the National Junior team in each of the last six years and along with Boston College have had 11 players in that period.
Brett Lebda – 2001-02ROAD SWEEPS: Notre Dame’s two wins over Princeton marked the first time since the Irish swept a series on the road since Oct. 17-18, 1997 when they won two games at St. Cloud State (4-3 in ot and 4-1).
INMAN-GLOBKE-CHIN: Irish coach Dave Poulin assembled the line of David Inman, Rob Globke and Michael Chin prior to the Lake Superior series and the trio paid instant dividends. In the 7-0 shutout, they combined for two goals and five assists. The following night the threesome had three goals and one assist. Versus Bowling Green, the trio combined for two goals and five assists and seven points. In four games together, the Irish line has seven goals, 11 assists and 18 points. They have 47 shots on goal and are +15. The group hasn’t played since the Bowling Green series when Globke left for the World Junior Championships.
BIG JAKE: With Rob Globke at the World Junior Championships, junior Jake Wiegand moved between Inman and Chin for the Michigan series. The 6-2, 218-pound forward picked up assists in each game to give him a career-best two game point streak. Wiegand has already equalled his career-best mark with three assists this season. Last year was his best year point-wise as he collected a goal and three assists for four points.
SAM’S THE MAN: Senior left wing Sam Cornelius, playing in just his third game of the season, scored the winning goal in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Princeton. After Jon Maruk (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) outmuscled the Princeton defense to drive to the goal, Cornelius was there to jam the rebound past Dave Stathos just 2:27 into the third period to give Notre Dame a 3-1 lead. Cornelius followed the goal versus Princeton by helping set up Michael Chin’s goal in the 2-1 loss to Michigan. A converted defenseman, Cornelius has now scored three goals in his career with two of them being game-winners. His first game-winner came during his freshman year (1998-99) versus Ferris State.
PENALTY KILLING PROWESS: During the month of December, the Irish penalty killers killed 35 of 38 opponent power play chances for a 92.1% success rate. Michigan put a dent in the Irish penalty killing success by scoring twice on four chances in the 3-3 tie. In the 2-1 loss, the Irish killed Michigan’s only power play, but were hurt on the other side when Michigan tied the game with a shorthanded goal in the first period. Notre Dame has now killed 38 of its last 43 times shorthanded (84.4%). For the season, the Irish have killed 98 of 114 chances for an 86.0% success rate.
A LITTLE CHIN MUSIC: Junior right wing Michael Chin has now scored goals in three of his last four games. He scored the lone goal in Notre Dame’s 2-1 loss to Michigan just 1:06 into the game. That follows the weekend series at Princeton where he notched a power play goal in each game. His goal on Dec. 28 was the game-winner while his goal on Dec. 29 gave the Irish a 2-1 lead in the second period. Chin now has a career-high nine goals (tied for 10th in the CCHA) and a career-best 15 points on the season. His previous best came as a freshman when he had six goals and seven assists for 13 points. Chin also set a career-high when he had nine shots on goal in the 2-1 win on Dec. 28. For the series, Chin had 15 shots on goal.
ALWAYS TRYING TO HELP: Irish center Connor Dunlop added to his career-best assists total with one in the 3-3 tie with Michigan. Dunlop now has a career-highs in assists (19) and points (24). The Notre Dame playmaker saw his career-high seven-game point-scoring streak (2-9-11) snapped in the 2-1 loss to Michigan. Dunlop is tied for seventh in the CCHA in scoring with five goals and 19 assists for 24 points. His 19 assists tie him for third among the league leaders.
CAREER YEAR: Junior center John Wroblewski recorded the first two-goal game of his career in Notre Dame’s 4-2 win over Princeton. Wroblewski scored the first goal of the game on the power play and then added an empty net goal. On the year, Wroblewski has career highs in goals (7) and points (11) while his four assists equal his career high.
PENALTY SHOTS: After not being involved with a penalty shot either for or against for over two seasons, Notre Dame has had two called this season. On Dec. 8 at Bowling Green, Irish goaltender Morgan Cey stopped BG’s Greg Day at 9:52 of the second period. That was the first penalty shot called against the Irish since Mar. 13, 1999 when Matt Eisler stopped Michigan’s Bill Muckalt in a 4-2 Notre Dame win in the CCHA playoffs. Earlier this season (Oct. 12), sophomore Rob Globke scored on a penalty shot versus Union College’s Brandon Snee at 3:41 of the third period in the 7-4 loss to Union College. That was the first penalty shot by an an Irish player since Feb. 5, 1998 when Brian Urick was stopped by Ohio State’s Jeff Maund.
END OF THE LINE: Earlier this season, Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey recorded a career-best shutout streak of 111:24 between Nov. 17 and Dec. 7. Cey held Western Michigan off the scoreboard the final 13:40 of the third period on Nov. 17 and then followed that with a Dec. 1 shutout of Lake Superior State. The streak was snapped when Bowling Green scored at 17:44 of the second period in the 6-3 win over Bowling Green on Dec. 7.
CAREER BESTS: Michael Chin, Yan Stastny and Tom Galvin all had career-best games in the 6-3 win over Bowling Green (Dec. 7). Chin (a goal and two assists) and Stastny (three assists) each had career-high three-point games. Galvin had the first two-goal game of his career.
GALVIN-IZED: Defenseman Tom Galvin has proven to be an offensive force on the Notre Dame blueline this season. The sophomore defenseman ranks fourth on the team in scoring with three goals and 11 assists for 14 points which ties him for sixth among CCHA defensemen in scoring. Galvin turned in an assist in each of Notre Dame’s wins versus Princeton and has points in seven of his last nine games (2-6-8). Galvin had the first two-goal game of his career on Dec. 7 versus the Falcons, getting the game-winner early in the second period.
ON THE OFFENSIVE: After 14 CCHA league games, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish lead the league in scoring with and average of 3.57 goals per game. That puts the Irish 0.30 goals ahead of Michigan and Ferris State as both those schools average 3.27 goals per game. In 20 games overall, the Irish rank sixth among CCHA teams with 3.25 goals per game. After scoring just 12 goals in their first five games (2.40 gpg), the Irish have scored 53 goals in their last 15 games (3.53 gpg). Over their last eight games the Irish have scored 30 goals (3.75 per game).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Defenseman Evan Nielsen (Jr., Evanston, Ill.) was selected the CCHA’s Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Dec. 2. Nielsen anchored a Notre Dame defense that turned in a 7-0 shutout and a 5-2 win over Lake Superior State, allowing just 39 shots in the two games. He was also part of a penalty-killing unit that killed off 14 consecutive Laker power play chances. The Irish captain also joined the offensive attack scoring a goal and adding an assist in the 7-0 win. For the weekend, Nielsen was a +5. He is the first Notre Dame player to take defensive player of the week honors since Feb. 20, 2000 when Tony Zasowski was selected for the honor.
GLOBKE GOALS: Sophomore forward Rob Globke snapped a 10-game personal goal-scoring drought in the weekend series with Lake Superior. After scoring two goals on Oct. 12 versus Union College, the Irish sniper did not score a goal until the Dec. 1 game with the Lakers when he picked up a goal and an assist. In the Dec. 2 game, Globke found the back of the net twice for his second multiple-goal game of the season. On the year, Globke now has five goals and six assists for 11 points.
SHARE THE WEALTH: Versus Lake Superior State, the Irish spread the offense around in both weekend wins. In the Dec. 1, 7-0 shutout win, 12 different players picked up points led by David Inman’s three-point (1g, 2a) night. In Sunday’s (Dec. 2) 5-2 win, 11 different players made the scoresheet with Rob Globke (2 goals) and Connor Dunlop (2 assists) leading the way.
CEY CAN YOU SEE: Freshman goaltender Morgan Cey recorded his first Notre Dame shutout by making 20 saves in Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Lake Superior (12/1). The shutout was the first by an Irish goaltender since Dec. 4, 1999 when Tony Zasowski blanked Michigan State, 1-0. The shutout was the 27th in Notre Dame history and the 10th by an Irish goaltender in CCHA play. The 7-0 margin of victory was the largest shutout by an Irish goaltender against a CCHA team.
PERANI CUP STANDINGS: Perani’s Hockey World is the CCHA’s sponsor of the league’s “Three Stars of the Game.” Members of the media are asked to select the game’s three stars for which points are accumulated – 1st Star gets five points, 2nd Star gets three and 3rd Star gets one. Here are the standings for Notre Dame players in CCHA games only:
MARGIN OF VICTORY: The seven goals scored by Notre Dame in the 7-0 shutout of Lake Superior State is the largest margin of victory the Irish have ever had in a CCHA contest. The seven-goal win was the biggest by Notre Dame since a 10-2 win over St. Francis Xavier on Oct. 14, 1994.
TURNING ON THE POWER: The Irish are 15 for 94 on the power play this season (16.0%). Over the last 11 games, Notre Dame is 12-for-59 (20.3%) with the man-advantage. For the first time in almost two seasons (54 games), the Irish turned in back-to-back games with two or more power play goals. Notre Dame was two-for-10 versus Ferris State (Nov. 9) and followed with a two-for-seven performance on (Nov. 10). The last time the Irish scored two or more power play goals in back-to-back games was Feb. 12 and Feb. 18, 2000. Notre Dame was four-for-10 versus Nebraska-Omaha (Feb. 12) and two-for-three versus Bowling Green (Feb. 18). David Inman leads the team with five power play goals while Aaron Gill has three. Michael Chin and John Wroblewski each have two goals with the man-advantage while Brett Lebda, Connor Dunlop and Alex Lalonde each have one.
WCHA TOP 50: Irish hockey great Bill Nyrop has been selected to the WCHA’s Top 50 all-time players list that will be announced throughout the 2001-02 season, the 50th anniversary of the league. Nyrop was included in the first list of 10 players announced on Nov. 29. The Irish were members of the WCHA from 1971 through 1981. Nyrop played at Notre Dame from 1970-74 and was Notre Dame’s first All-American – selected first team All-America and second team all-WCHA following the 1972-73 season. During his Notre Dame career, he played in 132 games with 17 goals and 72 assists for 89 points. Selected in the fourth round of the 1972 NHL Entry Draft, he played on three Stanley Cup championship teams (1976, 1977 and 1978) with the Montreal Canadiens. He died at the age of 43 in December of 1995.
CENTRAL SCOUTING RATINGS: The National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service has released it’s preliminary rankings of college players who are eligible for the 2002 Draft which will be held in Toronto, June 22-23. Five Notre Dame players are among the 15 CCHA players listed in the top 50 collegiate players. Forward Rob Globke was ranked second behind Boston University’s Ryan Whitney. Defenseman Brett Lebda is ranked 36th, forward Alex Lalonde is ranked 40th, center Yan Stastny is ranked 42nd and defenseman Joe Zurenko is ranked 46th. The entire list can be found at centralscouting.nhl.com.
FIVE IN A ROW: Goaltender Morgan Cey started the first five games of his Notre Dame career to join Greg Louder (1990-94) as the only two goaltenders to play the first five games of their careers. Cey and Louder are the last two rookies to start a season opener in goal at Notre Dame. Cey made 28 saves in a 2-1 loss to Union College on Oct. 11. Louder made 36 saves in a 7-2 loss at Minnesota on Oct. 23, 1990. Cey’s streak was stopped after five games when junior Tony Zasowski made his first start of the season versus Northeastern. Louder went on to start all 33 games that season, missing just 30 minutes of play, while turning in a 16-15-2 record. For the year, Cey has started 15 of Notre Dame’s 18 games on the season.
ONE FOR ZASOWSKI: Goaltender Tony Zasowski picked up his first win of the season in Notre Dame’s 5-2 win over Lake Superior State. The junior goaltender made 17 saves. The start versus the Lakers was his third of the season. He recorded ties at Northeastern (Oct. 27) and versus Ferris State (Nov. 10). For the year, Zasowski is 1-0-2 with a 2.53 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.
BRONCO BUSTER: The Western Michigan Broncos bring out the best in Notre Dame defenseman Neil Komadoski (So., St. Louis, Mo.). In the 4-4 tie (Nov. 16), Komadoski picked up the second multiple-point game of his career (two assists) with both coming versus Western Michigan. Last season, Komadoski had a pair of assists in the Jan. 12 game. In his career, the rugged defenseman has five points (1g, 4a) in six games versus the Broncos.
FOUR-POINT WEEKEND: Sophomore defenseman Tom Galvin (So., Miller Place, N.Y.) scored as many points in two games versus Ferris State (Nov. 9-10) as he did in 26 games last year. Galvin turned in the first two multiple-point games of his career with a pair of assists in each contest. Last season, the 5-9, 187-pound blueliner had four assists for the year. Galvin leads Notre Dame defensemen with three goals and 11 assists for 14 points.
CAREER FIRSTS: T.J. Mathieson (So., Clarksville, Md.) and Kyle Dolder (So., Hutchinson, Minn.) each scored their first collegiate goals in the 5-2 win over Ferris State (11/9). For Dolder, his goal was also the first game-winning goal of his career. Defenseman Tom Galvin also had the first multiple point games of his career collecting two assists in each of the Ferris State games (11/9 and 11/10). Goaltender Tony Zasowski (Jr., Darien, Ill.) recorded the first assist of his Notre Dame career when he helped set up Brett Lebda’s second period goal in the 3-3 tie with Ferris State (11/10).
FOUR BY FOUR: Connor Dunlop’s four-point and four-assist game on Nov. 2 at Northern Michigan were career-bests for the junior center. The four-point game extended his point-scoring streak to a personal-best of five consecutive games (1-9-10). The last Notre Dame player to get four assists in a game was defenseman Brett Lebda, who had four assists in a five-point game at Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 20, 2000.
LEBDA FOR THE DEFENSE: Sophomore defenseman Brett Lebda turned in the first two-goal game of his career in the 5-4 win over Northern Michigan. For the offensive-minded blueliner, the two goals were his first of the season. In the win over Northern, Lebda also had a career-high 10 shots on goal, passing his previous best of eight set in his rookie year versus Niagara at the Maverick Stampede.
PENALTY MARK: With 24 penalties for 78 minutes in the loss to Northern Michigan, the Irish set school records for both penalties and minutes. The previous record for penalties was 22 at Michigan State (3/4/00). The previous penalty-minute record was 77 and was also set versus Northern Michigan on Dec. 12, 1981. Rob Globke (So., West Bloomfield, Mich.) led the Irish with six penalties for 31 minutes.
IRON MEN: Sophomore defenseman Brett Lebda (So., Buffalo Grove, Ill.) saw his streak of 55 consecutive games snapped when he did not play for the Irish at Princeton. He is currently a member of the U.S. Junior National Team at the World Junior Championships. Lebda had the longest streak of consecutive games for the Irish since graduated right wing Ryan Dolder played in 103 consecutive games over a three-season period including every game in 1999-00 and 2000-01. Dolder’s teammate, Dan Carlson was the only other Irish player to played in every game over his last two seasons. Carlson finished his career playing in 101 consecutive games. For his career, Carlson played in 158 of a possible 160 games. The only two he missed came while playing at the World Junior Championships in 1998-99.
CLOSING THE DEAL: After going 50 games (42-0-8) without losing when taking a lead into the third period, the Irish lost two in a row with a third-period lead. The losses at Ohio State (10/21) and Boston College (10/26) snapped the 50-game unbeaten string that went back to Jan. 9, 1998. Prior to this season, that was the last time the Irish lost when leading after two periods. In that game, UAF’s Sean Fraser tied the game (2-2) with a power-play goal in the third minute of the final period before Chris Kirwan converted a breakaway with 0:45 left in overtime. Since the loss at Boston College, the Irish are now 4-0-0 in games that they lead after two periods of play.
BAD ENDINGS: Notre Dame has struggled in the third period this season giving up 24 goals while scoring 19. Eleven of the goals came in three games as the Irish surrendered five third-period goals in a 7-4 loss to Union College (Oct. 12), four third-period goals to Boston College in a 4-1 loss (Oct. 26) and two third-period goals in a 3-2 loss at Ohio State (Oct. 21).
FOR OPENERS: Notre Dame’s 2-1 season-opening loss to Union College on Oct. 11 makes the Irish 17-18-0 in season openers in the 35 years of hockey during the modern era at Notre Dame. Notre Dame is 0-3 in its last three season openers with the last win coming on Oct. 2, 1998, a 2-1 win over Wisconsin in the first game played at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. Notre Dame is also 20-15 in its first 35 home openers. The Irish opened with a win at home last season, a 2-1 overtime win versus Wayne State.
FIVE-GOAL PERIOD: Union College exploded for five third-period goals in the 7-4 win over the Irish on Oct. 12. The last time the Irish surrendered five goals in a period was on Nov. 20, 1998 when Western Michigan scored five goals in the third period of a 9-5 Notre Dame victory.
Bloodlines: Four current members of the Notre Dame hockey program – senior forward Jon Maruk, junior center Connor Dunlop, sophomore defenseman Neil Komadoski and freshman forward Yan Stastny – hold a unique connection, as each of their fathers enjoyed a lengthy career in the National Hockey League. Dennis Maruk played 14 NHL seasons-with the California Golden Seals (’75-’76), Cleveland Barons (’76-’78), Minnesota North Stars (’78-’79, ’83-’88) andthe Washington Capitols (’78-’83)-and finished as the NHL’s fourth-leading scorer in 1982 (60G-76A) while compiling 878 career points (356G-522A) in 888 games.
Blake Dunlop played 11 seasons in pro hockey (’73-’84), including NHL stints with the Minnesota North Stars (’73-’77), Philadelphia Flyers (’77-’79), St. Louis Blues (’79-’84) and Detroit Red Wings (’83-’84), while totaling 130G-274A in 550 career NHL games.
Neil Komadoski, Sr., played eight NHL seasons as a defenseman with the Los Angeles Kings (’72-’78) and the St. Louis Blues (’77-’80), totaling 16G-76A and 632 penalty minutes in 501 career games.
Rounding out the quartet is Peter Stastny who played 15 seasons in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques (’80-’90), the New Jersey Devils (’90-’93) and the St. Louis Blues (’93-’95) is currently the 23rd all-time scorer in league history with 450 goals, 789 assists and 1,239 points in 997 games. A six-time NHL all-star, Stastny is the highest scoring European-born player in NHL history and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998. The 1981 NHL rookie-of-the-year, Stastny is currently a special assignment scout for the St. Louis Blues and will serve as general manager for the 2002 Slovakia Olympic team.
Notre Dame’s NHL connection doesn’t stop there. Senior Brett Henning who suffered a career-ending neck injury last season is the son of former NHL player and coach Lorne Henning who played nine seasons with the New York Islanders (’72-’81) and has been involved in coaching over the last 15 years. An original member of the Islanders, Henning compiled 73 goals and 111 assists as a forward over his 543-game career and played a major role in a four-year Stanley Cup dynasty (’80-’83). Henning served as an assistant with the Islanders from ’80-84 and ’87-’94, as head coach for the Minnesota North Stars (’85-’87) and the Islanders (’94-’95), and as a Chicago Blackhawks assistant from ’95-’98 before returning in ’98-’99 to the Islanders, as associate coach.
Freshman forward Alexander “Newsy” Lalonde also has NHL lineage as he is a distant relative of NHL pioneer and Hall of Famer, Edouard “Newsy” Lalonde. Lalonde played for the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Americans between 1917 and 1927 for a total of six seasons in which he scored 124 goals and 41 assists for 165 points in 99 games.
HOMETOWNS: The 2001-02 Notre Dame hockey team features players from nine states and three Canadian provinces – Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan. In the six-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, the Notre Dame hockey letterwinners have hailed from 20 different states and provinces – those listed below, plus: Alaska, British Columbia, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
Academic All-AmericanS: Notre Dame is the nation’s only Division I hockey program to produce a Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American during each of the past five seasons (as part of the fall-winter at-large program). Dan Carlson kept the streak going in 2000-01 by earning third team honors with a 3.49 gpa and a double major in finance and computer applications. He joins two-time selection Steve Noble who took second-team honors in 1996-97 and first-team honors in ’97-’98, goaltender Forrest Karr who was a second teamer in ’98-’99 and left wing Andy Jurkowski who was a third team selection in 1999-2000.
CCHA ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM: Notre Dame 2001 graduate and two-time team MVP, left wing Dan Carlson (Edina, Minn.) was named to the prestigious eight-player CCHA All-Academic Team for 2000-01, making Notre Dame the CCHA’s only school to produce an All-Academic honoree each of the last six seasons. Carlson led the Irish in scoring for the second consecutive season (17-25-42) and was also an honorable mention all-CCHA selection. A six-time Dean’s List student, Carlson graduated from Notre Dame with a 3.49 cumulative grade point average and a double major in finance and computer applications. Notre Dame has produced eight previous first team CCHA All-Academic selections since rejoining the CCHA in ’92-’93: Curtis Janicke and Carl Picconatto (’92-’93), Garry Gruber (’95-’96), Steve Noble (’96-’97, ’97-’98), Forrest Karr and Aniket Dhadphale (’98-’99) and Andy Jurkowski (99′-’00). During that nine-year span, only Western Michigan (10) has produced more CCHA All-Academic selections than Notre Dame’s nine.
CENTURY MEN: Left wing Dan Carlson became the fourth Notre Dame hockey player to reach 100 points for his career in the last four seasons. He finished his career with 50 goals and 82 assists for 132 career points, good for 20th on the school’s all-time scoring list. The Edina, Minn., native joins right wing Brian Urick (57G-69A) and left wing Aniket Dhadphale (61G-44A) who each reached 100 points in the 1998-99 season and center Ben Simon (44G-86A) who reached the milestone in 1999-2000. Carlson is just the fifth Notre Dame player to score over 100 points in his career since the Irish returned to the CCHA in ’92-’93. Only center Jamie Ling (1992-96) has scored more points (51-102-153) than Carlson over the past nine seasons. David Inman is the Irish player with the best chance to reach 100 points this season. The senior forward has 45 goals and 33 assists for 78 points in his career.
PATRIOTIC GROUP: The Notre Dame hockey team is no stranger to the National Team Development Program (NTDP) which includes the Under-18 and Under-17 teams. Nine members of this year’s Irish hockey roster have come through the National program. In fact, Notre Dame and the University of Minnesota currently have the most NTDP alums (9). For the Irish, that group includes injured senior forward Brett Henning, four members of the junior class – forwards Michael Chin, Connor Dunlopand John Wroblewski and defenseman Paul Harris – plus three sophomores: center Rob Globke and defensemen Neil Komadoski and Brett Lebda. From Notre Dame’s freshman class, defenseman Derek Smith played for the Under-18 team during the 2000-01 campaign.
Midwest Magic: Notre Dame continues to reap the benefits of the rapidly-improving youth hockey programs in the lower Midwest (namely Illinois and Missouri), as one-third of the current roster includes players from Illinois (6) or Missouri (3). Four are products of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (NTDP): junior right wing Michael Chin (Urbana, Ill.), junior center Connor Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.) and freshmen defensemen Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) and Neil Komadoski (Chesterfield, Mo.). Junior defenseman Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.) was invited to join the NTDP but returned for his senior year at The Taft School.
Notre Dame’s other Illinois natives includes the team’s top returning goaltenders – senior Jeremiah Kimento (Palos Hills) and junior Tony Zasowski (Darien) – plus freshman defenseman Joe Zurenko (Arlington Heights). Joining Dunlop and Komadoski from the St. Louis area is freshman forward Yan Stastny (St. Louis). Prior to 1995, the Notre Dame hockey program had produced just eight total letterwinners from Illinois and two from Missouri.
WINNERS: Two of the newest members of the Notre Dame hockey team were members of national champion teams during the 2000-01 season. Forwards Yan Stastny and Brad Wanchulak were members of junior hockey national championship teams in the United States and Canada. Stastny played for the USHL’s Omaha Lancers while Wanchulak played for the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Stastny scored six goals and added six assists in 12 postseason games as Omaha won the USHL’s Clark Cup as league champions and then followed by winning the Gold Cup as champions of junior hockey in the U.S. Wanchulak also played a key role in helping Camrose to the Canadian national title. He was the AJHL playoff Most Valuable Player helping the Kodiaks to the AJHL title. In the Royal Bank Cup, which brings together the champions of all the Canadian junior leagues, Wanchulak scored the winning goal in the championship game versus Flin Flon.
FAN FAVORITES: Notre Dame played in front of three of the top 20 crowds ever to watch Irish hockey during the 2000-01 season. Notre Dame opened the season on Oct. 7 in the Hall of Fame Classic at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., in front of 18,064 – the sixth biggest crowd in the history of the program. A series at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center Feb. 2-3 produced crowds of 12,354 and 10,451, the 14th and 19th largest crowds ever to watch Notre Dame hockey. The largest crowd ever to see Irish hockey was 21,347 on Dec. 29, 1982 when Notre Dame faced Michigan in the Great Lakes Invitational at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. The largest regular season crowd to ever see the Irish was on Jan. 29, 1993 when 20,247 fans saw Notre Dame play Michigan at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.