Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Drop The Puck On 2003-04 Season At #15/#14 Ohio State

Oct. 7, 2003

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  • The Game: Notre Dame (17-17-6) at Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1-0 in ’03-’04/25-13-5 in 2002-03)
  • Date/Site/Times: Fri., October 10, 2003 – Value City Arena (17,500) – 8:05 p.m. (EDT)
    Sat., October 11, 2003 – Value City Arena (17,500) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
  • Broadcast Information: Television – Friday’s game will be televised live by College Sports TV (CSTV) as part of it’s Friday night national game of the week. Steve Schlanger and Billy Jaffe will handle the play-by-play duties. Radio – Both games of the weekend series can be heard on WDND South Bend’s ESPN Radio 1620. Mike Lockert will call all the action. Irish hockey can also be heard live via the internet at

Notre Dame opens the 2003-04 season versus the team that ended 2002-03 for the Irish – the Ohio State Buckeyes. The two teams met on March 20 at Joe Louis Arena in the opening game of the CCHA Super Six. Ohio State, on a third-period goal by defenseman Nate Guenin, downed the Irish, 3-2, to send Notre Dame home for the summer. The Irish were 0-2-1 versus the Buckeyes last season, tying OSU, 3-3 and then losing a 2-0 decision on Jan. 31- Feb. 1 at the Joyce Center. In the Irish record books, the two teams have met 44 times with the Notre Dame holding a 20-18-6 edge. In 23 games at Ohio State, the Irish are 9-10-4. Since Notre Dame returned to the CCHA prior to the 1992-93 season, the two teams have met 32 times with the Irish trailing 13-14-5. The Irish have not beaten Ohio State since Feb. 5, 2000, (a 2-1 win at Columbus) and are 0-6-3 in the last nine games overall. Since that 2-1 win in 2000, the Irish are 0-3-1 versus Ohio State in Columbus.

Notre Dame defeated Western Ontario, 5-3, on Friday, Oct. 3. The Irish took a 3-1 lead after one period on goals by Brad Wanchulak (Jr., Edson, Alb.), Mike Walsh (So., Northville, Mich.) and Tim Wallace (So., Anchorage, Alaska). After Western Ontario cut the lead to 3-2 after two periods, Rob Globke (Sr., West Bloomfield, Mich.) scored just 15 seconds into the third stanza to give the Irish a two-goal cushion at 4-2. Freshman T.J. Jindra (Faribault, Minn.) closed the scoring with a late insurance goal and the Irish had a 5-3 win. On the night, Western Ontario outshot the Irish, 36-35. Sophomore Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) made 15 saves in 30:09 of playing time. Freshman David Brown (Stoney Creek, Ont.) made 18 saves, including 16 in the third period in 29:51, to pick up the victory. The Irish were 1-for-10 on the power play and killed all nine Mustang power-play chances.

The Buckeyes opened the season last weekend at the Lefty McFadden Invitational, dropping the first game to Denver, 5-2, before stopping Miami, 5-3, in the third-place game. Ohio State returns 14 of 22 letterwinners from last season’s 25-13-5 team that finished third in the CCHA. Among the 14 are nine forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders. Leading the way for the Buckeyes, at least versus the Irish, is senior goaltender Mike Betz. In nine career games versus Notre Dame, Betz is 6-0-3 with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. The Buckeyes are an experienced team with nine seniors in the lineup. Gone from last year’s team are all-CCHA standout R.J. Umberger and freshman Ryan Kesler as both turned pro over the summer. The team’s top returning scorers are: Scott May (10-25-35), Paul Caponigri (10-22-32) and defenseman Doug Andress (7-16-23).

Notre Dame will be without the services of junior goaltender Morgan Cey (Wilkie, Sask.) and defenseman Derek Smith (Jr., Marysville, Mich.) for the Ohio State series. Cey is recovering from off-season knee surgery and returned to the ice on Oct. 1. Smith is sidelined with post-concussion syndrome. He suffered a concussion on Jan. 4 at Nebraska-Omaha and has been out of the lineup since.

With goaltender Morgan Cey on the sidelines to start the 2003-04 campaign, the Irish will look to sophomore Rory Walsh and freshman David Brown to handle the puckstopping duties. Walsh, a walk-on, did not see any action during his freshman season. He was named the winner of the George Komadoski Most Valuable Player award in the annual Blue-Gold game on Sept., 28 when he led his Blue team to a 5-3 win while making 26 saves. He played the first half of the preseason game with Western Ontario and surrendered one goal on 16 shots in the first 30:09 of the game. Walsh is the first Notre Dame hockey player whose father played hockey for the Irish. His father, Brian (’77), was an All-American hockey player for the Irish. A center iceman, the elder Walsh is Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer after recording 234 career points on 89 goals and 145 assists. Brown took the loss in the Blue-Gold game, making 15 saves, in the 5-3 verdict. In the Western Ontario game, Brown made 18 saves (16 in the third period) and surrendered two goals over the final 29:51 to pick up the win in the 5-3 Irish victory.

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) announced the results of the coaches and the media’s preseason polls at it’s annual Media Day in Detroit on Sept. 17. In the annual polls, Notre Dame was picked to finish seventh by both the coaches and the media.

Senior right wing Rob Globke had the best season of his Notre Dame career in 2002-03, leading the Irish with 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points. With 49 goals and 35 assists for his career, Globke goes into his final season needing one more goal to become the 29th player in school history to score 50 goals and needs 16 more points to become the 40th player to go over 100 points for his career. Globke’s 21 goals as a junior made him the first Irish player to score more than 20 goals in a season since Aniket Dhadphale had 25 during the 1997-98 season. The talented right winger opened the season with his first career hat trick in a 5-3 win at Minnesota-Duluth and then added two goals the following game in a 4-2 win versus Western Michigan. The five goals in two games was a first for a Notre Dame player since Tim Harberts had five in two games to open the 1994-95 season.

Senior center Aaron Gill (Rochester, Minn.) will serve as the team captain for the Irish in 2003-04. Gill was an alternate captain last season. As a junior, he finished fourth on the Irish in scoring with 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points. Four of his 13 goals came on the power play and he recorded his first career hat trick on Oct. 19 in an 8-5 win over Western Michigan. Coach Dave Poulin announced his two alternate captains prior to the Western Ontario. Serving as alternate captains this season are senior right wing Rob Globke and senior defenseman Neil Komadoski (Chesterfield, Mo.). Globke led the Irish in scoring last season with 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points. Komadoski was Notre Dame’s top scorer from the blue line last year as he scored a goal and added 23 helpers. His 23 assists and 24 points were career-highs for the veteran defenseman.

Junior goaltender Morgan Cey starts his third season as Notre Dame’s go-to-guy in goal. He has appeared in 71 of the team’s 79 games over the last two seasons. As a sophomore, Cey was 15-15-6 with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. He is already tied for sixth on Notre Dame’s all-time win list with 30 career wins. His .911 career save percentage and last season’s mark of .912 are school records. Cey is currently tied for first with four career shutouts. In the eight career postseason games, the Wilkie, Sask., native is 4-4 with a 1.66 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. During the first round of the 2002-03 CCHA playoffs, Cey recorded back-to-back shutouts versus Miami (a first at Notre Dame) and set a school record with 147:19 of shutout hockey.

Notre Dame’s roster features three senior defensemen who excel at both ends of the ice. Neil Komadoski, Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) and Tom Galvin (Miller Place, N.Y.) combined for 11 goals and 46 assists during the 2002-03 campaign. Komadoski led all Irish defensemen in scoring with a career-best 24 points (one, goal, 23 assists). Lebda tied for seventh in team scoring with seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points. He also led the team with 139 shots on goal (also led the team in 2001-02 with 150). Galvin added three goals and nine assists for 12 points after leading Irish defensemen the previous season with four goals and 19 assists.

Notre Dame has three players on the 2003-04 roster that have been selected in the National Hockey League Entry Draft. Senior Rob Globke was a second-round choice of the Florida Panthers in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Selected 40th overall, Globke’s selection was the earliest any Notre Dame player has ever been chosen. Senior defenseman Neil Komadoski was selected in the third round of the 2001 draft by the Ottawa Senators. Sophomore left wing Mike Walsh was selected in the fifth round of the 2002 draft by the New York Rangers.

Freshman defenseman Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) was a member of Canada’s Under-18 Select team that played in this summer’s Under-18 Select World Cup tournament. O’Neill had a goal and four assists in helping Canada to a fourth-place finish. The former Green Bay Gambler also played for Team Ontario at the Under-17 World Championships in Feb. of 2003. There he had three goals and nine assists in six games. O’Neill was the second pick in the 2002 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Draft by the Kingston Frontenacs. He is the highest-drafted OHL player to decide to play college hockey.

Junior right wing Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.) had a breakout season with the Irish last year as he recorded 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points. Four of his goals came on the power play. As a freshman, McLean had just one goal and four assists for five points.

Senior defenseman T.J. Mathieson (Clarksville, Md.) is a candidate for Rhodes, Mitchell and Marshall Scholarships for postgraduate studies. Mathieson owns a 3.812 grade-point average in aerospace engineering in Notre Dame’s School of Engineering. He is a two-time winner of Notre Dame’s Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award. He spent the past summer working at General Electric Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati. There, he worked doing stress analysis of high-pressure turbines for commercial aircraft engines.

After having as many as four players whose fathers played in the National Hockey League, only one remains for the 2003-04 season. That would be Neil Komadoski, Jr. (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.), whose father, 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.

Two Irish sophomore hockey players – Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) and Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) have fathers who attended Notre Dame. Rory Walsh’s father, Brian (’77), was an all-American hockey player for the Irish. A center iceman, the elder Walsh is Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer after recording 234 career points on 89 goals and 145 assists. Mike Walsh’s father, Max, (’74) was an offensive lineman on the Notre Dame football team and a member of the 1973 national championship team.

Notre Dame’s 3-3 tie with Ohio State on Jan. 31 marked the sixth overtime game of the year for the Irish, with all six ending in ties (0-0-6). Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish have been involved in 33 overtime games and are 5-2-26 in those contests. The last time Notre Dame won an overtime game during the regular season was on Jan. 25, 2002, a 4-3 overtime win for the Irish at Miami. The Irish had two postseason games decided in overtime during the 2001-02 season (a 3-2 double overtime loss to Nebraska-Omaha and a 2-1 win versus the Mavericks).

Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey has faced four penalty shots in his Irish hockey career, including three last season. On Feb. 28, in a 4-2 loss to Western Michigan, Cey stopped Bronco Vince Bellissimo at 14:06 of the third period. A month earlier, Jan. 25, in a 3-3 tie with Michigan State, Cey stopped Jim Slater at 16:23 of the second period. His first stop in 2002-03 came on Nov. 22 at Michigan. In that game, a 4-2 loss to the Wolverines, he stopped Milan Gajic at 12:36 of the second period. The first penalty shot Cey faced came during his freshman season when he stopped Bowling Green’s Greg Day on Dec. 8, 2001. That stop came in a 4-2 loss to the Falcons.

Morgan Cey’s back-to-back shutouts (1-0 and 5-0) versus Miami in the first round of last season’s CCHA playoffs made him the fourth goaltender to turn the trick. The others are:

1988-1989 –
Bruce Hoffort, LSSU beat Ferris State, 5-0, 3-0.

1993-94 –
Blaine Lacher, LSSU beat Ohio State, 5-0, 8-0

1999-00 –
Ryan Miller beat Notre Dame, 4-0 in semis and Nebraska-Omaha, 6-0 in finals.

Notre Dame has advanced to Joe Louis Arena and the CCHA tournament in three of the last four seasons. Only two other CCHA teams – Michigan and Michigan State – have been there all four years since the 1999-2000 campaign.

Sophomore right wing Tim Wallace was one of 43 players invited to USA Hockey’s Junior Evaluation Camp held in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August. From those 43 players, USA Hockey will select its 2004 US Junior National Team that will play in the World Junior Championships in Finland. Notre Dame has sent eight players to the World Juniors since 1996-97.

Ben Simon – 1996-97, 1997-98
Joe Dusbabek – 1997-98
Dan Carlson – 1998-99
Brett Henning – 1999-2000
Connor Dunlop – 1999-00, 2000-01
David Inman – 1999-2000
Rob Globke – 2000-01, 2001-02
Brett Lebda – 2001-02

Notre Dame’s 4-3 win at Michigan on Nov. 23 was the first regular-season win for the Irish at Yost Arena since they returned to the CCHA in 1992-93. Prior to that, the last time Notre Dame won in Ann Arbor was Oct. 22, 1982, a span of 14 regular-season games. The Irish did win a CCHA playoff game at Yost in the 1998 playoffs. In the regular season, Notre Dame is now 1-14-1 in the last 16 meetings and since 1992-93, the Irish are 2-18-1 versus the Wolverines at Yost Arena. Over the last three meetings, the Irish are 1-1-1 when playing in Ann Arbor.

The Irish have developed a pipeline with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United State’s Hockey League. Three members of the current Notre Dame team have played in the Land of Lombardi. Junior defenseman Joe Zurenko (Arlington Heights, Ill.) played there during the ’00-’01 season and freshmen blueliners Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) were teammates there last year. New assistant coach Layne LeBel also spent the past two seasons with the Gamblers.

The Irish finished the 2002-03 season with a 7-4-1 record versus the three other teams in their schedule cluster. Notre Dame was 4-0 versus Bowling Green, 3-1-0 versus Western Michigan and 0-3-1 versus Ferris State. This season, the Irish will face Bowling Green, Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan four times.

Irish assistant hockey coach, Andy Slaggert, served as an assistant coach with USA Hockey’s gold-medal winning Under-18 Select Team in August at the World Under-18 Select tournament in the Czech Republic. The 11-year assistant at Notre Dame has been involved in coaching with USA Hockey since the 1996-97 season. This was his first time for coaching on the international level.

The Irish lost eight letterwinners from the 2002-03 roster. Besides the six players who graduated – Michael Chin, Connor Dunlop, Evan Nielsen, Jake Wiegand, John Wroblewski and Tony Zasowski – junior Kyle Dolder and sophomore Yan Stastny have also left the team. Dolder, who would have been a senior this season, decided not to play after picking up two monograms the last two seasons. The brother of former team captain, Ryan Dolder ’01, Kyle walked on to the team as a freshman. He remains at Notre Dame finishing work towards his degree. Yan Stastny, who would have been a junior this year, decided to play professional hockey and was in the Boston Bruins’ training camp. He was selected in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft in the eighth round by the Bruins. Stastny had 14 goals and nine assists for 23 points last season.

The 2003-04 Notre Dame hockey team features players from 10 states and four Canadian provinces – Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan. In the eight-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, the Notre Dame hockey letterwinners have hailed from 20 different states and provinces – those listed below, plus: Colorado, Delaware, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.

2003-04 Notre Dame Hockey
– By State or Province:

Michigan (6): Rob Globke, Derek Smith, Chris Trick, Mike Walsh, Jason Paige, Josh Sciba
Illinois (3): Brett Lebda, Joe Zurenko, Michael Bartlett
Minnesota (3): Aaron Gill, Tony Gill, T.J. Jindra
Alberta (2): Brad Wanchulak, Matt Williams-Kovacs
Ontario (2): David Brown, Wes O’Neill
Alaska (1): Tim Wallace
British Columbia (1): Matt Amado
Florida (1): Noah Babin
Maryland (1): T.J. Mathieson
Massachusetts (1): Rory Walsh
Missouri (1): Neil Komadoski
New York (1): Tom Galvin
North Dakota (1): Cory McLean
Saskatchewan (1): Morgan Cey

Notre Dame’s current roster includes eight players who have past experience with USA Hockey, as members of the National Team Development Program (NTDP) and/or the National Junior Team. Since the program began, the Irish have had a total of 13 NTDP alums grace their roster. The current contingent includes seniors Rob Globke, Neil Komadoski and Brett Lebda, junior Derek Smith (Marysville, Mich.), sophomore Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) and freshmen Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.) and Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.) Former Irish players Brett Henning, Paul Harris, Michael Chin, Connor Dunlop and John Wroblewski are all alums of the U.S. Developmental Program.

Notre Dame saw it’s streak of seven consecutive seasons with at least one player named to the CCHA all-Academic Team last season. The Irish have 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), Andy Jurkowski (99′-’00), Dan Carlson (2000-01) and David Inman (2001-02). During that 11-year span, only Western Michigan (12) has produced more CCHA All-Academic selections than Notre Dame’s 10.

The CCHA begins its second season with the 12 teams grouped in “rivalry pairings.” In the new pairings, Notre Dame is paired with Bowling Green. The league’s other pairings include Michigan-Michigan State, Miami-Ohio State, Lake Superior State-Northern Michigan, Ferris State-Western Michigan and Alaska Fairbanks-Nebraska-Omaha.

The conference will continue to use the 28-game three-cluster format that was implemented four years ago to determine the regular-season champion. The teams will be divided into three clusters made up of two of the above pairings with each team playing the other three members of its cluster four times (twice at home and twice on the road). Each team hosts two teams and visits the other two from each of the other clusters. While the schedule is designed for two-game weekend series, some teams have taken advantage of the option to play home-and-home series when geographically possible.

In 2003-04, Notre Dame will play Bowling Green, Lake Superior and Northern Michigan four times with two games at home and two away. The Irish will also host two-game series with Alaska Fairbanks, Ferris State, Michigan and Nebraska-Omaha while traveling for two games to Miami, Michigan State, Ohio State and Western Michigan.