Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Gear Up For Visit From Northern Michigan Wildcats

Nov. 25, 2003

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  • The Games: Notre Dame (6-3-2/5-3-2) vs. Northern Michigan Wildcats (5-5-0/4-4-0)
  • Date/Site/Times: Fri.-Sat., Nov. 28-29, 2003 – Joyce Center (2,713) – Fri (7:35 p.m.)/Sat. (7:05 p.m.)
  • Broadcast Information: Notre Dame hockey can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1620, South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert, “the voice of Irish hockey” calls all the action. Irish hockey can also be heard live via the internet at

IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: Notre Dame and Northern Michigan will meet for the 27th and 28th times in the series history this weekend in South Bend, Ind. The Irish come into the game in fourth place in the CCHA standings with 12 points in 10 games (5-3-2) and are four points ahead of Northern Michigan (4-4-0) as the Wildcats are tied for sixth in the league standings. Overall, Notre Dame owns a 6-3-2 record and Northern Michigan is 5-5-0. In the all-time series, Northern owns a 14-8-4 edge and is 8-5-2 at the Joyce Center. The Irish lost the first six meetings between the two teams (1981-83), making the series 8-8-4 since Northern rejoined the CCHA in 1997-98. Last season, the teams split two games at Marquette, Mich., with Notre Dame taking a 3-2 win on Mar. 7 and Northern closing out the regular season with a 4-1 win on Mar. 8. The last time the two teams met at Notre Dame, they split a series in January of 2002 with the Irish winning 4-1, before being shutout the following night, 4-0. Northern Michigan is one of Notre Dame’s cluster partners in 2003-04. The two teams will meet Jan. 23-24, 2004 in Marquette, Mich. So far this season, the Irish are 2-1-1 versus their cluster partners Bowling Green and Lake Superior.

FAST STARTING IRISH: Notre Dame’s 6-3-2 overall record is the best for the Irish after 11 games since starting the 1998-99 season with an 8-1-2 overall mark. The team’s 5-3-2 record in CCHA play is also the best since a 7-1-2 league start in the 1998-99 season.

THE PUCK STOPS HERE: Through 11 games this season, the Irish have displayed the stingiest defense in the history of the program. Notre Dame’s 2.06 goals-against average after the first 11 games is the lowest the Irish have ever had after 11 contests. Goaltenders David Brown (Fr., Stoney Creek, Ont.), Morgan Cey (Jr., Wilkie, Sask.) and Rory Walsh (So., Milton, Mass.) have combined to surrender just 23 goals in the first 11 games (670 minutes).

DEFENSE RULES: Notre Dame’s best season in recent years was the 1998-99 season when the team got off to a fast start with an 8-1-2 record after 11 games. Just like this season’s strong start, the 1998-99 team’s success came with strong defense and goaltending. Through 11 games that season, the Irish surrendered 24 goals, just one off the pace set by this year’s team.

CENTRAL SCOUTING RANKINGS: The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Central Scouting has released it’s preliminary rankings for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft next June. Irish defenseman Wes O’Neill is ranked third among U.S. College players behind North Dakota’s Drew Stafford and Boston College’s Adam Pineault. He is tops among the 14 CCHA players ranked. Notre Dame goaltender David Brown is ranked second among collegiate goaltenders behind Michigan’s Al Montoya. Four of the five ranked goaltenders are from the CCHA.

ON A ROLL: Notre Dame freshman goaltender David Brown extended his unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2) with a win and a tie versus Lake Superior. Brown has not lost a game since Oct. 17 versus Bowling Green. Since that game made him 0-2-0 on the year, Brown is 4-0-2 with a 1.29 goals-against average (eight goals against in 371:35 minutes) and a .955 save percentage (170 saves). Included in those six games are three consecutive shutouts between 10/18 and 10/31. For good measure, Brown also threw in a fourth shutout on Nov. 14 versus the U.S. Under-18 team that does not count in the statistics. On the year, Brown is 4-2-2 with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.

ON THE SIDELINES: Goaltender Morgan Cey underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Wednesday, Nov. 19. He re-injured the knee on Nov. 8 at Michigan State and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. Cey missed the first five games of the season after having knee surgery in July. Defenseman Derek Smith (Jr., Marysville, Mich.) will miss the game with the Northern Michigan series as he is sidelined with post-concussion syndrome. He suffered a concussion on Jan. 4, 2003 at Nebraska-Omaha and has been sidelined since.

LAKE SUPERIOR RECAP: The Irish picked up three points in the weekend series versus Lake Superior, taking a 5-3 win on Friday and tying 2-2 on Saturday. In Friday’s win, Rob Globke (Sr., West Bloomfield, Mich.) scored two goals and Mike Walsh (So., Northville, Mich.), Jason Paige (Fr., Saginaw, Mich.) and T.J. Jindra (Fr., Faribault, Minn.) added solo markers as the Irish snapped a 3-3 tie with a pair of third-period goals for the 5-3 verdict. For Paige and Jindra, the goals were the first of their collegiate careers. Both added an assist in the game for their first multiple-point games of the year. The Irish built a 3-1 lead early in the second period before allowing Lake Superior tie the game with goals 31 seconds apart late in the second. Defenseman Ryan Reid intercepted an errant pass at the blue line and blasted a shot past Irish goaltender David Brown to make it 3-2 at 15:15. Just 31 seconds later, the Lakers tied the game when Derek Smith scored at 15:46. Jindra got what proved to be the game-winning goal at 2:51 of the third after Paige won a face off in the left wing circle. Jindra got off a shot that Matt Violin stopped. The rebound was loose in the crease and Jindra slid it in to make it 4-3. Globke closed the scoring with his second goal of the night at 17:37 for the 5-3 score. The Irish outshot Lake Superior, 23-19 in the game. Brown finished with 16 saves and Violin had 18 for the Lakers. In Saturday’s game, the Lakers took a 1-0 lead early in the second period on a power-play goal. Wes O’Neill (Fr., Essex, Ont.) tied the game at 13:28 of the second period when his power-play blast broke through the pads of Lake Superior goaltender Jeff Jakaitis. Brett Lebda (Sr., Buffalo Grove, Ill.) gave Notre Dame a 2-1 lead when he scored on a rebound at the right side of the crease at 12:29 of the third period. The Lakers got the tying tally at 17:15 on a goal by Bo Cheesman for the 2-2 final. Lake Superior outshot the Irish, 41-36, in the game. Brown made 39 saves in the game while Jakaitis had 34 for the Lakers.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMEN: In 11 games this season, Notre Dame defensemen Brett Lebda, Tom Galvin (Sr., Miller Place, N.Y.), Neil Komadoski (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.) and Wes O’Neill have combined for five goals and 17 assists for 22 points. That’s 16.7% of Notre Dame’s goals, 30.9% of its assists and 25.9% of the team’s points through 11 games. Lebda leads the defensemen with a goal and six assists, Galvin is second with six assists, Komadoski has two goals (both ppg’s) and three assists and O’Neill has two goals (one ppg) and two assists for four points.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Notre Dame’s eight- man freshman class has acquitted itself quite well through 11 games this season. Goaltender David Brown has appeared in nine of 11 games with three shutouts and a 1.73 goals- against average and a .942 save percentage. Versus Lake Superior State, defenseman Wes O’Neill scored his second goal of the year in the 2-2 tie on Saturday to give him two goals and two assists for four points. Left wing Michael Bartlett (Morton Grove, Ill.) helped set up Brett Lebda’s third-period goal and has two goals and two assists for four points, including the game winner versus Nebraska-Omaha on Oct. 31. In Friday’s game, Irish freshmen contributed two goals and three assists from the offense. Jason Paige collected his first collegiate goal and first two-point game with an assist to give him a goal and three assists for the season. T.J. Jindra copied his linemate with a goal and an assist for the first collegiate goal and two-point game of his career. Jindra’s goal was also the game winner. Linemate Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.) had the third assist for the freshmen and now has a goal and an assist for the season. Matt Williams-Kovacs (Calgary, Alb.) has two assists in 10 games and defenseman Noah Babin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) has played a steady defense, appearing in 10 of the team’s 11 games.

FAST STARTING GLOBKE: Senior right wing Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.) is off to a fast start this season with seven goals and five assists for 12 points in his 11 games. He opened the season with a hat trick in Notre Dame’s 5-2 win at Ohio State. The hat trick was the second of his career. He added his second multiple-goal game of the season on Nov. 21 with a pair of goals versus Lake Superior. He now has 56 career goals (ranks 21st on Notre Dame’s all-time goal list and is the 29th player in Notre Dame history to record 50 or more goals in his career). Globke’s hat trick in the CCHA opener marked the first time since the 1995-96 season that a Notre Dame player recorded a hat trick in the first league game of the year. On Oct. 19, 1995, Brian Urick scored four goals in Notre Dame’s 7-4 win at Alaska Fairbanks.

CENTURY MARK: A pair of Irish seniors should reach the 100-point marks for their careers this season. Rob Globke comes into this weekend with Northern Michigan needing just four points to become the 40th player in school history to reach 100. He currently has 56 goals and 40 assists for 96 career points. Center Aaron Gill (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) needs 15 points to reach 100 as he comes into the weekend with 30 goals and 55 assists for 85 career points. Globke (7g, 5a) and Gill (3g, 9a) lead the Irish in scoring this season with 12 points on the year.

SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS: Notre Dame has scored at least one power-play goal in each of its last five games. In those five games, the Irish have converted six of 19 chances for a 31.6% success rate. On the year, the Irish power play ranks sixth in the CCHA, converting on nine of 48 chances for an 18.8% success rate. On the penalty-killing side, the had killed 28 of 29 opponent chances until Lake Superior’s Dominic Osman scored with the man-advantage. On the year, the Irish have given up just four power-play goals (only one on the road) in 43 chances for a 90.7% success rate.

FIT TO BE TIED: Notre Dame’s 2-2 tie with Lake Superior State on Nov. 22 marked the eighth consecutive overtime game for the Irish to end in a tie. The Irish were 0-0-6 in 2002-03. Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish have been involved in 35 overtime games and are 5-2-28 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).

PUTTING THE “P” IN POWER: Sophomore left wing Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) is quickly becoming one of the top power forwards in the CCHA. On top of that, he also has a knack for scoring in the clutch. Walsh believes that the quickest way to get from point A to point B is a straight line as he barges and charges to the net. Walsh had his three-game goal-scoring streak snapped on Nov. 22 by Lake Superior State. He now has points in six of his last eight games (5g, 2a). He has already surpassed last season’s totals of a goal and an assist. Two of his five goals this season are game winners. His lone goal as a freshman won the game, making 50% of his career goals, game-winning goals.

CORY’S STORY: Junior right wing Cory McLean (Jr., Fargo, N.D.) had the second two-goal game of his career in the Oct. 30 win over Nebraska-Omaha. On the season, he has scored in eight of Notre Dame’s 11 games and is third in scoring with four goals and five assists for nine points. His season-opening four-game point-scoring streak (2-3-5) was snapped at Boston College. He had a breakout year with the Irish in 2002-03 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.

HCA ROOKIE OF THE MONTH: Notre Dame freshman goaltender David Brown was selected as the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) national collegiate rookie of the month for the month of October. Brown had an October to remember as he recorded a Notre Dame school record three consecutive shutouts in his first four career starts and a school-record shutout string of 193:27 consecutive minutes. His three shutouts also set a Notre Dame record for shutouts in a season. For the month, the 5-11, 188-pound puck stopper was 3-2-0 with a CCHA-leading 1.15 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage to go with the three shutouts. Among his three shutouts was a 1-0, 27-save performance on Oct. 24 versus the top-ranked Boston College Eagles at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The three shutouts came versus Bowling Green (10/18), Boston College (10/24) and Nebraska-Omaha (10/31). He has been selected as the CCHA rookie of the month twice this season (10/19 and 11/2).

LEBDA FOR THE DEFENSE: Senior defenseman Brett Lebda turned in his second multiple-point game of the season with a goal and an assist in the 2-2 tie with Lake Superior (11/22). He currently leads Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with a goal and six assists for seven points. The speedy blueliner had three assists in the weekend series versus Nebraska-Omaha (10/30-31). In his career, Lebda now has 21 goals and 47 assists for 68 career points in 124 career games.

IRISH ON CSTV: College Sports Television (CSTV) has announced its second-half schedule for 2004 and the Irish are included. The Friday, Feb. 27 home game with Michigan has been added to the list that includes three other CCHA games. Face off is set for 8:05 p.m. The Irish have been on CSTV twice this season and own a 2-0 record after beating Ohio State 5-2 on Oct. 10 and Boston College, 1-0, on Oct. 24. Notre Dame is scheduled to appear on CSTV again on Dec. 27 when they play Cornell in the Everblades Collegiate Classic in Estero, Fla. If they win the first game, the championship game of that tournament will also be televised.

RIVALRY CLUSTERS: Notre Dame and Northern Michigan will meet four times this season along with Lake Superior and Bowling Green as all four teams are grouped in the same cluster this season. So far this year, the Irish are 2-1-1 versus their cluster, splitting a series with Bowling Green in October and winning and tying Lake Superior (Nov. 21-22). The Irish were 7-4-1 last season versus their cluster with Bowling Green, Ferris State and Western Michigan.

SCHEDULE BREAK: The Irish play just four games between this weekend and the Christmas holidays. After Northern Michigan at home this weekend, the Irish travel to Western Michigan, Dec. 5-6. After that series, the Irish won’t play again until Sat., Dec. 27 when they face Cornell in the Everblades Collegiate Hockey Classic in Estero, Fla.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END: Irish goaltender David Brown saw his streak of three consecutive shutouts end in the Nov. 8 game versus Michigan State. Jim Slater’s goal at 7:12 of the first period ended his consecutive-minute streak at 193:27. That is a new Notre Dame record. The last time Brown had given up a goal was on Oct. 17 versus Bowling Green with 4:22 left in the third period. He followed with shutouts versus Bowling Green (Oct. 18), Boston College (10/24) and Nebraska-Omaha (10/31).

GILL THE THRILL: Irish team captain Aaron Gill turned in his third three-point game of the season in Notre Dame’s 3-3 tie at Michigan State (11/8). Gill set up goals by Mike Walsh and Neil Komadoski and then picked up the game-tying goal with 1:06 left on the clock. He is tied for the team lead in scoring with 12 points (3g, 9a). His two power-play goals are tied for tops on the team.

CCHA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (Nov. 2): For the second time in the first four weeks of the season, Notre Dame freshman goaltender David Brown was selected as the CCHA rookie of the week. Brown turned in his third consecutive shutout on Fri., Oct. 31, making 22 saves in a 2-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha. He also played the final 1:53 of the Thursday night game when Morgan Cey was injured in a goal-mouth collision. The shutout helped extend his consecutive minutes of scoreless streak to 193:27, a Notre Dame record.

BEATING THE BEST: Notre Dame’s 1-0 shutout win at Boston College on Oct. 24 came versus the Eagles while they were ranked first in the nation in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll. The last time the Irish beat a top-ranked team came on Jan. 3, 1999 when they won 4-3 at North Dakota.

The last time the Irish faced a top-ranked team prior to Oct. 24 was on Nov. 10, 2000 when they played Boston College. Notre Dame lost that game by a 5-3 score.

CEY IT AIN’T SO: Goaltender Morgan Cey missed the first five games of the season after having knee surgery in July. He returned to the lineup on Oct. 30 and played two games before re-injuring the knee on Nov. 7. In those two games, he was 1-1-0 with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage. Prior to this season, Cey had started 71 of Notre Dame’s 79 games as a freshman and sophomore. He was 15-15-6 last season with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage with two shutouts. Career-wise, Cey is 31-30-9 with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage with four shutouts. He is sixth on Notre Dame’s all-time wins list with 31. His 2.77 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and his four shutouts make him the leader in all three categories at Notre Dame.

CONSECUTIVE GAME STREAK: Graduated defenseman Evan Nielsen (’03) set Notre Dame’s record for consecutive games played last season with 114 in a row from 2000-03. Coming into this weekend with Northern Michigan, seniors Rob Globke and Brett Lebda have each played in 69 consecutive games and are the leaders among active players. The only games Lebda has missed in his career came in 2001-02 when he missed four games while playing at the World Junior Championships. He has played 124 of 128 career games.

NICE GUYS: Notre Dame’s Oct. 30 game with Nebraska-Omaha featured just one penalty. The Irish were not penalized at all while UNO picked up one minor for two minutes. Notre Dame was 0-for-1 on its only power-play chance. For the year, the Irish have just 56 penalties for 112 minutes in 11 games this season. Notre Dame is second in the CCHA and ranks third in the nation for the fewest penalty minutes.

POWER PRODUCER: Senior defenseman Neil Komadoski snapped an 0-for-13 Notre Dame power-play scoring drought in the Oct. 31 win over Nebraska-Omaha. He followed with his second power-play goal of the year in the 3-3 tie at Michigan State. His last three goals for the Irish (including the 2002-03 season) have come via the power play. In 2002-03, he led Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with one goal and 23 assists for 24 points. He now has seven goals in his career with three coming on the power play.

FIRING THE BISCUIT: Notre Dame peppered Bowling Green goaltender Jordan Sigalet with 59 shots in the Oct. 17, 5-3 loss to the Falcons. The 59 shots were the most by an Irish team since Feb. 22, 2003 when they fired 56 shots at Lake Superior’s Terry Denike. Sigalet’s 56 saves are the most since Denike made 50 in a 6-3 Notre Dame win.

THE CAPTAINS: Senior center Aaron Gill will serve as the team captain for the Irish in 2003-04. As a junior, he finished fourth 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 game (10/3). Serving as alternate captains this season are senior right wing Rob Globke and senior defenseman Neil Komadoski. 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.

SEN-CEY-SATIONAL: Junior goaltender Morgan Cey is in his third season as Notre Dame’s go-to-guy in goal. Coming into the 2003-04 season, Cey appeared in 71 of the team’s 79 games from 2001-2003. 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 then school record with 147:19 of shutout hockey.

OH CANADA: Freshman defenseman Wes O’Neill 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.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMEN: Notre Dame’s roster features three senior defensemen who excel at both ends of the ice. Neil Komadoski, Brett Lebda and Tom Galvin 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.

BRAIN POWER: 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.

NHL DRAFTEES: 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. FAMILY MATTERS: 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.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Two Irish sophomore hockey players – Rory Walsh (So., Milton, Mass.) and Mike Walsh – 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.

FOURTH TIME: 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:

– 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.

PENALTY SHOTS: 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.

FROZEN TUNDRA: 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 were teammates there last year. Assistant coach Layne LeBel also spent the past two seasons with the Gamblers.

U.S. JUNIOR NATIONALS: 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 U.S. 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

GOLD MEDAL ASSISTANT: 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.