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Irish Hockey Adds Four During Early Signing Period

Nov. 19, 2003

Notre Dame, Ind. – University of Notre Dame hockey coach Dave Poulin announced today that four players have signed national letters of intent to become members of the Irish hockey program for the 2004-05 season. The group includes three defensemen – Luke Lucyk (Fox Pointe, Wis.), Brock Sheahan (Lethbridge, Alb.) and Dan VeNard (Vernon Hills, Ill.) – along with forward Victor Oreskovich (Oakville, Ont.).

“I’m very pleased with the depth of the group that we’ve added for next season. We focused on defense since we lose four senior defensemen following this season. We were looking for players who can step in and contribute right away. All four players are experienced and have competed at the highest level during their junior careers. They are a good fit with the players we already have here and Notre Dame is a good fit for them,” said Poulin.

The six players who will graduate following the 2003-04 season are defensemen Tom Galvin, Neil Komadoski, Brett Lebda and T.J. Mathieson along with forwards Aaron Gill and Rob Globke.

Luke Lucyk is a 6-1, 205-pound left-handed defenseman who is currently playing for the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League (USHL). A physical presence on the blue line, Lucyk is a mobile skater who moves the puck well. This season in 17 games, he has recorded four assists for four points and picked up 21 penalty minutes. Tri-City, based in Kearney, Neb., is in first place in the USHL’s Western Division with a 12-3-3 record through 18 games. Last season with the Storm, Lucyk had a goal and an assist for two points in 50 games with 38 penalty minutes. He was a member of the U.S. Select-18 Team that won the gold medal this past August at the Select-18 World Cup in the Czech Republic. He scored the game-winning goal in the semifinals versus Canada.

Poulin on Lucyk: “Luke brings a physical presence to our defense. He’s a mobile defenseman who moves the puck well in transition. He’s a well rounded player. He can deliver the big hit or make the great pass to get the offense going. He’s got the tools to be a top collegiate defenseman.”

Victor Oreskovich is a 6-3, 215-pound right-handed center who is playing in his first season with the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL. Just 17 years old, he gave a verbal commitment to Notre Dame two years ago. A proto-typical power forward, Oreskovich has proven to be a talented playmaker in his career. He currently ranks third on the Gamblers in scoring with two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 15 games. A native of Oakville, Ont., the talented forward played for the Milton Merchants of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League (OPJHL) where he had 28 goals and 48 assists for 76 points in 49 games. A member of the Ontario Under-17 team with current Irish defenseman, Wes O’Neill, Oreskovich is a strong skater who sees the ice well. He gives the Irish five players who have played for Green Bay in their junior careers as he joins current Irish players Joe Zurenko, Noah Babin and Wes O’Neill along with his current teammate, defenseman Dan VeNard.

Poulin on Oreskovich: “Victor is a talented forward with excellent size and great hockey skills. He plays physical and is an outstanding passer with great hands. He put up enormous numbers in the OPJHL and has made the transition to the USHL this season. He has a tremendous upside and we expect big things from him during his Notre Dame career.”

Brock Sheahan will join the Irish after playing this season for the Crowsnest Pass Timberwolves (Blairmore, Alb.) of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). A 6-0, 170-pound left-handed defenseman, Sheahan is a native of Lethbridge, Alb., and is one of the Timberwolves assistant captains this season. In 23 games to date, he has two goals and 13 assists for 15 points and 14 penalty minutes. A quick-skating, veteran defenseman, Sheahan has outstanding offensive skills and is a two-year veteran of Canadian junior hockey. In 2002-03, he had three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in 53 games with the South Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCHL). In 2001-02, Sheahan was the top defenseman on the Lethbridge Y’s Men Titans of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL) where he had five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 36 games and was selected an AMHL all-star for the 2001-02 season.

Poulin on Sheahan: “Brock is a veteran defenseman who has played at the highest levels of junior hockey in Canada. He’s offensive-minded and likes to join the play. He has excellent offensive skills and has been a consistent performer on each team he’s played for.”

Dan VeNard rounds out the four-man recruiting class. He is a 6-0, 175-pound right-handed defenseman who is in his third season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. A strong, all-around blue liner, VeNard is an alternate captain for the Gamblers this season and has one goal and two assists for three points in helping Green Bay to a 7-7-1 record in the USHL’s Northern Division through 15 games. Now in his third season with the Gamblers, VeNard missed all but eight games (1g, 1a) in 2002-03 with a knee injury suffered on opening night. As a 16-year old and one of the youngest players in the USHL in 2001-02, VeNard played in 60 games with three goals and nine assists for 12 points. He was selected to the Central District Select 16 and 17 teams and was a member of the U.S. Select Under-18 team in 2002. VeNard gives the Irish five players with ties to Green Bay as he joins current teammate Victor Oreskovich and current Irish players Joe Zurenko, Noah Babin and Wes O’Neill in 2004-05.

Poulin on VeNard: “Dan brings strong offensive skills to our roster. He’s a veteran player who sees the ice well and makes good, sound decisions on the ice. He’s bounced back well this year from the knee injury he suffered a year ago. He’s a leader and a competitor.”

Notre Dame Hockey Incoming Freshman Class of 2004-05

Player Pos. Birthdate Ht. Wt. Shot Hometown/2003-04 Team

Luke Lucyk D 5/5/86 6-1 205 L Fox Pointe, Wis./Tri-City Storm (USHL)

Victor Oreskovich F 8/15/86 6-3 215 R Oakville, Ont./Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)

Brock Sheahan D 5/6/84 6-0 170 L Lethbridge, Alb./Crowsnest Pass(AJHL)

Dan VeNard D 10/5/85 6-0 175 R Vernon Hills, Ill./Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)