Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Host First-Round CCHA Playoff Series For First Time Since 1999-2000

March 10, 2004

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  • The Games: #5 Notre Dame (18-12-4/14-11-3) vs. #8 Western Michigan (16-16-4/12-13-3)
  • Date/Site/Times: Fri.-Sun., March 12-14, 2004 – Joyce Center (2,713) – 7:35 p.m./7:05 p.m./7:05 p.m.
  • Broadcast Information: Radio: All Notre Dame games can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1580, South Bend’s SportsCenter. Mike Lockert, “the voice of Irish hockey” calls all the action with Tom Nevala handling the color commentary. Irish hockey can also be heard live via the internet at
    On The Web: All three games of the series (if necessary) will have live video streaming available on Notre Dame’s website at

HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame will host a first-round CCHA playoff series for the first time since the 1999-2000 season this weekend, March 12-14th, when the Irish play host to the Western Michigan Broncos at the Joyce Center. Friday’s game will start at 7:35 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday’s (if necessary) set to start at 7:05 p.m. The Irish secured home ice and the fifth seed in the CCHA playoffs with their weekend split at Lake Superior State. They actually clinced home ice based on Thursday night’s Western Michigan loss to Bowling Green that eliminated the Broncos from having a chance to move up in the standings. Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Lakers broke a fifth-place tie with Alaska Fairbanks and gave the Irish the fifth seed. The Irish will come into the series with an 18-12-4 overall record and a final 14-11-3 mark in the CCHA. The Broncos were 16-16-4 overall and 12-13-3 in CCHA play. The two teams met in the first week of December with Western taking 8-6 and 6-4 wins from the Irish. The winner of this weekend’s best-of-three series advances to the CCHA Super Six at Joe Louis Arena on March 18-20.

IRISH VS. BRONCOS: Western Michigan handed the Irish two losses on Dec. 5-6 in Kalamazoo, Mich., by 8-6 and 6-4 scores. The Broncos lead the all-time series with a 31-20-4 record. At the Joyce Center, the Irish have a 13-11-1 lead in the series. In the last 11 games between the two schools at the Joyce Center, the Irish are 9-1-1 versus the Broncos. The last time Western Michigan won at Notre Dame was March 3, 2001. The two teams have met once in the CCHA playoffs – following the 1993-94 season – with the Broncos winning 6-3 and 7-1 in Kalamazoo. In the last 10 meetings between the two schools, Western has a 5-4-1 edge.

IRISH IN THE CCHA PLAYOFFS: Notre Dame’s last home playoff series was following the 1999-2000 season. The Irish defeated Ferris State, two games to one, to advance to Joe Louis Arena for the first time since returning to the CCHA in 1992-93. The Irish have qualifed for the CCHA playoffs in 10 of their 14 seasons in the league and are 11-19 in 30 postseason contests.

TWO IN A ROW: For the first time this season, the Irish have remained in the national rankings for two consecutive weeks. The Irish are currently ranked 14th in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and the U.S. College Hockey Online poll. Inside College (INCH) has the Irish ranked 13th in their top 20. This marks the fourth week this season that the Irish have been ranked in the top 15 by USA Today and U.S. College Hockey Online. The Irish also were ranked in the top 15 on Dec. 1 and Jan. 19. The Irish have been in the INCH top 20 in all but one week this season.

IRISH ON THE WEB: All three game of the Notre Dame-Western Michigan series will be available through live video streaming to subscribers of College Sports Pass on Notre Dame’s athletic website, All three games will be a one-camera video feed live from the Joyce Center. College Sports Pass, features year-round premium content for a monthly fee of $6.95. Quarterly and annual subscriptions are also available. Fans can go to to subscribe.

LAKE SUPERIOR STATE RECAP: The Irish traveled to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to close the regular season versus Lake Superior State and split a pair of games with the Lakers. On Friday night, Lake Superior handed the Irish a 3-0 shutout and Saturday night the Irish prevailed, 2-1. In the 3-0 shutout, Laker freshman goaltender Jeff Jakaitis made 23 saves in handing Notre Dame its fourth shutout of the season. The Lakers scored twice in the first period (Mike Adamek and Alex Dunn) and once in the second (Colin Nicholson) to build a 3-0 lead. The Irish outshot the Lakers, 23-21, in the game. David Brown (Fr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) took the loss in goal. Neither team was penalized in the game. On Saturday, the Irish fired 31 shots on Jakaitis, getting two second-period goals on the way to the 2-1 win. The Lakers scored first as Chris Peterson scored just 34 seconds into the second period for his first goal of the year. Michael Bartlett (Fr., Morton Grove, Ill.) tied the game at 10:10 with his sixth goal of the season. Jason Paige (Fr., Saginaw, Mich.) gave the Irish their only lead of the weekend with his ninth of the year at 17:50. Morgan Cey (Jr., Wilkie, Sask.), making his first start since Feb. 6, stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced for the win. Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.

SHUTOUT CENTRAL: Notre Dame has been involved in 10 shutouts this season – six for the Irish and four against. Both marks are season records. For the Irish, goaltender David Brown has an Irish single-season record of four shutouts. Morgan Cey has two on the year and a Notre Dame career record of six. Previously, the most times the Irish had been shutout in a season was three and that came during the 1998-99 season.

ALL-ROOKIE HONORS: Notre Dame freshman goaltender David Brown and freshman defenseman Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) were named honorable mention CCHA all-Rookie team selections for the 2003-04 season. Brown is 11-5-3 in the CCHA with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. In 28 CCHA games, O’Neill has two goals and eight assists for 10 points and is tied for the team lead with a +8.

IT’S ALL-ACADEMIC: Senior right wing Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.) was one of 10 CCHA players selected to the CCHA all-Academic Team for the 2003-04 season. Globke has a 3.339 grade-point average and will graduate with a degree in Marketing in May. On the ice, he led the Irish in scoring in the CCHA with 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points. Overall, he is Notre Dame’s top scorer with 17 goals and 16 assists for 33 points. Defenseman T.J. Mathieson (Clarksville, Md.) was and honorable mention selection as he has a 3.816 grade point in Aerospace Engineering. Receiving special mention were Tom Galvin (Sr., Miller Place, N.Y.), Neil Komadoski (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.), Brett Lebda (Sr., Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Cory McLean (Jr., Fargo, N.D.) and Chris Trick (So., Troy, Mich.). To be eligible for the all-Academic team, a player needs at least a 3.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

WINNING ON THE ROAD: Notre Dame’s win at Lake Superior on Saturday snapped an eight-game CCHA road losing streak and a 10-game CCHA road winless streak (0-9-1). The last time the Irish won on the road in a CCHA game was Oct. 18 at Bowling Green. The Irish finished the regular season with a 5-10-2 road record.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Irish have now won four-in-a-row at home to extend their home-unbeaten streak to 14 games (12-0-2). The last time the Irish lost on home ice came on Oct. 17, a 5-3 loss to Bowling Green. For the year, the Irish are 12-1-2 at the Joyce Center. The 12 wins are the most for the Irish at home since the 1998-99 campaign when Notre Dame was 12-3-3 at the Joyce Center. The longest home unbeaten streak for the Irish is 15 games (15-0-0) and was set between Dec. 11, 1987 and March 5, 1988.

A SLIGHT STUMBLE: Goaltender David Brown saw his four-game winning streak snapped at Lake Superior in the 3-0 loss on March 5. The three goals given up were the most Brown had given up in a game since Dec. 27 when he gave up four in a 4-0 loss to Cornell. The loss also snapped a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1). Before the loss to the Lakers, his last loss came at Northern Michigan (1/23). In his six-game unbeaten streak, Brown had a 1.64 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage.

LATE BLOOMERS: Since Feb. 14 of this season, the Irish are 5-1-0. Strong finishes have been the trend for the Irish over the last four seasons. Going back to the 2000-01 season, Notre Dame is 24-8-2 after Feb. 9th of each year. In 2002-03, the Irish were 8-4-0, 2001-02, 7-2-0 and in 2000-01, the Irish finished with a 4-1-2 run, but did not make the playoffs.

HALL OF FAMER: Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin was inducted into The Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame on Wednesday, March 3 prior to their game with the Nashville Predators. Poulin played eight seasons with the Flyers (1982-83 to 1989-90) and served as captain of the team from 1984-85 to 1989-90. In his eight seasons, Poulin recorded 161 goals with 233 assists for 394 points and was a three-time all-star (1986, 1987 and 1988). During his six seasons as captain, Poulin helped lead the Flyers to three Patrick Division titles and two Wales Conference championships. “”I am thrilled. It really came very unexpectedly,” said Poulin. “Certainly when you read the names of the players that are in there, I am certainly flattered and humbled to be included in that group. I’m the fourth player from my peer team so to speak to be there – with Mark Howe, Timmy Kerr and Brian Propp being the other three. We had such a great run and had so much fun while we were doing it, that to be joining those guys in that grouping is a tremendous, tremendous honor.”

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame goaltender David Brown was selected the CCHA’s rookie of the week for the week ending Feb. 29. The award marked the fourth time this season that Brown was selected rookie of the week. He has also been named the CCHA’s defensive player of the week once on the year. Versus Michigan, Brown stopped 62-of-65 Michigan shots for a .954 save percentage and a 1.50 goals-against average. The 4-1 and 5-2 wins over the Wolverines marked the first time the Irish had swept Michigna in a series since March 5-6, 1982, a span of 22 seasons.

SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS: Eric Nystrom’s third-period power-play goal for Michigan on Feb. 27, snapped Notre Dame’s streak of 36 consecutive opponent power plays killed by the Irish. That streak started at 10:26 of the first period at Northern Michigan on Jan. 23. Following that goal, the Irish killed 36 consecutive power plays (a total of 66:14 minutes) over an nine-game, one-period span. Notre Dame started a new streak on Feb. 28 when they blanked Michigan on six power-play chances. For the season, the Irish have killed 134 of 150 opponent chances. Of the 16 power-play goals surrendered, 10 have come in five games (two in each game). Over the remaining 29 games, the Irish have given up just six other power-play goals. Notre Dame has killed 89.3% of opponent power plays this season to lead the CCHA and rank third-best in the nation. Notre Dame’s all-time best penalty killing rate at the Division I level is 86.1% and was set during the 1969-70 season. The Irish have now killed 10 consecutive opponent power plays and 42 of the last 43 going back to Jan. 23.

HOT GOALTENDER: Despite his 3-0 loss at Lake Superior last weekend, David Brown has put together a strong run over his last 10 starts. In those 10 games, the talented puckstopper has given up just 15 goals (beginning on Jan. 10 vs. Bowling Green). In the 10 games, Brown is 7-2-1, has played 573:48 minutes with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage, stopping 285 of 300 shots. In each of the last two months, Brown has received honorable mention for the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) rookie-of-the-month honors. He won the honor in October. For the year, Brown is 13-6-3 with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.

TWO FOR THE CENTURY MARK: Seniors Rob Globke and Aaron Gill each went over the 100-point mark in their careers during the 2003-04 season. This marks the first time since the 1998-99 season that two Notre Dame players crashed the Irish “Century Club.” That season, Brian Urick and Aniket Dhadphale each recorded the 100th point of their careers. This season, Globke became the 40th player in Notre Dame hockey history to go over 100 points in his career with two assists versus Western Michigan (Dec. 6). He is currently 32nd on the all-time scoring list with 117 points. Globke is just one of 18 players in school history to have 60 or more goals in a season and now is 16th all-time with 66 career goals. Gill made it 41 players on the list with his goal on Feb. 6 at Miami. For his career, Gill now has 44 goals and 59 assists for his 103 career points.

GOLDEN GLOBKE: Senior right wing Rob Globke is tied for third in the CCHA with 17 goals this season and leads the Irish with 17 goals and 16 assists for 33 points. He is just three points off his career-high of 36 (21g, 15a) set last season. He has led the Irish in goals in two of his first three seasons. Globke was named the CCHA offensive player of the week for the week ending Jan. 18. At Wisconsin, Globke accounted for two goals and two assists and was +2 for the weekend as the Irish tied (2-2) and downed the fourth-ranked Badgers (3-1). Globke was the first Notre Dame player to receive offensive player of the week honors since Dan Carlson (’01) was named on Feb. 7, 2000.

GAME-WINNING GLOBKE: Rob Globke picked up his CCHA-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season in the 3-1 win over Wisconsin on Jan. 18. He ranks third in the country with the five game-winners. For his career at Notre Dame, Globke now has 13 game-winning goals. That ties him for first on the all-time game-winning goal list with Brian Urick (’99) and current head coach Dave Poulin who recorded 13 game winners from 1978-82.

ON THE RIGHT PAIGE: Center Jason Paige scored the game-winning goal in Notre Dame’s 2-1 win at Lake Superior State on March 6, his second game winner of the season. On Feb. 27, he turned in the first two-goal game of his Notre Dame career in the 4-1 win over Michigan. Paige scored a pair of power-play goals in the game, giving him four on the season. He leads Notre Dame freshmen in scoring with nine goals and six assists on the year for 15 points.

LEBDA’S LINE: Brett Lebda turned in a four-point weekend (all assists) in Notre Dame’s sweep of Michigan. The four-point weekend included three assists in the 4-1 win on Feb. 27 for the third three-assist or more game of his career. He also has now moved into 10th on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list for defensemen with 81 career points on 25 goals and 56 assists. For the season, Lebda leads all Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with five goals and 15 assists for 20 points.

300 AND COUNTING: Notre Dame’s 4-2 win on Feb. 13 over Ferris State was the 300th win in the history of the Joyce Center. Notre Dame is now 303-245-42 (.551) on home ice.

THE WEEK AFTER: In each of the last four seasons following the February bye week, the Irish have had successful weekends upon their return to action. Last year, the Irish swept a pair of games at Bowling Green. In 2001-02, the Irish swept a series at Lake Superior State. In 2000-01, the Irish tied and won at Alaska Fairbanks. A schedule change that year had the Irish play one game at Michigan in the off-week, where they tied the Wolverines at Yost Arena. In 1999-2000, the Irish followed the bye week with a home tie versus Michigan State and a loss at Michigan State. With the sweep of Michigan this year, the Irish are now 7-1-2 in games following the bye week since 1999-2000.

ON THE SIDELINES: Notre Dame defenseman Derek Smith (Jr., Marysville, Mich.) is sidelined indefinitely with post-concussion syndrome. He has not played since suffering a concussion on Jan. 4, 2003.


David Brown – CCHA rookie of the week
(Oct. 19, Nov. 1, Dec. 2, Feb. 29)
CCHA defensive player of the week
(Jan. 12)
HCA rookie of the month (October)
Honorable mention HCA rookie of the
month (January)
Honorable mention HCA rookie of the
month (February)
Honorable mention CCHA all-Rookie team

Morgan Cey – All-tournament team at Everblades
Collegiate Hockey Classic (Dec. 28)

Tom Galvin – CCHA defensive player of the week
(Feb. 15)
Special mention CCHA all-Academic team

Rob Globke – CCHA offensive player of the week
(Jan. 19)
CCHA all-Academic team

Neil Komadoski – Nominee for college hockey’s
Humanitarian Award
Special mention CCHA all-Aca-
demic team

Brett Lebda – Special mention CCHA all-Academic team

T.J. Mathieson – Honorable mention CCHA all-Rookie team

Cory McLean – Special mention CCHA all-Aca
demic team

Wes O’Neill – Honorable mention CCHA all-Rookie team

Chris Trick – Special mention CCHA all-Academic

GILL GOALS: Senior center Aaron Gill has established career highs in assists (18) and points (30) this season. His 12 goals are the second highest total of his career as he had 13 goals last season. He also leads the Irish with seven power-play goals on the year, also a career high. For his career, Gill now has 17 power-play goals.

MR. STEADY – CORY’S STORY: Junior right wing Cory McLean is third in scoring for the Irish this season with nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points. His previous best was last season when he picked up 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points. McLean currently has a two-game goal-scoring streak after scoring once in each of the wins over Michigan. His goal on Friday, Feb. 27, snapped a 15-game scoreless drought.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Defenseman Tom Galvin was selected as the CCHA’s defensive player of the week for the week ending Feb. 15. Galvin had a goal and three assists and was +3 on the weekend as the Irish swept Ferris State. The senior blueliner was on the ice for six Notre Dame goals in the series and just one for Ferris State. He assisted on one goal in the 4-2 win on Feb. 13 and then had a career-high three-point game (1g, 2a) in the 4-1 win on Feb. 14. He also played a key role in helping Notre Dame’s penalty killers kill all nine Ferris State power plays on the weekend.

POWER-PLAY POINTS: The Irish are five-for-15 (33.3%) on the power play over the past five games and have had two power-play goals in two of those three games. The Irish have scored at least one power-play goal in 23 of their 34 games this season.

TWO-FOR-TWO: Freshman T.J. Jindra’s (Faribault, Minn.) short-handed goal in the Feb. 13 game versus Ferris State was his second goal of the season and also was his second game-winning goal of the year. His previous game-winning goal came on Nov. 21 versus Lake Superior State. He added his third goal of the year in the 4-1 win over Michigan.

TERRIFIC TRIO: Notre Dame’s corp of senior defensemen has had a strong final season for the Irish. Brett Lebda (5-15-20) took over the team lead in defensive scoring with three assists versus Michigan. Neil Komadoski (5-14-19) and Tom Galvin (1-18-19) follow with18 points. Not surprisingly, during their Notre Dame careers, all three defenders have led the Irish defensemen in scoring in one season. Lebda (7-19-26) led as a freshman, Galvin (4-19-23) led as a sophomore and Komadoski (1-23-24) led last year. BARN BURNERS: Three of Notre Dame’s games in January came down to final-second decisions. On Jan. 31, Brett Lebda scored with 28.5 seconds left for a 2-2 tie with Alaska Fairbanks. On Jan. 23, Northern Michigan’s Darin Olver scored with 34 seconds left in overtime to give the Wildcats a 4-3 win. On Jan. 9, Bowling Green’s James Unger scored with 28 seconds left in overtime to give the Falcons a 5-4 win.

DYNAMIC DUO: Notre Dame’s defensive duo of Neil Komadoski and Tom Galvin turned in career-high three-point games in the 4-1 win over Ferris State on Feb. 14. Komadoski recorded a pair of power-play goals (his first two-goal game) and added an assist for his three points. Galvin had one goal and two assists for his three-point night. On the weekend, Komadoski was on the ice for seven of Notre Dame’s eight goals and just one for Ferris State. Galvin was on the ice for six of eight Notre Dame goals and just one for the Bulldogs. On the year, the duo is tied for second on the team in scoring among defensemen with 19 points. Komadoski has five goals and 14 assists while Galvin checks in with one goal and 18 assists.

OVERTIME HEARTBREAK: Notre Dame is now 0-2-4 this season in six games that have gone to overtime. Prior to the Jan. 9, 5-4 overtime loss at Bowling Green, the Irish had gone eight straight overtimes with the game ending in a tie (0-0-8) between last season and the early part of the current campaign. Notre Dame’s last regular-season overtime win was Jan. 25, 2002 at Miami, a 4-3 win. Since that win, the Irish are 1-3-10 in overtime with the one win and one of the losses coming in the CCHA playoffs. Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Irish have been involved in 39 overtime games and are 5-4-30 in those contests.

PUTTING THE “P” IN POWER: Sophomore left wing Mike Walsh is quickly emerging one of the top power forwards in the CCHA. He scored his 11th goal of the season in the 5-2 win over Michigan. On the season, Walsh has four game-winning goals and five for his career. The four game winners ties him for third in the CCHA and 10th in the nation. 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. After battling through an injury and illness filled freshman year, Walsh has become a key contributor to the Irish attack. With11 goals and nine assists, he is tied for third on the team with 20 points. Four of his 11 goals this season are game winners. For his career, Walsh has scored 12 goals with five of them being game-winning goals.

LEAGUE LEADERS: Notre Dame leads the CCHA for the fewest goals given up per game. Notre Dame has given up just 78 goals in 34 games for a 2.29 goals-against per game.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMEN: In 34 games this season, Notre Dame defensemen Brett Lebda, Tom Galvin, Neil Komadoski and Wes O’Neill (Fr., Essex, Ont.) have combined for 13 goals and 55 assists for 68 points. Lebda (5g, 15a) is followed by Komadoski (5-14-19) and Galvin (1-18-18). O’Neill has two goals and eight assists for 10 points on the year.

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.

10/24/03 – at Boston College, 1-0
1/3/99 – at North Dakota, 4-3
11/10/78 – at Minnesota, 3-2
1/13/78 – vs. Denver, 5-3
1/18/74 – vs. Michigan Tech, 7-1
2/24/73 – vs. Wisconsin, 8-5
2/23/73 – vs. Wisconsin, 4-3

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.