Oct. 23, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame hockey team returned to the national scene today as the Irish found themselves back in the national rankings for the first time since the end of the 2003-04 season when they finished the year ranked 12th in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV polls.
Notre Dame goes into the third week of the season ranked 11th in the USA Today Poll and 12th in the USCHO.com poll while the Inside College Hockey.com poll has the Irish ranked 13th in the nation. All three polls are ranking Notre Dame for the first time this season.
Notre Dame is coming off one of the program’s best road weekends ever as the Irish knocked off No. 1 ranked Boston College, 7-1, on Fri., Oct. 20 at Chestnut Hill, Mass., and then followed that with a 6-1 win on Saturday night at Providence College.
The last time the Irish recorded a weekend road sweep was on Feb. 14-15, 2003 when they won a pair of games at Bowling Green. The last time the Irish won two East coast road games was on Dec. 28-29, 2001 when they won a pair of games at Princeton.
During that 2003-04 season, Notre Dame spent six weeks, including the final four weeks of the campaign ranked in the top 15 in both the USA Today and USCHO.com polls. That Irish team became the first in the program’s history to advance to the NCAA Tournament where they fell to Minnesota in the opening round. Prior to that, Notre Dame was in the top 15 for one week in 2002-03 and then spent 13 consecutive weeks (15 in all) in the top 10 during the 1998-99 season, reaching as high as fourth in the nation during that year.
The Irish are now 3-1-0 on the season and will continue a seven-game road swing when they travel to Tampa, Fla., to help host the first-ever Lightning College Hockey Classic at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Irish face Army in the opening round at 8:05 p.m. on Fri., Oct. 27 while Alabama-Huntsville faces Air Force at 5:05 p.m. The third-place and championship games will be played on Sat., Oct. 28 at 5:05 p.m. and 8:05 p.m.