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Irish Prepare For Home-And-Home Series With Western Michigan

Oct. 16, 2002

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  • The Series: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0-1/0-0-0) vs. Western Michigan Broncos (2-0-0/2-0-0)
  • Date/Site/Times: Fri., Oct. 18 – Joyce Center (2,713) – 7:05 p.m. (EST)
    Sat., Oct. 19 – Lawson Arena (3,667) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT)/6:05 p.m. in South Bend.
  • Television: Saturday’s game will be televised live on WHME-TV in South Bend. Bob Nagle and Craig Brown will handle the play-by-play action.
  • Broadcast Information: Notre Dame hockey will be simulcast live on WDND South Bend’s ESPN Radio 1620 and WDNV 1490 with Mike Lockert calling all the action. Irish hockey can also be heard live via the internet at

RETURN TO CCHA ACTION: The Irish open their home and CCHA schedule on Friday, Oct. 18 when they play host to the Western Michigan Broncos. Opening faceoff at the Joyce Center is 7:05 p.m. (EST). The following night, Oct. 19, the Irish travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., to face the Broncos in the second game of the home-and-home series. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live by WHME-TV, Channel 46 in South Bend. Broadcast time is 7:05 p.m. in Michigan and 6:05 p.m. in South Bend. The Irish enter the weekend with a 1-0-1 record after opening the season last week at Minnesota-Duluth. Western Michigan brings a 2-0-0 overall record and a 2-0-0 CCHA record into the weekend after knocking off Bowling Green twice last weekend. The two teams will meet again on Feb. 28-Mar. 1 in a home-and-home series. Western Michigan, Ferris State and Bowling Green join the Irish in the same four-team cluster this season. All four teams will play each other four times this season.

TV GAME: Notre Dame’s game at Western Michigan on Sat., Oct. 18 will be televised live by WHME-TV (Channel 46) in South Bend. Bob Nagle will provide the play-by-play with Tom Nevala providing the color commentary. Game time is 7:05 p.m. in Michigan and 6:05 p.m. in Indiana.

HEAD COACH DAVE POULIN: Head coach Dave Poulin begins his eighth season directing the Notre Dame hockey program. A 1982 Notre Dame grad, Poulin needs just two more wins to reach 100 for his career. He is currently 98-135-35 (.431) overall and is 69-102-30 (.418) in CCHA contests. Poulin has a 9-8-3 record versus Western Michigan in his first seven seasons behind the Irish bench.

A LOOK AT THE BRONCOS: Western Michigan got its season off to a fast start with a pair of CCHA wins last weekend versus Bowling Green (6-5 ot and 3-2). Freshman Vince Bellissimo led the Broncos with three goals and one assist on the weekend with two of the goals being game winners. Also collecting four points on the weekend were defenseman Dave Cousineau (2g, 2a) and forward Dana Lattery (1g, 3a). Bellissimo was named the CCHA’s rookie-of-the-week while Lattery was the offensive player-of-the-week. Freshman goaltender Scott Foster picked up the wins in both games and has a 3.49 goals against and a .841 save percentage. For more information on the Broncos, check the Western Michigan website at

FOR OPENERS: The Irish opened the 2002-03 season with a 2-2 tie on Oct. 11 at Minnesota-Duluth. That gives Notre Dame an 18-16-1 record in season openers. The tie broke a streak of three consecutive season-opening losses for the Irish. The last opening-day win for Notre Dame came on Oct. 2, 1998 at Wisconsin. When the season opener is on the road, the Irish are now 7-12-1. In home openers, the Irish are 19-15 in their first 34 seasons. Dave Poulin is 4-3-0 in home openers since taking over as coach prior to the 1995-96 season.

SPANNING THE GLOBE-KEY: Junior Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.) turned in the best performance of his Notre Dame career in the 5-3 win over Minnesota-Duluth (10/12). Globke recorded his first career hat trick and four-point game (3g, 1a) in the victory. After setting up John Wroblewski’s first-period power-play goal, the junior right wing scored three times in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie. Globke’s hat trick was the first by a Notre Dame player since Dan Carlson scored three goals versus Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 20, 2000.

THREE IN A PERIOD: Globke’s three-goal third period was the first by a Notre Dame player since Nov. 22, 1997 when Chad Chipchase scored three times in a 7:52 span versus Ferris State. Globke’s three goals came in a 16:29 span versus Minnesota-Duluth. The Irish record for goals in a period is four and is held by Phil Witliff (1/23/69) and Ian Williams (12/29/71).

WROBO TO THE RESCUE: Senior left wing John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.) single-handedly wiped out a 2-0 Minnesota-Duluth lead to spark Notre Dame’s 5-3 come-from-behind win on Oct. 12. Wroblewski scored the first power-play goal for the Irish this season at 17:52 of the first period to cut the lead to 2-1. In the second period, with UMD on the power play, Wroblewski stepped in front of a pass at the Notre Dame blue line and had clear sailing to the Minnesota-Duluth goal. He beat goaltender Isaac Reichmuth high to his glove side with a wrist shot for his second goal of the night. In the third period, Wroblewski set up Globke’s third goal of the game for the final of 5-3.

WOW ZOW: Notre Dame goaltender Tony Zasowski (Sr., Darien, Ill.) made his first start since Dec. 1, 2001 in the second game of the weekend series at Minnesota-Duluth. After giving up two first-period goals, Zasowski stopped 30 of 31 shots over the final two periods for the 5-3 win. On the night, Zasowski made 39 saves, the second highest total of his career. Zasowski’s last appearance for the Irish was on Feb. 1, 2001 when he played the final 27 minutes versus Alaska Fairbanks in relief of Morgan Cey.

YOU DON’T CEY: Goaltender Morgan Cey (So., Wilkie, Sask.) picked up where he left off last season in Notre Dame’s season-opening 2-2 tie at Minnesota-Duluth. Cey made 37 saves on the night while playing 64:50 in the game. He was pulled with 1:07 left in the game and the Irish converted with the extra man at 19:03 to send the game to overtime. In his last 10 starts, going back to Feb. 8, 2002, Cey is 7-2-1 with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. He had started 25 consecutive games in goal before that streak was snapped on Oct. 12 when Tony Zasowski made the start versus Minnesota-Duluth.

WASTING LITTLE TIME: Freshman right wing Tim Wallace (Anchorage, Alaska) wasted little time scoring his first collegiate goal in the 2-2 tie at Minnesota-Duluth. Wallace scored the first goal of his career and the first goal of the season for the Irish on the first shot of his collegiate career. The goal came at 9:12 of the first period and tied the score at 1-1.

INJURY LIST: Notre Dame will be without the services of freshman left wing Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) who suffered a broken jaw in the preseason game with Toronto (Oct. 4). Walsh is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with the injury.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Irish picked up where they left off last season with a 1-0-1 weekend on the road at Minnesota-Duluth. Last season, Notre Dame was 10-8-3 on the road for their first winning road record since 1997-98 when the Irish were 12-11-0 away from the Joyce Center.

IRISH OVERTIME: The Irish started the 2002-03 season with a 2-2 tie at Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 11. Notre Dame was 2-1-5 in overtime during the 2001-02 season with one of those wins coming in the CCHA playoffs at Nebraska-Omaha. Over the last three seasons, Notre Dame is 5-2-21 in overtime.

THE CAPTAINS: Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.) will serve as team captain for the second consecutive season in 2002-03. He is the first two-time captain since Steve Noble handled the job in 1996-97 and 1997-98. He becomes the 12th two-time captain in the program’s 35th season. One of the CCHA’s top returning defensemen, Nielsen had a career season during 2001-02 with seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points while being +5 on the year. Serving as alternate captains this season will be senior center Connor Dunlop and junior center Aaron Gill. Dunlop served as an alternate captain in 2001-02 and had the best season of his career. Dunlop had nine goals and 36 assists for 45 points with the assist and point totals being the most for a Notre Dame player since 1991-92. An honorable mention all-CCHA performer, Dunlop was fourth among CCHA scorers overall and finished second in 28 league games with nine goals and 27 assists for 36 points. Gill has been a steady performer in his first two seasons with the Irish. He is coming off an eight-goal, 14-assist season. Known for his non-stop hustle, Gill is one of the teams top faceoff men and penalty killers.

PRESEASON POLLS: 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. In fact, the both polls were identical from top to bottom as both groups selected defending champion Michigan to defend its title. In the coaches poll, Michigan received eight of 12 first-place votes with Michigan State getting two and Northern Michigan and Ohio State each getting one. The media’s poll (with 72 members of the media voting) saw Michigan get 39 first-place votes, Michigan State 22, Northern Michigan 7 and Ohio State 3. The results of both polls:

CENTER OF ATTENTION: Irish center Connor Dunlop is coming off the best season of his career and the best year for a Notre Dame hockey player since 1991-92. Dunlop capped his junior year by leading the Irish in scoring with nine goals and 36 assists for 45 points. The 36 assists were the most since Curtis Janicke recorded 38 in 1991-92 and the 45 points were the most since Janicke’s 50-point campaign in ’91-’92.

An all-CCHA and all-American candidate this season, Dunlop was fourth overall among CCHA scorers and third in assists. In the 28-game regular season league rankings, Dunlop was second in points (36) and assists (27).

An honorable mention all-CCHA selection in 2001-02, Dunlop turned in a seven-point (two goals, five assists) weekend series versus Alaska Fairbanks (Feb. 1-2) including his second four-point game of the season. For the year, Dunlop recorded two four-point games, three with three-points and 13 multiple-point games in all.

Dunlop got his 2002-03 season off to a good start with an assist on the game-tying goal on Friday and another assist in the 5-3 win on Saturday at Minnesota-Duluth.

SEN-CEY-SATIONAL: Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey was among the top freshmen netminders in the country during the 2001-02 season. Cey turned in a 15-14-3 record with a 2.72 goals against average and a school-record .910 save percentage. He also equalled a Notre Dame mark with two shutouts. Over the final nine games of the year, Cey was 7-2 with a 1.77 goals against average. Cey backstopped the Irish to their playoff series win at Nebraska-Omaha. In three games covering 208:49 minutes, Cey gave up five goals, while stopping 99 of 104 shots for a 1.49 goals against and a .951 save percentage.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Three current members of the Notre Dame hockey program – senior center Connor Dunlop, junior defenseman Neil Komadoski and sophomore forward Yan Stastny – hold a unique connection, as each of their fathers enjoyed lengthy careers in the National Hockey League.

Blake Dunlop played 11 seasons in pro hockey (’73-’84), including NHL stints with the Minnesota North Stars (’73-’77), Philadelphia Flyers (’77-’79), St. Louis Blues (’79-’83) and Detroit Red Wings (’83-’84), while totaling 130G-274A in 550 career NHL games.

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.

Peter Stastny played 15 seasons in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques (’80-’90), the New Jersey Devils (’90-’93) and the St. Louis Blues (’93-’95). He is currently the 23rd all-time scorer in league history with 450 goals, 789 assists and 1,239 points in 997 games. A six-time NHL all-star, Stastny is the highest scoring European-born player in NHL history and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998. The 1981 NHL rookie-of-the-year, Stastny is currently a special assignment scout for the St. Louis Blues.

Notre Dame’s NHL connection doesn’t stop there.

Sophomore forward Alexander “Newsy” Lalonde (Newmarket, Ont.) also has NHL lineage as he is a distant relative of NHL pioneer and Hall of Famer, Edouard “Newsy” Lalonde. Lalonde played for the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Americans between 1917 and 1927 for a total of six seasons in which he scored 124 goals and 41 assists for 165 points in 99 games.

ALL IN THE FAMILY, PART II: Two freshmen hockey players – Rory Walsh (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, 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. Adding to the Irish family theme, sophomore left wing Yan Stastny’s (St. Louis, Mo.) younger sister, Kristina, is a freshman with the Notre Dame women’s tennis team while junior Aaron Gill’s younger brother Tony gives the Irish their ninth brother combo in the program’s history.

CAREER YEARS: Several Notre Dame players turned in career seasons in 2001-02. Connor Dunlop had the biggest season racking up career bests in goals (9), assists (36) and points (45). His previous best had been seven goals, 12 assists and 19 points in 2000-01. Defenseman Tom Galvin (Jr., Miller Place, N.Y.) turned in career highs in goals (4), assists (19) and points (23) as a sophomore after recording just four points (all assists) as a freshman. Right wing Michael Chin (Sr., Urbana, Ill.) turned in career highs with 13 goals, eight assists, 21 points and three power play goals. Fellow senior John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.) had 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points and two power play goals which surpassed his previous best of two goals, four assists and six points set in 2000-01.

CCHA ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM: David Inman was named to the CCHA’s nine-man 2001-02 all-Academic Team, making Notre Dame the CCHA’s only school to produce an all-Academic honoree in each of the last seven seasons. Inman finished second for the Irish in scoring with 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points and was also an honorable mention all-CCHA selection. Inman turned in a 3.54 grade point average in finance during his Notre Dame career. 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) and Dan Carlson (2000-01). During that 10-year span, only Western Michigan (11) has produced more CCHA All-Academic selections than Notre Dame’s 10.

Academic All-Americans: Notre Dame saw its streak of five consecutive Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans snapped in 2001-02. Senior right wing David Inman (Toronto, Ont.) was selected as a District V selection for the At-Large team but did not make it to the national team. Prior to 2001-02, four Irish hockey players made the team over a five-year period.

2000-01: Dan Carlson (3rd team)
1999-00: Andy Jurkowski (3rd team)
1998-99: Forrest Karr (2nd team)
1997-98: Steve Noble (1st team)
1996-97: Steve Noble (2nd team)

CCHA SCORING LEADERS: Notre Dame finished the 2001-02 season second in scoring in the CCHA regular season. The Irish scored 95 goals in 28 league games for a 3.39 scoring average per game. Only Michigan scored more goals in league play (97, 3.46 average). Individually, Connor Dunlop was second in the league in scoring with nine goals and 27 assists for 36 points. David Inman was fifth with 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points. In 38 games overall, the Irish were seventh among CCHA teams in scoring with 117 goals (3.08 per game).

Closing The Deal: After seeing their 50-game unbeaten streak (42-0-8) when leading after two periods in the second game of last season, the Irish went 16-0-1 over the final 17 games they led after two periods. Since Jan. 9, 1998, the Irish are 58-2-9 when leading after two periods of play.

HOMETOWNS: The 2002-03 Notre Dame hockey team features players from 10 states and four Canadian provinces – Alberta, British Columbia,Ontario and Saskat-chewan. In the seven-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, the Notre Dame hockey letter winners have hailed from 20 different states and provinces – those listed below, plus: Colorado, Delaware, New Jersey, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.

2002-03 Notre Dame Hockey
– By State or Province:

Illinois (5): Michael Chin, Brett Lebda, Evan Nielsen, Tony Zasowski, Joe Zurenko
Michigan (5): Rob Globke, Jake Wiegand, Derek Smith, Chris Trick, Mike Walsh
Minnesota (3): Kyle Dolder, Aaron Gill, Tony Gill
Missouri (3): Connor Dunlop, Neil Komadoski, Yan Stastny
Massachusetts (2): Ryan Mundt, Rory Walsh
Alaska (1): Tim Wallace
Alberta (1): Brad Wanchulak
British Columbia (1): Matt Amado
Maryland (1): T.J. Mathieson
New York (1): Tom Galvin
North Dakota (1): Cory McLean
Ontario (1): Alex Lalonde
Saskatchewan (1): Morgan Cey
Wisconsin (1): John Wroblewski

IRON MEN: Junior defenseman Brett Lebda has now played in 75 of 79 career games at Notre Dame. The lone games he missed came between 12/28 – 1/5 of last season while he was playing for the U.S. Junior National Team in the World Junior Championships. The Notre Dame record for consecutive games played is 103 and was set by Ryan Dolder over three seasons. The Notre Dame record for games played is held by Dan Carlson who played in 158 of a possible 160 games between 1997-2001. The only two he missed came while he was playing for the U.S. Junior National Team in 1998-99. Current Notre Dame consecutive game streaks:

Jake Wiegand – 77 games
Evan Nielsen – 77 games
John Wroblewski – 75 games

NHL DRAFTEES: Notre Dame had three players selected in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft in June. Junior Rob Globke (West Bloomfield, Mich.) led the way as he was selected in the second round, 40th overall, by the Florida Panthers. That is the highest any Notre Dame hockey player has ever been selected in the NHL Draft. In the fifth round, freshman Mike Walsh was selected 143rd overall by the New York Rangers. The third member of the Notre Dame roster picked was sophomore Yan Stastny who was selected in the eighth round, 259th overall, by the Boston Bruins. They join senior Evan Nielsen (Atlanta Thrashers, 8th round, 2000 Draft) and junior defenseman Neil Komadoski (Ottawa Senators, 3rd round, 2001 Draft) as Notre Dame players selected by the NHL.

PATRIOTIC GROUP: 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. Notre Dame ranks second with 10 NTDP alums, one behind Michigan State (11), while Minnesota has nine. Notre Dame’s contingent includes seniors Michael Chin, John Wroblewski and Connor Dunlop, juniors Rob Globke, Neil Komadoski and Brett Lebda, sophomore Derek Smith and freshman forward Tim Wallace.

Former Irish players Brett Henning and Paul Harris also were members of the Developmental program prior to playing at Notre Dame.

Globke and Lebda also played for Team USA at last year’s World Junior Championships. For Globke, it was his second appearance for Team USA and he scored two goals with one assist in helping the U.S. team to a 4-1-2 record and fifth place. Lebda made his first appearance and scored a goal in seven tournament games. The Irish have had at least one player on the National Junior Team in each of the last six years.

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

PENALTY SHOTS: After not being involved with a penalty shot either for or against for over two seasons, the Irish were involved in two penalty shots during 2001-02. On Dec. 8 at Bowling Green, Irish goaltender Morgan Cey stopped BG’s Greg Day at 9:52 of the second period. That was the first penalty shot called against the Irish since Mar. 13, 1999 when Matt Eisler stopped Michigan’s Bill Muckalt in a 4-2 Notre Dame win in the CCHA playoffs. In Notre Dame’s second game of the year versus Union College, Rob Globke scored on a penalty shot versus Union College’s Brandon Snee at 3:41 of the third period in the 7-4 loss to Union College. That was the first penalty shot by an an Irish player since Feb. 5, 1998 when Brian Urick was stopped by Ohio State’s Jeff Maund.

RIVALRY CLUSTERS: The CCHA starts its new scheduling format this season as the league’s 12 teams are 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 three 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 2002-03, Notre Dame will play Bowling Green, Ferris State and Western Michigan four times with two games at home and two away. The Irish will also host two-game series with Lake Superior State, Miami, Michigan State and Ohio State while traveling for two games to Alaska Fairbanks, Michigan, Nebraska-Omaha and Northern Michigan.

WINNING STREAKS: Notre Dame ran off five straight wins from Feb. 9 through Mar. 2 to close the 2001-02 regular season. That five-game win streak was the longest for the Irish since a five-game streak (Jan. 3-Jan. 16) during the 1998-99 season. All five wins came versus CCHA opponents which equals Notre Dame’s longest CCHA winning streak in their 12 seasons as a member of the CCHA. The Irish have done it twice – Oct. 9-23, 1998 and Jan. 30-Feb. 13, 1982.