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Irish Ready For Home-Ice Battle With UNO

Feb. 9, 2000

The Notre Dame hockey team (12-14-6, 9-8-5 CCHA) resumes its quest for home ice in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tornament (top five spots), with a series (Feb. 11-12) vs. up-and-coming Nebraska-Omaha (10-13-5, 8-9-5) … the Irish remain fifth in the CCHA, after a 3-1 loss and 2-1 overtime win at Ohio State … both games will be aired live by WJVA radio 1580 AM (also available via

HOME-ICE BATTLE: For the second straight season, ND heads into a late series facing one of the primary teams the Irish are battling for home ice … on Feb. 26-27, 1999, ND played host to Northern Michigan (3-3, 2-1)-with that series helping ND edge NMU by one point for the fourth and final playoff spot … if ND and UNO finish tied in the standings and have the same number of league wins (a possibility, since both squads have five ties), then the tiebreaker would fall to head-to-head (UNO leads 1-0-1), followed by goal differential (+2 for UNO) … the Mavs still would hold those tiebreakers vs. the Irish even if they came away from the Joyce Center with a tie and a one-goal loss.

QUICK NOTES FROM THE OSU SERIES: ND has outshot its opponent (or tied in the shot margin) during each of the last six games (27-18, 35-23 at OSU), with a 4-1-1 record and an average shot margin of 36-21 in those games … ND has played an OT game each of the past six weekends (2-0-4) … the Irish have lost just once in their last 14 OT games (2-1-11), 3-2 at Miami in the final weekend of the 1998-99 regular season … ND’s seven one-goal wins (7-4) equal the second-most in team history (the 1978-79 team went 11-4 in one-goal games) … the 3-1 defeat at OSU marked the eighth time this season that the Irish have lost despite holding the shot advantage.

CARLSON EARNS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior LW Dan Carlson (Edina, Minn.) was named CCHA player of the week-the first Irish player so honored this season-after factoring in all three ND goals in the split at OSU … his PPG in the opening game cut OSU’s lead to 2-1 early in the third period … the next night, he assisted on Michael’s Chin’s PPG for an early 1-0 lead before sending home Chin’s deflected shot with 0:56 left in OT … Carlson sits atop ND’s season charts in points (23), goals (12, six in last six games), PPGs (8) and GWGs (4, one in each of the past three weeks) … ND players have been recognized four times in weekly CCHA awards this season, with C Connor Dunlop (Oct. 18) and G Tony Zasowski (Nov. 1, Jan. 24) earning rookie of the week … just three schools have produced more CCHA weekly award winners: Michigan (8), Northern Michigan (7) and Lake Superior (5).

DOUBLE (OVERTIME) DIP: In addition to his last-minute score at Ohio State, Dan Carlson earlier had scored two huge goals in the 4-3 home win over Western Michigan on Jan. 21, forcing OT with 1:23 left in regulation before netting the 6-on-5 game-winner in the first minute of OT … his recent timely play makes Carlson just the second player in Notre Dame hockey history-and the first in 28 years-to score two overtime goals in the same season .. junior winger Paul Regan scored OT goals in ’71-’72 vs. Michigan Tech (6-5) and Cornell (5-4).

IRISH WIN IN LAST MINUTE … FINALLY: Dan Carlson’s game-winning goal at Ohio State (with 0:56 left to play) held even extra significance, as it marked the first time that the Irish have scored a game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation or overtime in seven years-since Matt Osiecki found the net with 55 seconds left in overtime to give the Irish a 5-4 win at Kent State on Feb. 14, 1992 … since that time, Notre Dame has been on the losing end of 12 last-minute, game-winning goals (seven of those have come during the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin).

EASY ROAD?: ND’s remaining schedule (based on combined CCHA record) ranks as one of the “easiest” among the league’s 12 teams, with the final three ND opponents owning a combined .508 winning pct. in league play (29-28-6) … despite the relative letup in its schedule, ND has struggled at times vs. the teams which currently occupy the bottom half of the standings, with three one-goal wins and a tie vs. 12th-place Alaska-Fairbanks, a loss at 11th-place Ohio State, two losses to 8th-place Ferris State, a tie vs. 6th-place Miami, and a loss and tie at 6th-place Nebraska-Omaha.

PLAYOFF POSITIONING: Positioning for the 10-team CCHA playoffs is still up for grabs … Michigan (15-5-1/31 points) has just a one-point cushion on Northern Michigan (14-4-2/28), with slumping Michigan State and surging Lake Superior (both 13-7-1/27) sitting two points back of the Wildcats … those teams are looking to clinch a crucial top-three finish (which would avoid the 4-vs.-5 play-in game that determines the final semi-finalist, after the five first-round series) … ND (9-8-5/23) remains fifth, followed by Miami (9-8-3/19), Nebraska-Omaha (8-9-5/21), Ferris State (9-11-2/20) and Western Michigan (8-11-3/19) … Bowling Green (8-12-0/16) is looking to hold off Ohio State (5-13-2/12) for the final spot.

FIT TO BE TIED (WITH A NEW SPIN): Head-to-head tiebreakers could be used to determine the CCHA playoff matchups-but they no longer are the first criteria used to break ties in the final regular-season standings … due to the unbalanced schedule in the first-year cluster format, the CCHA schools voted to alter the tiebreaking criteria, whereby total number of league wins would be the first comparison, followed by head-to-head results and head-to-head goal differential … although ND already holds the head-to-head edge on third-place Lake Superior and is just four points behind LSSU, the Irish (9-8-5) have four fewer CCHA wins than the Lakers (13-8-1) … ND also stands five wins behind NMU and four behind MSU while owning the same number of league wins as FSU and Miami and one more than UNO, WMU and BG.

ANYONE FOR EVEN STRENGTH?: The ND special teams are surging in opposite directions, as the Irish have scored power-play goals in six straight games (9-for-40, .235) but have allowed PPGs in seven of the last eight (36-for-46 penalty kill in those games, .783) … ND and its opponents have combined for 63 PP goals (32 for the Irish) but just 88 at even-strength … the Irish PP has surged to fifth overall in the CCHA (.163) while the ND penalty kill remains eighth (.828) … ND’s +1 ratio of PPGs scored and PPGs allowed is tied for fifth-best in the CCHA-behind MSU (+18), Michigan (+13), FSU (+8) and WMU (+3)-with the worst belonging to OSU (-12), UNO (-7), Miami (-6), LSSU (-6) and NMU (-1) .

SCORING IN BUNCHES: Despite being one of the CCHA’s lowest-scoring teams, ND has one of the league’s top-scoring foursomes, as four Irish players are bunched among the CCHA’s top-40 scorers: junior LW Dan Carlson (12G-11A), senior RW Joe Dusbabek (7G-13A, 27 GP), junior RW Ryan Dolder (7G-13A) and senior C Ben Simon (6G-13A, 30 GP) … only Michigan (6) and Northern Michigan (5) have more players among the league’s top-40 scorers.

ND and UNO met for the first time last November, with the Mavericks winning the weekend series (2-2, 5-3) at the Omaha Civic Auditorium (recaps below) … for updated information on the Mavs, see their official website (

Several players from ND and UNO played together on previous teams … ND senior D Sean Molina and UNO sophomore C Kyle O’Keefe (Chicago Young Americans) … ND freshman LW Jake Wiegand and UNO sophomore W Nick Fohr and junior D Ed Cassin (Lincoln Stars) … ND freshman G Tony Zasowski, UNO junior C Jason Cupp and UNO junior W Billy Pugliese (Green Bay Gamblers) … Zasowski and ND senior LW Andy Jurkowski played junior hockey with the Omaha Lancers.


@UNO 2, ND 2 (11/5/99) – Troy Bagne picked up his fourth career goal in timely fashion and Tony Zasowski made 37 saves, but UNO’s Jeff Hoggan scored a breakaway goal with 1:22 left … ND traded PPGs with UNO early in the second period before Bagne skated the length of the ice for a 4-on-4 goal … UNO held a 39-25 edge in shots on goal and stopping 5-of-6 ND PPs (including a lengthy 5-on-3) … Ben Simon recorded his first point since the season-opening Michigan series, knocking home a rebounded PP shot from between the circles by Dan Carlson, early in the second period … UNO’s PPG came at 5:50 of the second period, with Shane Glover skating from his own blue line and curling behind the net before sliding a pass Billy Pugliese, for an easy tap-in … Bagne skated down the left side, angled towards mid-ice, split two UNO players and faked a shot before sending a shot from the edge of the right circle under Kendall Sidoruk’s glove hand.

@UNO 5, ND 3 (11/6/99) – UNO used a steady onslaught and an effective PK to take the second game … ND received goals from Andy Jurkowski, Tyson Fraser and David Inman … UNO held a 35-26 shot edge and stopped 6-of-7 Irish PPs (including another lengthy 5-on-3) … UNO’s second-period surge included a pair of goals (by Nick Fohr and David Brisson) after scrambles in front of the Irish net … Inman scored from the left circle (cutting the lead to 4-3) but UNO scored again on a shot by Jeff Edwards from the right circle … UNO opened the scoring midway through the first, on a goal by Jason White, but the Irish answered 0:33 later, when Jurkowski sent home a pass from Brett Henning from the left side of the crease … UNO went back ahead on a PPG from the left side of the crease by Ryan Bencurik (17:51), but the Irish forged a 2-2 tie, when Fraser took a pass from Simon and beat Sidoruk with a rising PP shot shortly before the intermission.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: ND’s 21 CCHA points include 14 in the first games of a league series (6-3-2, 26 GA) but just nine in the second games (3-5-3, 32 GA) … nearly 43 pct. of ND’s goals this season have come on the power play (32 of 75, including 13 of the last 22), with senior C Ben Simon (5 of 6), junior LW Dan Carlson (8 of 11, plus a 6-on-5) and senior RW Joe Dusbabek (5 of 7) each scoring the bulk of their goals on the PP … 14 of ND’s last 22 games have been decided by 0-1 goals (7-3-4 in those games) … ND’s 12 wins have featured eight different game-winning goalscorers … the Irish are 19-6-5 (.717) in their last 30 regular-season home games (three losses by one goal) … the Irish are 24-0-5 in the past two seasons when leading at the second intermission (8-0-2 this season) and 18-2-3 when ahead at the first break (6-1-1) … ND’s leaders in game-winning points include junior LW Dan Carlson (4 GWG-1 GWA), junior RW Ryan Dolder (2 GWG, 3 GWA) and senior RW Joe Dusbabek (1 GWG-3 GWA) … they are the only Irish players with more than three game-winning points this season (a total of 15 players have scored or assisted on the 12 GWGs ) … prior to the 4-1 first period vs. Vermont, the Irish had been outscored 13-4 in the first period this season (now 33-26, with a 27-23 opponent edge in the second, 26-24 opponent edge in the third).

10-POINT SERIES: A pair of Minnesota natives-junior LW Dan Carlson (Edina) and senior RW Joe Dusbabek (Faribault)-played leading roles in Notre Dame’s recent sweep of WMU … Carlson-who has surged to a share of the team goal lead (9)-converted a scramble 6-on-5 goal with 1:23 left in regulation to force overtime in the first game before slapping home a power-play goal from the top of the slot 52 seconds into the OT … Carlson (who had 3G on seven shots in the series) then assisted on Dusbabek’s goal the next day for a 1-0 lead before scoring the clinching third goal en route to a 4-1 final … Carlson’s four-point weekend was just the fourth by an ND player this season and the first in CCHA action but Dusbabek bettered him with a six-point series … Dusbabek-who had 1G-2A in both WMU games-was credited with the first ND goal of the series when his pass deflected off a WMU player (he later assisted on Carlson’s GTG and GWG) … the next night, he opened the scoring with a rocket shot from outside the blue line before assisting on the next two lines as the Irish built their lead to 3-0. RACKING UP THE MILES: ND’s 11 road trips cover many miles, with two trips to Denver, plus recent jaunts to the upper peninsula for a series at NMU and to Fairbanks, Alaska, plus earlier visits to Omaha, Neb., and Durham, N.H. … other trips include Big Rapids/Grand Rapids, Mich., East Lansing, Mich. (2), Bowling Green, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio … the CCHA “cluster” schedule resulted in the loss of the customary short trips to Kalamazoo (Western Michigan) or Ann Arbor (Michigan).

DOWN TO THE WIRE: Despite an 0-4-0 start, ND is 9-4-5 in its last 18 CCHA games (4-2-2 in the last eight) and alone in fifth place, four points out of third … ND ranks 11th in the CCHA for overall goals/gm (2.34), 5th in goals allowed (2.69), 5th in power-play pct. (.163), 8th in penalty-kill pct. (.828) and 1st in fewest penalty minutes/gm (16.03) … freshman G Tony Zasowski’s 2.25 overall GAA ranks 6th in the CCHA (3rd among goalies with 800-plus minutes) … junior LW Dan Carlson is tied for 14th in the CCHA with 12 goals (he had just seven last season) and is tied for 16th with 23 points … sophomore C/LW David Inman is tied for 16th in the CCHA with 11 goals (he had 10 in ’98-’99) … Carlson also is tied for third in the CCHA with eight PPGs and is tied for second with four GWGs … senior RW Joe Dusbabek and junior RW Ryan Dolder (both 7G-13A) are tied for 25th on the CCHA scoring charts (Dusbabek missed the OSU series due to muscle spasms).

DISCIPLINED PLAY: ND’s low team GAA (2.64) is due in large part to the Irish being CCHA’s least-penalized squad (7.5 penalties, 16.2 PIM/gm, leading to just 5.6 opp. PP chances/gm) … since ranking as the CCHA’s most-penalized team in ’95-’96 (11.31), the Irish were the least-penalized in ’96-’97 (8.69) and ’97-’98 (6.37) and the third-least penalized in ’98-’99 (8.40) … ND’s more disciplined players include soph. RW John Wroblewski (3 penalties), senior LW Andy Jurkowksi (5, 24 in 102 career games), senior C Ben Simon (10, compared to 30-31-31 in the past three seasons), and sophomore C Brett Henning (4, 19 in 60 career games) … senior D Sean Molina has 12 penalties this season (38 in 138 career games) … senior D Nathan Borega had just 16 penalties as a sophomore and 13 as junior but has a team-high 27 this season (none in the last four games) … ND was whistled for 13 penalties in the 6-0 loss at NMU (most in 20 games, since 15 in 4-2 loss to FSU on Oct. 24), leading to 10 PPs.

TOP PROSPECTS: Four current and future ND players were listed among the top 160 players on the NHL’s Central Scouting Service midseason rankings (most from any CCHA team) … the rankings list players born between Sept. 16, 1980-Sept. 15, 1982 ( players born after Sept. 15, 1981 must “opt-in” and forfeit their college eligibility) … ND’s top-rated player is fall signee Neil Komadoski (Feb. 10, 1982 birthdate), considered one of the nation’s top D prospects in his age group … Komadoski (Chesterfield, Mo./U.S. Under-18 National Team) checked in at 51st, the fourth-highest rated player/signee in the CCHA … current ND players on the list include three draft-eligible freshmen: D Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.), C Connor Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.) and RW Michael Chin (Urbana, Ill.) … Nielsen checks in at 70th, sixth-highest among all current CCHA players/signees and first among active league D (six spots ahead of NMU’s Sean Connolly) … Dunlop is listed 118th, eight-highest among all players with CCHA ties and second among active CCHA forwards (Michigan center Andy Hilbert is 26th) … Chin is the ninth-highest CCHA player/signee on the list, at No. 158.

Junior LW DAN CARLSON (12G-11A) has surged atop the team scoring charts (6G-2A in the last six games) … Carlson-who has scored or assisted on five of Notre Dame’s 12 winning goals this season-suddenly has moved into a tie for 10th all-time at ND with seven career game-winning goals (just seven players have totaled 10-plus, with Brian Urick and Dave Poulin sharing the record of 13) … his four GWGs this season (one in each of the last three series, two in OT) are tied for eighth in the Irish record book … since Dave Bankoske’s record seven GWGs in 1989-90, only Urick (5, ’97-’98) has posted more game-winners in a season that Carlson’s current total … Carlson had 3G-2A in the WMU series, including the game-tying goal in the first game with 1:23 left to play and the overtime game-winner in that 4-3 game … he came back in the next game (2-1) at UAF to record his second GWG in three games (he also scored in the last minute of OT at OSU, 2-1)… Carlson has 8G-6A in the last 13 games while his 12 goals include eight on the PP and one 6-on-5 (he totaled just six PPGs in his first two seasons) … Carlson’s four GWGs are more than his total from his first two seasons (3).

Senior RW Joe Dusbabek (7G-13A) remains tied for second on the team in scoring, after missing the OSU series due to muscle spasms … Dusbabek (5G-10A) is tied with Carlson (9G-6A) for the team scoring lead in CCHA games … he is tied for second on the team in overall power-play goals (5) … Dusbabek had 1G-2A in both games of the recent WMU series and has 10 points in his last nine games played (4G-6A).

Junior RW Ryan Dolder has 14 points (5G-9A) in the last 17 games (2G-2A in the last four) and is tied for second on the team in scoring (7G-13A) … Dolder was recognized by the coaching staff for his emerging leadership by being named the team’s third alternate captain on Dec. 1

Sophomore LW David Inman (11G-5A) has 4G-2A since returning from the World Junior Championship (he scored the second goal in the 4-3 win over WMU and had two PPGs in the 3-3 tie at UAF) … Inman turned in just the fourth multi-goal game by an Irish player this season (he also had 2G vs. Union while Ben Simon scored twice vs. UMass and Carlson twice vs. WMU) … Inman has 4A in his last 11 games (one in the first 17).

Freshman RW Michael Chin had 3A in the UAF series before adding 1G-1A in the 2-1 win at OSU … each of Chin’s four goals have come during the last 13 games (he scored the equalizer in the 1-1 tie with LSSU) and he has 2G-4A in the last five games … Chin (4G-6A) leads all ND freshmen in goals and is tied with center Connor Dunlop (2G-8A) for most points among the Irish rookies.

Senior C Ben Simon has 115 career pts (37G-78A) in 133 games … Simon notched his third career two-goal game in the 5-3 UMass win (he has yet to record a hat trick) … he has 12 points (4G-8A) in his last 17 games (five in first 12) but is looking to end a 13-game goal drought.

Senior LW Andy Jurkowski has played in a team-best 84 consecutive games … Jurkowski posted the first multi-point game of his career in the 4-3 loss to Princeton (2A) and ranks sixth on the team with 12 points (4G-8A, he had 2G-4A in 70 games over his first three seasons, as mostly a D) … Jurkowski notched an assist in the 4-3 win over WMU to end a seven-game point (he also had an assist at UAF) drought but still is looking to end a 21-game goal drought (he had 4G in the previous six games) … Dolder, Carlson and Jurkowski are the only players to appear in all 32 Irish games this season.

Junior LW Jay Kopischke has 4G-4A in his last 16 games played (he totaled nine points in his first two seasons)

Freshman C Connor Dunlop assisted on Carlson’s goal in the 4-1 win over WMU for his first point since returning from the World Junior Championship (he added his eighth assist of the season in the 3-3 tie at UAF)

Sophomore C Brett Henning has no points since Nov. 28 (he has no points in his last 14 GP, while also playing in the World Juniors)

Sophomore Sam Cornelius played five games as a fourth-line LW/extra D in mid-December and early January.

Senior D Sean Molina’s eight points this season (1G-7A) are a career-best … Molina is tied for fourth on the squad in plus-minus (+1), after ranking second on the ’98-’99 squad (+13) … Molina has totaled just 38 career penalties while playing the most games (138) of any current Irish player (he is averaging 3.6 games per penalty for his career) … Molina is tied for eighth on the 1999-2000 team with a career-best seven assists … Molina scored in the 4-3 loss to Princeton on Dec. 19, for his first career goal … by playing in the final six regular-season games and at least two postseason games, Molina would become the ninth Notre Dame player ever to log 146 career games played.

Junior D Ryan Clark (from nearby Littleton, Colo.) scored in 3-3 tie at Denver for his first goal of the season and second of his career.

Senior D Tyson Fraser’s assist vs. UMass was his 50th career point (he now has 7G-45A) and marked his 45th career game with a goal or assist (now 46) … Fraser is tied for fifth on the current Irish team in assists (8) and ranks as the team’s top-scoring D (2G-8A).

Senior D Sean Seyferth has six points this season (2G-4A) after totaling seven in his first three seasons combined (4G-3A)

Freshman D Evan Nielsen (3G-6A) ranks as the team’s second-leading scorer among D (Seyferth is the only other D with multiple goals) … Nielsen is looking to end an eight-game point drought (0G-1A in last 11 GP).

The Irish senior D foursome of Borega (130), Fraser (121), Molina (138) and Seyferth (57) has combined for 446 career games played

Freshman D Paul Harris (9 GP, 0G-0A) remains sidelined following surgery in mid-December (he could return later in the season).

Freshman Tony Zasowski ranks 6th overall in the CCHA with a 2.30 GAA (4th among goalies with 800-plus minutes), which would best the Irish record of 2.58 set by Forrest Karr last season, while sophomore Jeremiah Kimento (3.01) ranks 14th in the CCHA

Zasowski has allowed just 27 even-strength goals in 21 games played, including just seven in his last nine appearances

His 2.10 conference GAA ranks 3rd among league netminders with 700-plus minutes

He received his second CCHA rookie-of-the-week award after totaling 41 saves and allowing one even-strength goal in the WMU series (4-3/ot, 4-1) … Zasowski is one of four players to earn multiple rookie-of-the-week honors this season, joining Ferris State F Chris Kunitz (3), MSU G Ryan Miller (2) and NMU F Chris Gobert (2) … ND joins FSU (3) and NMU (3) as the only CCHA schools with three-plus rookie honorees this season (freshman C Connor Dunlop was honored on Oct. 18, after assisting on four goals in games vs. Providence and Union)

Zasowski’s season save percentage (.909) also is on pace to best the long-standing ND record of .907 (set by Mark Kronholm in 1970-71).

Zasowski has allowed 0-2 goals in 13 of his 18 starts and turned in a shutout streak of 130:36, spanning 54 minutes of the 2-1 loss at UNH on Nov. 27 and the first 76 minutes of the MSU series (Dec. 4-5)

ND’s team GAA of 2.64 is on pace to challenge the team record (2.61, set in ’98-’99)

Zasowski (19 saves vs. UAF, 24 vs. MSU) is the second ND goalie with two solo shutouts in the same season (Karr shut out OSU and Miami in ’98-’99)

Kimento posted a 19-save shutout vs. Union, marking the first time that the Irish have shut out three opponents in the same season

Zasowski and Kimento combined for 56 saves and three GA in the crucial Jan. 7-8 LSSU series … Zasowski picked up the 2-1 win over LSSU in his first appearance since Dec. 10, making 29 saves and helping stop all six Lakers PPs (he closed the game with 28 straight saves, after allowing an early goal) … Kimento closed the 1-1 game vs. LSSU with 25 straight saves (he totaled 27)

Junior G Kyle Kolquist made his first career start (and second career appearance) in the 4-2 loss to Princeton, with 21 saves and just one even-strength goal allowed.