Jan. 15, 2003
Date/Site/Times: Friday, Jan. 17 – Joyce Center (2,713) – 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 – Allstate Arena (16,692) – 7:05 p.m. (CST)
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 www.und.com.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Notre Dame hockey team (9-9-4, 7-8-1 CCHA) returns to the friendly confines of the Joyce Center this weekend for the first time since Dec. 7-8, 2002 when the Irish face the Yale Bulldogs (8-8-0, 7-5-0 in the ECAC) on Friday, Jan. 17 at 7:05 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 18, the two teams will go north to Chicago for the second game of the series that will be played at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. Game time for Saturday is 7:05 p.m. (CST) – 8:05 p.m. in South Bend. The Irish have been on the road since the Dec. 7-8 series versus Bowling Green. During the seven-game road swing, Notre Dame turned in a 2-3-2 record. The Irish are coming off a 6-3 loss and a 4-4 tie last weekend with the Ferris State Bulldogs who lead the CCHA by four points over Michigan and Ohio State. The Irish are currently tied for sixth place in the league standings with 15 points. The Irish are four points out of second place and just two points ahead of the ninth-place teams in the CCHA standings. This weekend’s series with Yale is the final non-conference weekend for the Irish. Their final 12 games come versus the CCHA. Next weekend, the Irish return home to face the Michigan State Spartans on Jan. 24-25 in a pair of 7:05 p.m. contests.
OFF TO CHICAGO: The Irish will play at the Allstate Arena (home of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves) in Rosemont for the first time in the program’s history. Saturday’s game in the Chicago suburb is the first collegiate hockey game in Chicago since the 1995-96 season when the University of Illinois-Chicago discontinued its program. The last time Notre Dame hockey played a game in Chicago was Feb. 2, 1996, a 5-3 loss to the Flames. The first time the Irish played in Chicago was Dec. 18, 1971 when they played Boston College at Chicago Stadium. The Irish won that game 14-3. All-time in Chicago the Irish hockey team is 5-7-1 including a 4-6-1 record versus Illinois-Chicago.
HOMECOMING: Notre Dame has five players on its roster from Illinois, including four from the Chicago area. The five are: seniors Tony Zasowski (Darien, Ill.), Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.) and Michael Chin (Urbana, Ill.); junior Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) and sophomore Joe Zurenko (Arlington Heights, Ill.). Assistant coach John Micheletto is also a Chicago native and three other Irish players played junior hockey in the Windy City. That list includes: junior T.J. Mathieson and freshman Chris Trick who played for the NAHL’s Chicago Freeze and sophomore Cory McLean who played for the USHL’s Chicago Steel.
SCOUTING YALE: The Bulldogs come into the weekend with an 8-8-0 overall record and a 7-5-0 mark in the ECAC – good for a third-place tie. Yale has lost three in a row and five of it’s last six games before this weekend’s series. Offensively, the Bulldogs are averaging over four goals per game led by forwards Evan Wax (11-12-23), Ryan Steeves (10-13-23) and Christopher Higgins (11-8-19). Higgins was a first-round draft choice of the Montreal Canadiens last June. In goal, sophomore Peter Cohen has played in 14 of Yale’s 18 games with a 7-6-0 record and a 3.78 goals-against average. Cohen has a .865 save percentage. On the power play, Yale is 11-for 75 for a 14.7% success rate. The Bulldogs penalty killing checks in with a 77.3% success rate as they’ve killed 58 of 75 opponent power-play chances. Yale is led by coach Tim Taylor who is in his 25th season behind the Bulldogs bench. Taylor has coached the U.S. Olympic Team (1994) and served as an assistant on eight other U.S. National or U.S. Olympic teams. For more information on the Yale Bulldogs contact their website at www.yale.edu/athletics.
FERRIS STATE RECAP: The Irish dropped a 6-3 decision last Friday night at Ferris State and followed it with a 4-4 tie on Saturday versus the Bulldogs. In the 6-3 loss, the Irish got three-point games from John Wroblewski (two goals and an assist) and Aaron Gill (a goal and two assists). Wroblewski’s two goals had the Irish tied 2-2 late in the second period before FSU’s Simon Mangos scored twice in the final 4:21 to give Ferris a 4-2 lead. Gill’s goal cut it to 4-3, but that was as close as the Irish would get as Nick Field scored at 5:03 and Chris Kunitz added an empty-net goal for the 6-3 final. The Irish outshot Ferris State 37-35 in the game. Morgan Cey made 29 saves for Notre Dame. On Saturday, Wroblewski turned in his second consecutive three-point game (1g, 2a) as the Irish led 3-1 going into the final period before finishing with a 4-4 tie. Yan Stastny gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead with a first-period shorthanded goal at 10:30 of the first. FSU’s Greg Rallo scored on a power-play goal at 7:11 of the second period before the Irish answered with two power-play goals of their own. Connor Dunlop (8:05) and Wroblewski (16:26) gave Notre Dame the 3-1 lead. Ferris State evened the game at 3-3 in the third on goals by Jeff Legue (00:32) and Rallo (6:05), before Cory McLean put the Irish ahead just nine seconds after Rallo’s goal at 6:14. Legue got his second of the night at 17:31 for the 4-4 final score. Ferris State outshot the Irish 38-28 in the game. Cey turned in 34 saves in the tie.
WROBLEWSKI – THE HUMANITARIAN: Notre Dame senior left wing John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.) is one of 15 college hockey players nominated for the prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award that is presented annually to college’s hockey’s finest citizen for their efforts away from the rink in the community. The awarded is presented at the Frozen Four along with the Hobey Baker Award. Wroblewski has been involved with Notre Dame’s Community Service programs during his four years with the Irish.
RED-HOT WROBO: John Wroblewski has also gotten it done on the ice this season as he has already equalled his career high in goals (10) and has career-best assist (12), point (22) and power-play goal (4) totals. Wroblewski currently is tied for second on the Irish with 22 points. His previous best season was the 2001-02 year when he had 10 goals, 11 assists and 21 points. In each of his last two games, the Irish alternate captain has recorded three-point games for a six-point (3g, 3a) weekend at Ferris State. For the season, Wroblewski leads the Irish with five three-point games on the year. GLOBKE TIED FOR CCHA LEAD IN GOALS: Junior right wing Rob Globke comes into this weekend tied for the CCHA lead in goals with 17 on the year. Ohio State’s R.J. Umberger also has 17 goals. Nationally, Globke is in a four-way tie for ninth in the nation with his 17 goals. That ties him for his career-high which he recorded as a freshman in 2000-01. Globke has five multiple-goal games this season and 10 in his ND career.
CRACKING THE CENTURY MARK: With a first-period assist in the Jan. 10 game with Ferris State, senior center Connor Dunlop became the 39th player in Notre Dame history to reach the 100-point mark in his career. Notre Dame’s second-leading scorer this season with two goals and 20 assists, Dunlop added a goal and an assist in the Jan. 11, 4-4 tie. He is now tied for 36th all-time with 102 career points (21 goals and 81 assists).
A LITTLE HELP FOR HIS FRIENDS: With 81 career assists, Connor Dunlop has moved into a tie for 20th on Notre Dame’s all-time assist list with Don Fairholm (’74-’78). With 20 assists this season, Notre Dame’s premier point producer ranks second in the CCHA in helpers behind Ferris State’s Chris Kunitz.
MORE BULLDOGS: This weekend’s series with the Yale Bulldogs marks the seventh and eighth times this season that the Irish will face a team with the Bulldogs’ nickname. Through six games this season, the Irish are 2-3-1 versus teams with the Bulldog moniker. The Irish opened the season with two games versus the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs getting a tie and a win. They have faced CCHA-opponent – the Ferris State Bulldogs four times and are 0-3-1.
THE GILL FACTOR: Junior right wing Aaron Gill has found his scoring touch in the last four games. After getting just six goals and two assists for eight points in his first 16 games, Gill has racked up eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) in his last four games. Gill had a goal and two assists in the Jan. 10 game versus Ferris State and then added an assist in the Jan. 11 game. For the year he has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points.
TOP LINE: Since being united as a line for the series at Nebraska-Omaha (Jan. 3-4), the trio of John Wroblewski, Yan Stastny and Aaron Gill has combined for nine goals and 12 assists over the four-game period. Wroblewski has four goals and five assists, Stastny has recorded four goals and Gill has chipped in a goal and seven assists over the four game period.
STASTNY STREAKING: Sophomore center Yan Stastny had his team-best point-scoring streak snapped at eight games (7-5-12) in the Jan. 10 game at Ferris State. Stastny scored a shorthanded goal the following night giving him 12 on the season. He has scored in nine of his last 10 games (8-5-13). His 18 points on the season (12g, 6a) is a career-high mark for Stastny.
BLUELINE BOOSTERS: The Notre Dame defense features two of the top scoring defensemen in the CCHA. Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen (2-13-15) and junior Neil Komadoski (1-14-15) go into this weekend tied for seventh among CCHA defensemen. They trail Michigan State’s John-Michael Liles (7-14-21), Nebraska-Omaha’s Greg Zanon (4-15-19), Michigan State’s Brad Fast (8-11-19), Ferris State’s Troy Milam (4-13-17) and Northern Michigan’s Dirk Southern (4-13-17). For Komadoski, the 15 points is a career high as are the 14 assists. Nielsen’s 13 assists equal his career-high set last season. Nielsen (15G-46A) is 19 points shy of cracking the Notre Dame top-10 list for career points by a defenseman and could join 1999 All-American Benoit Cotnoir (28G-60A) as the only players on that top-10 defenseman scoring list since ND rejoined the CCHA in 1992.
BACK IN THE MIX: Freshman forward Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) returned to the Irish lineup in the Nebraska-Omaha having missed seven games after being diagnosed with mononucleosis on Nov. 24. Walsh’s hard-luck rookie season also saw him miss the first 10 games due to a broken jaw suffered in the Oct. 4 preseason game with the University of Toronto. Walsh – who could help spark the Irish offense in the second half of the season – made his first return to action and played in the 4-3 win at Michigan on Nov. 23.
FULL ROSTER: For the first time since the 1995-96 season, Notre Dame went into the Christmas holidays with a full roster (except for injuries) since the Irish had no players on the 2002-03 U.S. Junior National Team. Since the 1996-97 season, Notre Dame has had eight different players appear on the team in that seven-year period – Ben Simon (’96-’97, ’97-’98), Joe Dusbabek (’97-’98), Dan Carlson (’98-’99), Brett Henning (’99-’00), Connor Dunlop (’99-’00, ’00-’01), David Inman (’99-’00), Rob Globke (’00-’01, ’01-’02) and Brett Lebda (’01-’02).
CORY’S STORY: Sophomore right wing Cory McLean (Fargo, N.D.) has become Notre Dame’s sniper on the power play, as he picked up two more power-play markers in the 6-3 win over Bowling Green. For the season, McLean now has four power-play goals to lead the team. For the year, McLean has career-highs in goals (8) and points (11). As a freshman, he had just one goal and four assists for five points during the 2001-02 season.
IRISH AT THE JOE: Notre Dame’s win over Wayne State on Dec. 14th at Joe Louis Arena was the first for the Irish at “the Joe” since March 13, 1982 when Dave Poulin led Notre Dame to an 8-5 win over Bowling Green in the CCHA semifinals. After that, the Irish lost seven straight at “the Joe” in CCHA or Great Lakes Invitational play. The win over Wayne State was the first non-CCHA tournament or Great Lakes Invitational game for the Irish at Joe Louis Arena. Notre Dame now has a 4-7-0 record all-time at Joe Louis Arena.
THE ST. LOUIS CONNECTION: Notre Dame’s St. Louis connection played a vital role in the Irish win at Wayne State. Sophomore center Yan Stastny recorded two goals in the game (the second two-goal game of his career) while Connor Dunlop scored the game-winning goal. The third member of the trio, defenseman Neil Komadoski (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.), made the key play on Dunlop’s goal has he kept the puck in the Wayne State zone and made the pass to Globke at the side of the net for an assist on the play.
DUNLOP DELIVERS: Connor Dunlop snapped a 19-game goal-scoring drought with his game-winning goal versus Wayne State on Dec. 14. The goal was the first of the season for the Irish playmaker, who now has a goal and 18 assists on the season. The previous time Dunlop scored a goal was on March 2, 2002 in the regular season finale versus Bowling Green. He then went without a goal in four postseason games last year and the first 15 games this season. Dunlop also scored the game-winning goal versus Wayne State in the first-ever meeting between the two schools in Oct. of 2000. That goal was an overtime game winner in Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over the Warriors.
JUST CALL HIM THE CAPTAIN: Defenseman Evan Nielsen turned in the best weekend of his career versus Bowling Green (Dec. 7-8), collecting a pair of three-point games with a goal and two assists in each. The three-point games equal Nielsen’s career best as he has now recorded four three-point nights in his career, highlighted by a recent four-game point scoring streak (2-6-8).
GOALS FOR GLOBKE: With 17 goals and 10 assists this season for 27 points, the 2002 second-round pick of the NHL’s Florida Panthers has already surpassed last year’s point totals of 11-11-22. Globke’s 27 points tie him for fifth in the CCHA’s overall scoring race. In league scoring he is tied for second with 13 goals and seven assists for 20 points (Ferris State’s Chris Kunitz is first, at 12-17-29). Globke has three game-winning goals this season which are the most by a Notre Dame player since Dan Carlson had five in the 1999-2000 season. The junior right wing’s previous best season came as a freshman when he had 17 goals and 11 assists for 28 points.
MORE GLOBKE: With an assist on Connor Dunlop’s game-winning goal versus Wayne State (Dec. 7-8), followed by a goal in the 6-4 loss at Dartmouth, Rob Globke ran his season-best point scoring streak to seven games (8-6-14). In the first five games of the streak, Globke recorded at least two points in each game. On the year, Globke has four games with three-or-more points and eight multiple-point games overall. He started the season with a four-point game (3g, 1a) at Minnesota-Duluth (Oct. 12) and a three-point game (2g, 1a) at Western Michigan (Oct. 18). The last time a Notre Dame player scored five goals over a two-game period was during the 1994-95 season when Tim Harberts scored four goals in a game versus Waterloo (Oct. 21) and then scored a single-goal versus Lake Superior (Oct. 28). The last time a Notre Dame player had seven points in a two-game span was last season when Connor Dunlop (Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) had two goals and five assists in a weekend series versus Alaska Fairbanks (Feb. 1-2, 2002). For his career, Globke now has 15 multiple-point games and 10 multiple-goal games.
SOLID START: Notre Dame went into the break for finals and the Christmas holidays with its best record at that point of the season (8-6-2) since 1998-99. A year ago, they were 5-7-4 at the break. In 2000-01 they were 4-12-3 and in 1999-2000 the Irish were 7-11-2. During the 1998-99 season, Notre Dame was 9-5-2 going into the holiday season.
HOT IRISH (Point Streaks)
- John Wroblewski has a four-game point scoring streak (4-5-9).
- Aaron Gill has recorded points in four consecutive games (1-7-8) with at least two points in three of the last four games.
- Yan Stastny has points in nine of his last 10 games (8-5-13).
* Connor Dunlop has points in six of his last eight games (2-8-10).
ALWAYS SEN(CEY)TIONAL: After a rough weekend at Alaska Fairbanks (Nov. 28-29), Irish goaltender Morgan Cey turned things around with three straight wins in goal for Notre Dame (before the loss at Dartmouth and tie vs. Vermont). Cey stopped 87 of 92 (.946) shots in the sweep of Bowling Green (Dec. 7-8), including a career-high 47-save game in a 5-2 win on Dec. 8. On Dec. 14 versus Wayne State, the sophomore from Wilkie, Sask., made 23 saves in a 3-2 win. The only two goals he gave up were on power-play deflections. Since turning Notre Dame’s season around last Feb. 8th when he helped the Irish go 7-2-0 over the last nine games, Cey is 15-10-4 with a 2.65 goals against and a .905 save percentage.
FIRING THE BISCUIT: Notre Dame recorded a season-high 50 shots on goal in the Dec. 7 game with Bowling Green. The last time the Irish had 50 or more shots in a game was March 1, 2002, versus Bowling Green at the Joyce Center.
FLIPPING THE SWITCH: Notre Dame’s power play came to life versus Bowling Green on Dec. 7, converting 4-of-6 chances in the game. That snapped a 2-for-41 (4.9%) dry spell over the previous eight games. The four power-play goals marked the second time this season that the Irish have scored four power-play goals in a game. They turned the trick on Oct. 19 when they scored on 4-of-7 chances in an 8-5 win over Western Michigan. On the year, Notre Dame now has 20 power-play goals on 114 chances for a 17.5% success rate.
GETTING IT DUN(LOP): Senior Connor Dunlop has recorded multiple-point games in six of the last 12 games he’s played. Versus Ferris State, Dunlop had a goal and two assists in the series giving him six points (1-5-6) in the last four games. For the season, Dunlop is tied for second on the team in scoring with two goals and 20 assists for 22 points. Dunlop has 25 multiple-point games for his career. That includes two with four points, six with three points and 17 with two points.
“A” FOR EFFORT: Notre Dame left wing John Wroblewski turned in his best series of the season in the Bowling Green sweep as he picked up two goals and three assists for the weekend. Wroblewski had a pair of assists in the Dec. 7 win. He then followed that with his second three-point game of the season and the third of his career in the 5-2 win, with two goals and an assist. The two-goal game was his second of the season and the third of his career (he also scored the clinching empty-netter in the 5-3 win at UNO, with two assists in the 5-3 loss). Wroblewski was named an alternate captain for the remainder of the 2002-03 season on Nov. 20. In making the announcement, head coach Dave Poulin said, “John has emerged as an integral part of this team with his leadership and strong communication skills. He adds to an already strong captain’s group on this year’s team.” Wroblewski now has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 20 games this season.
BACK ON THE BOARD: Left wing Yan Stastny snapped a five-game scoring slump with a goal and an assist on Nov. 30 versus Alaska Fairbanks and hasn’t stopped scoring since them. The sophomore scored twice in the 3-2 win over Wayne State, added assists vs. Dartmouth and Vermont and totaled three goals in the UNO series – yielding points in eight straight games (7-5-12). Stastny is second on the team in goals with 12 and fourth in scoring with 12 goals and six assists for 18 points on the season.
CHIN WINNER: Senior left wing Michael Chin (Sr., Urbana, Ill.) snapped a seven-game scoreless streak when he scored his third goal of the season, the eventual game winner, in the 5-2 win over Bowling Green. Chin has three goals and four assists for seven points in 15 games played this season.
Senior Tony Zasowski is one of four Irish players from the Chicago area.
FRESHMAN FIRSTS: Freshman forward Matt Amado (Surrey, B.C.) picked up the first goal and assist of his Notre Dame career at Alaska Fairbanks (Nov. 29-30). He added an assist in the win over Bowling Green (Dec. 7) for a three-point scoring streak (1-2-3).
NHL DRAFTEES: Notre Dame had three players selected in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft last June. Current junior Rob Globke 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, incoming 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.
PENALTY SHOTS: Morgan Cey faced the second penalty shot of his career in the 4-2 loss to Michigan on Nov. 9, stopping Milan Gajic at 12:36 of the third period. As a freshman, Cey stopped Bowling Green’s Greg Day on Dec. 8, 2001 in a 4-2 loss to the Falcons.
OUCH: Notre Dame surrendered four power-play goals on six chances to Alaska Fairbanks in the 5-4 loss to the Nanooks on Nov. 30. The last time the Irish gave up four power-play goals in a game came on Feb. 15, 1997 at Michigan in a 6-1 loss. Prior to the UAF game on Nov. 30, the Irish penalty-killing unit had killed 29 of 32 opponent power-play chances. Notre Dame’s penalty killers got back on track versus Bowling Green (Dec.7-8) when they killed 12 of 13 Falcon power-play chances. For the season, the Irish are seventh overall in the CCHA after giving up 18 ppg’s on 97 chances for an 81.4% success rate.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame defenseman Neil Komadoski (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.) is having a career-year offensively on the Irish blue line. Through the first 22 games of the season, Komadoski is tied for sixth in team scoring with a goal and 14 assists for 15 points (senior center Connor Dunlop, with 20 is the only Irish player with more assists).
SWEEPS: Notre Dame’s series sweep of Bowling Green gave the Irish two CCHA series sweeps this season. Earlier this year (Oct. 18-19), the Irish swept a home-and-home series with Western Michigan. The last time the Irish won more that two CCHA series was in the 1998-99 season when they swept four weekend series. The Irish sweep of Western Michigan earlier this year gave the Irish three consecutive CCHA series sweeps going back to the 2001-02 season. The Irish ended the season by sweeping Lake Superior at Sault Ste. Marie and then Bowling Green at the Joyce Center. That marked the first time in Notre Dame’s 11 years in the CCHA that the Irish won three consecutive league series. The last time Notre Dame won three consecutive weekend series was during the 1990-91 season with sweeps versus Mercyhurst, Alabama-Huntsville and UMass-Boston.
SHORT-CIRCUITED: Notre Dame gave up its fourth short-handed goal of the season in the 4-3 win versus Michigan (Nov. 23) when Dwight Helminen scored a man down at 6:45 of the first period. Last season, the Irish gave up just four shorthanded goals in 38 games.
PULLING THE GOALTENDER: The Irish have pulled the goaltender 10 times this season and have been successful in getting the tying goal twice. The Irish converted their first two attempts getting game-tying goals versus Minnesota-Duluth and Boston College. On Oct. 11, Yan Stastny performed the heroics versus Minnesota-Duluth. With Morgan Cey on the bench, Stastny scored with 57 seconds left to tie that game at 2-2. Aaron Gill got the game-tying goal with 42 seconds left and Cey on the bench Nov. 1 to send the Boston College game into overtime at 3-3. The last six times the Irish have pulled the goaltender in favor of a sixth attacker they have failed to score (Ferris State scored (1/10) to seal a 6-3 win).
FIT TO BE TIED: The 4-4 tie at Ferris State on Jan. 11 was the fourth tie this season for Notre Dame. The Irish are 0-0-4 in overtime this season. Since the 1999-2000 season, the Irish are 5-2-24 in overtime games.
THE BROTHERS GILL: Notre Dame’s brother combination of Aaron Gill and Tony Gill saw their first action of the season together on the same line versus Miami (Nov. 8). Aaron scored Notre Dame’s only goal while getting five shots on goal with a +1 rating. Tony collected one shot and was also +1 for the evening. The Gill brothers then skated in the 3-3 tie vs. Vermont (Dec. 29, neither factoring into any scoring) and in the Jan. 3-4 series at UNO (Aaron had four assists in the split).
CENTRAL SCOUTING REPORT: The National Hockey League released its Central Scouting Services preliminary rankings for the 2003 Entry Draft Nov. 25. On its list of 42 collegiate players (37 skaters and five goaltenders), 11 CCHA players were ranked. Ranked 12th among collegiate players is Irish right wing Tim Wallace (Fr., Anchorage, Alaska). Wallace has played in all 22 games for the Irish with two goals and four assists for six points.
IRON MEN: Senior center Jake Wiegand (Northville, Mich.) saw his consecutive games streak of 79 straight games snapped on Oct. 25 versus Ferris State. The 6-3, 218-pound forward went down with a sprained left knee in Notre Dame’s 8-5 win at Western Michigan (Oct. 19). Junior center Aaron Gill (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) had his 62-game streak snapped on Dec. 8 when he missed the Bowling Green game with a separated right shoulder. Defenseman Evan Nielsen now has the team lead having played in 97 consecutive games. Junior defenseman Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) has played in 93 of 97 career games at Notre Dame. The lone games he has missed came between Dec. 28 – Jan. 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.
GILL THE THRILL: Junior center Aaron Gill has provided his heroics twice for the Irish this season. The Rochester, Minn., native scored with 42 seconds left to give Notre Dame a 3-3 tie with third-ranked Boston College on Nov. 1. Earlier in the season (Oct. 19), Gill recorded the first hat trick of his career in Notre Dame’s 8-5 win over Western Michigan. Gill scored two power-play goals and had the game-winning tally among his three goals in that game.
HAT TRICKS: Junior center Aaron Gill scored three goals for the Irish in the 8-5 win at Western Michigan on Oct. 19. The hat trick was the first of his collegiate career and marked the second time in the first four games that Notre Dame recorded a hat trick. Rob Globke scored three times in the 5-3 win at Minnesota-Duluth. This marks the first time since the 1994-95 season that two Notre Dame players have recorded hat tricks in the same season. Tim Harberts (four goals) and Ben Nelsen each had hat tricks in October of 1994.
EIGHT IS GREAT: The eight goals scored by the Irish in the 8-5 win at Western Michigan are the most goals scored by Notre Dame in a game since Nov. 20, 1998, in a 9-5 win over Western Michigan. That covers a span of 150 games.
NOT SO GREAT EIGHT: Ferris State’s Chris Kunitz scored eight points in the weekend (Oct. 25-26) series versus the Irish. The senior left wing recorded two goals and two assists in each game. The last time Notre Dame gave up eight points in a CCHA series was during the 1981-82 season when Western Michigan’s Ross Fitzpatrick recorded six goals and two assists on Feb. 26-27, 1982. Fitzpatrick had three goals and one assist in each game.
Closing The DeaL: After seeing their 50-game unbeaten streak (42-0-8) when leading after two periods stopped in the second game of last season, the Irish went 16-0-1 over the final 17 games of 2001-02 when they led after two periods. This season, the Irish are 5-1-2 when they lead after two periods of play having lost at Nebraska-Omaha on Jan 4 after leading 3-2 going into the third period. Since Jan. 9, 1998, the Irish are 63-4-11 when leading after two periods of play. During that period, Boston College has rallied from second-intermission deficits to hand the Irish a loss and a two ties.
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 (Oct. 12). 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 made 29 saves in his second appearance of the year, a 4-1 loss to Ferris State on Oct. 26.
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 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. He added his second career goal in the first period of ND’s 8-5 win over Western Michigan. That goal snapped a 1-1 tie and put the Irish ahead to stay in the game. Through 20 games this season, Wallace has two goals and four assists for sixpoints in his rookie season.
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.
Dunlop finished 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.
SEN-CEY-TIONAL: 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 solo 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.
THE CAPTAINS: Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen is serving 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 team’s top faceoff men and penalty killers. John Wroblewski was appointed the team’s third alternate captain on Nov. 20. One of the top defensive forwards in the CCHA, Wroblewski had his best season offensively in 2001-02 when he scored 10 goals with 11 assists for 21 points. All three totals were career highs.
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), 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.
ALL IN THE FAMILY, PART II: Two freshmen hockey players – Rory Walsh (Milton, Mass.) and Mike Walsh – have fathers who also 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 program its ninth all-time brother combo.
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:
Senior center Connor Dunlop is only the 39th player in school history to reach the 100-point mark in his career.
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.
HOMETOWNS: The 2002-03 Notre Dame hockey team features players from 10 states and hree Canadian provinces – Alberta, British Columbia and Saskat-chewan. In the seven-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, the Notre Dame hockey letterwinners have hailed from 20 different states and provinces – those listed below, plus: Colorado, Delaware, New Jersey, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
2002-03 ND Hockey – By State/ 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
Alaska (1): Tim Wallace
Alberta (1): Brad Wanchulak
British Columbia (1): Matt Amado
Maryland (1): T.J. Mathieson
Massachusetts (1): Rory Walsh
New York (1): Tom Galvin
North Dakota (1): Cory McLean
Saskatchewan (1): Morgan Cey
Wisconsin (1): John Wroblewski
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.