Nov. 26, 2002
- The Series: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-4-2/4-4-0) at Alaska Fairbanks (3-7-2/2-6-2)
- Date/Site/Times: Fri.-Sat., Nov. 29-30 – Carlson Center (4,324) – 7:05 p.m. (11:05 EST)
- 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.
NORTH TO ALASKA: The Notre Dame hockey team will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Fairbanks, Alaska this weekend as they face the Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks in a weekend series, Nov. 29-30 at the Carlson Center. Game time is 7:05 p.m. (11:05 p.m. in South Bend). The Irish come into the weekend with a 5-4-2 overall record and a 4-4-0 mark in the CCHA. Notre Dame is coming off a series split at Michigan that saw the Irish drop a 4-2 decision on Friday night, but bounce back for a 4-3 win on Saturday. The win was the first for the Irish at Yost Arena in the regular season since Oct. of 1982. This week’s trip closes out a four-game road swing for Notre Dame as the Irish play nine of their next 11 games away from the Joyce Center. Alaska Fairbanks goes into the weekendCenter. Alaska Fairbanks goes into the weekend series with a 3-7-2 overall record and a 2-6-2 mark in league play. Last weekend, the Nanooks battled to a 2-2 tie versus Miami on Friday night before falling to the RedHawks 6-2 on Saturday. Notre Dame enters the weekend tied for sixth in the CCHA with Western Michigan as both teams have eight points. Alaska Fairbanks is tied for eighth with three teams, just two points behind the Irish, with six points. Following the series at Fairbanks, the Irish return home for their final home games of 2002 versus the Bowling Green Falcons. The two teams will play on Sat., Dec. 7 at 7:05 p.m. and again on Sun., Dec. 8 at 5:05 p.m.
LAST MEETINGS: Alaska Fairbanks visited Notre Dame for a pair of games last season at the Joyce Center. The two teams combined for 23 goals on the weekend that saw UAF take two wins from the Irish. The Nanook wins snapped a 10-game un-beaten streak (8-0-2) for the Irish versus Alaska Fairbanks. On Feb. 1, 2002, Cam Keith and Aaron Voros each scored twice and Bobby Andrews scored a goal and added three assists in a 7-5 shootout win. That offset big offensive nights for David Inman (1g, 3a), Connor Dunlop (1g, 2a) and Evan Nielsen (1g, 2a). UAF outshot the Irish 39-36 in the game. The following night, UAF scored the first three goals of the game and then held off an Irish rally for a 6-5 win. Ryan Campbell and Voros each scored twice for the Nanooks while Dunlop had a goal and three assists. Goaltender Morgan Cey started both games but did not finish either as he played just 51:45 on the weekend while giving up nine goals on 40 shots. The two losses turned out to be the turning point in the season for Notre Dame as the Irish went 7-2-1 over the final 10 games of the season. The Irish are 3-0-2in their last five games in Fairbanks. During the 2000-01 season Notre Dame took three points with a 4-4 tie and a 3-1 win on Feb. 23-24, 2001.
A LOOK AT THE NANOOKS: The CCHA’s surprise team in 2001-02, Alaska Fairbanks has gotten off to a slow start during the ’02-’03 campaign going 3-7-2 over the first 12 games. UAF has not won at the Carlson Center this season (0-3-1) and is averaging just 2.17 goals per game. Offensively, Jared Sylvestre (5-3-8) leads the Nanooks in scoring and is followed by Ryan Campbell (3-4-7) and Russell Spence (1-6-7). In goal, junior Preston McKay has played in 10 of the 12 games and has a 3-6-1 record with a 3.94 goals-against average and a .880 save percentage. The UAF special teams have struggled this season with the power play scoring just five times in 58 chances (8.6%) while the penalty-killing unit has surrendered 11 power-play goals in 49 chances for a 77.6% penalty killing efficiency. For more information on the Nanooks, please check the Alaska Fairbanks website at www.uaf.edu/UAF/athletics.html.
IRISH VERSUS RANKED TEAMS: Notre Dame’s split with Michigan last weekend closed out a span of five consecutive games for the Irish versus ranked teams. Over that span, Notre Dame was 2-2-1 with wins versus #6/#5 Michigan and #14/#14 Miami. The Irish tied #3/#3 Boston College 3-3 to start the run of five straight games on Nov. 1. Last season, Notre Dame was 3-7-1 versus ranked teams. This season, the Irish are 1-1-1 at home versus ranked teams and 1-1-0 on the road.
A SPLIT IN ANN ARBOR: The Notre Dame hockey team travelled to Ann Arbor for a pair of games with #6/#5 Michigan last weekend and did something at Yost Arena that they haven’t done in 20 years – split a series with the Wolverines. On Friday night, the Irish dropped a 4-2 decision despite outshooting Michigan by a 37-24 margin. Goaltender Al Montoya made 35 saves in the game as the Wolverines scored twice in the first period (John Shouneyia and Andrew Ebbett) and once in the second (Michael Woodford) before Brett Lebda (Jr., Buffalo Grove, Ill.) notched his first goal of the season at 16:33 to cut the lead to 3-1. Mark Mink answered Lebda’s goal just 23 seconds later at 16:56 to up the UM lead to 4-1. In the third period, the Irish came out fast with Jake Wiegand (Sr., Northville, Mich.) scoring his first of the season just 58 seconds into the final stanza. But that was the last score the Irish would get as Montoya made 15 of his 35 saves in the final period. Notre Dame’s Morgan Cey (So., Wilkie, Sask.) made 20 saves in the game including stopping a penalty shot in the third by Milan Gajic. Saturday night, the Irish fell behind 1-0 in the first period on a Dwight Helminen short-handed goal. Rob Globke (Jr., West Bloomfield, Mich.) tied the game just 3:44 into the second period with his first of the night. Eric Nystron countered for the Wolverines at 16:28 for a 2-1 Michigan lead after two periods. The Irish rallied in the third for three goals. Tom Galvin (Jr., Miller Place, N.Y.) beat Montoya with a hard wrist shot at 5:26 to tie the game at 2-2. Cory McLean’s (So., Fargo, N.D.) second-effort goal at 14:20 gave Notre Dame its first lead of the weekend. Michigan tied the game at 16:05 when Gajic scored on a rebound for a 3-3 score. Globke answered 15 seconds later with his second of the night (2g, 1a) and Cey held off the Wolverines over the final 3:40 for the win. The Irish outshot Michigan 31-28 in the game with Cey making 25 saves and Montoya 27 on the night.
HOUSE OF HORRORS: It took the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 20 years to solve the hex of Michigan’s Yost Arena, but they finally got it done with a 4-3 win on Nov. 23. Since returning to the CCHA in 1992-93, the Irish had never won a regular-season game at Yost, going 1-14-1 in that span, with the lone win coming during the 1997-98 CCHA playoffs. Before Nov. 23, the last time the Irish had won at Yost was Oct. 22, 1982, a span of 14 regular season games. The Irish are now 1-14-1 in the regular season and have improved to 2-18-1 at Yost since returning to the CCHA. In their last three games at Yost Arena, the Irish are 1-1-1.
THEY’RE BACK: Notre Dame’s two injured players – freshman left wing Mike Walsh (Northville, Mich.) and senior center Jake Wiegand (Sr., Northville, Mich.) – returned to action last weekend versus Michigan. Walsh, who missed 10 games with a broken jaw suffered in the Oct. 4 preseason game with Toronto, took a regular shift in the Nov. 23 win over the Wolverines. Walsh collected a shot on goal, picked up two penalty minutes and was +2 in the game. Wiegand played both nights after missing five games with a sprained left knee suffered on Oct. 19 at Western Michigan. He picked up his first goal of the season on Friday on one shot and was +1 for the game. Saturday he had three shots on goal and was whistled for two minutes in penalties. He was re-united with center Aaron Gill (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) and right wing Cory McLean, the same line he was playing on before getting hurt.
PENALTY SHOTS: Irish goaltender 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.
GOALS FOR GLOBKE: Junior right wing Rob Globke turned in his third game this season with three or more points in the Irish win at Michigan on Nov. 23. Globke scored two goals, including the game winner, and added an assist in the victory. Earlier this season, Globke had 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 ver-sus 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 13 multiple-point games and eight multiple-goal games.
THE WAIT IS OVER: Senior center Connor Dunlop recorded two assists in Notre Dame’s 4-3 win at Michigan on Nov. 23. The two-point night snapped a six-game scoring drought for the talented playmaker. Dunlop started the season with six points in the first four games and then went scoreless over the next six. For the season, Dunlop is third in scoring for the Irish with no goals and eight assists for eight points. He now has 69 career assists which leaves him 12 points short of the 100-point mark in his career. His totals are 19 goals and 69 assists for 88 career points. He has two multiple-point games thisseason giving him 20 for his career. The 20 include two with four points, five with three points and 13 with two points.
“A” FOR EFFORT: Notre Dame left wing John Wroblewski (Sr., Neenah, Wis.) 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 has scored three goals with four assists for seven points in the first 11 games this season.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Irish continue to play well on the road after their weekend split at Michigan. This season, Notre Dame is 3-1-1 away from the Joyce Center after five road contests. The loss on Nov. 22 at Michigan snapped a five-game road winning streak that went back to Mar. 8, 2002 at Nebraska-Omaha. Since Feb. 9, 2002, the Irish are 8-2-1 over their last 11 road games. Last season, Notre Dame was 10-8-3 on the road.
CORY’S STORY: Sophomore right wing Cory McLean picked up his third goal of the season to give Notre Dame its first lead of the series on Saturday in the win over Michigan. McLean has points in four of his last six games (3-1-4). As a freshman, McLean had just one goal and four assists for five points for the entire season.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame defenseman Neil Komadoski (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.) is having a career- year offensively on the Irish blue line. Through the first 11 games of the season, Komadoski is sec-ond in team scoring with a goal and nine assists for 10 points. The nine assists tie him for his career-best in that category and he is just one point behind his career-best of 11 points set last season in 37 games. Among CCHA defensemen, Komadoski is tied for second with six other defenders with 10 points which puts him in a tie for 28th in the CCHA scoring race.
SEVERE POWER OUTAGE: Notre Dame’s power play was 0-for-13 on the weekend at Michigan going 0- for-7 in the 4-2 loss and 0-for-6 in the 4-3 win. Over the last six games, the Irish are just 1-for-35 (2.9%) on the power play and for the year they have converted just 9-for-64 for a 14.1% success rate. The Irish started the season going 8-for-28 (27.6%) on the power play over the first five games of the season.